Last week we asked the third graders to think of a topic to have a three minute conversation with me in front of the rest of the class with my JTE grading them. We suggested to keep it simple: hobbies, food, music, travel etc.
First student: ME: Hello ____________, what is your topic? STUDENT: Coronavirus.
Other topics included: Star Wars, Baby Yoda, Japanese Youtubers, Shimazu Yoshihisa (an ancient Japanese warlord), Minecraft, Donald Trump, BTS, Super Smash Bros, Netflix and Avicii’s suicide.
And anyways the entire class fell about laughing when one guy was trying to tell me he wants to be a baker but pronounced it “baka.”
Woop–woop! That’s the sound of da (fashion) police.
The junior high school’s chorus festival was a pretty fancy affair at a big concert hall, and knowing parents and the PTA were going I dressed in my best suit, my favourite handbag, wore my hair down and put on a bit of makeup.
A third grader came over, complimented me on my Kate Spade and advised: “You look cute today Miss Carla, you should dress like that always.”
On the upside I told my friend Faith who found this hilarious and advised me to now announce myself as “いつも かわいい” / “itsumo kawaii!”(“always cute!”) which has somewhat become my catchphrase. It’s rude, so the bairns love it.
In my first grade of junior high I set a task where the students had to draw a character, then briefly describe them underneath. However the entire class fell into hysterics when a boy at the front didn’t bother doing the activity, but drew Anpanman with a massive willy.
This is going to be a series of bite-sized posts I’m calling JKMH(Japan Keeping Me Humble) documenting the hilarious things people say to me in Japan – from innocent faux pas and backhanded compliments to being downright rude.
I have a very self-deprecating sense of humour, so don’t worry – most of this isn’t stuff to cause me great offense. I’m mostly thick-skinned, and find it very easy to distinguish whether someone is being funny or just blatantly being a douche.
And so without further ado…
Japan Keeping Me Humble: #1
The Chair Necessities.
At my elementary school I have to sit with the bairns during lunchtime – this involves perching awkwardly on a tiny chair and squeezing behind an equally tiny desk. A small boy ran over to me enthusiastically and declared: “Miss Carla big! Chair fall down!” Thanks, kid.