Yesterday I was invited out to dinner by Reese's family in Japan. Jenna just got here and is staying with them for nearly two and a half weeks.
I was anticipating this dinner for quite a while. My Japanese is still quite bad and I was mainly afraid of sounding impolite. I tend to speak casually on accident when I address my professors or pretty much anyone. It just slips out. And I feel like I am not well versed enough in Japanese etiquette in general. Val went with me before to pick up some omiyage. What should I buy? How much should I spend? How many people are going to be there? There were more questions than answers and more feelings of insecurity and nervousness than confidence.
How crazy is it that I'm meeting Reese's extended Japanese family?! His auntie, uncle, and cousins. Kind just blew my mind that I would be meeting them when Reese wasn't there to introduce me to them. Kinda makes me laugh. Its cute and surprising at the same time.
We met in Ginza and I got there half an hour to be sure I wasn't late. Really, really nice family. I felt at ease immediately. We walked around some stores there before going to the restaurant.
I met Reese's uncle, cousins, and cousin's wife (who's birthday we were celebrating that night) at the restaurant. It was really cute because they were deciding for a while where people should sit. Their cousin's wife was the guest of honor because it was her birthday, but they said that Jenna and I were also guests. Quite Japanese. Really interesting talking to all of them. The three cousins are all under 30, so it was interesting to hear about their jobs, hobbies, and lives. Especially since they are young and haven't been out of college for long. They are also quite Japanese, so I can't help but to think that their experiences are probably at least on some level fairly typical of the Japanese generation.
Ate some really interesting food too. It was yakiniku, but we had stomach (pork? i can't remember), liver (of some sort), beef sashimi (raw ground beef kinda, mixed with a raw egg) among other things. I tend to like "normal" types of food, lol not the rare, specialty kinds I guess. But it was good to try. I actually liked the beef sashimi a lot.