shusshin wa doko desu ka. / Dochira kara desu ka?*
One of the most common phrases I hear as soon as I get in a cab and before I can jam my headphones back into my ears is “Where are you from?” It took me a few times listening for the key words as, strangely, in my Japanese class, this is not one of the topics we spent a lot of time on.
I used to be able how to tell someone my major in perfect, formal Japanese, but after being out of university for over a year, I’ve even lost that ability. Best part is when I haven’t switched over to my Japanese-speaking-brain, I fumble for a second and they translate for me first. They know more English than I know Japanese! It’s just embarrassing. Sometimes I’m just sitting there in a morning daze like “Where am I from?”