European Gratin

Brr. Finally I’ve found something seriously wrong in this country – or at least something that makes me feel awful. Reading yesterday a book about what japanese language and vocabulary tell us about the position of women, I was shocked to hear that “middle-aged woman” means a girl in her 30’s, and menopause is something that starts in late thirties – early forties. Well, yes, my ‘late thirties’ are still closer to 10 years away, but in any case I was relieved to read that this reflects the short expected life span of japanesses in the 50’s and is changing rapidly (the book was written in 1985 or so).
An other interesting sociological thing I read was about the main cause of distress for women in the forties – they often dread the retirement of their husbands. Since home has been women’s kingdom as much as the office men’s, and decent husbands do not spend time at home, the sudden change after retirement is bound to bring stress and conflicts.
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Just my style. The holiday starts tomorrow and I’m falling ill. A short visit to the RIKEN clinic got me a set of the general medicine they seem to prescibe for everything – like “Polopiryna” I was made to eat when getting sick on Polish summer camps, and the carbon tablets that the school nurse gave for any symptoms. In normal conditions, I would not even consider going to doctor with such a clear case of flu but rather just stay home and recover by myself – but, as lamented here several times, getting a permission to stay home because of sickness seems to require at least a well-developed SARS disease; if you stay at home just because of some fever and aching throat, you lose holidays.
Also, if it was not the case that some finnish friends are crashing in with us from tomorrow, and we’ve got great and hectic plans for the following two weeks, I would not mind just staying put on my futon and bearing it through. But, in this case, I need all the help I can for getting well…

laatikko.jpgThe girl from Hokkaido told that she attended yesterday her final cooking class. The two-year school began with ‘Traditional Japanese Dishes’ for one year, and, then, for the high-level one-year course, she chose ‘Traditional European Dishes’.
Made me wonder. What on earth is Traditional European Dish? Pasta? Pizza? Coq au Vin? Läskisoosi? Fish&Chips? It was revealed that the menu on this final day would be ‘Gratin’. I guess that must be the pinnacle of European food.
Inspired by these thoughts, I finally grabbed myself by the neck and bought all the tools and ingredients for preparing makaronilaatikko. And even managed to prepare it, even though it took forever… but, it was delicious! Decent, honest, filling food. I’m quite proud of myself.
(FYI: I am not planning (yet) to prepare maksalaatikko.)

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One thought on “European Gratin

  1. I´ve noticed that all keen workers/students – usually women – have tendency to fall ill on their holidays. It´s something to do with great stress I think. On of my classmates took our 3 years studying in a very relaxed way and she had only few flus/headaches etc. AND she graduated just like everyone else. I graduated too, but with much more headaches.
    Hope you will have a reaaallllly relaxing holiday – you need it.

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