Friday, 25 April 2008


The vestlings took over the house at half six this morning. Mountain roots were a brewed and bamboo shoots were a cut. I wasn't in the best of spirits - being intruded upon that early still in my PJS and with two unfed, un-dressed under twos. I had to take M with me when I dropped S off at kindy because twenty vestlings attending to mountain roots does not a baby sitter make.

By about half ten all the preparations for the rice had finished and the ten men were trying to figure out what type of string was the penultimate string for attaching the 'osettai - get your free lunch here' flag to our garden fence. Christ, where is McGyver when you need him. Defiantely not in or even remotely close to, within the vacinity of, or flying over Kunimi.

Q. How many vestlings does it take to cook a pot of mountain roots?

A. About as many men as it takes to cut four pices of string.

People started to arrive at about 11 - to pray at the alter (see pic) and then scoff down a free plate of rice or two. The alter has all the bottles of sake that people brought round to have offered to the gods, the gods of Aramaki. I wonder what happens to it all. I know a couple of bottles got poured down the throats of a few of the locals but the other twenty or so bottles..... ??? The vestlings are coming round at 8 tomorrow morning for the clean up so maybe I will find out then. Watch this space.

I would say that all together about three hundred people came to pray across a three hour or so period. Knew loads of people and M was of course the star attraction. The jolly jumper was great and it appears that all of a sudden Granny K is a fan of all things foreign, jumpy and jolly!

After the 'osettai' ended all the vestlings stayed on for dinner IN the house. I was very chilled about everything until someone started to smoke. It was only the single vestling husband but still... I scooped up the kids and came into the TV room. Granny K noticed my hasty departure and whispered into the ear of her vestling friend why I had left. There wasn't a scene though and the man in question only got two fags in before everyone left.

The kids didn't get bathed until half seven but they were both sound asleep by ten past eight - as is hub now. snoring on the floor at half nine. There is still half a bottle of champers from our 'toast Granny B' champers I bought this evening. I should probably polish it off just to be representing the family on this half of the pacific. I will no doubt be regretting it at three in the morning when I have to come downstairs to make M a bottle but what's a woman to do?

Should probably get this lump off to bed.



tj-injapan said...

you should keep all these posts so that you can make a book out of YOUR life in the inaka!

No, I take that back....
no-one would believe that these things actually happen!lol.

Ruth said...

I knew Osettai would be a momentous occasion. Maybe you can make some of those bottles of shochu disappear before the vestlings get back tomorrow morning. You can pretend its the gaijin way of helping to clean up (lol).

I'm also really sorry about your Granny, but as you said it was great that everyone got to be with her when she died. It is very surreal being away when things like that happen. You want to be there for your family but in a way it feels like its happening to someone else coz you're not in the midst of it all. (My Granny and a friend of Dad's died while I was in Kakaji).

Looking forward to hearing all about the osettai clean-up aftermath. I'm wondering how many it will take to get it all back down again?? You've got to love inaka. I will definitely buy your book!