Recently, I attended a gathering of people I didn’t know particularly well. I’d been invited by a Japanese woman who seemed to know every foreigner in town. Hence, she knew me. She also assumed I would know all the other foreigners at her gathering. But I didn’t. I knew very few. It was with some relief, therefore, that I entered the party and quickly spotted a familiar face – a Japanese fellow I hadn’t seen for a year or two but had played football with several times in the past.
‘Keisuke!’ I said in greeting. ‘Hisashiburi!’. He greeted me warmly in return and we talked about what we had been up to for the last few years. As we talked, an American girl I slightly knew caught my eye and wandered over to say hello.
‘Lucy,’ I said, ‘Do you know Keisuke?’
‘No, I don’t think I do,’ said Lucy, extending her hand.
‘Lucy, this is Keisuke,’ I said. ‘Keisuke, this is Lucy.’
They shook hands.
‘Hi, I’m Lucy,’ said Lucy.
‘Nice to meet you, Lucy,’ said Keisuke. ‘My name is Tomohiro.’