Even though the ski trip was a month ago, the friends I made during that trip still say hello sometimes when we bump into each other at the corridor. 2 of the ladies are friends of Aino-chan, and another is a sister of one of the 2. The rest of us are from the IT department, and Leon who was on business trip got invited because he happened to be in Kansai that time.
I have difficulty remembering Japanese names, but better at faces, because of the long syllables! But I must say, I remember Malaysians better because there is so much variety - we are of different ethnicities, colours and personalities that it makes it easier. In a homogeneous country like Japan, I sometimes have to meet a person twice to remember the face, and speak more often to have the name stick.
The other day, I happened to take the same train back as one of the ladies. Usually Japanese are shy and a little hesitant to open up and be close during the first few encounters. So I've gotten used to this somewhat seemingly cold reception living here (of course there are exceptions).
As we started chatting on the way, I remembered she was a China-born Korean, but we both spoke Japanese to each other. She started offering me some snacks as it was way past dinner time (eating in trains is a no-no in Japan), and started asking rather personal questions like my rental and such (apparently this kind of questions is common in Kansai!). She also asked if it was too late for me to go back to cook for my husband.
In my tiredness, I thought I had misheard, or my Japanese was not good enough to capture her question. When I tried to clarify, she said Aino-chan had told her I was married. I responded that I didn't even know I was married!
The things you hear about yourself sometimes from seemingly strangers @.@. I wonder how Aino-chan got that impression, or how that piece of information got passed around. I forget sometimes I'm a foreigner and possibly a novelty still to my Japanese colleagues.