It was my first shopping excursion since I’d arrived in Tokyo. I was standing in front of a large display, wondering why a cartoon mouse was the mascot for a line of rice cakes, when a figure standing just out of my line of sight sneezed.
I didn’t look over, I just said “Gesundheit” in their general direction.
The figure, a young Japanese woman, turned and smiled broadly at me, forcing me to turn and notice them as she began to speak quickly in German at me.
She seemed disappointed when I explained that I was English, and an atheist…