3. I sometimes used to party-smoke menthol king-size cigarettes with friends back in high school. I grew up in a big tobacco-growing area of Ontario where it seemed everyone but my parents smoked (yay, Mom and Dad!). Then (also in high school) I went to work in a donut shop where I had to clean out the clientele’s dirty ashtrays. Enough of the smoking! Blechy, blechy, blechy. I don’t think I ever smoked again after I had that job doing that nasty task. (And also because I realized smoking is a pretty awful thing to do to yourself and others … duh!)
4. OK, I lied. I smoked one cigarette in university when I did a semester of school in France, after buckling to peer pressure one night on the town. So many of my fellow Canadian students started smoking that semester … shocking! Tsk, tsk, we knew better! But when in France, we did what the French did I guess.
5. I once saw a man flogging the bishop (you’re just going to have to Google it) in a car in Avignon when I was there on a short trip away from my university in France. To my 21-year-old self this was both a frightening and a hilarious event! Needless to say, I and the other girls who I was with got the heck out of there. As the song goes … Sur le pont d’Avignon, on y … well I don’t know the French for what happened there that night! It wasn’t dancing, that’s for sure!
6. Also while I was in France, my roommate and I once gave the equivalent of about CAD$100 each to a man we didn’t know and who we had just met to get us au pair jobs. Uh, I’m still waiting for his call back about that job! His name, or so he said, was Michael Moses. After we realized we’d been swindled (naive little Canadian girls we were) we started using the verb “mosied” for being fooled or swindled around campus. (Luckily, we didn’t have cause to use it often!)
7. On the same day my roommate and I gave our money so willingly away to Monsieur Moses, we missed the last bus back to our school (probably while we were getting ‘mosied’). So we hitchhiked with a large strange man in his small van back up to school, which was on a mountaintop outside of Nice. Well, we knew the guy vaguely … he was one of the regulars at Louis’, a bar at the foot of the hill our school sat on. (He was harmless, I’m sure.) That was the one and only time I have ever hitchhiked and I’m still alive to tell the story, thank goodness!
Take note, dear reader, and especially people who might be parenting teenage or early 20-year-old girls at the moment: Just because the last four things on this ‘what you might not know about me’ list happened while I was away in France in my third year of university (hmm, funny that, I guess I was on a roll there) doesn’t mean you should try to prevent your young daughters from spending time abroad! Let ’em go. They’ll have all this stuff to talk about (and more), when they’re old and in their mid-30’s comme moi. No harm done. But … you might not find out about this stuff until 15 years later! (Perhaps that’s a good thing though, eh?)
(See also What you might not know about me … #2)