Before knowing this, I bought my clementines from the jolly round man quite often. He even offered unknowing-me a job (which was probably prostitution/drug smuggling). We even talked American politics. Well, he more like talked vicariously through me to Obama about his anti-semitic plans for Congress.
And yes; yes this does all occur in my favorite neighborhood, Figuerolles.
Figuerolles is considered 'the rough part of town'. It's bustling with mostly North African and Arabic immigrants, bazaars stuffed with canned and fresh goods and real life. Highly concentrated with attractive student-aged-peoples, Montpellier misses that 'vie quotidienne' or sense of daily life. Figuerolles has become my remedy for grounding; trekking out there reminds me of truth and that the world isn't a perfect sphere. I love searching through the veggies, barely understanding the market conductors in their accented French and dodging dangerous driving.
I also love these puppies, a Makroud Figue. An all-too-sweet pastry imported from Maghreb. I've found my favorite little shop where they know me as the American and we talk about the differences between here and there.
Figuerolles has been necessary for when I forget what life's about. It puts me back in the real world. I'm lucky to have this rundown and vibrant quartier.