Monday, May 29, 2006

Getting Old in Appearance, but Staying Young in Mind.

The South Korean movie "JSA" I happened to see a few years ago, made me intrigued by the country itself, and I started learning its language. Learning Language is learning culture. Since then I have learnt various South Korean cultures, some are familiar to me, some are peculiar to me. One of the peculiar cultures is cosmetic surgery which is very popular with wide variety of people in the country. They seem to feel little guilty for having their face and figure look more attractive by cosmetic surgery. They do it without hesitation as if they put on makeup. What makes me culture shocked is that many parents likely choose cosmetic surgery as a graduation gift for their children.
I don't know if it's a return favor, but according to the recent Asahi Weekly, a tabloid paper in English, South Koreans nowadays show their love and respect to their parents by paying for their rejuvenation such as botox injection, surgeries for wrinkle and liver spot removing. Cosmetic surgery clinics in Seoul must have been very busy on May 8, Parents' Day.
As a middle-aged woman, of course I'm worried about wrinkles and liver spots on my face, and it might be good if cosmetic surgery makes me younger not only in appearance but also in mind. I'm generally favorable to cosmetic sergery up to a certain point ( not like Michael Jacson. He went too far!), however I'm still somewhat hesitative to have it.
Let me introduce you one of my favorite quotes shown in "Silver Fox Whispers" which I visit from time to time. It aptly tells my thought.

"If wrinkles must be written upon our brows,
let them not be written upon the heart.
The spirit should not grow old."
......... James A. Garfield

Saturday, May 20, 2006

It's a big day!

May is a kind of special month for me.
We have Golden Week holidays in the beginning, 11th is my father's birthday, and the second Sunday is Mother's Day. In addition, this year, 2 wedding ceremonies are being held today, one in Alabama, USA, and the other in Karuizawa, Japan.
The bride in Alabama was my daughter's classmate from elementary school. And I taught her English privately in those days. We have occasionally kept in touch with each other since then, and thus we were very glad to hear the good news and receive an invitation card for the wedding ceremony. I wish we could be there to see her in a pure white dress.
Our daughter also received the invitation card from her but unfortunately can't make it as she had previously made her mind to attend the other weeding held in Karuizawa; she met the bridegroom when she was a college student. Since then they have built up "brother-and-sister" like relationship. I came to know him through my homepage and he taught me a bit about computer. I still vividly remember the time when I saw him for the first time at our daughter's commencement.
As wedding gifts, I asked my husband to make rice bowls. He made 3 pairs of them including a pair for ourselves. 2 pairs were put respectively in wooden boxes specially made for those bowls. One box was brought to Alabama by the bride's parents and the other was brought to Karuizawa by my daughter. I hope they will like them. The picture shows our bowls which will surely be special for us, too.

Monday, May 08, 2006


This tropical fruit was given to us by the owner of our favorite Japanese restaurant. He brought it back from Okinawa, his wife's hometown. It was already ripe, so I cut it and tried to eat a bit. The very first time for me . It was sweeter than expected and rich flavored. I understand why it is often called "egg fruit." The consistency is just like boiled egg yolk. Maybe I will make a tropical salad with it for today's dinner.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Children's Day

Today is Children's Day or the Boys' Festival. Hubby and I enjoyed walking to the Kinokawa, the river nearby. The weather was fine and Koinobori, or colorful carp streamers are very beautiful in the blue sky. On May 5, people put up Koinobori in honor of their sons and in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong. Eating "Chimaki," a rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves, is another custom on Children's Day. We have only grown-up daughter who lives separately from us, but hubby insisted on buying some Chimakis (wry smile). I'll blame him if I gain weight. :-P

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rest in Quiet

Here in Japan, it is the midst of Golden Week holidays. Everybody is traveling, some for sibling get-together, others for domestic or overseas sightseeing. Naturally roads and expressways are glidlocked, train stations and airports are terribly overcrowded. Like everybody else my husband left for riverfishing the day before yesterday. Actually he wanted me to go with him, but I somehow didn't feel like going.

So I've had a very quite time all by myself since he left. I saw a Korean movie in the theater, read several novels, solved an English jumbo crossword puzzle (The answer was "MADELEINE ALBRIGHT"), talked with friends over the phone, household chores and so on. Hubby gives me a few e-mails and a phone call every day. The picture, sent to me this morning, was today's first catch. He will come home tomorrow and we are going to dine out.

I feel I'm gradually getting out of the "bad wave" (fuki-chan used this phrase and I think it is relevant for my feeling). I really appreciate those who cheered me up.