(In no particular order)
1. Student Responses at School
What I am referring to is how students react when they see me. Due to the absence of diversity and the abundance of American movies, I am a minority (albeit one that happens to look like a
Hollywood actress in the students’ minds). I make the Hollywood comparison because that’s how I cope with the exaggerated reactions that I often get from the students. Because of the rarity of non-Japanese people in this area of , I often get double-takes from those I walk by in the grocery store, but students are the most vocal. Japan
I learned “kawaii” (cute) immediately because that’s the first thing students often say to me when they see me. I’ve had at least five boys from various schools shout “I love you!” across the hallway, and in one class the girls don’t say goodbye when I leave, they say “love you!” to which I reply, “love you too!” and the class cracks up. Last week, a few different classes asked me if I have a boyfriend, and when I said no, two different boys in different classes said, “I have a chance!” (which I was amazed mostly that they remembered the “a” in that sentence). I’ve been told that I have a nice body, am beautiful, have gold hair, and (to quote a student’s written response) “Kimu cuter than Biyonse.” Girls have lined up for hugs, I’ve been surrounded and stopped in the hallways between classes by excited students, I’ve been asked to take a picture with students on multiple occasions, and I always surprise students if it’s a situation where they turn around to see me there.
Students recognize me everywhere, and since I’ve been to six different schools now and technically have met hundreds and hundreds of different students, I frequently do not recognize them. I’ve got to be careful because it’s likely that a student of mine, or a parent of a student, works at almost every store that I visit, is in every club that I attend, or frequents the same restaurants and shops as me. I stand out, so I can’t count on privacy if I make a mistake or have problems in public. Sometimes, to cope, I just pretend that I’m a celebrity. It doesn’t really bother me too much yet because I find their responses just too entertaining. How can I get upset at being called cute or beautiful so often?
2. Japanese Wedding (September 11th – see Wedding blog post)
This was a blast, and definitely an interesting cultural experience that I was lucky enough to experience within my first month in
. I talked about the wedding in a lot of detail in my post on the Japanese Wedding, but I can’t leave it out of the top 10 favorite experiences! Japan