Thursday, 2 February 2012

Silence is...silence.

Another day, another night.

Last night's dinner was hokke/mackerel - one of my favorite fish, plus huge, gorgeous tomatoes from a friend's mother and the usual rice, soup, pickles.
Okaasan was ok...but not so positive.

As I was exclaiming over the delicious fish and the sweet tomatoes...she was saying: "hmm, has a lot of bones, I prefer salmon" and "do you think it is sweet?"....not actually complaining - but just not giving me warm positive stuff to work with.
This telling-it-as-it-is about food is very depressing - I usually take it personally and think it's an attack on my shopping/cooking, but really it's a Japanese thing....criticising the food. I see friends and students do it in restaurants with eachother - a great course lunch and they say "hmm, this fish isn't so delicious is it?"  in some strange group whinge. I don't get it. Of course, in England - if the food really isn't good people say so - but I feel that Japanese people enjoy a good group-whinge about the food...and then eat it.

In a restaurant it is a bit sad, in a family kitchen when someone else shopped and cooked for you? Pretty unfeeling I'd say. But then - luckily - I am not Japanese! :-)

Anyway. It shut me up a bit. Can't work without some help here Okaasan!
Give me some positive vibes!

So I ate silently...for about 10 minutes.
It's hard to do. Eat and make only appreciative noises about the food.
No words.
I kind of waited to see what Okaasan would do, she sighed a few times and ate.
I ate.
She ate.
Finally....:"When is Yujiro coming home?"

This almost complete lack of conversation input is interesting. I wonder what is going on in Okaasan's head? Does she feel the silence stretching on and on...or does she think it's only been a short time since the last words...and is waiting for another word to come along?
But unless prompted into one of her favorite topics by me - she doesn't start a conversation, even something banal like weather/TV/food.....the familiar old band-aids of any conversation.

Anyway. Another night done.

Tonight I am taking myself out for a curry dinner. I have an early evening lesson and I'll slip home mid-afternoon to feed cats and set out leftovers in flasks for Okaasan...and then have myself some relaxing time with food, beer and a good book.



  1. Is there a Telly where you eat?? I thank the lord for the sweet television when I have to eat alone with our grandma, plus there's usually something that we can start a conversation about

  2. Bless thy yomesan - woman you're a saint. I'm not a fan of the food critiquing. Hub has learnt that no amount of his 'this is too bland, or too this or too that' is encouraging me to want to make enough for him every night. He thinks he is 'helping' me by telling me outright what he thinks is wrong. I think he's being a cheeky bastard who can make instant noodles for himself if he keeps that carry on up. His new way of doing this is to be so silent when he's eating that sometimes I'll ask him if he likes it to which he'll start to say something and then go 'oh , nothing, its fine'. Hope you have a yummy dinner out and that Y walks in those doors tomorrow.