Les Jeunes (a.k.a. people around my age)

Just like the young anywhere, lots of sitting around doing nothing. O.K. maybe a lot more sitting around and doing nothing than I’m used to. But right now, they are on their summer break so it’s not as if they are skipping school to sit around doing nothing. On the one hand, it’s an awesome environment for just chilling and conversing – or if you’re me, chilling, listening and painstakingly answering questions – and cringing a little when they burst into laughter. This took me a while to notice, but in reality, they aren’t laughing at me, they usually laugh when one of them tries to speak English to me. A lot more of them know English than I was expecting. I don’t know how many times I’m been told “Me, I don’t speak English,” – in English! My suspicion is that their English knowledge comes from the songs they listen to. Most of them are familiar with a lot the top hits on the U.S. radio. A friend of mine in the U.S. told me that many of the young men learn English to try and impress girls at parties.

As they sit around doing nothing (this nothingness more than likely consists of playing cards), they smoke – a lot! I think I have gotten more 2nd hand smoke in this past week than I’ve had my whole life, even when my dad was smoking. Now this is an observation of just the kids in my neighborhood. I’m sure it’s different with other friend groups. Some of the people seem to do it habitually and others seems to only do it if it’s passed to them.

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