The other day at the bus stop I met a Japanese women as we looked at the bus schedule together. I can’t even remember how we started a conversation but I think she asked me if I had been in Japan long. Wow! I thought to myself, now here is an unusual Japanese woman. Although she asked me in Japanese, it is very unusual to be spoken to by Japanese people in public places. Such behavior is more suited to Americans. But then she told me that she has been studying Italian for 8 years and loves to speak it. I told her that I had an English school in Kobe and we talked on the bus for about 5 minutes until we reached the station. It was such a pleasant time. I often wonder why more Japanese do not venture out to talk to strangers in public. I know one reason is concern for privacy and one’s own safety, but generally you can judge people fairly well by how they dress and act. So there is no harm to talk to strangers in many cases. If you don’t do it, you may be missing a great opportunity to learn something or even find a friend. Just think how many people you see on the train, on the platform and at the bus stop every day, each with a story to tell and maybe looking for a friend. Wouldn’t life be much more fun if we learned to reach out a little and talk to one another? This one experience surely brought this into focus for me.
Later as she turned to walked to the station in a different direction than me, she said, she just might come to study English with me at my school in the future. Also, she sent me a pretty postcard in which she reiterated that statement. She said that she was happy to meet such a “wonderful” teacher. Wow! She is so nice and she has never taken even one of my lessons. I guess we struck a cord when we talked about how Japanese are too shy and that studying a foreign language really changes them and makes them more confident in many ways. She certainly has changed through her study of Italian. She said she is not good at English but when she spoke it, she seemed to be quite good and if she comes to study with me, I am sure she will master English in a short time. What a pleasant encounter!
Remember to treasure life, every minute!