I have something I can not overcome in a restaurant which is not Japanese restaurant
in NY when I dine with Japanese people.
When some Japanese I don't know sit next to my table,
I become unable to talk.
This doesn't happen if I'm in a Japanese restaurant where
so many Japanese are dining.
This might not happen if I'm with more than 3 people.
And I am sure this doesn't happen if I'm in any restaurant
in some remote area where you don't expect not too many Japanese
(I remember I became very talkative when I met some Japanese on the street
during my trip in Niger a few years ago.)
This only happens in NYC.
The other day, My wife and I went to some Korean restaurant in Fort Lee, NJ.
(OK, so this happens in NJ , too.)
We were talking about our Japanese friend who used to live in NYC for 7 years and
went back for 2 years and half, and now is wondering if he'd come back to NYC.
He's a jazz saxophone player, by the way.
Whether he should stay in Japan or he should come back to NYC....
It's not an easy question.
What if I am in his position, what should I do?
Our conversation went on .......till we heard some Japanese language from
"It's been a while to be in this restaurant.....(in Japanese)...."
They were 20-something Japanese young couple.
I was not trying to overhear their conversation but
my primary language just kept coming through my ears.
"I have to be myself in the USA........"
"I can't be myself if I'm in Japan. Japanese society doesn't allow me to be myself....."
My wife and I became silent , finished our meal, and paid and left quickly.
I don't know what made us stop our conversation.
Even I have live in the USA for long time, I just can't overcome this situation.