It's quite hard for me to make friends in my neighbourhood, apart from the fact that everyone is a little bit wary of the resident gaijin, I'd say about 80% of the folks in our hood' are over 60, not that I'm opposed to having tea and biccies with a granny once in a while, but still. 100% of my little dirt path are old, like olllld old, and weird! I think I wrote a post detailing all the funny characters on our little street, you can find the post here. Oh, link not working?? Then go find it yourself, lazy bastard!
There is one house on the corner, that has the 5 yappy little dogs, and the mum of the house is kind of friends with MIL and in her 40's, so young for around these parts. She's always been a bit standoff-ish for my liking, but pleasant enough in the greetings department and an animal lover, so she always asks after our cat and I ask after her dogs (not that I really care, but you do what you have to to be polite.) So her name is Kana-chan, and last week I got a mail from MIL asking if I wanted to go to an Indian restaurant with her and Kana-chan. This was totally out of the blue I might add, MIL and I are actually really good mates, but we're not really the 'go shopping and do coffee' types. We're more 'compare diet notes and bitch about Ryota in the comfort of one of our own houses' types actually. But I do admit to often feeling a little left out when MIL and SIL go on shopping or lunch dates. My mum and I often did this together at home and if I see them coming home from shopping I do get pangs of jealousy and homesickness, but then I realise I would rather eat glass than go shopping with SIL and it doesn't feel that bad...
Back to the lunch mail, SIL was working (her 1 day a week) that day so I know I was 2nd choice, and I also know MIL doesn't really like doing things with just Kana-chan, she likes a buffer there to make conversation, but still, an invite is an invite and I accepted.
I went in my car so if things got boring or awkward I could make an excuse and get away easily, and we got to the place with no problems. The walk to the restaurant was pretty weird though, I wasn't quite sure what we were all going to talk about. When we sat down inside, MIL and Kana-chan instantly started discussing the staff in hushed voices...
"The really dark one, is looking over here!! Do you think he speaks Japanese?!?!" (Kana-chan)
"They must speak Japanese, or maybe they have Japanese wives who coach them?? But could they marry a Japanese woman??" (MIL)
"Nooooo, I bet they all live together and sleep on one futon!" (Kana-chan)
I tried to bury my head in the menu and cringed as MIL's famous booming voice echoed through the restaurant. I also tried to stop them before they got really in to their debate by asking them what they were going to order. They then declared I was the Indian food queen and that I should order whatever I thought was good. This is kind of true, I LOVE Indian food, so I ordered something that I thought they wouldn't scrunch their faces up and say "Ewwwww toooo spicy!!!" at, when we ordered our curry I made sure they got the mild spice and I got the extra bastard hot spicy one, to which they started marvelling over how strong I was, I tried to teach them "Iron-clad stomach" in English too but they just weren't getting it.
Luckily, the conversation didn't turn back to our friendly Indian waiter, but to much more juicier topics such as what freaks Kana-chan and MIL have as children. Kana-chan has two boys, one is the same age as BIL and semi-normal, but the other kid is a few sandwiches short of a picnic and a TOTAL manga nerd. You know those creepy J-guys that have dates with their blow up cos-play dolls and end up going mental stabbing people in Akihabura...? Yup, he's one of those. I always see him out walking one of the dogs in old kimono style pyjamas, which is fine. If you're an 80 year old man... Kid in his 20's, yup just weird. Kana-chan was sighing that he will never get out of the house and get a job because he just reads manga all day. I had no advice...
The topic then switched to SIL, which is something I always enjoy a bit of a gossip about, MIL started complaining that SIL too, while not a manga nerd, is also a freak who she fears will never leave her house. I didn't bitch too much, because she is still MIL's daughter and all, but when we had that massive fight MIL actually apologised on her behalf, so even she knows how unreasonable her own daughter can be. She then went on to tell us she was afraid that SIL would remain a virgin for the rest of her life and end up an old spinster with dogs and cats. (I resisted the urge to add that she would spend all day fucking the poor animals...)
We also had a big gossip about MIL's ex (FIL) and how much of an arse he really was cheating and stuff. This then led to Kana-chan to be quizzed on her boyfriend. I was unaware there was a boyfriend until this point so was very intrigued. Her husband is a nice enough bloke, he reminds me of a big bear, tall and fat and solid with a deep voice. Apparently Kana-chan's 25, yes 25!!! year old boyfriend has moved to Tokyo for work but they still keep in contact through mail and phone. Now Kana-chan is no knockout, she's tiny, like seriously bordering on midget and has a pinched face like she's always sucking a lemon, so I don't know what the 25 year old boyfriend is thinking, perhaps he's a manga nerd too and she's a step up from blow up dolls??
She told us the story of when her husband found a mail on her phone from her boyfriend and threw the phone off the 3rd floor balcony. I wanted more juicy details on this but was astounded when she told me that he never actually said anything to her about it, just threw the phone and went to bed, she only realised when she went outside and saw her phone in bits on the ground. What the hell?!
Amused at my amazement she also told me about the time when she was with her boyfriend but told her husband she was with her friend and he checked up on her, discovered she was lying, and just locked her out of the house. No argument, no accusations. Just locked out until the morning when he went to work. She had to sleep at MIL's house!! I know Japan is all about no confrontations but this is taking it a bit too far don't you think!?
All in all it wasn't a bad lunch, plus the guy behind the glass cooking our meal was very good looking and I had fun eyeing him off all lunch, I really wish I'd been with native English speakers though, I wanted to say something like "I'd let him slap my naan any time!!" but if I translated it to Japanese it just wouldn't have worked...
I was actually surprised at how much gossip they dished to me, and was glad it wasn't all awkward chit-chat about the weather, less racism towards the poor Indian dudes would have been nice, but... you can't win them all eh.
Are your in-laws lunchable without your spouse??