Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gay 'ol Paris

I was so excited for my trip back to Paris, although a little frightened to make the journey alone. But I'm a big girl and therefore I think I can ride a train alone. I mean, I had my ipod. Plus I was meeting a friend from back home who was stopping in Paris with her family for the week. The plan was to meet her at their hotel, crash with them and see the sights and experience Parisian life when I hadn't just stepped off an airplane and was seriously lacking in sleep.

The best laid plans of mice and men..

I hated Paris.

There. I said it. Paris is a wonderful city. Except when you wear the wrong shoes. Or your pack is heavy. Or the person you are there to meet isn't there! This wouldn't have been so bad, except that the few plans I made were in accordance with her and I had no back-up plan. Did I mention it was Bastille Day?

I went, first, to the address she gave me and of course the concierge spoke zero English and didn't understand my meager French. We finally came to the conclusion that the family I was meeting wasn't there, however on the other side of Montparnasse there is a hotel with the same name just reversed. So I trekked over there and already cursing myself for wearing flip flops. Yes! I wore flip-flops. I realized my mistake the next day and subsequently bought tennis shoes. Anyway, I found the other hotel and they weren't booked there either. The much nicer concierge who also spoke English called 4 or 5 other hotels in the area to help me find them. No luck. I wanted to cry. All the hotels in Montparnasse are 2 or 3 stars which means expensive. He offered me a room at a cheaper price, probably because I looked Like I was about to cry. I declined and tried instead to find an internet cafe so I could see if she sent me an email. This is where the no cell phone thing really made me sad. Just my luck, being the holiday, nothing was open. No internet. My excited adventurer spirit is beginning to be crushed and I kind of just want to go home. On my rounds looking for a computer I walk past the first hotel and mr. no english is out having a smoke break. He asked if I found them and I said no and asked him if he knew an open internet cafe around. He kindly looked up hotels on his own computer. How funny is that? I got the concierge for a hotel to look for other places for me! He found nothing and I think I got that really sad, teary look again because he offered me a room for more than half off (the rooms were flipping 130 euros a night). I took it since it was getting late and my hopes of finding something cheaper wouldn't have been that great. Plus, it was a 3 star hotel so that means i'd have a real shower - to myself. I did end up finding an internet cafe and sure enough my friend had e-mailed me, but it was after I had already left. I sent her the room number and phone number in hopes she would find me when she got to the area.

She did!

That was like the biggest relief ever. Although I was mentally almost prepared to do the city alone. i went to dinner with her family and acted as translator for the menu and server. No big deal. I think this upset my friends sister who, until I showed up, was the French master. Oddly enough I never heard her speak a word of French and she mispronounced everything. I even said up front my French sucks, but I get by. It knocked her idea of French out of the park. After dinner we walked around looking for a club or somewhere fun that night but the place we looked up was no longer there. We went to bed instead. The next day I got a room key for her hotel and packed up and moved camp while they were out on some lame tour. That afternoon we tackled the metro. I swear to god my metro and city map were my best friends. Since I don't come from a city with a subway it was a little confusing and naturally we ended up going the wrong way a few times. We also didn't realize that you can use the same ticket for several trips even if you have to go through the gate. I think I wasted like 5 bucks buying new tickets until we figured it out. I'm passing this onto you. Since I'm retarded. My friend missed her next tour with her family because of our metro folly.

The trip couldn't get any better after that. This made my friends mother so mad, she blamed me and kicked me out of the room! It was midnight! She said it was my fault, called me a slut, and alcoholic and a thief and wouldn't let me stay in the room with my friend. Where was I supposed to go? It was a flipping holiday, super late at night and no cheap hotels in the area. This lady is the worst mother on the planet. I only hope nobody does something like that to her daughter and I really wanted my friend to tell her the next day I had to sleep on the street and was killed or all my shit was stolen. I hold grudges.

Instead, I went to the desk and had to drop 300 bucks for a room for the rest of my stay. Stupid biotch.

