…if you like Japanese food, kids, or both.
A good friend of mine runs his own English school a few towns over. Yesterday was his annual Christmas party for students, and I spent the day helping out. My friend had asked us to please help entertain by being hosts and helping the guests to speak English in a more natural environment. In other words, hang out and chat with people.
I sat at a table with two kids and their parents. The kids are both eight and in second grade. They have a pretty good English vocabulary, but have a hard time putting together more abstract ideas and sentences. However, they can handle sentences like, "I like…" or "Do you like…"
A lunch spread had been laid out and I noticed that both kids were eating French fries, sans ketchup. So I asked them, "Do you like ketchup on French fries?" They both shook their heads. I asked, "Do you like ketchup?" They both said yes.
I said, "What do you like ketchup on?" They were both a little unsure of their answers, so I said, "I like ketchup on eggs. How about you?" Nods. "On toast?" Head shakes. Finally, the little boy asks, "What do you like ketchup on?"
I put on my best serious face: "I like ketchup on pancakes." Blank looks. I tried again. "I like ketchup on okonomiyaki!"
Their jaws bounced off the floor and they both started yammering in Japanese. Expressions that translate as "Really? You're joking!" and "I don't believe it!" came boiling out of their mouths.
They began quizzing me: "On toast?" Nod. "On ice cream?" Nod. "On ramen?" Nod. "On rice?" Nod. The little boy turned to his mom, "Mom, this guy will eat ketchup on anything!"
The party continued and I did not have a chance to talk to them much longer. But the little girl waved bye as she left and the little boy told his mom, as they walked out the door, "I think I want to try kechup on okonomiyaki."
Kind of made my day.