It's ironic that I made her feel like being herself after such a long while. Especially when I have never really been able to be myself here in Japan. Or the fact that as an American, she should be more brazen than I of Asian origin. So much societal and cultural etiquette to adhere to.
Coming from someone I barely knew, and this was probably our 2nd time going out as friends. I was rather taken aback when she mentioned it so casually while we were stopping for rest while shopping this evening.
It's true what she said about certain people bringing out the best in us. Or have the gift of drawing a person out of his/her shell.
It's not uncommon to hear that foreigners, in their desire to adapt to Japan, have somehow had to suppress their natural characteristics in order to not ruffle feathers and cause unnecessary attention. But I also have friends who, in the same objective, just let themselves be so that while making sense of the unexplainable could survive in a country such as this.
For example, it's almost impossible to be sarcastic. The typical Japanese would actually take it seriously and accept what you say as the truth and nothing but the gospel truth. So American friends and those from similar Western-style countries are surprised when I display my witty side and am able to play along with them. For the first time, I'm thankful we were brought up with American TV!
Side note to Malaysians : I miss being sampat! Please pardon when you see me next and I lose that characteristic of mine!