Thanks for your response! And thanks to the other photogs who responded via comments! Your advice has been helpful and I’m really considering everyone’s approaches.
I have tried multiple approaches with this, including the “no permission candid” shot. I find that if I’m using a zoom lens or the subject isn’t aware of me, then the “no permission” thing works very well. But I’m not one of those who can get up in someone’s face or take photos when they know I’m there, if I haven’t talked to them first or don’t plan to engage with them afterward. I think it’s rude, particularly since I have had it happen to me many times while out and about. When it’s happened to me, my feelings have ranged anywhere from annoyed to outright violated in one particular instance. Never has the feeling been positive. So I don’t want to make people feel that way, especially as a guest in this country. In fact I would like people to feel comfortable and open around me.
There are obviously some situations where you must go ahead and capture the shot first, and talk to the people afterward (that is an approach another photog recommends). I am cool with this though it’s been a little difficult for me. Still I think it’s important to not just capture the frame and walk away as if you’re photographing animals at a zoo.
Thanks for the vote of confidence about the shyness. It’s definitely been holding me back, and that’s one reason I’m so adamant about pushing through it. Most people will never have the chance to live abroad, and I have a golden opportunity to capture daily life here.