One of my first jobs in LA upon arrival from Tokyo was a seating hostess at a prestigious Japanese restaurant. I stood at the front with the cashier. My nimble with coins and credit cards colleague was a native Californian. Her parents were born and raised in Japan. As assimilation into America was important, speaking, reading and writing English were encouraged. My cashier friend did pick up snippets of Japanese phrases at home. Her mates and work at school, however, required English. When Japanese customers walked into the restaurant, they’d ask my colleague a question. She’d turn to me and I’d answer. The situation did produce some comical moments.