Thursday, 2 March 2017

Cross-cultural mind f***

Knew that cheese fondue bliss would come back on me.
Cheese-overdose....night sweats, constipation...y'know....

Stupid cross-cultural living with a senior.
Rant follows.

It had been a good day, professionally and personally.
I'd taught my classes, visit-taught another teacher's class who love me. Been to the gym (and somehow toned up in after a month of gym absence)...caught some Pokemon. Planned some classes.
All good.
Came home for family dinner. Boring old oden, simmered pot of fish paste, seaweed and vegetables. But ok. Back on family duty time...

We had our beer. We had our food.
Dear Son and Okaasan were doing the ritual "cheers/kampai!" with their glasses, I was momentarily distracted by opening the mustard to the "cheers" a few seconds late.

"Sorry! I was focusing on the food! Not the alcohol! I was the working person today, so I was focused on the food! You both stayed home :-)"

Except it wasn't received with a Smiley face.

Okaasan looked grumpy and muttered something....

Dear Son jumped in to stop a Female Fist Fight....saying things about : "It's ok, she's a foreigner, it's different, it's ok, but you can't say that, it's rude..." etc etc

I was floundering in cross-cultural confusion.
What? What was rude?  What? Eh???

Apparently: my statement about me being the working person, and therefore more interested in the food - THAT was rude!

Even though....
-  it was said as a joke, with a jokey voice and a laugh
-  but is actually TRUE. They watched TV all day. I worked.
-  Okaasan often says: "I shouldn't eat so much, after all I didn't work today

what the F***????????

I shut up and ate the rest of my boring Japanese traditional dinner of fish paste stuff in silence. Fuming about stupid things in a foreign country. Feeling that horribly alone feeling, far away from good old England and my family and friends. Hating a culture where the senior can criticize a junior like this safe in the knowledge that respect-for-senior will prevent a fist fight, hating these strange family-relation situations. Hating living with another generation.


Thankyou. Rant finished.

If you are ever given a choice about Live with a Senior, or Don't.

 Choose: Don't.


  1. Oh my goodness!! That terrible alone feeling :( I do hope that at the very least being able to write it out helped a little. Tomorrow is anew day and perhaps, she will forget it ;-)

    1. She forgot about 1 minute later......I remembered until this morning and was still grumpy....

    2. You know, one time I was engaged in a heated argument with my husband (yes I know and knew I shouldn't engage with a person with lewy body dementia - sigh) I don't even remember now what we were arguing about, probably money or driving , anyway mid yell from me I started laughing like a hyena! He looked at me and asked me what my problem was and I answered, "Tomorrow you'll probably forget this whole thing and I'll be the one still upset!" LOL!

    3. Yup........although I think if it is a big fight the traces of the negative emotion are still there. A few years back when she and I were having major problems, she would be unsettled and grumpy for a while. Probably didn't know why...but the feelings continud.

  2. That foreign country lonely feeling really sucks. Reading your blog sometimes makes me glad I didn't opt for living with husband's (Japanese) grandma way back when..I think I'd still be there and quite probably in a very similar situation to yourself..although I do sometimes wonder what life would have been like if I had taken that path..

    1. Yup. Sometimes it runs up and grabs you - I'm a stranger here...really...even after years...and thinking I'm getting the hang of it. Dear Son and his mum are actually pretty open minded/unusual thinking Japanese....which is why I fell for him of course...but sometimes stuff just makes my head spin. I imagine what would happen if roles were reversed and HE was living with my family member in the UK...and then I think of the stress I'd probably have in that situation...and start to feel sorry for him...a bit.