I pass in front of the museum. “How do you pronounce Lyon in english?” a tourist muses, the concept of foreign languages clearly beyond his grasp. “Lion” is the inane response. Walking through the train station on my lunch break I spot a teenager wearing a boy band t-shirt: “If I die today, tell Harry Styles I loved him.” I hope the aforementioned famous face will pass his condolences on in due course. My pace quickening, I cut laterally through the stream of commuters, breaking the linear flow, intrigued by a beggar’s indecipherable sign. I unscrabble the tight handwriting and don’t halter before re-entering the stream of clammy puffer fish.
Jardins de France, a grocery store displaying a lopsided awning and wizzled fruit, hangs on the corner of Debourg and Jean Jaurès, a monument to urban despair. Its proprietor, or leading customer, probably both, sits straight legged on the ground, raising a can of dark beer in a well-honed movement. Jardins de France? Fuck me. The harvest has clearly been bad for a long time.
The new tram line is meant to rejuvanate the area, but it will take more than a glistening sheen of molten asphalt to distract people from the stale air of the local refineries.
I sigh. The sun is high and everything is grey.