Whatever you do, don't read this article! You need to listen to this one. Grab the closest person to you — gently — and hand them this text. Recline on the closest object you can and close your eyes. Then ask the person to read it aloud to you.

I was in Japan for business in early June and found myself drinking on a boat floating off Minato Mirai in Yokohama. Life was good. Then I remember my colleague saying ちゃくがんしましたら (chakugan shimashitara), or something, and I was shaken. What the precise phrase was is somewhat beside the point — I'm not giving you the meaning yet because I want you to experience it as I did on that boat.

Sit with the words for a moment — ちゃくがん (chakugan) and しましたら (shimashitara). I was suddenly doing that thing where you divide your attention — one part was needed to decipher the tricky vocabulary and another part had to physically catch the words that came after the one I didn't fully understand.