It's Only Cold 'Outside'
I recently spent a few days staying as a guest in
the home of a Japanese family. It was the first time for them to be
'host' to a foreigner, and perhaps they were a bit apprehensive at
first, but they very quickly warmed up, soon became completely
relaxed, and then treated me pretty much like another member of the
family. For my part, as I am quite familiar with their sort of
lifestyle, I had no problems whatsoever during the stay, but simply
enjoyed the experience of being among warm friendly people.
I did encounter something though, that I hadn't
expected that I would ever see in a typical Japanese family home. All
during the time I was there, I never saw the father smoke, and in
fact, had assumed that he was a non-smoker. Actually though, like
most men of his generation, he does smoke. Where? Out on the
I'm sure you are thinking ... "Sure. Sure. His
wife must be nagging him about smoking, so he just goes out there to
get some peace and quiet ..." But she tells me that that's not the
case. Whether or not he is worried about smoking's effect on his own
body, I don't know, but he does care about his wife and children ...
so out he goes ... summer or winter.
I have mixed feelings about this. Of course, I
think if he was really considerate of his children, he would quit
completely, but that is obviously very difficult. So I'll accept him
as he is, and just be thankful that he is the kind of father who
would like to 'get along together' with his family, rather than
It might indeed be cold outside, but somebody is
warm inside ... isn't he!