I finally met a Japanese person

There aren't a lot of Japanese people in Chicago, though there were more in the mid-80's to mid-90's before their economy started going down and some companies either folded or had to decrease their American branches.

The station where I work is next to a Japanese company, and I've said hello to some Japanese people from there, and have definitely eavesdropped on their conversations, but I've never really "met" anyone from there. One time I talked to a Japanese guy from another Japanese company which is located on a higher floor, and he invited me to stop by, but I wasn't sure if he meant it, plus I forgot the name of the company, and I didn't want to try to figure it out. And I forgot his name of course, so the whole opportunity was just lost.

Several months passed until I interacted with another Japanese person: one day I saw an Asian woman on the elevator, and I asked her if she was Japanese, and she said yes. Then we talked in English and I told her in Japanese that I can speak it a bit (I didn't say I could speak it pretty well because that's too arrogant for their culture, plus for all I know my Japanese could be quite lame to her ears). So we spoke a little bit of Japanese and I thought, "This could be a good opportunity to actually socialize with one of them."

So I told her where I work, and suggested we go out to lunch sometime, and she said yes, and invited me to stop by the company. This time, I made sure to get her name and of course knew where the company was, so I walked in there a few days ago and she and a couple coworkers invited me out to lunch, though I had to decline because I had other plans.

But we are actually going to get together this week, so the bottom line is: not only did I finally meet a Japanese person, but I'll be able to actually talk to them in Japanese occasionally, and will finally be able to practice Japanese outside of my Japanese class! Not a big deal to folks who live in Asia, but it is to Chicago-dwelling me!

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