The next day I did the metro alone, since I'm just growing up so fast. I went to the Champs-Elysee (freaking sweet it's my name..kind of) walked along there, through the gardens du tuleries and then to the louvre. I spent a little over 3 hours in the museum, did the whole french painters wing, la jocund (mona lisa) and davids slaves. I saw some other stuff along the way, but after 3 hours I needed a nap. On the walk there I met a fun pair of security guards (things were blocked off for some big-wig political gathering) who entertained me and then wanted to get coffee later when the shift was over. I told them maybe. After my friend finished a tour with her family we went and saw l'arc de triumphe up close and walked around that area of the city.

I couldn't have been happier for my train home the next morning. Maybe someday I'll go back to Paris when I have a plan for myself. But since I wasn't in a good mood, the trip just didn't do it for me.

Here are the album links:

Yeah, yeah. I took a lot of pictures. At least that was good. It made me happy.

Fair Warning..

Before I left for Paris I saw this little gem in my inbox:

US Embassy Paris - Worldwide Caution

Well doesn't that make me just want to run to Paris all by myself.

"This Worldwide Caution updates information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against Americans and interests throughout the world. In some countries, the rise in oil and food prices has caused political and economic instability and social unrest. American citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated January 17, 2008.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings.
Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas and locales where Americans gather in large numbers, including during holidays. A July 9, 2008 terrorist attack on Turkish police guarding the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul killed three police officers and wounded other police personnel. On March 15, a bomb was detonated at an Italian restaurant in Islamabad, killing two and injuring twelve, including five Americans. Also on March 15, two bombs exploded at the CS Pattani Hotel in southern Thailand killing two and injuring thirteen. In January, a bomb in a disco pub in the Philippines killed one and injured eight.
Americans are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems. Recent examples include multiple anti-personnel mine detonations on passenger buses in June 2008 in Sri Lanka, multiple terrorist attacks on trains in India in 2006, the July 2005 London Underground bombings, and the March 2004 train attacks in Madrid. Extremists may also select aviation and maritime services as possible targets, such as the August 2006 plot against aircraft in London, or the December 2006 bomb at Madrid's Barajas International Airport. In June 2007, a vehicle was driven into the main terminal at Glasgow International Airport and burst into flames, but the bomb failed to detonate."

Alright. So I guess it was a good idea I didn't wear my American flag unitard around town on the 4th of July.

Got to love the government.

bon voyage

I think this is officially day 60. I'm not sure. I think I am going to bag the counting of the days. I was an art major therefore math automatically gives me a headache. Today my host brother Simon headed back to my home land for a month. Bon Voyage, little brother. Tell my country hello for me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fete de la musique

Here is another video I did with my lil camera. This one is at a random music festival not too far from the house. The band was all jazzy and I love the little girl in the front row dancing along. I won't lie, I kind of hoped the kids with the ball would have caused some sort of catastrophe.

We ended up seeing one of Dominiques old neighbors at the festival which was weird because he hit on me - in front of his wife! It was a little awkward, but hilarious.

Traditional Dance

I took this from one of the random music festivals we went to. It's of one of the traditional dances from this area.

Le Weekend before Paris!!

Saturday we went to the grocery store so Nathalie could shop for a big dinner she was hosting. When we returned, Simon and I packed and drove to Nantes to meet up with cousin Clemont. I was all packed and ready for the train on Monday to Paris! The cousins, brother and I went to our Aunt and Uncle's creperie that I've posted about before and had another delicious dinner and dessert! I really like crepes, well, the dessert ones. Not the nasty dirty sponge Brittany crepes. Ew. those are gross. I don't recommend those to anybody. We also drank a ton of apple cider that is also specific to this region. After dinner Jerome brought out a selection of 'digestifs' to drink after dessert. (think congac, etc.) One of Clemont's friends and I thought it would be a fun idea to have a shot taking contest. In hindsight: BAD IDEA! I'm pretty sure 20 minutes after my 5th or 6th shot I threw up - then wanted to sleep ON the table because I was suddenly very sleepy. On one good note, I can drink as much as a 6' tall guy (or he drinks like a 5'4'' girl) and he threw up probably 10 minutes after me, but instead of making it gracefully to the bathroom like yours truely - he threw up all over the side of his moving car! ha! I do remember, however, one other lady who stopped to talk to Sandra and Jerome and she noticed I spoke English and wanted to have a conversation. I have NO idea what I talked about, I just remember hugging her and telling her it's okay because i'm American. She laughed and made a joke about drinking too much wine.

