My first time on an airplane was when I was 17. We traveled with school to Turkey for a graduation trip. I remember the excitement during the first take off when you feel the acceleration of the plane and you see the landscape outside racing by...and all of a sudden you realise you've taken off up in the air. The flight was a bit crazy since we were approximately 90 girls on the trip and there was another boys school on the plane as well. I pitied the other passengers that were squeezed in between 150 excited adolescents that started to play games and run around. If you have a choice, I don't think you'd want to have been in our midst. Several months later I was flying again, this time on my own all alone to go and live in an unknown country on the other side of the world. I had to change flights in Frankfurt where I got lost (fortunately I had a boring 6 hour lay-over, so all was fine in the end), a flight where I feared my neighbour passenger had died and an extremely stressful change of flights in Vancouver. You can read all about that here , here and here. After my Rotary exchange year I had sufficient flight experience to travel with more confidence. I even flew in a biplane and a helicopter in Canada!
2. Where did you go to school for the first time? I grew up in Deinze and went to the school where my mom was teaching. In Belgium we start school at the age of 2,5 years. I don't remember my first days in school at all, but I suppose it went relatively smoothly since my mother and my sister were around.
3. Where (and when) did you go on vacation without your parents for the first time? When I was 7 years old I went on a camp for the first time from the youth organisation I was member off. I remember suffering from home sickness and I was glad my older neighbour girl was one of the youth leaders. In the later years I've been on youth summer camps more regularly and at the age of 16-17 I became a youth leader myself. Until I graduated from university I either participated or lead some youth camps. As of that age I have not joined my parents on vacation anymore because my summer schedule was too busy with camps and summer jobs. The first true vacation without my friends was a trip with a friend to Prague in the first summer vacation of university. It was a fun trip beside the fact that my wallet got stolen on our way back to the bus station that would bring us home.
4. Do you remember the first time you tried/tasted alcohol? I suppose that was some table beer at my grandparents home when I was still very very young. In my grandparents generation it was considered normal and healthy to provide table beer to children with its low alcohol percentage. My dad even received table beer at school. I also remember visiting people for my communion when I was 12 and getting offered some wine to taste "because I was big now". I didn't like the taste for a long time, yet people insisted that I should have a taste. I believe that wouldn't happen anymore now, society has changed for better. Although the bad taste probably prevented me in my teenage years to long for alcohol and consider it as a hidden fruit.
5. What was the first single / lp / cassette tape / cd that you bought yourself (or received)? My sister made me a mix cassette tape when I was just a little girl: it containted "Beat-it" from Michael Jackson and "We hebben allemaal een neus" from Vader Abraham....quite a mix :p. My first (and only?) LP was a gift from Sinterklaas from Jason Donovan when I was 11-12 years old? However I have no clue anymore what is the first music that I purchased on my own. My first CD's bought were probably mid-nineties and were among other "Fields of Gold" by Sting, ...
6. Who was the first dead person you've seen?
3 of my grandparents have passed away before I turned 4 years old. I remember being in kindergarden when my mom's students were asking me why my mother was absent in school. So as far as I remember, I didn't visit my grandmother, neither was I present during the funeral that day as I was in school.
I'm uncertain whether I've greeted the body of my godfather's sister (who lived in the same house) although I remember the announcement of her passing away, when I was in early elementary school. I do remember with certainty having greeted my other grandmother as well as my aunt who have both passed away when I was 12 years old. Unfortunately since then I've lost 2 more aunts, an uncle, my godfather, a neighbour girl, ... Greeting their bodies helps me in my mourning process. I find it quite important to visit and spend one last small moment together, to talk, cry and say goodbye in their presence. It's a very confronting moment yet a valuable one to me. I can totally understand this is not the case for everyone. Once I could not go: when my mom lost her youngest sister after years of battling cancer, I was abroad and could only come after 4-5 days, right before the funeral. Then the undertaking firm and my parents all advised me against a visit, since her body had changed rapidly and it would have been too shocking. I've really struggled then as I wanted to say goodbye but I was too afraid given their advice for the last image that I'd remember. Usually this is truly not something to be afraid off, but that one time I took the advice and I didn't go.
