Friday the thirteenth, a day normally considered to bring bad luck but to be drowned out by a big event for seniors from all high schools in town — Percent.
In French, “cent” means “hundred”, and Percent is normally the one hundredth day before their university entrance exams (the BAC/ Baccalauréat), when the seniors dress up and parade through the streets while throwing eggs and scattering flour everywhere. They are also allowed to barge into classrooms to mess up the teachers’ classes. Basically, it’s a day full of craziness.
I was very interested in this event because we don’t have this in Taiwan. However, I wasn’t able to take part because I had class.
Yet, we still got a taste of Percent because about forty minutes into our two hour long Science class, the door suddenly opened to reveal a crowd of disguised senior students. “Quick, play the music!” I heard someone say to an unseen person in the hallway. A few seconds later some dance party music started blasting and a senior with a large speaker hanging from his shoulder walked in followed by all the others. Some of them brought candy and tossed sweets everywhere, some dutifully stayed in character, the boys flaunting their short skirts and flipping their tacky wigs if they had to. Some even launched an attack of colored hair spray and duct tape on a few of our classmates.
Side note: today is actually the sixty-sixth day before their BAC. However, Percent is still a symbolic event for the seniors.
Half an hour later loud noises started to fill the streets and drift into our classroom. The teacher hastily closed the windows but we could still distantly hear the cheering and fun outside. During recess, everyone opened Snapchat to sort through Snap stories of the seniors and comment on the costumes that we saw in their videos. I’ve never seen more Marios and Luigis in one day.
Unfortunately I wouldn’t ever get a chance to experience Percent, because next year when my friends are seniors, I would be back in Taiwan. But I can’t wait to see photos of my friends disguised in super cool costumes!