Questions. When you live in a country not your own, be ready to answer some interesting questions, or maybe not!
I have found over the years that questions can be tricky. A simple question may be thrown out to you just to make small talk and then i unknowingly launch into Explanation. Or a seemingly innocent question tricks me into something i did not see coming and then they pounce on me with horror stories that they have heard of where things went wrong, like homeschooling your own kids! Or why chopping down trees are bad....Or even worse is they go on their own tangent and did not listen to a word you said, impatiently waiting for an opening to actually tell their Story....
Answers to these pesky things called questions are thus tricky. The "questionnaire" can so easily judge the people or country you live in if you just utter a few not-thought-through answer because the question was loaded. Or they did not plan to listen to the Long Answer to the question of "where do you come from?"
Other times the answers are sure to stop any further conversation. This is quite a funny one. We like to travel and talk to our fellow travelers and then when the dreaded question comes as to what do we do here in deep dark Africa with a family, i always wonder what to say? If is say "missionary" mostly they will remember their cuss words freshly uttered or something like that and feel deeply guilty or look down at their drinks and then look up at me....as if i am less than a human than the next guy? If i say anthropologist, i have run into difficulties as well, as I had to explain what the word means (that was quite funny as my kind-of-lie backfired on me! And i think the Lord chuckled a bit there!) If i say teacher, they ask what school and then that becomes problematic because they think i am some kind of saint teaching the little village kids only to realize i only teach my own and then the saintly halo disappears again and they don't know what to say ....haha.
Anyway, questions make life interesting. I try and listen with an open ear and mind, but i am weary about giving my opinion! I was once asked what i thought the big difference was between the country where we work and the neighboring country and when after a (safe)while, i got to my thoughts on communism and that it Really Ruined Things it was at this point when i suddenly realized i was talking to a real left-over-communist. This conversation stopper, however was totally by my own doing!
So, if i look a bit confused when i try and answer your questions, don't think i am mindless or even a bit stupid...i am trying to figure out what you want to hear and how much of it...and for a Not-a-people-pleaser this is really hard work! :) i am trying to be a help to society and not a pain in the ear!
Bella, any questions?!