While I'm reminiscing about incidents in Indonesia, I can finally tell this story. In the opening issue of the school's newsletter last year, which was sent out to all students, parents, and alumni on a quarterly basis, I was asked to write a short column introducing myself and my goals for the classroom, a simple "Hello From Miss Hannah." The teacher in charge of the newsletter wanted to include a picture of me, so we spent an afternoon taking portraits with her digital camera.
A week later, she came back to me and said that the printing quality of the newsletter wasn't good enough to include a photograph, and would I mind if they included a drawing instead? I said no, not at all, and the portraits taken earlier were duly dispatched to the school's drawing teacher, to be copied and included in the newsletter.
So this is how the school community, parents and all, were introduced to the foreigner in their midst:
Now, I know my nose isn't exactly small and dainty, but this? Really? Nobody else seemed to think this caricature should inspire doubt about the drawing abilities of the school's art teacher, so I can't help but think that's how they really saw me. With that in mind, it's no wonder that Indonesians were constantly commenting on my tall nose: I was practically Pinocchio, in their eyes. On the plus side, now paintings like this one of Commodore Perry make a lot more sense.
(PS: The typos in the newsletter are their fault, not mine. But that's okay; they're just following Rule #2.)