I was stuck with yelling, crying children on the train there and back
A guy stopped to help me find the tourist office, then sort of followed me, telling me I was beautiful in English and…Italian?
By the train station, another guy stopped in his car to blow me a kiss. A kiss that sounded like a cross between a fart and somebody pulling a plunger out of a toilet
I couldn’t open my map without the wind trying to blow it out of my hands. Apparently, I shouldn’t have worn a dress today, either
Children in front of the Hotel de Ville kicked a soccer ball into the back of my knees
It cost one euro to get a map for the Van Gogh walking tour
Few stops on the walking tour had explanatory signs about the paintings they inspired
In the daylight and with the aesthetically non-pleasing post-2000s storefronts, it’s not apparent why Van Gogh thought of Arles as such a pretty place to paint
The yellow cafe? Garishly painted yellow to mimic the glow from the painting
The yellow house? Destroyed during World War II
The site that became “Starry Night” is marked on the map, but not on the quai. You look across and try to find the spot. You see trees, apartment complexes. And the sun is out, so what’s the point anyway?
There are Roman ruins that date back to Julius Caesar, but all of that looks cooler in Italy, or in Lyon, maybe Nîmes…
Too many tour groups, too many souvenir shops. The streets are still narrow, the apartment buildings still charming, the grime has accumulated, but there’s little soul
What makes me maddest: The McDonald’s manager wouldn’t give me one freaking plastic spoon to eat my taboulé with, because I didn’t buy anything at their fine establishment. I mean, this was Montpellier, not Arles, but still!