As many of you probably know, I didn't have a chance to visit my parents on New Year's day this year, because I had to work. To make up for that, and also to help mom with the first tea ceremony meeting of the year (and possibly help dad a little with picking oranges) I stayed at my parents' house for two days.
Helping my parents with chores was not the only reason why I visited them. This time I wanted to talk more seriously about when would be the good time for me to move in with them.
Now let me give you a little explanation on the situation around here. Perhaps you might have heard that Japan is "the most rapidly aging country" in the world? In this country where apx. one out of four people will be over 65 y.o. by 2015, putting parents in old people's homes is not a very practical choice any more. There is no way that enough number of facilities can be built and maintained to meet all the needs. Besides, it costs too much to use such a service, and even if you had money, there's a waiting list at every facility, and waiting time could get longer and longer because people live longer now and more so in the future.
So, if you hear about/see young, healthy and totally physically capable Japanese adults living with their parents in this 21st century, please do not be judgemental. It's not that they're still bound by the old tradition of "children MUST take care of their parents" or too immature to be independent from their parents. A lot of times, it's the only practical choice -- especially when the economy is down like this. And the government is trying hard to come up with a decent system to support the home care for the elderly.
A while ago, I had agreed to go back to my hometown to live with parents. The only question left was when. I used to think that it could wait until one of them gets really sick and needs nursing care, but recently I had a second thought.
I asked myself, "What are the things that I would have to give up completely if I moved to my hometown?" And the answer was -- "Nothing." Really. I can continue almost everything I'm doing here now even after I move in with my parents, with some adjustments and modifications, of course. My hometown is in the middle of nowhere, but I can get any information or buy anything via the Internet. The job opportunity used to be better in a bigger city, but look at the jobs I have here now: dishwashing and part-time office work at a language school. Such jobs are available in my hometown, too. Then, if there's no reason why I've got to live in Kochi city definitely, my living here alone and paying my rent and utilities is just a waste, isn't it?
If I live with my parents, such expenses will be saved. And actually there would be some advantages for me in my hometown as well as drawbacks. When I want leaves and berries to garnish my dishes, I won't have to steal them at night; in my hometown, they're available everywhere. When I want to go fishing, the ocean is right there -- only 2 minutes by walk! The sight of blue sky and blue ocean, the sound of waves ... those things I loved so much in childhood and have craved for so long ... they'll be there with me every single day. If there's no reason why I have to live away from them, why not go back to them. Yeah, why not?
So, dear readers. I've decided to quit my current jobs in a few months and move back to my hometown sometime in 2009 (before summer, maybe?). I'm going to close this "Obachan's Kitchen and Balcony Garden" then, and start a new blog to let you know how I live my life in the real countryside. Oh, I'm so excited! :D
Monday, January 12, 2009
Posted by obachan at 1/12/2009 09:23:00 AM