As the old Japanese man pours juice, I stand back as would be expected from someone from the east – as would subtly lowering your gaze in the company of women you know tangentially. But where do these cute little tokens of eastern apology stop and blur into the sort that expects you to stand up when the big man enters the room and stay quiet when he speaks
snuffing out nuance before it can take form?
To treat the old man with less deference
is to fight the small fight
(and it might just save you from screaming out your throat dry after the water has run its course).