Toulouse Through Pictures

After I spend one week in Toulouse, I would say that I could get to know this city pretty well. I explored the city, I went to the must-sees, sat in cute cafés and had lots of ‘doucements matins’ which means slow mornings because there’s nothing better than that when you’re on holiday, am I right!?

So, I should not write too much. Have fun with the pictures I took during this time!

An artist displayed his art alongside the river ‘Garonne‘. If you look closely, it looks a bit bizzare but at the same time really interesting and you start to wonder what’s the meaning behind that. It’s always inspiring to see the work of other artist.

This was taken on a bridge in the area ‘Les Bordes de Garonnes‘. This wheel reminds me of the wheel in Marseille but the one in Toulouse is smaller.

And of course, another flower picture. I found it while strolling alongside the river. This part was called ‘Le canal de Brienne‘. It was so relaxing to walk and look at the calm water. Except when a ship full of tourist showed up next to me on the river while I took these pictures.

Le couvent des Jacobins which is a beautiful cathedrale.

Inside of ‘Le couvent des Jacobins‘.

If you see a cathedral like that you’re absolutely stunned what people could achieve in the past without all the technology we use nowaday. In the book ‘A brief history of humankind’, I’ve read that people from the last centuries where by far more intelligent than the people in the current age. You wouldn’t believe that if you think of all the techniqual revolutions we had but it’s also making the mass population on average dumber because we just leave the thinking to our technology…

Le musée des Augustins  –  it’s a museum full of art from the last centuries. The entry is free for students! I didn’t even have a student card but I still got in for free which was so nice.

And more art in ‘le musée des Augustins‘. The portraits were all so incredible and beautiful. I started to think that our temporary art nowadays is kind of bullshit compared to these masterpieces.

This is what you see before you enter the museum. The architecture is stunning!

And some more flowers… I got a cramp in my neck while squading down on the floor and taking this picture in a really weird position but it was definitely worth it.

Toulouse is also called ‘La Ville Rose‘ which means pink town because of the many pinkish looking buildings all around.


Place Saint Scarbes‘ which was also a lovely place where some people played chess beside the fountain.

La place du Capitole by night – the main center of Toulouse.

And the ‘Japanese Garden‘ which was definitely a highlight of my visit in Toulouse.

So, that’s it! A pretty short entry about Toulouse because I kind of get fed up with the series ‘through pictures’ and also with writing English. I’ll probably change some things about this blog soon.

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Gamechanger #1 : Fighting For Human Rights

Have you ever thought about forced labour?  About 168 million children work in different countries around this globe and almost 21 million people are forced into labour which means they’re slaves to their workplace. Therefore, it’s also called modern slavery. They have to work under bad working conditions, they’re physically violated and most of the times, they can’t escape this situation.
And for sure, this is by far not exactable! Not many people are aware about that and even less people are actively doing something about this issue.
But when I was in Toulouse, I came across a person who does an amazing job: His name is Aziz and he works for a non-profit organisation called ‘RHSF – Ressources Humaines Sans Frontières’ which wants to end forced labour around the world.
And so, he actively fights for human rights every day and this way, his job makes a big difference for many people.

[In their office space, they have a wall full of art which displays forced labour. Here you’re able to find more information on the pictures and the meaning behind them.]

When he told me about his job, I was interested at once because I came across this topic several times. Especially, when I started to inform myself about how the majority of our clothes are made: Big companies go to undeveloped countries in order to make the cheapest clothes possible. They hire people who have to work under bad working conditions, they get a ridiculous amount of money for that, they get sick from all the chemicals which are used for the clothes and it’s also destroying the environment because we use too much of our resources like water and fields which could have been used to feed people.

[A postcard with a serious massage to raise awareness – we should ask us: What is behind our cheap clothes  which we can find at every store in every city?]

Aziz became interested in this topic when he stumbled across an article online – it was about Qatar, a country in the middle east and it explained how people from Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bangladesh were building a stadium for the soccer world cup under bad working conditions. Since he is a big soccer fan, he didn’t want that his sport is standing for something so cruel.
So, first he started to read more about human rights and he also started to volunteer in this kind of area. Later, when he had the job opportunity, he started to work for this organisation.

