I
AM
SO
FREAKIN'
ENGAGED,
YO!

everyone is crazy.

you can stop looking for the teacher, that you won't find.

you can stop looking for a savior, no one will save you.

you can stop trying to help people, it doesn't matter.

you may think that others have all their issues solved, and problems worked out...but they don't.

you are god.

and we are all god.

we are all the same.

and we are all one.

we all look, constantly, for something.

but it's never there.

so please. enjoy what you have now, and quit bitching.

for i cannot bear to watch another gorgeous moment fade in the dusk, and be squandered.

so...what now?

Living in Japan as I now do, I won't begin the writeup with a Japanese word. It just seems too typical. Tempting, but stereotypical.

I have a little writer's block as I have been processing so much information lately and being immersed in so much novelty and experience that it is difficult to put it into words without a little bit more time to digest everything. Fuckit - let me paint a picture:

Fog is rolling over emerald hills that scream at you with the song of birds and bugs. It is just before twilight and you've finished a long 4-hour day of work. So what better thing to do then stroll over a centuries old Japanese wooden bridge into Iwakuni to walk amongst an entire village of history and art. No, that doesn't do it justice. Imagine if themeparks were filled with monuments to art, history, religion and culture instead of crap. They've been adding to this park for hundreds of years now, so you will visit 11 tombs of Japanese feudal lords (daimyo) as well as acres of a modern, sculptured water fountain. You have an idyllic town dotted with paper lanterns across the river from you to frame your view, and a crescent moon hangs low in the sky as stars are just beginning to come out.

So that was my day...

I could go on forever detailing every little amazement and peculiarity I run into on a daily basis but must let things settle for a time. Shouganai.

In conclusion, I've got peace like a river flowing outside my home - no, seriously, it's 15 feet from my doorstep. I like to swim with Koi.

mcd desu
anata wa dare desu ka

The maternal unit baffles yet again

Another daylog about my Mom. If you don't care for another story about my ailing mother, don't bother to read this.

So... I went to visit my mother yesterday. During the three days leading up to the visit she called me six times asking me just about the same questions each time, with only small variations. It's okay. I have the patience of... of something very patient. The key question, though, was about money.

My Mom is so forgetful she has a very hard time handling her own finances. My competent brother has taken over - with her conscent - and transfers small amounts to her account every week, allowing her to live rather comfortably from her pension without spending it all during the first couple of days. Now, as my brother is taking a much needed and well earned vacation in the south of France (lucky devil), my sister is handling the money. Naturally my mother calls me...

"So, you are coming up this Saturday...?"

"Yes, we are. Sis and I."

"Oh, lovely. You may want to bring along some food and things, because I have absolutely no money, and I haven't been able to shop for a few days."

"But Mom... Sis transferred 500,- to you. Twice. Last Friday and again Wednesday."

"She did? Oh that's nice. I didn't look. I'll just run up to the post office and check tomorrow morning. Is the post office open tomorrow. Is it Saturday tomorrow?"

"It's Friday tomorrow, so yes, they're open. See you Saturday then..."

I talked to my sister, later that day, and she informed me that she had checked Mom's account (you gotta love online banking), and she (Mom) had indeed withdrawn 700,- of the 1000,- Sis had transferred. She had just forgotten about it. The next day I called my mother.
"Did I really withdraw that much money?? I don't remember doing that."

"You must have put it somwhere to keep it safe. You know you do that, Mom."

"I only ever put money in the little blue tin on the shelf. But it's empty."

"Mom... You put money everywhere. We have found money in the most weird places, don't you remember?"

"I guess I paid some bills then. You know, I forget things these days. I am almost 80, so I am excused. Only I have always been forgetful, haven't I?"

"You have that. We'll look for the money when we get there, okay?"

"Oh, you are coming up? Lovely. Be sure to bring some food and stuff, 'cause I have absolutely no money, and I haven't been able to go to the store for days..."

"I'll bring something. And then we'll look for the money. I know you must have them somewhere."

"You know, I am so forgetful these days. But I am almost 80, so I am excused..."

The three additional phonecalls went along the same lines. She also told me she had borrowed some money from a friend, so she had had to pay him back too. Yay. I don't know this person very well, and I don't know if he would cheat my Mom out of her money... I'll find out, though. If he is, I'll make his life a lot less fun.

