Do you have a best friend?
How about a good friend?
I am sure if you think about it you can come up with a good list of good friends and perhaps one or two best friends. Someone you grew up with, share a hobby with on Saturday afternoons, or someone is just there when you need a shoulder to cry on.
We often say when meeting someone: For example at a party “How do you know each other?”
“Oh, we are good friends” you could answer without getting strange looks.
But living in Japan, things are different:
“We are `better` friends” could be an answer, according to my boss. We are not comparing friendships here as in “We are better friends than before” or “We are better friends than Jack and Betty are.” Simply “better” is an adjective in this sense. He is one funny man. Apparently, the term “better” lies somewhere between “good” and “best”.
Can you be my better friend?