Today I experienced something that still has me a little stunned.  After returning from the Sony Building, Nick, Radin and I went to eat and a vending machine restaurant.  This was my first time eating there during a heavy traffic time.  Normally I am there late in the evening when many of the Japanese locals are not.  While sitting there enjoying my meal of pork and rice I was startled by the sounds around me.  As I looked up I noticed that I was surrounded my natives, slurping away at their Ramen.  There we were sitting quietly eating our meals, and ten or so Japanese businessmen were slurping down their food noisily.  I then remembered that while eating Ramen it is not seen as being rude, but rather as a compliment to the chef.  I am still confused by this Japanese custom of eating, but alas, I myself am not Japanese.  I was taught  my whole life to eat a certain way and I am not sure I will ever really be comfortable any other way.