Wednesday, January 09, 2008

We Apologize for the Inconvenience

The Mushroom

As the reader may readily discover by scrolling down to the previous entry, I have not updated this blog since July 17 of last year. By that time my entries were already few and far between due to my heavy workload of online seminary courses. Then the whole poison mushroom episode transpired and I am just now beginning to catch up with life. It happened thus:

On July 30 our close friends, a dear middle-aged couple who shall remain--for the purposes of this post--anonymous invited us over for mushroom stew. My wife Yuko had already read on Mr. Anonymous' blog that he had received, from a close relative, a suspicious-looking mushroom which the said relative insisted was not "suspicious" since he had harvested it from his own mushroom patch or mushroom farm or mushroom bed or whatever you call a mushroom growing operation. The blog entry included a photo of the said mushroom, which I have pirated and reposted here for the reader's edification (on the odd chance that anyone is still checking in on Gaijin for Life).

Anyway, when we got to their house the mushroom no longer looked so suspicious as it was chopped up and hidden in a nabe of chicken stew. It tasted suspiciously bitter, though, and was in consequence discreetly avoided by all present, but less so by me than by others (I'm not sure if I was being extremely polite or just ridiculously rash). Anyway, we went home and took a bath and Yuko started throwing up and then I started throwing up and we kept on throwing up in violently dramatic ways until Grace started throwing up in bed, at which point I loaded everyone in the car and drove to Oma hospital where we continued to throw up for an audience of doctors and nurses working the late night shift. Fortunately none of us had imbibed enough of the poison mushroom for it to be fatal. Grace, who being the youngest (exactly one year old) and therefore the most vulnerable, had only eaten a couple of pieces of chicken from the stew since our hostess had insisted that mushrooms aren't an appropriate food for babies. She therefore recovered just fine after throwing up twice. Yuko, who ate a single mouthful, ended up with an IV needle stuck in her arm. As for myself, I ate two whole pieces, refused all medical treatment, and I'm still not sure if I've fully recovered yet.

Around five in the morning we excused ourselves from the emergency room and drove three hours to Aomori Airport where we picked up Nozomu (the seven-year-old son of family friends who stayed with us for two weeks) and then went to Moya Camp to help with the Living English Seminar. It was weeks before we caught up on sleep, and I still feel tired from it. However, this is a new year, and I have resolved to update this blog--in consultation with my wife--once a week. Perhaps I will be able to slip in a couple of catch up posts as well, to project some online light into the cyber-darkness of our past six months.

P.S. My trusty laptop died on November 12 and I have been using Mac OS X version 10.2.8 on my wife's ancient TiBook (i.e. PowerBook G4). This seriously impedes my ability to work with my image and video files, but I will do my best. And by next summer I hope to purchase either a 15.4" 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro ($1,999 Canadian with student discount) or Everex's proposed sub $300 laptop that runs gOS and is supposed come out sometime this year.