Quarantine: Day Two

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Friday was pretty boring: nap a little; watch a DVD; eat something; take a few meds; read a bit; do a little housework (very little); and repeat.

Fortunately, Nose-san (野瀬) rescued me at 4:15pm. Nose is pronounced kind of like “no say”, not like the thing in the middle of your face. She is the wife of a Tofu shop owner and a very prolific member of our photographic society. First phase of rescue: drop off various kinds of foods from their shop. Second phase: entice me to run-off on a field trip to Hakusan (白山) to visit her hometown.

Officially, my work day is from 8:30 to 4:15. The Vice-Principal had called me at 8:40am, perhaps to check up on me. As I fled with Nose-san I wondered if someone would be dropping by my apartment to see if I was there.

Many old houses are in the part of Hakusan we visited. We stopped at one house to drop off a year-end present, called o-seibo (御歳暮), which may be a Taoist tradition like the summer present, or o-chuugen (御中元). Then we stopped at her childhood home and met her mother; a very strong little woman, with tremendous posture and a bright spirit. Nose-san is in her fifties, so her mother must be at least in her seventies. After a brief stop at the family altar to pray for her deceased father, she started saying something about visiting her grandmother. Mistakenly, I assumed we would be heading to a cemetary for the practice of o-hakamairi (お墓参り), which involves worshipping ancestors in front of their graves.

I was directed to a room off the kitchen where her grandmother had been resting. At 97 years of age, she has quite an arch to her back, but has tremendous strength and pleasant energy. We all had tea together and chatted before I was kindly invited to join them for dinner. We went out to the farm (I would say garden, but for the size) and pulled some radishes and greens, then returned to get dinner going.

Mostly I watched educational TV with grandma and chatted while the ‘younger’ ladies whipped up some ‘humble, country food’, which is always preferable to big-city restaurants. They had seen me on TV a couple of times, so to them it was kind of like meeting a star. Also, I thought someone said it was a first chance to meet a foreigner, but I think they must have met someone before. Germans will come to stay at their home in February as well.

Today was not so adventure-filled. In the evening I did visit a new ‘marriage consultant/coffee shop’ that an acquaintance opened. I had some Andean blackberry juice with a scoop of ice cream: very tasty. Perhaps I will explain another time about wedding and marriage and confusions around the meaning of these words in Japan.

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2 Responses to “Quarantine: Day Two”

  1. kevenker Says:

    Well that sounds like a reasonably relaxing day. But… no marriage consulting along with your scoop of ice cream?!?

  2. びっくり Says:

    They did show me the ‘secret room’ that can be reserved ‘when needed’. 😉

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