Monday, 22 December 2008
There's a phrase in Japanese which means "To do family service", and men use it when they say they have to spend time with the family away from the more important things like work or drinking with colleagues.
I always thought it was a strange way of looking at one's family life - as something that "had" to be done.
Now I kind of understand it.
Yesterday we spent a couple of hours at a suburban shopping mall with okaasan, walking around shops, eating lunch and buying a few things along with a few thousand other local families.
As I've said before, shopping malls aren't our usual scene at all, so it's a strange feeling to be ambling around looking at stuff while the musak plays and toddlers stagger around attached to shopping carts. But we had a dinner plans with friends Sunday night and he is about to go away for 4 days ski teaching and we thought we should do some family time.
Okaasan loved it. She slowly looks at all sorts of stuff. Things she would never buy like sparkly nail ornaments or T-shirts with rock stars on them. Just enjoying the looking. Now I can understsnd how she spent 7 hours plus downtown the other day:she drifts around looking at stuff and people!
He managed to stop her buying noodles to cook by reminding her that she doesn't have cooking facilities and hasn't cooked for about 2 years, but she bought a few chocolate things and seaweed soup.
At lunchtime we looked at different restaurants and were a bit put out when she chose the buffet. As we were gearing up for a big pre-Xmas dinner with friends we didn't want to eat buffet of course, but okaasan was impressed with the choice so in we went and managed to do our best...SOMEONE had to make a dent in the chocolate fountain, so I tried hard.
Okaasan tucked into all sorts of food happily. She certainly has a healthy appetite. She ate rice and grated yam and various Chinese foods. Then salad.
"Hmm, they don't have rice here do they?"
"Err...you just ate a bowl of rice"
"Did I? Really? Is there rice?" She ate another bowl.
I'd like to try the same memory loss excuse with chocolate. "Did I eat 10 chocolates already? Really?"
Anyway. A successful family outing. We came home early afternoon and retired to our seperate Tvs. In the evening we ordered sushi to take to the party, and gave okaasan a smaller box of sushi for her dinner.
Now it's Monday morning. He's just left for 4 days ski teaching work.
Okaasan and me. We are Home Alone with eachother from now on.....