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.
I kind of waited to see what Okaasan would do, she sighed a few times and 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.