But despite having a lot of fun and spending so much time together it was hard to read Jasmine.
Was she interested in me as a friend or something more?
My excitement at having Jasmine all to myself in my favorite place was contagious.
We were both warm and happy perhaps tinged with a trace of nervous excitement on my part.
"I'm learning about the causative passive tense, it just seems so strange, why would you ever use it? Imagine you don't want to offend anyone in a work setting, not step on any toes, but at the same time let people know that a decision has been made. It's like saying "X" has come to pass but no one person or group specifically made it "happen." Her eyes lit up and she said "I get it, sort of like an extension of not using pronouns because their implied and it would seem too individualistic or rude to do so." "Exactly so," I replied.
Of course, she wanted to know how long I'd studied Japanese, whether I'd lived in the country, doing what, what was I studying now, my name and family history and so on and so forth.
What caught my eye was her reading material, an intermediate textbook on the Japanese language.
It didn't take me any effort to ask if she'd like to go to my favorite Japanese restaurant but only if she'd let me take her out.
I was in my second year of a joint language and law master's degree at a major US university.
The work had kept me busy, and while I'd kept my hand in dating some of my fellow grad students, nothing had seemed to click.
The same sort of activity I had done nearly a decade ago trying to learn the exact same language.
By this point my spoken Japanese was close to native fluency having studied many years at undergrad and having lived in Japan for numerous years.