I broke his spell

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves.”

I eat to live. Not live to eat. If someone invents a pill of perfect nutritional food, I would happily take it every day. I can spend my shopping, cooking, eating, and dishing time on other more exciting things.

When my husband and I were newlyweds, he was always relaxed at the sofa while I was cooking. One day, I got irritated about his attitude and asked him “Don’t you feel anything? Why can you do this? Do you think only I have to cook because I am a woman? Do you think cooking is women’s job?”

Then, he innocently replied, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were thinking like that. I don’t think cooking is women’s job or only women should do it. But…women loves cooking for someone who they love?”
“I have believed women want to cook for their lovers. Don’t they? Am I wrong?”
I was speechless.

After I overcame the shock, I explained women’s thought in detail to him as a representative of women. We (or I) love cooking for our lovers on special occasions, not three times every day. Then, it was his turn to overcome a shock. He was dazed on the sofa for a while.

Now I can relax by reading books, watching TV, and surfing the Internet every Saturday afternoon, while he is cooking our lunch.

By the way, I recently found that keeping something is equally difficult. Keeping your body shape is difficult. Keeping your grades at school is difficult. Keeping saving money, keeping a diary, keeping being a nice person…each of them is difficult. So, it’s no wonder keeping your house clean is also difficult.


What will happen if I become Prime Minister of the ‘Net?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “New Internet Order.”

Uh…if I asked to run for Prime Minister of the ‘Net, I would accept without knowing how important the job is.

“Okay, I can be a good Prime Minister, if you insist, though I’m not sure what to do.”

My rivals could lead me into traps easily. I would be accused of assault, corruption, incompetence, tax evasion, etc. Instantly, people would remove me from the cabinet. I would enter history books as the shortest serving Prime Minister of the ‘Net.


First Trip Abroad

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Journey.”

My first trip abroad was visiting my aunt’s family in the USA during my summer vacation in college. It was my first flight and I needed to transfer at the second largest airport in the world then. I had been learning English for 7 years already but all my experience was only in the classroom. All the people who I had spoken English with were teachers and classmates. The trip was quite an adventure for me. I who had never flown and  never spoken English outside classroom, went abroad alone and needed to transfer by myself in a large airport.

However, fools rush where angels dare to tread. I was young. Somehow I  was confident in my ability. I can do it. Why not?

In the airplane, I was comfortable because most of the passengers were compatriots and looked familiar to me. The cabin crews treated me nicely and the person who sit next to me was really kind to me.

After the plane arrived at O’Hare International Airport,  I was thoroughly alone. All the passengers were busy going toward their destinations and all staff at the airport were busy with their  work. Although I needed to go to the domestic departure area and find the gate for my next flight, I wasn’t sure what the map on the wall told and couldn’t find anyone to ask. Then, I tried go to the gate by myself while I wasn’t sure how. As a result of it, I was completely lost.

As the time for the departure was coming,  finally the full-of-confidence I was getting nervous. I really needed to find someone to ask. I made up my mind to ask a woman who was working busily in a counter of my next flight airline company. I showed her my ticket board, pointed out the printed gate number, and said “I want to go to this place.” Then she gestured me to wait and talked to her co-worker if she knows how to explain the way to the gate. The co-worker looked wondering why she asked such easy thing. Then the first female clerk whispered to her, and I could heard it very clearly, “She can’t speak English.”

What? Didn’t I speak English? I said “I want to go to this place,” didn’t I?
Perhaps, my voice was too small and it sounded just a mumbling.

Kindly, the second clerk drew the airport map for me and explained the way easily. I said thank you to her and left there. Thinking “they don’t understand my English at all?!” Honestly, I was about to cry. On the way to the gate, everyone, including the airport staff and passengers, all looked like English teachers for me. While I was walking, someone called “Hey! Miss!” behind me but I couldn’t stop to check if the person called me or not.

Thanks to the easy map, I arrived at the gate quite before the departure time. I felt relieved. I thought I had enough time to call my aunt to say my trip was quite well so far. I found public phones near the gate. I stood in front of one of the phones and put my luggage between my legs. My travel agency told me many times not to leave my luggage even in a second.

I inserted as many coins as  possible to the phone because I was not sure how much it cost. I dialed my aunt’s phone number and waited a second looking forward to my aunt’s surprising voice: “Wisskko! Are you already in America? And you are calling me from the airport! How wonderful!” Then, I heard someone’s voice who I don’t know and she kept speaking English. Who is this?! Did I dial a wrong number?! What is she talking about?!

I couldn’t understand what she was saying but she kept asking me something. I didn’t know what to do. I just hanged up. Later, I learned that when you make a long distance call, an operator asks you to check if you have enough coins for the call before she connects the line at that time in the USA. Of course, I didn’t know that.

You can imagine how happy I was when I saw my aunt’s family were waving at me at their local airport, can’t you?


I’m not sure why she said it

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cringe-Worthy.”

I sometimes see a mother yelling at her child harshly in a supermarket, a station, or at a restaurant.

“How many times should I tell you this?!!” “…”
“I told you not to do this again and again. Don’t you Remember?!!!” “…”
“Do you hear me?!!!!” “…”

Everyone around them is startled and looks at them from a distance.
I don’t like those rough voices because they make me very uncomfortable. I don’t want to hear such voices.


I have a story which in I still don’t understand what my friend’s intentions were for a decade.