I'm not drinking any orange flavored Liquor for a LONG time. No contreau, no wannabe contreau with the same alcohol percentage. ::shudder::

Sandra and Jerome took me home so that I would have a real bed to sleep in and not on the floor of some dank apartment, or in a car. (which I tried to do when the boys drove me to their house. Apparently it took them a good 5 minutes to pull me out of the back seat because that seemed like the next best place to sleep than on the table).

The next day we went to Chez Mami to celebrate the combined birthday of two cousins, one turning 18, the other 20. It was a huge feast in the usual family fashion and I had a lot of fun. I'm feeling more comfortable with the big groups even though I still really don't understand when they speak really fast. They played the usual silly games, and I even participated in a few with the translating help of the relative next to me (I think it was a cousin, and he was hot, is that weird?) I also joined a small group in playing a game called "Jungle - something" it was a game of reflex and when you put down a certain card matching an others you had to grab a stick from the center of the table. The directions were a little fuzzy at first since I learnt them in all French (their idea was i'm here to learn french, dammit, no english allowed). I wasn't the best player, but I caught on and even came in like 3d place which means I did better than people who actually speak french and Understood the rules! Yessss!

We went to a nearby town to watch some fireworks for the holiday (monday was Bastille day) which was fun since I missed the 4th at home. The fireworks here were way cooler anyways. Instead of being super far away like the space needle or over some other body of water they were right in the field we sat in, so literally right above us. They also choreographed the whole show to Mozart. It was super classy and fun. But it was cold outside, too, so the idea of going back to a warm bed was all that was on my mind. Especially since I had to get up early to catch my train.

I felt really bad about scheduling a 9 am train. I misunderstood Nathalie when she said we'd be in Nantes and to book my ticket there because the house was super close to the train station. It wasn't, so Dominique and I had to get up and leave at like 8 am. Ouch. That's what I get for thinking I understand French. It all worked out though.

Day 38 & 39

Oh wow, another day of nothing important. Darn. When everybody got home from work we went and had an aparatif a 'The Welcome' where Mathilde works. Then we all went to Dîner at a chinoise restaurant. It was pretty good, except I couldn't really read the menu, which I'm used to - however I don't like a lot of Chinese food so this was especially hard. I ended up ordering some chicken. I forget what sauce was on it but they made fun of me because apparently it is some sort of aphrodesiac. Nothing like your "family" to make fun of you for eating sex food. I probably just blushed a lot. thankfully the lights were dim.
After dinner, there was music playing in the street so we went and checked it out. There was a little two man band playing music so we watched for a few songs. It was fun. People were just randomly dancing in the street and having a ball. I wanted to join but was wearing heels and I think I'd just kill myself dancing on the cobblestone with my choice of footwear. It was still fun to watch! I didn't have my camera to take pictures. Sad.

Thursday I didnt do anything because my allergies were killer. I just took lots of allergy medicine and slept. Such is life.

Rain Rain Go Away - Days 36 & 37

There are a lot of jokes in Britagne about the weather, which I'm accustomed to since I came from basically the same climate. It rained all day Monday so I stayed in and played freerice.com. It's a pretty fun little website and it goes to a good cause. Nothing like getting smart and making a difference at the same time, eh? We had a quiche for dinner. Vive la France!

Tuesday was about the same with the weather not letting up. I wanted to go running on the track down the street but the rain talked me out of it. I kinda like having a few lazy days now and then!

Day 35 - Sunday in Brest

This morning I woke up French style- to the ACCORDION! How french is that? It's pretty French, alright, except I wanted to sleep in a little bit more, but I'll take it. During breakfast Renee and I talked more about America (obama! obama!) I was surprised that the first thing he didn't bring up about Seattle was Grey's, but instead Boeing. That's a first. We also discussed how much he hates Ikea because they apparently use Chinese child labor or something and I lied and said I don't shop there. In reality I plan on furnishing my future apartment in sweet Ikea furniture. He was also very familiar with our fault lines and earthquakes. He reminded me that we are due for a big one, aren't we?

