“Wow, your face is really small,” he said, leaning in for a closer look.

“Mmmm,” his boss murmured from beside him, his eyebrows furrowed as he concentrated on my face.

“Is that your real hair color?” the woman sitting next to me asked. “I’m just asking because your eyelashes and eyebrows are darker than your hair.”

“Her eyelashes are darker because she wears mascara,” the other woman sitting across from me (and between the two men) explained. “Black mascara.”

“Yes, but what about her eyebrows?” the first woman asked, leaning towards me to take a closer look.

“Her skin is so white”, the boss said suddenly, speaking for the first time and interrupting the first woman. “Usually, foreigners’ skin is dirty-looking.”

“Yes, it’s really rare for a foreigner’s skin to be so white,” the first man said, after taking another sip of his drink. The ice clinked as he sat it back down on the table.

“Wow, she’s really soft too!” the woman next to me exclaimed, her hand on my arm.

The woman across the table reached for me, touching my arm on the same place the first woman had touched.

“You’re right, she is soft,” she said, agreeing with the woman sitting next to me.

“Stand up,” the boss suddenly ordered.

I stood up.

“She’s tall,” the first man observed, staring up at me.

“It’s because of her shoes,” the woman across the table explained, using one hand to point to my high heels.

“Aaahhh,” everyone said at the same time, nodding their heads in unison.

“She’s slim too,” the boss noted, still nodding.

“That’s very rare,” the first man added. “Most foreigners are fat.”

“True, true,” the boss agreed.

“She must only eat Japanese food,” the first man commented, fishing for a cigarette, which was immediately lit by the woman sitting in between him and his boss.

“Yes, Japanese food is really healthy, isn’t it?” the first woman asked to no one in particular.

“Mmmmm,” everyone said in unison, nodding their heads.

“It’s the best food in the world,” the first man added, looking more relaxed after a few drags on his cigarette.

“Mmmmm,” everyone said in unison, nodding their heads.

A simple night at the bar had turned into a cross examination in Japan. Except I hadn’t said anything.