Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Okaasan tried to borrow money from the neighbor - and was completely baffled when Yujiro told her this was totally out of order - apart from a real emergency.

We usually dole out about 1,000 yen ($10) a day, for her to buy magazines and yogurt and have a coffee somewhere. If she wants more we give it no problem.

I gave her 1,000 at 3.30 pm yesterday. She went out for a walk and shop.
I left later to go working and Yujiro got home about 6 pm. Okaasan was standing in the street chatting to the old neighbor. She hurriedly left off and came scuttling over to Dear Son: "Can you give me money? I want to buy a magazine! The shop is keeping it for me! I must go back now! I was asking Mrs H for money!"

Really, Mrs H is a sweet old lady. But borrowing money in Japan from anyone outside family is a no-no. It looks really bad and places all sorts of obligation feelings on people.
Okaasan once came home in a taxi and didn't have enough money, so she borrowed from Mrs H. That is just about ok - an emergency with an obvious, immediate need for cash.

But another time she borrowed money for something - again from poor Mrs H - and then forgot.
About a week later Mrs. H had to come asking us for it. Pretty embarrassing all round.

And now again. Nuts really. The magazine can wait till tomorrow, the shop would keep it until tomorrow. And Yujiro is usually home about 6 pm....both of those facts are pretty obvious. If Okaasan had the Wait Until Later function switched on.
She doesn't. Situations are right now.
I want to buy the magazine - NOW.
I need money - NOW.
There is Mrs. H - I will ask her NOW.

Yujiro was annoyed with Okaasan....and even more so because she seemed oblivious to why it wasn't appropriate to go asking the neighbor for money....

We decided we should make sure she has about 2,000 yen every day - that should be enough for coffee, snacks, magazine, yogurt etc. Should be.

* Cute cat picture? Well, ok then. Very hot here right now...on and on and on. We are all melting.
The cats have the right idea to get maximum air to all parts.


  1. Oh, dear.
    It's interesting to me why Okaasan doesn't realize it's a no-no to ask the neighbor for money, since she's usually the one who seems so gung-ho about etiquette, etc.

    I wonder if Okaasan has any idea what she's even spending her money on? 1000 yen a day sounds very reasonable, so I have to wonder what she's doing with it!

  2. It is, isn't it? She is usually very pre-occupied with being polite and how things-are-done (asked me the other day if it was really ok for Yujiro to pay for her hair salon by a credit card!) - but she was a blank about why going to the neighbor to borrow money was Not Good Form. Luckily? Mrs H is a sweet, kind woman...and she herself is beginning to show dementia signs - with repeat conversations - so maybe she'll just forget Okaasan's request too :-) Happy foregtting all round :-)