[Their office in Toulouse. To see their website click here.]

The organisation ‘RHSF’ has two main topics – forced labour and child labour. They want to have better working conditions for everyone in this world.
They already accomplished amazing things. For example, they went to a big factory in China where the workers had over 80 hours of work every week and the workers even slowed down the process of work, so they would be able to work more and get a higher salary. RHSF made a big accomplishment: they changed the way the company paid the people, so the hours of work were reduced from 80 to 60 but the salary, productivity and quality of the products were even increasing!

They also went to Panama and did a study on child labour in coffee- and banana-fields. The study had the purpose to make clear why children and teenagers work on these fields and what can be changed to end the child labour. Based on the study, they could write a guidance for the local minister of labour, so he can make a law out of it to make this change.

[You never know what you’re going to get… more info here]

I was working on a banana farm myself in Australia for about 5 months and it was the most horrible job I ever had. I had to stand in a humid, hot shelter and had to pick out the bad bananas from the good one’s – I had to do the same task for 8 hours a day, breath in all the pesticides they put on the bananas and so, it was boring and difficult. But at least I got a good salary. I could not imagine working like that in bad working conditions and getting a horribly low salary. And it must be even more horrible for kids!

At a normal day at work, Aziz does projects and his main project is to eliminate forced child labour. And to reach that goal, he’s raising awareness on this topic through organizing events, conferences and film festivals. In this way, people become aware of their buying habits because behind every product is a long process until it’s made and it can be a good process or in worst case, it’s the opposite. Therefore, many people are not aware of the damage their buying habits cause.

Of course, he tries to implement this on his own life. He stopped buying clothes from big clothing companies and instead, he buys his clothes at fair-trade and organic shops. And if his clothes are damaged, he tries to repair it and not just throw it away at once. He also looks out for food which is locally made and if he buys coffee, it’s always fair-trade.

‘Everyone can make a little difference like that in their life’s.’

[The Japanese garden in Toulouse where the interview took place.]

Aziz has a big goal for the future: He wants to reduce the amount of people who are forced into labour to zero. There should be definitely more people like that with this amazing energy and optimistic vision. So much could be accomplished if people become more aware and want to make a positive change in this world:

It all starts with yourself and the right time is now.

 

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Montpellier Through Pictures

I will continue with these series ‘Through Pictures’ for now. So, after every city I’ve visited, you’ll get a little inside of these cities through my lense.

My next stop was at Montpellier and I’ve rested here for four days. It was not as exciting as Marseille because this time, I was not staying with a couchsurfing host and so, I didn’t get insider tips from a local.

Instead of looking up which would be the best spots to explore, I got really lazy and hang out a lot at the hostel with people I met there. But the relaxation was much needed after these busy days in Marseille. Every night I went to sleep in Marseille, I fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow because I was so extremely busy the entire day and therefore got really tired.

That was pretty awesome when I consider I always laid awake an hour on average at home because I was so stressed from school, work and my internship. I never want to experience that ever again. When I go home I make sure that things change for the better. And I will start listening to my body a lot more.

Oops, that was a bit off trail. Back to Montpellier.

Therefore, I was trying to relax and didn’t feel the urge to force myself to explore the city. I just explored the centre of the town and I went to the beach for one day to get the worst sunburn in my life so far. But it was still nice to enjoy the beach.


[I forgot the name of this place lol]


[Same place… maybe I should have looked for the name while I was there. I still need to figure out how travel blogging works..]


[I present to you… a park without name.]


[A lamp by daylight]


[I met two girls in the hostel who studied literature, so of course, we had to stop at multiple book stores.]


[Library with old french books]


[This pic reminds me that I have to re-do my nail polish.]


[A random street with palm trees]


[I’m pretty sure this place is called ‘Place de France’! At least Google told me so]


[Old building with cute balconies]

This entry was all over the place and I tremendously failed at travel blogging but keep an eye out for my next post ‘Toulouse Through Pictures’ cause it will have many awesome pictures and I’ll show you some beautiful places you have to visit while you’re in Toulouse in case you’ll ever go.

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