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My innocence was intact
Kyoto after dark is beautiful and safe. Back roads, busy shopping areas—my friends and I comfortably explored them all, enjoying the city’s nightlife. On this particular night, we spent most of the evening interacting with the locals in a mixture of broken English and Japanese. Everyone was friendly, in spite of the fact that we could barely communicate.
After a few hours of wandering around, we decided to join some other young people on the bank of a river. As soon as we settled down, we were surrounded by a group of young men who all seemed a little tipsy. Since we’d had plenty of friendly interactions, we were happy to converse with them. Some even spoke a fair amount of English and were eager to practice on native speakers.
I had just finished talking with one of the boys when a sloppy smack on my shoulder alerted me to another presence. When I turned, I saw that a different boy had broken away from the group.
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