The 7/11 worker asked me (in Japanese) if I wanted a bag.
I knew what he was asking, but I forgot what to say for “I don’t need it.” I wanted to say something more advanced than the usual. It’d been a long day. I was walking around Tokyo all day in boots, had a 2 hour train ride back to look forward to and i just kinda fumbled around and threw out some words.
He said in english “do you want a bag.”
Im trying to think of the Japanese, I said. Not knowing if he’d understand. Um… “Montenai?” … (That means “I don’t have.” Actually)
“I’m not Japanese” he said, in English.
I look up. He wasn’t.
I’m Chinese, he said.
ohhhhhhhhhhhh. We shared an unspoken bond of being in this foreign land> a type of relief.
I said well, you can speak good english then?
No i can’t speak English well, he says, in perfect English.
Ok, well, I think you can, I said.
“Why did you come to Japan?” I asked
I am a student, he said.
He gives me the bag. And I say “Have a nice day!” with a revival of a smile
I couldn’t place the type of good feeling that gave me, till later I realize I miss these types of simple interactions which we never think about until they’re 100 times more difficult to achieve in every day life.