Thursday, 31 March 2011

Caring at home.....

Doing our bit at home.
While the world is worried about nuclear reactors we spent a quiet day attending to our nearest and dearest.

Nearest is Okaasan - we took her to lunch at a Chinese restaurant which she loved. And then we shopped at a cheap, amazing vegetable shop. Yujiro managed to get Okaasan to sit in the car and wait, but JUST as we were emerging with the shopping she started getting out of the car because she said she wanted to check for some vegetable. Yujiro just about managed to head her off at the shop door and get her back in the car.
This sounds cruel - like - why can't we let her go into a shop? - but believe me, Okaasan in a vegetable shop would take hours and hours and hours....this is the main reason we don't shop with her, because she examines everything, looks at everything and then goes back and starts all over again. If she is on her own, or we have all-the-time-in-the-world it is ok - but after the lunch we were worrying about toilet etc.
Anyway - successful family trip.
In the evening I amazed all of us by cooking the nimono dish which is a stable of Japanese homes, simmered vegetables in a soy sauce/sugar/sake soup. It actually tasted ok, Yujiro told Okaasan NOT to complain because this was the first time I'd cooked it - and then he and she made encouraging noises!!! I think when he heats it up for another meal he'll add more soysauce and sugar though...Japanese traditional food is heavily overdosed on soy and sugar.
But, Oyomesan cooking success. A rarity really.

Popo in healthier times.

Dearest was Pop-chan, our black and white sick furball. We continued monitoring his food/miracle water intake and poop/pee output. All so-so. He sits around looking morose, and then surprises us by getting all active and going outside to see if the grass grew any more since he last looked.
We tried putting drops of water on my hand and he licked it off.
Actually, I feel guilty that I may have contributed to his kidney problems. Since he was a tiny kitten he has loved licking any part of my skin he can get to...hand, neck, ankle...I thought it was an annoying custom, a kind of nursing/mother complex, but quite cute and obviously relaxing for him.
Now, I wonder if he was desperate for salt - and the salts on my skin overloaded his system??

Taking him to the vet constantly is a stressful experience, because it's a 15 minute car ride. We took him there twice last week. We constantly debate what to do. He eats a tiny amount and we are relieved. He sips the miracle water and we hold our breath.

And elsewhere: well it all goes on and on. No contact yet from the homestay charity group, but I detect on TV that official and public attitudes are changing about the evacuees living in the evacuation centers: 3 weeks on, many people seem to think it is time to accept a move to a better way of life, whatever the emotion. Time to leave the sports hall floor, even if it is near your old home area, and take up the offers of public housing/homestays whatever.

Another friend in Tokyo asked me to send her water.
She said Tokyo shops have random shortages: this week natto and yogurt. Last week toilet paper and batteries. Water in bottles a constant shortage.


  1. Having a cat of our own, who last year developed one of those bizarre temporary health problems that only seems to resolve itself after you've spent enough money, I feel for you. Pets are part of our lives, and ultimately we're responsible for their well-being. Yet they are also a force unto themselves. Don't sweat the whole licking the sweat thing... these things happen, and it doesn't help to second guess things. These are the challenges of helping those that can't help themselves.

    As for the whole sending water thing... I had one of those conversations with my wife about the phenomenon of sending water (especially from Sapporo) just recently. I understand fully the desire to help those you can (by sending water), but I also worry about the disruption that can be caused when lots of people think they're doing the right thing. What I see is however a very inefficient water transport system that could end up creating more problems than it solves. It's much more efficient to move water in bulk than by individual bottle... and this is about the point where I end up sounding like a heartless u-know-what.

    I know that for those that ask, any supply is good - but if you can extrapolate the postage demand to all people in Tokyo, then (he says, steadying himself against the complaints) you can imagine just how much disruption will ensue. This of course is said from the comfort of Adelaide, Australia.

    I will (however) be in Tokyo in under a week and may have a very different opinion.

  2. Hi Ben,

    I agree with you about the water sending - until it is MY friend asking me to send the stuff and my local shop has it!
    I read in the paper that CocaCola Korea is ramping up its waterbottling to send millions of bottles to Tokyo and the disaster zone.
    I think you'll have quite a shock when you come to Japan - a new reality. Rolling power cuts, places of entertainment closed etc, a sombre mood.