One of the side effects of having a regular column is revealing things about yourself little by little, until you stop noticing how much personal stuff you’re actually telling perfect strangers. To pre-empt a slow and boring process, let me just tell you everything there is to know right now, and be done with it.
- I once misheard a teacher in primary school and thought music lesson was cancelled. I convinced all my friends to go home early, and got called to the principal’s office the next day, where I got detention. To this day I’m horrified that anyone would think I’d deliberately skip school! Personality assessment: I would never break a rule.
- Then again, I once stole a spoon from the school cafeteria for the simple reason that I was too shy to walk through the dining hall for a second time after I had returned my tray and forgot the spoon on my table. I was caught. Nobody believed me. Personality assessment: Social anxiety trumps rules about rule-breaking.
- When I was a teenager, I had a crush on a Basque football player. I became obsessed with all things Basque and started learning the language. It’s actually not that hard. Personality assessment: When I obsess, I obsess thoroughly.
- The only time I had the police called on me was when I spent an evening with some friends at university. We were playing board games, and I wasn’t drinking alcohol. The neighbours thought we were too noisy anyway. Personality assessment: Moderation will do for me, thank you very much.
- Having said that, the finest moment of my university career was when I won a drinking game on Sports Day. We lost all our football matches, but powered through to drink more beer than anyone else. I will forever treasure this hazy memory. Personality assessment: I am full of surprises.
- Until a few years ago, I never voluntarily told anyone I was German. When I worked in the hostel, I wouldn’t let on even if the guests were German. Personality assessment: I hate being classified. (Unless I do it myself!)
- I refused to get a driving license even when my entire family pestered me to do it and offered to pay for it. There have only ever been two occasions in my life when I wished I knew how to drive a car. Personality assessment: I know what I don’t want.
- The only time I ever had sushi, I ended up in hospital because I couldn’t stop vomiting. For years, the word “sushi” alone made me sick. I will never, ever try it again. Personality assessment: I hold culinary grudges.
And there you have it. You might not want to take me out for sushi, but if you ever need someone to help you win a beer-drinking contest, I’m your woman. Just don’t make me walk through a crowded hall…