Friday, 15 July 2011

Money, money...oh..

Okaasan didn't have enough money to pay in a cafe again yesterday.

This time SHE remembered, because she got home about 5 p.m. and asked Yujiro for the money...but it was pouring with rain outside and we didn't think she should set off again all the way back downtown.
Yujiro called the cafe and said he'd come in with the money today. Only small money.


Poor Okaasan looked very unhappy about it. Sat at the kitchen table saying "I must be going senile, I don't have enough money to pay for things etc etc" I tried to make reassuring noises about how Sapporo is a friendly city, how Okaasan looks like an honest person, how the shop staff don't worry etc etc
Yujiro wasn't super comforting to his mum - instead he TOLD her that she hadn't paid twice at another restaurant recently and that they'd called the house to ask for their money! I could have strangled him. It wasn't the best thing to say to Okaasan at this point - to tell her she'd done worse than she thought.
Poor lady.

Anyway. She settled down by the TV. He called the cafe. I had an early dinner and went off to an evening class. He'll go in and pay today.

But it IS our fault. We give Okaasan Y1,000 or Y2,000 so she can do a bit of shopping, but sometimes in our morning rush to work we forget to check how much she has in her purse, she doesn't ask...and then the moment of truth is when she gets the bill in  a cafe or restaurant and has to confess in public that she can't pay.
She must feel embarrassed. Japanese people get embarrassed about all sorts of things in public life that us brash Westeners don't think twice about...but for anyone this situation is cringey.
We MUST make sure she has enough money. Not too much - otherwise we'll have a house full of random stuff she has heard mention of on TV or in the newspaper...or our recent conversation.
But she must have enough to go out and do stuff around town.

Yujiro is worried it's an iceberg situation - we only know the tip of the problem. That probably all over town there are places where Okaasan didn't pay, and didn't remember to go back. Or shops where she has asked them to keep something for her - and then never goes back. He is worried one day someone will call the over reaction I think....most shops are pretty kind to confused old ladies. Even in a big city like Sapporo.

Anyway. Money. Must give it to her more.

* I've booked Okaasan's Birthday Surprise hair appointment at a nice salon downtown recommended by a student (HI Tamiko!!!! How are you today???). The salon is nice, the owner is a respectable older lady...I hope it will all be a good experience for Okaasan. And after her hair do we'll take her out for a birthday dinner. All of this is next month.

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