Back to Being Oyomesan.
Thursday night Yujiro had a bicycle taxi drivers' end of season party, so I did Dinner Alone with Okaasan for the first time in ages. Went ok, I guess. Just heated up curry and rice with beans.
At lunchtime I'd won a 2kg bag of rice at the local kaiten sushi place - so I had that on the table and Okaasan and I talked about THAT - 5 or 6 times - and then got onto wartime and rice and Kawagoe and food and Yujiro and drinking etc. All ok. I managed to escape in about 40 minutes.
I think Okaasan understands where I went recently and why: hard to tell really because Japanese people don't really talk much about bad luck situations of death or sickness, so her non-commenting is more a cultural politeness and sensitivity than anything else.
Dinner a Deux was a warm-up for next week's impending duties: Yujiro is away for a week in Tokyo area visiting old friends from years back and I will be on Oyomesan Fulltime Duty....day after day of feeding and chatting to Okaasan, making sure she gets to hula dance, sneaking in to clean her room and making sure she has lunch at home or out or whatever.
My Japanese is a bit rusty after 10 days in the Uk, so I hope it goes ok....the feeding is doable really because there are plenty of pre-cooked food or instant food packs, but only my addled brain can help me with sitting across a table every evening and trying to think up enough chat in Japanese to fill out the time while we eat. And trying to escape gracefully from Okaasan's ramblings.
Can't use the "Have to phone England" excuse anymore cos nobody to phone! :-((
* Never the Twain Shall Meet: last night we had nabe for dinner. Nabe is a table-top, open deep electric pan with water, stock, vegetables, meat/fish/tofu all thrown in and simmered. A very good standard Japanese food and easy to do. We eat it endlessly because it takes a short time to make and gives us a warm family feeling of gathering round to pick stuff out and eat.
But....Never the Twain?
Yesterday I bought sweet potato and thought THAT might be nice to throw in the nabe pot.
Oh no! Yujiro and Okaasan thought that was VERY strange.
No way! Too sweet! Potato maybe ok. Maybe.
Yujiro did at least try a bit, but didn't think it was any good. Okaasan didn't go near it.
Very Japanese this - having an absolutely fixed idea about what foods go with what foods.
Nabe is basically anything thrown in water with stock...but...sweet potato? No....
Mushrooms ok. Chinese cabbage ok.
Sweet potato. No.
I can understand if it was lettuce or chocolate maybe.
But sweet potato? Seemed ok to me...seemed good actually.
Funny people Japanese. Not too much thinking outside the box. the Box is the box, and that is good.
I reckon the box needs a good shake sometimes.