(update 17/02...after conversations with my sister I all of a sudden realised I must have seen my dead grandfather when I was 2 years old and my grandmother when I was 4 years old after old. They could be greeted in their own home and I must have been there with my parents when they had to arrange everything but without realising the real situation. The memory of my grandfather laying in a room in the house of my grandparents is vaguely coming back).
7. Do you remember the first time you've seen the sea? No I have no clue when I first saw the sea. We went to the beach each summer vacation so I must have been on the beach as a baby already but I have no specific memory. I do remember digging big holes in the sand on the beach with my sister when I was a young child, but that couldn't have been my first visit to the sea.
8. Where was your bed the first time you've left the parental home? Besides being on summer camps as stated above, I went on a Rotary youth exchange to Canada when I was 17. I went to live with 4 different guest families (each 3 months) in a small town in British Columbia where I want to grade 12 in high school. I remember the first night when I went to bed with these guest parents that I had just met for the first time a couple of hours before. Just when I was trying to settle in this new bed, my guest mother knocked on the door and chuckled that the bad smell that I might notice was not dirty socks in the house but a skunk in the garden. I realised I was far far from my parental home :D.
9. Who was the first non-Flemish person, someone with a different cultural background with whom you had a conversation? Probably some foreign European child on a Spanish beach during one of our summer vacations. My first more in depth encounters with someone from a different cultural background would have been my Australian host sister that came to live in our house for 3 months when I was 11 years old (during the year that my own sister was living on a Rotary Youth exchange in Canada).
10. What was the first place you've visited outside of Europe?
That was the school trip to Turkey which I described above with regards to my first time on a plane. We started off our trip in Istanbul which was strictly still in Europe, but then we crossed the Bosporus and started a big tour across the Turkish west coast in Bursa.
11. Who was your first love ? Are you still in touch?
In the 3r year of kindergarten, I had seen enough tv to know there's girlfriends and boyfriends that love each other very much and that marry when they are big enough. So I decided that I wanted a boyfriend too. I looked around the boys in my class but most of them didn't my match my criteria (being successfully potty trained, not getting in trouble all the time, ...). I finally picked a boy and asked if he'd be my boyfriend and he said yes :). I gave him a little kiss on the cheek and told him we had to play together on the playground now and I told my parents over the weekend in which house I'd like to live later on with him.
Our "relationship" and "love" disappeared and faded away over the summer after which he went to the boy's elementary school and I stayed in the girls's only school. Our path's have crossed a few times during elementary school but we were too shy to talk too much to each other.
Contrary to the above anecdote I was very slow on the love path and didn't take much initiative at all. In my teenage years I had a first real big crush on a boy in town that crossed my path. I saw him going to school by bike and found out his name through my friend's network. I blushed when I asked. But I also found out via the same sources his girlfriend's name. Since I didn't want to be a relationship braker my infatuation with him stayed strong for a year but purely silent in my mind and heart.
12. What was your first pet?
In 3rd year of kinder garden I received a goldfish in a little plastic bag at school. I don't remember the context in which that happened as that seems a typical "prize" from the fair back then. The fish got a proper aquarium at home and survived 4-5 years in our kitchen 13. What was your first car?
It was a VW Golf when I started working for Accenture
14. Who was the first person that sent you a message today?
15. Who was the first person you though of when you woke up?
Do you really think I remember any thoughts before I had my first coffee? I suppose it was one of my family members?
16. Who was your first best friend and are you still in touch? I think that was Michèle B. in elementary school but we haven't been in touch since high school.
17. What was your first concert?
My sister took me to a concert of De Kreuners in 1990 in de Brielpoort in Deinze. That was in the midst of the "Ik wil je" hype. I was the first one in my class visiting a concert. It pays off having an older sister :).
18. What was the first movie that you saw in a movie theatre?
Snowwhite and the 7 dwarfs with my mother , while my sister and my dad went to see E.T.
19. What is your first piercing? Earring piercings ...that I don't use anymore for the last 10 years due to eternal allergic reactions to most metal jewellary.
20. What's the first thing what you do when you get home?
Getting my coat off and hug the children if it wasn't me that picked them up at school/daycare. Often then I need to visit the toilet after my time in the car.
I found this first time list the first time at Yab who found it at Koen . It was clearly a popular list because not only I decided to pick it up. Also Sjamatalk filled in the list on her first times. Lievelieze found a slightly different list. I have combined questions from both lists.