Le tabagisme

Seven years ago, when I went to France for the first time, I remember being concerned about the French people's smoking habits. Since my grandpa quit, I didn't know anyone who smoked and I found it a disgusting, repulsive thing to do. I was filled with disdain for smokers and swore I would never be friends with anyone who did such a thing. I remember being scared that I would be peer-pressured to try it (having never been peer pressured into anything by my very geeky and well-behaved American friends) or that people would (gasp!) smoke around me.

And smoke they did. Americans smoke, but nothing like the French. I remember huddling under a bus shelter in the rain with about 20 other high-school-aged kids while everyone lit up. I was offered a cigarette, but no one pressured me when I refused. And I didn't cough too much, and I wasn't rude to them, and I survived.

And now, after repeated visits and stays in France, it just seems so normal to me that I didn't even understand why people objected to my pictures of dinner with the S2OLs. "They're smoking at the table? Didn't that bother you?" It didn't, surprisingly enough. I suppose that I should be proud of my adaptability.

srah - Friday, 6 June 2003 - 2:00 PM
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Comments (2)

gravatar katie - June 6, 2003 - 3:01 PM -

When I was in high school over there, we had this long 2-hour lunch. EVERYONE in the entire 1000-student school would be out in this large courtyard smoking. EVERYONE. What amazed me was not the cancer-to-be nor the clouds of noxious gas. It was the cig butts everywhere. What a mess.

gravatar Jez - June 6, 2003 - 5:00 PM -

I've gone 9 months now without a cigarette. After a ten-year habit (well...eight years proper 'a-packet-a-day' smoking, which was the result of sneaking off to have surreptitious underage ciggies after school). Goodness knows how I managed to quit while in France. Well done for never smoking. I only wish I hadn't started on the foul things.

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