Mothers are the same everywhere
The other night my friend Takao and I were driving to Tsukuba to play some pool when his cell phone began to ring. He flipped it open while driving and looked at it. I could see the squiggly incomprehensible characters of kanji on the phone screen and once again gave an inner sigh of disgust mixed with inferiority complex that the third alphabet of Japan always brings out in me. Thousands and thousands of complex looking characters that can have two or three "readings" each, which means you might as well say there are like 6000 kanji characters instead of two or three thousand. That's how I figure it at least. Takao said it was an email from his mother. He had just left a ceremony for his grandfather's death before he came to pick me up. His grandfather had died a hundred days before and in Buddhist ritual on the hundredth day after the death, a ceremony to honor the dead is performed, and if memory serves me correct they are no longer referred to by their earthly name, but by their "Buddhist" second name afterwards. Don't quote me on that part, though. In any case, Takao lit some incense and prayed and did the various rituals he's supposed to do for that ceremony and then headed over to my place. His mom emailed him to say, "The police are out all over Tsukuba county tonight, so be careful driving!" I had to laugh so hard because my mom always does the same thing. Even when I didn't live at home anymore, she'd call and leave me emails warning me of various police patrols and dangers to beware of. I swear she watched the news of where I lived like a hawk so she could deliver these foreboding messages. Takao asked why I was laughing and I explained and then we both had a good laugh because it was so funny to know that wherever you go in the world, mothers are all the same.