I had no idea where Dallas was! In fact, after I was selected [for the American Field Service foreign exchange program], I went back and asked them, “What is this Dallas place?” Because we had only heard of New York and San Francisco and maybe Washington, D.C. That lady, she was very nice, she showed me on the map where Dallas was. I had no concept of what Dallas was. I only knew of New York. I only wanted to go to New York. I was kind of disappointed when they said I was going to Dallas. I didn’t really know what to expect. I had no idea, no concept of what to expect or where I was going.
[The Weeks family, my hosts] picked me up at the airport and we went home. I went to bed and woke up the next morning and the dog was licking my face! [They] had a dog, Mac. And Mac was just licking my face and I was just disgusted. This dog! Anyway, so that was my—(laughs)—my first experience.
But then after that, I did have trouble with the food, adjusting to the food. I could not take mashed potatoes! Mashed potatoes! If you’ve never had any mashed potatoes in your life, let me tell you they are the worst tasting thing in the world! They are just like glue, for eating. It is something you have to get used to. I really didn’t like mashed potatoes at all. It took me a long time to get adjusted to mashed potatoes. And I loved hamburgers and we went out for picnics and such and Mr. Weeks would fix hamburgers. That was my favorite food. And grilled cheese sandwiches. I ate grilled cheese sandwiches for a long time. And hamburgers. Hamburgers were great.