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Wilfred De'Ath

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Four nights on the French streets

There is a ‘social’ restaurant in Tours where you can get a good meal with a drink for about ten euros. I have often eaten there. Unfortunately, on this occasion, I had no money on me. But a kind old lady standing just outside, putting out a cigarette, gave me three euros. For that, I was able to eat a plate of spaghetti and mixed vegetables (mainly cauliflower). Quite nourishing, in its way. That was about the only thing that happened to me during a night on the streets of Tours, which is an incredibly quiet, respectable French city. I spent lots of the time sitting outside a late-night café, chatting to the young waiter and waitress. They didn’t seem to mind that I didn’t order anything to eat or drink, and they kept me well supplied with glasses of water. The station opened at 4.30am, and I watched the...

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