Where are you from?

23 Aug

I am used to asking this question of everyone. In New York City, most people come from somewhere else. Even if they are from NYC, that still makes for an interesting conversation.

So I ask the question of everyone I meet here, but I’ve discovered that it doesn’t work quite as well in the country, lol. If someone lives in the inaka, it is generally because they grew up in inaka. Few people immigrate here. I just asked my Kyoto-sensei, or vice-principal, where he comes from, and he gave me the strangest look. “I am from here. Japan.”

Nakano-san said something rapidly in Japanese and then he told me that he was born in Kurume, the largest city in this here part of Kyushu. Population about 200,000; it’s a decent-sized city.

But it’s a reminder to me that the teachers around me, if they moved here, did not move from very far. In general, they have also not travelled very much. This area is their home and their hometown, and my lifestyle and where I come from are really, really, really far removed from their reality.

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