James Blunt is also really popular in France. And I mean REALLY popular. All the adults began singing along when he came on the radio. Ew. This was happening while Renee drove us all around the city of Brest to give me the grand (car) tour. It was a neat looking city and I wish I had more time to look at it, ya know, maybe actually get out of the car? I also missed a couple of good photo ops because I'm slow and the car was driving too fast. One was of an old lady in the crosswalk whos umbrella just blew inside out and another of a young girl on her cell phone right in front of a wedding dress shop display. I'm angry I missed them. Oh well.

The family's cat is about to pop with little chatons and I really really really want to smuggle one home in my suitcase. Actually, I'd spring for a little carrier and bring it on the plane with me. I'm not sure how that works in customs. It would be a shame to do all that and then have customs say no way jose.

On the drive home, of course I fell asleep again. We stopped in a little town called Quimper (pronounced more like cam-pay) and toured the inside of a huge cathedral! It was awesome! It's really cool to be able to see the things you studied in school (art history minor) in real life and not just in your class books!Yeah. Pretty sweet. I slept the rest of the way home.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend gathering

Two small cousins who live in Nice are up for a visit and came to dinner with Mami and Papi Rousset. The younger of the two is a little friendlier than the older and isn't afraid to practice her English a little. I think the older girl is just shy. I feel bad, but I forget their names. I think the younger is Savanne (I have no idea how to spell it). I like visiting with Mami and papi since they treat me as part of the family, although Mami talks super fast so it's hard to keep up with her and Papi has a hard accent that I rarely understand but he laughs a lot and it is contagious.

The next day all of the cousins from the other half of the family came over. I think it was a little goodbye dinner for Simon leaving for a month to the U.S. I'm not sure. We had a pizza dinner and headed off for some entertainment. The bar that Mathilde works at was closed, so we headed a few more blocks down the street to the Black Minou for dancing. It was ladies night, wee, so no cover. It's different here because in French Clubs you get a drink with your admission price. Well, not if you get in for free. It's still nicer than like back in Seattle where you pay cover and have to buy your drinks, too. All the girls love dancing so it was fun to shake my groove thing and have a good time. Another good thing to the club is that there is no smoking inside (anywhere in France, actually) thankfully. They do offer a smoking room though so all the smokers can huddle in this closed off room full of nasty smoke. I guess it's nice if you're a smoker and don't want to go out into the cold (ha, in the summer). It's also weird because if you so choose, you can buy a full bottle of alcohol instead of just a drink. I'm sure if you paid enough you could do the same back home, but I've never seen it. It's way easier than going back for drink after drink, and probably cheaper in the long run. I have yet to buy my own drink, though, so I probably won't find out. Another negative thing about clubs in France is that you only have to be like 15 or something ridiculous to get in. This is a little annoying to have a bunch of 16 year olds running around, too. I'm a fan of 21 and up crowd.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I had to take a little hiatus from updating the blog since we've (and me alone) have been doing a lot of traveling lately and I've been without internet (I don't know how I survived!). But I'm back now, and I keep my journal handy with me wherever I go to write down what happened so I won't forget.

Day 34 is where I left off I believe, and we woke up early. Today was a road trip to the city of Brest up North a few hours drive. I make a horrible road trip partner because all I do is fall asleep in the car. It doesn't matter if I ride in the car for days or 20 minutes. I'll fall asleep. That has to be my parents fault. Before I fell asleep for the whole car trip, however, I did notice something strange on the highway. Since there are really very few trucks or large vehicles here all the camping cars, horse trailers, and everything else that needs to be towed is done so by car. That's right, just regular car. It looks pretty bizarre.

All the radio stations also play a lot of crap American music. That's not that cool.

The French also drive more efficiently on the freeway. Very few times have I seen traffic here, yet. I'm sure there is its share in the city and because I live out in the country it's different, but I think i've only seen a back-up once - due to an accident. But, for the most part, the French all drive in the right lane - like you're supposed to, unless to pass. There are no slow drivers on the right like back home. Hassle free. The french drivers also leave their blinker on when they get into the right lane, which I found a little weird, and annoying after a while.

