Saturday, 20 February 2010

What does Okaasan DO everyday?

Students keep asking me: What does Okaasan DO every day? Many of my students are older people and I think they really identify with Okaasan's here goes.

I usually say: watch TV. Because basically that is what she is doing. From the kitchen we can see through the glass doors into her living room...and there she is...hour upon hour...sitting on the floor with her back against the sofa, and her bottom half under the kotatsu (a kind of hot blanket over a table that is popular in Japan). In front of her is a low table piled high with stuff and she is watching TV.

But in more detail...and I'll TRY to keep my cynical Oyomesan tone in check.

* She is awake on and off through the night. Usually the Tv is on. Sometimes she is wandering around washing dishes in the kitchen or washing underwear in the bathroom.
* She sleeps on the carpet under the kotatsu. We put a futon in the other room. But she has never used it. That room is just a clothes keeping place.
* AM - Sit and Watch TV. Open up the window to let in fresh air. Sometimes stand up and come to the kitchen to say "Good Morning!" to Oyomesan or Yujiro. Go to the toilet. Get the newspaper and sit and read it.
* Around 11 am. Lunchbox delivery company brings lunch. Go to the entrance hall to get the box, take it back to the kotatsu to eat.
* Watch TV - take notes of cooking show recipes, look at magazines about cooking and health and makeup and fashion.
* Look at the many pieces of paper that are on the table. Pick them up and put them down...reread them. Supermarket flyers...old shop recipes...
* Snack on yogurts, rice crackers, bits of fruit, cups of tea....

* PM - About 3 pm start thinking about going out for a walk.
* PM - About 4 pm finally get everything together to GO out.
* Walk to the supermarket, MacDonalds for a coffee, the soba restaurant for tea.
* Come back about 7 pm for dinner with the young people.
* Drink green tea after dinner. Rinse or wash dinner plates.
* Watch TV. Read bits of paper again. Snack on yogurts.
* Sleep in front of the TV.

I think that is a fairly standard day. Mondays she goes out on foot and by subway to the Hula Dance class, and often eats some food downtown after class. The lunchbox delivery is Tuesday to Saturday - but will finish next month because she wants to walk out and get something to eat.
She used to do stretching exercises in the living room...but I haven't seen her do any recently.

For 79 years old - pretty good life I think.

Yujiro gives her little bits of money. We do all the food/house shopping and cooking. She handwashes her own underwear. We occasionally get into her room to vacumn and take out old papers and trash.

That's what Okaasan does everyday.

THERE! I managed to write that without any Oyomesan snide comments didn't I?!

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