Hearing Japanese in the Wild

Nov 27, 2021
Hearing Japanese in the Wild
Today while at the grocery store, I heard Japanese being spoken. I felt a strange excitement. It was the same feeling I got when traveling to Japan. In a layover airport, I heard Japanese being spoken around me. It meant I was getting closer to my dream destination.
There was a Japanese mother shopping with her 5 or 6 year-old daughter. The daughter spoke English, and looked half-Caucasian. I thought about going up to the mother and speak in Japanese, but decided not to.
I'm shy. I'm not used to randomly talking to strangers, regardless of the language. I was scared what they would think of me. How would they feel about some random guy coming up to them to make small talk, bothering them while they were busy with their errands? I didn't know what to say. And what if she used Japanese I couldn't understand? It could turn into an awkward situation for both of us.
It reminds me of the time I tried talking to two middle-aged Japanese women at the Target store I worked part-time. I greeted them in Japanese, then froze. They laughed and continued what they were doing.
It was a missed opportunity today. I should have ventured out of my comfort zone.