Striking up a Conversation

By Shawma Brown

We were in Z-burger having lunch when the instructor told us to mix it up a little bit with the Japanese students from Meiji University. I sat at a table with four Japanese students. I just sat there exchanging awkward looks with them. It was awkward to be surrounded by people I didn’t know and that were from another country. The word that kept popping in my head was socially awkward. That is what I was being. I had so many questions I wanted to ask but I was very nervous. It was not until three of the students left that I was able to talk. Me and one of the students started conversating. He asked me why I was holding back from talking. I said I was just nervous.

I was glad to have conversated with him, because I was grateful for every single moment of the conversation. We started talking about food, education, American and Japanese society in general. The most intriguing part of the conversation was how he told me how Japanese see Americans. He said they talk too much. That made me laugh. I then said why do we seem to talk too much. He said we talk to strangers and we have no boundaries. I was just astonished because this was true, whether I would like to admit it or not.

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