Name: Pauline Dykmans

Age: 17

Country: France, Presles

School: Lycee Fragonard de L'Isle Adam

Star sign: Pisces

I live in a small town about 30km northwest of Paris, which has about 2,000 inhabitants. It only takes 40 minutes to get there by train from Paris but it's like being in the countryside. It's peaceful, and the old buildings in the town are protected, so it's quite beautiful.

I'm active, adventurous, and curious. But I can be impatient and get angry easily.

I study the sciences, but I still have to study other non-science subjects such as history, geography, French, English and Spanish.

School starts at 8.30am and we finish sometime between 4pm and 6pm. Every day is different. Finishing school at 6pm is exhausting.

The weather in France is much drier than in Hong Kong. Temperatures are about 10 degrees Celsius in winter but go up to 35 degrees in summer. You can easily distinguish the four seasons in Europe. I love the weather there, especially the blue sky.

Everything is expensive in France, so shopping, going to the cinema and eating at restaurants are all rare activities. We usually visit friends at their home or I invite them to mine. Sleeping over at a friend's place is common in France. I usually do so at least once or twice a week. A lot of French people like taking part in sport, such as swimming and cycling.

I have a big family. I live with my dad, mum, two brothers and two sisters. I'm the eldest of the five children. I have a lot of cousins. I used to have a guinea pig, too.

In my free time, I practise piano and dancing (ballet, modern jazz and contemporary dance) three to four times a week. I also spend a lot of my free time with my friends. Sometimes we go to Paris.

I like listening to music. My favourite group is Tryo, a quartet of male singers. I like their music because the lyrics are about the lives of French teenagers from the suburbs of Paris.

We have moved to different parts of France eight times because of my father's job, so I have friends in many different places. I often visit them or invite them to my house. My family and I also travel around Europe during holidays.

As we have seven people in the family and we often invite friends for dinner, I have to help my mother to cook. In France we don't have helpers. We usually eat a soup (a thick one with vegetables) or one dish cooked with vegetables and then cheese with bread and yoghurt.

Our diet in France is very different from Hong Kong. In France we eat a lot for lunch but not much for dinner.

For lunch we eat raw vegetables, then meat and cooked vegetables, followed by bread and cheese and a piece of fruit.

You may think that all French people are fat because we eat cheese all the time. But actually French food is healthier than Hong Kong cuisine because we don't use so much oil and sugar. We seldom eat fast food.

I get about ten euros ($99) per month as pocket money, which isn't much, but I don't have to pay for transport or food.

In February, we have a huge carnival in the north: Le Carnaval de Dunkerque. Boys dress like girls, and girls wear boys' clothes. People march in the streets and sing. It's really festive.

Another interesting festival is Le Festival d'Avignon, which takes place in the south of France in July. It's a very important drama festival. My uncle happens to be the president.

If you want to make friends with teens from other countries, send an e-mail to [email protected]. Sunday Young Post will forward all e-mails to Pauline.