the conversations we have while we eat are pretty amazing sometimes.
while i was at school the other day, i decided to eat my school lunch in one of my first grade classes. i love eating with my first graders, and for the most part they love eating with me, too. i always get bombarded with all kinds of awesome questions, and i am always more than happy to answer them. “misha-sensei, what is your favorite color?” “misha-sensei, are you married? do you have kids?” “misha-sensei, do you like mini-tomatoes?” the list goes on.
a few days ago, however, i was shocked and a little saddened by a question a little girl sitting next to me asked. about halfway through the meal (during which i was making faces and goofy jokes and thumbwrestling kids), she turned to me all of the sudden and asked, “misha-sensei, are you really from america?” i was a little confused and taken aback, but i said yes.
what she said next threw me for a loop. “but you aren’t scary. americans are scary, right?”
as an american in japan, what do you say to something like that? what can you say?