Saturday we drove up there, my sister and I. Our mother lives in Sweden (she and our father moved to Sweden years ago, while us kids decided to stay in Denmark), and though it's not very far it's still a fair drive. I had bought a big bag of groceries, in case she had really lost the money somehow, and I had bought three rolls of some Dutch rusks that she loves. She was really happy when she saw them.

"Oh, these are so wonderful. I love them. Too bad I can't buy them here in Sweden."

"But you can, Mom. They're in the store. I have seen them."

"Really? That's nice. I haven't been able to find them, but now I'll look for them."

"You do that. I bought some butter too. They're so good with a little butter..."

"They really are. Too bad you can only buy them in Denmark, though."

"They are in the shop here, Mom. I saw them there, last time I went shopping for you."

"Really? Good. I'll remember to buy some..." I counted the times we went over this. Eight times in as many minutes, more or less. My sister had to leave the kitchen to either cry or laugh, I am not sure which.

Mom's friend stopped by to say hello. It turns out he's really a nice sort; a bit lonely, very helpful, and seems to genuinely care for my Mom in a friendly way. He had suggested to my mom, earlier that same day, that she'd look through everything to find the missing money. She had told him to "stop treating her like a baby", and hung up the phone on him (that is: they were talking on the phone, and she hung up...). This had happened a few hours before we got there, so naturally she had forgotten all about it by the time he came by.

We did find most of the money in some old tin on one of her shelves. Where she never put money, of course. My sister and I went shopping for cat food (for the cat), and put the rest of the money back in the tin. Next time she calls about money I'll know where to tell her to look. Because chances are she'll forget pretty quickly about this tin, so the money'll still be there for a while...

They say senility is genetic, don't they? Damn! Oh, well... thank you for your time.

Man. What a morning.

After going to bed at about half past one, being that it was my birthday party, I woke up at eight. My first thought was, I forgot to take the pill yesterday. And we had sex the night before. Damn. This thought turned out to be true, I had indeed forgotten to take the pill. And it was the first week. Damn.

It is no use trying to sleep when your mind is making up scenarios about who's boss will make the most problems about working less to take care of a baby, where to live if the roommates kick us out, how will we get a mortgage, perhaps Boyfriend will not want to become a father? Yet? So I got out of bed.

Internet research showed that in our modern country you can now get a morning after pill without prescription. Only it was a sunday so only one pharmacy was open, for emergencies, in the center of town, 15 minutes away by bike. I guess I am an emergency. I phoned them. Indeed no prescription was necessary. Good.

On my way to town all kinds of people heading to church. Funny I'm normally never there at that time. Funny what would these people think if they knew where I was going and why? Perhaps not so funny.

At the pharmacy the lady asked were you the one who called? I was. Did the girl ask you if this morning after pill was really necessary? No. So I explained, forgot the pill, had sex the night before. The lady goes away and gets a box. Twelve ninetyfive. Sunday opening at the pharmacy means they don't really open, you ring the bell then they open the first door and next to the second door they have sort of a counter where you can get your stuff. Cash only. I didn't have cash. So I told the lady I'd be back and went to the ATM closest by.

The machine took my card, went through the motions of cash withdrawal, but spit out no money. I wasn't paying attention, didn't see what message if any so I tried again. The machine ate my card. Next, nothing happened. No card. No money. So I called the phone number on the machine and waited for someone to answer. You are next in line. Approximate waiting time is one minute. I made plans to call my boyfriend, make him wait at the machine while they come to get my card out, perhaps send him to the pharmacy? But then after a while the machine asked for my PIN anyway so I hung up. Got an error message instead of money, got my card back after all and went to the next ATM.

Back at the pharmacy the lady asked again how exactly did it go? You forgot your pill when? You do know you should get the emergency contraception preferably within 24 hours of unprotected intercourse? Sure, if I had known earlier I would have come earlier! What am I, stupid? I increase my risk of pregnancy for fun? I refrained from any nasty comments as this lady was probably just being professional and giving me information I might not know about. I collected my pill, and some condoms, and went home. I got to take my pill two and a half hours after waking up. Thank god no feeling sick or any of the other side effects the stuff can have. We'll see how this all ends.

This made me realize I'm glad I live in a place where, even with some minor trouble, it's easy to get emergency contraceptives when you need them. Sure, the lady looked a bit disapproving, but she sold me what I wanted without lecturing me. Imagine you meet one of them American pharmacists who force their beliefs on you and refuse to sell this medication. The Netherlands has its (have their?) bad points but this at least is not one of them.

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