October 27, 2009

Outside it feels like what it must be like to live on the inside of a Brita water filter pitcher. It is just dripping constantly.

For my last prompt I asked: Where does your furthest away sibling live?

I will use Heather’s answer:


“I’m an only child, but my family once hosted a foreign exchange student. The day before she left to go back home she gave me one of those necklaces with half a heart (and she had the corresponding other half) that says “sisters” on it. Well, mine actually only says “Sis,” but you know what I mean. She lives in Lima, Peru. Which, according to the www is 3,566 miles away.”


Heather, I’m glad you were able to share your childhood with a Peruvian, not many people can say that, except the Peruvians, in which case most all of them did. So, right now there is a Latina woman with a necklace that says “Ters.” I wonder her countrymen think it means. The foreign exchange student, yep, the foreign exchange student. They always add some spice to high school life. The first thing every student does when meeting a foreign exchange student is ask them how to say swear words in their language.

I can still remember Pierre, a foreign exchange student for the summer, who I played tennis with a couple of times telling me what a particular swear word meant. He didn’t know the English translation so he just motioned it. I understood all too quickly.


Here is an admittedly ethnocentric list of characteristics of foreign exchange students everywhere:

-They are always rumored to be awesome at soccer, or as the foreign exchange student calls it, futball, or as your PE coach calls it, 8 weeks of classes. 

-They always have weird socks. They are often green and don’t have as much elastic as our superior American socks. Go America!

-They are a hit with the opposite sex. Even if the student looked exactly the same, but was a transfer from Lima, Ohio instead of Lima, Peru and their name was Jerry Anderson, instead of Javier Andersona, the ladies would ignore Jerry to slobber all over Javier. They could even say the same sentence and get opposite reactions. If Jerry says, “I have an itch for you,” it received completely differently than with a sexy questioning accent. “I have and itch for you?” One is creepy and the other is sexy and italicized.

-They’ve been shaving for 8 years before arriving at your high school.

-There name is never pronounced correctly by substitute teachers. “DePedro, Guil-ler-mo.” “Aaahahahaha! It’s Guillermo! The l’s are like in ‘tortilla!’ You are a loser!” said Todd, the cool kid. “Thanks for pointing that out kid. I’m in between jobs,” says Mr. Houghton…I mean a different last name…something other than Houghton…i just said it again. 

-They have weird backpacks. Stuff you find in the clearance bin in TJ Maxx. They keep those in stock just for foreign exchange students.

-They are gullible. You have a window early on to impress upon them that you are one of the cool kids. It is important to do this very early so they don’t make any impressions of you that you have not created. It is more important to do this with foreign exchange students than with transfers since they don’t know all the rules. “The reason you don’t see other kids with ’88 Skylarks is because they’re really expensive and you have to come from the aristocracy.” Keep them away from the internet, specifically your MySpace page.

-Eyebrows. Intimidating eyebrows.

Next prompt: What is the most expensive thing you have broken?

About jeffhoughton

I'm a sometimes writer, actor, comedian and an all the time adventurer.

3 responses »

  1. Shanners says:

    Talented me, I managed to drop BOTH of Hubby’s laptops. At the same time. Onto concrete. It’s a miracle we’re still married. – I guess I assumed you meant something smaller than a car – crashing my car would really be the most expensive disaster I’ve had.

  2. Dan says:

    I really can’t remember breaking anything expensive. Frankly, I can’t remember the last time I broke something at all. I try to be super careful with my own and other people’s belongings. I guess I just hate the concept of how awful I’d feel if I broke someone’s stuff, so I avoid it at all costs. Maybe that’s what keeps me from breaking my own stuff as well; I just don’t want to feel like I’m chastising myself. Because I probably would.

  3. Matt says:

    Humpty Dumpty. Man, you would not believe what all the king’s men are making these days…

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