A decade ago, I was having lunch with my friends at a local restaurant. Each of us were with our children. I forgot the exact number of us but perhaps we were five or six mothers with a child each. We were having a good time chatting in a cozy restaurant.

Suddenly, one of the mothers started yelling at her child. She kept blaming him as loudly as everyone in the restaurant could hear. The relaxed atmosphere had changed in a moment. I forgot why she was so upset but perhaps it was because the child wouldn’t eat carrots, or he wiped his dirty hand with sauce on his clothes, or something like that. As for me, such behavior is not good but not that bad. In my opinion, ruining a nice lunch is worse. I wanted her to stop shouting but I couldn’t find any words to stop her.

Then, another mother of us said to the shouting mother, with a big smile, “Oh, I’m very impressed. You are so brave. If I were you, I couldn’t teach my child how to behave in a restaurant as you do. I’m ashamed but my priority is how others look at me, not how I should be as a mother. You are a wonderful mother. I should emulate you as a model of a good mother.”

I was not sure whether she said it seriously or she just wanted to stop the harsh voice. Or did she use sarcasm?



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forgive and Forget?.”

It was always my mother who hurt me.

“Your sister is cuter, of course.”
“You got only 90% at the exam? Ha!”
When I got 100% and handed it to her, she just glanced it without saying anything.

When the doctor warned me of the possibility that my upcoming baby was too small and I was really worried about it, she asked me how much the baby was estimated to weigh and said “Oh, that’s bad. It’s too small.”

When I was taking chemo 5 years ago, “Everyone can see that’s a wig.” “You look vicious without your eyebrows and eyelashes.”

When I threw my anger to her finally in my 30s, “I didn’t know that you kept holding such grudges. But all of them was your fault. I didn’t mean to hurt you at all. You should accept others’ ways of thinking.”

I had been thinking I would never forgive her.

However. You never know what is going to happen. This world is full of wonder.

One day when she turned 70, suddenly, I realized she was not an evil mother but just an old woman who needed someone’s help. Someone should help this old woman standing and smiling in front of me.

“This is unfair! I have the right to blame her. She deserves being blamed for the rest of her life!” My heart screamed.

Yet I had to admit that a part of me already forgave her. She became old. She looked small and fragile. The person who I’d hated for a long time didn’t exist any more.

Now I visit her once a month and we enjoy chatting. She is polite to me now because she looks forward to seeing me.

This evening, she called me to say “thank you” for the flowers I sent as a Mother’s Day’s gift.


Special Sandwich for Me

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “You, the Sandwich.”

If a restaurant were to name something after me, it would be…”wisskko’s grandma’s get-well-soon sandwich.”

When I was a child, my mother had a full-time job. I was raised by my grandmother. Whenever I stayed home sick from school, she made lunch for me. Usually she cooked rice porridge because it’s easy to digest. However, when I was getting better and my appetite was getting back, she always made some special sandwiches for me. I’ve never seen that she used any bread except the sandwich. Maybe sandwich was a symbol of something “modern”, “westernized”, “her-granddaughter-must-like” for her.

I still make this sandwich for myself when I catch a cold. It gives me a lot of energy.

ingredients: sliced bread, egg, ham, cabbage, margarine, mayonnaise, ketchup

1. Toast sliced bread slightly
2. Beat eggs and fry it as thin as possible (like a sheet of paper)
(Add salt and pepper to the egg if you like)
3. Slice cabbage as thin as possible
4. Spread margarine on the toasts
5. Put ham, egg, cabbage, mixture of mayo and ketchup on a toast and cover it with another toast
6. Press the sandwich softly a few times
7. Cut it into two or four
Voila! Here’s wissiko’s grandma’s get-well-soon sandwich! Bon appetit!


I Hated Living in a Rural Community

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Idyllic.”

When I was young, I hated the strongly-bonded rural community of my hometown. Everyone knew everyone. It often happened that when I was walking on the street, I overheard some old women whispering “Who’s that girl?” “Ah, she is the first grandchild of K(my grandfather).” I didn’t need to  introduce myself to anyone because they knew me already. They knew why I was scolded by my mother yesterday and what my favorite songs were when I hummed in the bath. At that time, I thought my ideal community was in a big urban city, where people don’t know each other even if they live next door. In such places, I can be free!

Fortunately, my dream came true. I went to an university located in the middle of a big city and moved there. Some of you might think I felt lonely but actually I didn’t. I enjoyed my freedom. It was great. I didn’t feel homesick at all, rather I felt excited because I was released from the strong bond.

Living alone brought me not only a free life but also a responsibility. I quit drinking only soda and started drinking milk because only I can take care of my health. I went to bed earlier than when I was with my parents because I had to wake up by myself on the next morning. I thought I became more mature.

After I married, after I had a child, I kept visiting my parents’ house in my hometown at least a couple of times a year. I still didn’t feel any special nostalgia.

It happened suddenly.

One day, while I was visiting my parents’ house, I was walking with my child on the street. One of the neighbors found us and started to talk. Like we are close relatives. “Wisskko! Long time no see! Since when? I vividly remember about your kindergarten age…Look! Is this your child? He looks very smart!…blah blah blah” All I could was just smiling and trying to remember who the old woman was.

It was my school friend’s mother. She was so kind to us. Then, suddenly, surprisingly, I felt such a relationship wasn’t so bad. Still, I can’t say that’s my ideal but I have to admit that a strongly-bonded rural community has some positive points. It was a surprise to me.

In conclusion, people change.