There are LOTS of beggars in Bordeaux, often outside the doors of the Catholic Churches, but also outside the supermarkets. Yesterday I scuttled to the local U supermarket in the morning. I generally say hallo to the beggars but I never have any money on me.
Then one day I saw a young man say to a beggar that he had no money but could he buy something for them. What a good idea, I thought. So I tried it with the lady outside our local supermarket.
"Yes please, a chicken." she said in her broken French.
"A CHICKEN ?"
She pointed to the pictures of bread on the door.
"You mean a chicken sandwich?"
"No, I have that at the house but I'd like a chicken."
I ought to explain that she was sat on the floor in the sun on a rather hot day and it was only about 10 am. I wouldn't want to sit there all day with a dead chicken, then take it home and eat it.
"A cooked chicken?"
In the bigger supermarkets you can get delicious rotisserie chickens, but not in our local U.
Anyway we went in and hunted. Pat found a smoked cooked chicken and got her that.
Later on we scuttled off to a bigger, more distant supermarket. There was a beggar outside.
"Forget it", I thought, "a chicken is enough for one day", but Pat was already in detailed negotiations.
"Some tomatoes, please. Little tomatoes."
"The very small ones? The cherry tomatoes?"
I can't explain why, but somehow that felt much more sensible than a chicken.