Nonfiction

That Time I Probably Ate a Horse

All I know is, it wasn’t pork.

Dr. Casey Lawrence
The Memoirist
Published in
6 min readMar 22, 2024

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Photo by Pierre-Antoine Caisso on Unsplash

My first trip abroad was in March 2013. The big “spring break” trip for outgoing high school seniors was organized by the French department, so of course our ultimate destination was France.

Chaperoned by two teachers and a few gung-ho parents, thirty-odd Canadian teens invaded London and then Paris for ten days of dizzying “cultural experiences”. Shuffling thirty teens between tourist attractions in Paris was a delicate operation, and although I lost my camera to a pickpocket, the fact that everyone was returned safely to their parents in Canada and no one got injured or pregnant was a miracle.

Each evening, the busload of teens stopped to eat at pre-planned locations with set menus. Four of us were separated from the rest: the “special meal” table. We consisted of a vegetarian, a Muslim boy, a Jewish girl, and me, the obligatory kid with a bunch of weird food allergies, including pork.

Europeans eat a lot more pork than we do in Canada. It seemed to be in everything. The “special meal” table was usually fed vegetarian meals to lump all our dietary restrictions together, but picking at salads while our peers ate pork chops got old fast.

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Dr. Casey Lawrence
The Memoirist

Canadian author of three LGBT YA novels. PhD from Trinity College Dublin. Check out my lists for stories by genre/type.