We didn't make it in time to see the begining of the tour de France in Brest. Lame. But I did see an Ikea.

We stayed with friends of my host parents and they were very intested to talk to me about America. Naturally, the first topic of conversation was Obama and if I am voting for the black president. Then we discused how much Rene (the host) hates buying into America (i.e. Coca cola). I watched their cat outside get into the compost bin and eat a piece of cantaloupe, then throw up on the porch. That was kind of gross.

My host parents drove me to Meneham which is on the coast and has tons of huge rocks scattered around the land. There were also little stone houses tucked in with tall the rocks and the gale force winds. We came back to watch a big town spectacle in which our hosts were a part of (and I think orchestrated). One of their daughter's names was Elise which was totally weird. I've grown up being basically the only Elyse in town. I think their might have been 2 other girls with my name (spelled differently) in my high school of roughly 4,000. The spectacle ended pretty late so we went back home to bed. I swear the French all have the same mattress, which is fine - it reminds me of memory foam so it's comfy, but this bed was a twin and I don't think I've slept in one of those since I was like 9. The room they gave me was
painted pink. That was a plus. And, I got to sleep in. Yay!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Thursday..

Since my poor little book went missing I've completely lost count of what day it is that I've been here. Hell, I have hard enough time remembering the date and day of the week. Since I don't go to a structured job or school or anything I find myself constantly having to check my blackberry to see what day it is. That's basically all it is for over here since it doesn't work as a cell phone. And to take pictures. Oh, and play brick breaker on long car trips.

But today is a Thursday!

I used the teaching help e-mail address that Geovisions provided me so that I could come up with some new ideas for fun teaching games- basically anything. I am finding it really hard to teach adults without it being weird. I don't think they find it weird, but I feel awkward. I don't want to sound like I'm talking down to them like I'm teaching two children.

Anyways, some of the ideas they gave me were great! One of them was to bust out the kids cookbook that my parents shipped to me in a care package. The book we used is I think for Kindergarten level and it's an ABC's cook book, so there is a recipe for every letter and the instructions are very simple (actually, perfect for me since I'm a terrible cook). Nathalie looked through the recipes and found Banana Bread. They had never seen this before and wanted to try it post-haste. What I had in mind though for this exercise wasn't what happened. I ended up making the recipe! She collected all the ingredients for me and chopped the nuts. Somehow she turned the game around on me and made me do it while she watched. Talk about pressure. We also had trouble at first translating baking soda and baking powder. I did a little google-cooking-translation and found the names of the two ingredients and when they saw the name of baking soda I'm pretty sure they thought I was trying to poison them. Weird cultural difference - they don't use baking soda in any cooking whatsoever! Dominique finally found a box of baking soda under the bathroom sink! Apparently here they use it to Clean! And brush their teeth (but they don't use it for that in this house but they told me some people use it for that). So no wonder I got strange looks when I asked them basically for toilet cleaner to put in their dessert. I also had to convert it all to metric again. Bah.

The bread turned out good thankfully! They are getting the wrong idea about my cooking skills since the two things I've baked actually came out - good. Gulp.


So I've neglected the blog a bit.. I'm so sorry! Two things happened. The first, which started it, is that my journal in which I write most everything first, before it becomes electronic, somehow fell off the bed and landed just enough underneath that I didn't see it and subsequently forgot about it. I probably kicked it off in the middle of the night since I'm weird and sleep with a ton of useless crap on the bed at night. The second being that I've been pretty active and out-and-about as well and away from my lap-top. I'll try to do better, but for now, a plethora of posts!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 33 - I finally feel at home, Happy 4th

Today was obviously 4th of July, although here it's not such a big deal, at all. A couple of my new friends wished me happy independence day, but I'm pretty sure they were making fun of me. It's kind of nice to not celebrate this year, though. I was never much one for big fireworks and blowing up things, although the big show in the city is fun to watch. I'm also not a big fan of holiday marketing, and people pasting American Flags everywhere. It got increasingly worse after 9/11 and it made it worse. I suppose I would have thought differently if I had thought of sticking the flag on everything from mugs, to bumper stickers and t-shirts to make money on a society that has no idea what patriotism really is, and therefore thinks that by buying these things makes them such. Wow, don't I sound French.

