After working together for over three years and seeing me translate 150 year-old documents and decipher half-illegible hand written memos, one of my coworkers complimented me on my Japanese the other day.
My handle on Japanese customs that is.
My slurping to be exact.
After being taught as a child to eat silently I had to reteach myself to slurp when I first came to Japan. I now slurp udon/ramen/soba noodles without a second thought but not all are so limited in their slurping.
The older man at the table next to us at a nice Italian restaurant did not discriminate between noodles and slurped his carbonara from his plate, fork held aloft.
The guy beside me at Subway last night didn't limit himself to noodles, or even just noodle-shaped sliced onion and shredded cabbage. He slurped his entire subway sandwich, toasted bread and cold cuts and all.
My coworker was obviously just humouring me, I have much to learn.