Saturday, 7 November 2015

Countdown to THE trip

Two weeks and counting.
Actually in 2 weeks it will all be over.
The trip to Okaasan's hometown and family.

She, of course, doesn't know anything about that. We hope. Think.
Fairly easy. We usually don't talk about DS's annual trip to party with his friends until the day he goes: "to a national ski teachers' meeting in Tokyo". Okaasan has accepted that lie and his absence quite happily for a couple of years.

This time his trip will turn into the Happy Family Trip as Okaasan and I fly to Tokyo a week later to join DS for a) he and I going to a concert and b) Okaasan going back to her roots and family.

But we aren't telling her until it is necessary, because she and we (mainly I) don't need to stress of her getting in a tizzy about the trip. 3 days notice is enough.

So. We make plans while Okaasan is oblivious.
He bought the souvenirs to send ahead by delivery company to all the family members we might meet, or who might know we are in town. Japanese custom - LOTS of gift giving. 
I'm all primed with the air ticket details.
My student who is a taxi driver is all primed with pick up information to get Okaasan and I to the airport bus stand, and then 3 days later pick us all up at the airport.
DS has the tickets for Elton John concert and all the hotel details.
Okaasan's sister in law is organizing the hotel and the family dinner.
DS goes off to meet his friends in the Tokyo area next week, leaving Okaasan and me as a happy twosome for six days.

In the final countdown:
I'm getting some of Okaasan's clothes washed/cleaned ahead of time so she can panic over clean clothes about what she needs for a two night trip
I'm booked in for a hair cut.
I've booked HER in for a haircut next Sunday afternoon - which will give me a few hours to get her clothes in final order.

And on Sunday evening next week I will tell her that DS has a surprise.
I will hand her a letter from DS (so she can keep all the information straight) - and announce:
"Hey! You and I are going to Tokyo in 3 days time!! You need to put a few clothes in a bag."

It won't be that simple......
His letter will tell her that
* The souvenirs have all been bought and sent
* You don't need new clothes for a simple family dinner
* You only need clothes for 3 days

And we'll try to leave any mention of Okaasan's old house (where useless brother lives) until....we can think of a good enough excuse for why this trip isn't going THERE.

Oh, about useless brother.
I casually mentioned to DS about who might come to the family dinner. Brother and his wife, a sister? A sister in law? The useless son/brother....

"Err...I didn't tell him. He has diabetes, he has XXX, it's not good for him to eat a lot of food..."

What the Fuck???

Men can be so, so dense sometimes.

Of COURSE useless brother should be invited! This is probably his last chance to meet his mother before she dies! He never comes here. He hardly phones. She probably won't be physically or mentally able to do and enjoy this kind of trip in future.
Whatever the man's failings as a human being...he IS her son and for his sake and her sake they should meet if at all possible. A child and mother relationship is important. Never mind coming to the funeral when she dies (as they all will I am sure) - NOW is the time to come and spend a few hours with the living person.

I couldn't believe the man-of-my-dreams could be quite so highhanded, stupid and dense. And I told him so.

Anyway, at the moment nobody has been able to contact UB - so maybe he won't come. Which will be a real shame.

Hey ho. Strange family.

Okaasan drifts along, sleeping/eating/the occasional walk/lots of TV.

We notice more and more little strange things creeping into almost every day.

* She is rearranging the toilet mat again. Sometimes level with the toilet,sometimes with the door frame. Sometimes at an angle touching both! Obviously it bothers her - that this mat is in the wrong place....but what is "wrong" changes daily.

* Had a saga with a lost kitchen knife, I asked Okaasan if she had it in her room ( because she peels apples while watching TV), but she was amazed that a knife may have somehow migrated anywhere near her...and kept offering me the TV remote instead...then came to the kitchen and tried to show me how to cut chestnuts with a carving knife....
But surprisingly - 20 minutes after I'd got back from the local store with a new knife - Okaasan had remembered long enough what I had been hunting for and found it under all her stuff.

* Oh...and trash.
She goes out often with scrunched up newspapers in her handbag....containing trash to throw away. One day it was toe nail clippings,another day a rotting shrimp from the lunchtime box a few days before.
She has two trash boxes in her room - which she uses. She also (occasionally) puts things in the kitchen trash boxes.

Not sure why she thinks it is a good idea to take trash out of the house in her handbag :-)

And so.
She is getting out for a walk sometimes.
Not far. 
Hope she will HAVE the energy for a whole airport/Yokohama hotel/trains/Kawagoe and family thing.

Hope I have the energy for it too......

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