A Vegan with a Reason tagged me to reveal 7 random facts about myself. I'm not really sure what you don't know about me by now, so I'm going to give you 7 little pieces of information from the year I lived in Toulouse, France (1996-1997).
1. I lived in a modern building in a furnished studio apartment that had very 80s decor. It was owned by a family who wanted an address in town so their son, Olivier, could go to school there. My rent was low in exchange for me tutoring Olivier in English once a week. Olivier was a heinous, horrible child who is now probably 23 or 24 years old. Regardless, I really loved that apartment.
2. I didn't know how to cook when I lived in Toulouse (gasp!). One of the other American students (I was in Toulouse for my junior year abroad through the UC (University of California) system) taught me how to perfectly cook white rice (I further perfected it by toasting the bottom of the rice in my not non-stick pan). Every night, I heated up half a can of lentils and made a cup of rice, and that was dinner. Every single night and I never tired of that meal. In fact, I sometimes miss it! Lunch wasn't much better: a "salad" of canned corn and garbanzo beans.
3. Although I can't remember its name now, I frequented an amazing independent movie theatre that was a block from my apartment. I could buy a book of tickets at a discounted price and I would always look forward to picking up their monthly film schedule. I saw so many fantastic independent films there and, for some reason, I can only name two off the top of my head: "Breaking the Waves" and "Reservoir Dogs." Believe me, there were so many more. At a mainstream movie theatre, I saw the Woody Allen movie, "Everyone Says I Love You." To this day, I still call it "Tout Le Monde Dit I Love You."
4. I traveled on my own to Nice, Monaco, and Monte Carlo for a week around Easter. As I neared the end of my trip, I was running out of money and decided to buy a loaf of bread and peanut butter. I'm not sure what I was thinking because I'd already been in France for about 8 months and knew that peanut butter and sliced bread were fairly uncommon there. However, I managed to find them at a store in Monaco and lived off them for the rest of the trip.
5. I'd never cared for tea until my year abroad. Then, on the flight I took to London, I was absolutely freezing and I really never cared for coffee. So, I gave tea a try and continued to drink it the whole time I was in London. However, I didn't become a tea lover until a couple months later when I came down with gastroenteritis while visiting the Louvre around Christmas time. It's been one of my staples ever since.
6. I took all my classes in French that year (I was a French major, so it was an amazing opportunity to absorb and learn everything I could). With the exception of 2 students, none of my classmates knew I was American. Until, that is, the day my linguistics teacher called me out to pronounce a few English words for the class.
7. Toulouse was the first place I'd ever attended a farmers' market and it's where I learned to love grapefruit. It's also where I tried my first fig, date, dried plum, eggplant, and quinoa!
I can't possibly choose 7 other bloggers to take this challenge, so I'll just put it out there for anyone who would like to share.