I finally feel settled in and not so much a guest anymore, but a part of this temporary family. I still get to communicate with my friends and family back home, albeit briefly with the time difference, and our English lessons are going well, I think.

Hopefully everybody had a safe holiday back home!

Days 31 & 32

Things were so uneventful that I'll just mash them together. It has begun raining, both days. And when I say rain, I really mean it. I hail from Seattle which has a reputation of being at least cloudy 226 days a year, although we do not get the highest amount of rain. Needless to say we have a lot of different words for rain: drizzle, downpour, mist, sprinkle, shower, torrential, monsoon, thunderstorm and flood. Here it just pours. I don't mind it though because it reminds me of home and listening to the rain on the window at night is soothing.

Monday I went shopping with Nathalie and Mathilde. That was fun. I bought a cute sweater/shirt thingy.

I talked to my Momma on the phone for a while to coordinate a time to talk on Friday, the 4th.

Simon also found out he graduated tech school/community college! Congrats 'lil bro!

Day 30! Tuesday and My-Oh-My one Month!

The only big news today, other than it being that I've been here one whole month already, is that my iPod sucks butt. It has randomly decided that it will stop playing half of the songs in it. Sweet. I might take it to the iPod store in Paris when I go, however, I wouldn't know where to begin in explaining the problem and don't want to make things worse. I wonder if this has anything to do with me accidentally unplugging it when it said "do not disconnect"? I also got my train tickets in the mail. The SNCF is really efficient, huh?

Oh, and apparently in this country, in July, all of the stores start to sell everything at half off. I'm not sure if it is because they are getting ready for Fall inventory, or what, but that's a sweet deal. Now things are priced like in dollars instead of Euros.

Day 29 - another Monday

It was hot again today, so I sat out in the sunshine and worked on my tan. I figured I should send out my postcards I had sitting on my desk for a month so that they would make it home before me. Simon came with. The walk with company was nice. I also booked my train ticket to Paris for July 14th where I will meet up with a girl I worked with from back home. That was fairly exciting, since I figured it out in French and didn't end up booking a trip to God knows where. I did ask Simon for help towards the end, just in case. Other than that, I didn't do much. Stayed pretty lazy. I'm basically on my own during the day since everybody is at work, and well, this isn't that big of a town.

We watched some TV later that night and a popular show called intervilles was on. I didn't know what to think. I did a little research. This show was created in the 60's and," was devised as a friendly competition which would pitch French towns against each other in a series of challenging, often bizarre physical games on the ground, in the water and in the air which would decide the French ‘top town’. In an era when complicated outside broadcasts were only just becoming manageable from a technical standpoint, Intervilles represented something fresh and original."
Well, this show is definitely original, although I have seen something like it back home on the Spike network where the Japanese play a bunch of ridiculous games in ridiculous costumes and some dudes dub over it in English and say stupid things, usually sexual. This is totally the French version, although I don't think the hosts say anything dirty (although they could and I wouldn't know it). Besides the town residents competing in stupid costumes, there are a lot of cows, rather bulls, also chasing them around and basically just knocking them around. Contestants also have to play games where they must answer questions while doing something ridiculous. At the end, the team with the most points gets to be stationed higher up than their opponent on this astro-craig-like mountain where the two strongest of teammates worm their way up with a pole. In the episode we watched ( I forget the towns competing) it didn't matter that the leading team was higher up because the other team had a stronger player and he won the competition regardless of starting further behind. The big news with this game is that the next town over, Vannes, is going to be in Interville this summer sometime. Hopefully we will get to go watch. This definitely rivals the olympics.
See for yourself:


This is like the coolest thing ever. I mean, crazy games, cheerleaders, wacky costumes, a hip dj, zany hosts, oh and cows. What's not to love?

Sunday - day 28

Today was really exciting.

Just kidding. I:
-Played on facebook, trying to upload photos unsuccessfully. Facebook hates me.
-Went running on the track by my house. Saw a couple of kids who looked about 13 or 14 sitting on their bikes, smoking. That was a little disturbing.