Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Why i gave up smoking

GYURI VIDOVSKY Director, Hungary

When I was 10 years old, I was beginning to show some interest in girls – naturally, girlswho were older than me. There was one in particular who was 14, she was our Pioneer Supervisor, which meant it was her duty to visit our class and talk to us about pioneer activities. I loved those sessions – because of her. I had no idea what she was talking about, because I was so busy staring at her. She was a woman to me, compared to my classmates – with all the accessories.
She must have noticed that I fancied her, because she offered me a date after the session: “Don’t you want to smoke a cigarette together?” I answered: “Yes, of course! Although I don’t know how to smoke…” She noticed my hesitation so to encourage me, she promised to kiss me on my cheek if I smoked a cigarette with her. I was more than enthusiastic. To buy a packet of cigarettes didn’t seem to be too big an investment for such an adventure.
We met in a square close to the school. She lit her cigarette and then I lit mine. She seemed to be an experienced smoker compared to me. She was not coughing, unlike me. I couldn’t think of anything other than finishing the cigarette as soon as possible, to get the kiss. But I couldn’t stop coughing, started to feel sick, and gave up halfway through hoping that it was enough to get the reward. But she was cruel. She refused to kiss me because I hadn’t finished the whole cigarette.
I left first. I left the packet of cigarettes behind. From that day on, I never smoked a cigarette again – and I’ve remained suspicious of the promises of women! (This is how I became a non-smoker – you can live without smoking, but how can you live without the promises of women!)