The Bento Special ‘take away.’

Image result for Bento box


With the heat wave of the last few weeks and being holed up in our air-conditioned home, we do try and go out each day. The usual procedure is to take a break and drive to the shopping mall close by. Both of us were born in cold countries. Finland has each year a winter that is now being experienced in the US.  Holland is mainly a rainy and wet place with gale force westerlies buffeting the flat landscape. Near the coast the trees lean permanently towards the east as a result of those winds.  The heatwaves in Australia make the birds listless and the dogs depressed. We don’t like this heat!

Last Saturday, again a scorcher, with the temperature gauge on my iPhone rapidly rising from 21C to 36C within an hour. We drove again to this shopping mall. We don’t do shopping there but this time we combined getting a new disposal bin for the kitchen. What we really go there for, is the Japanese Bento Special. It has been our daily lunch. While the relentless heat lasts we will continue to repeat this nice procedure.

Before we left we had a good fight about the necessity to buy this kitchen bin. The old one, a white plastic one with a swing lid was good enough for me. I am in charge of disposing kitchen waste that cannot be recycled, so felt it was fair for me to keep to the status quo regarding the bin. Helvi said that she can smell this bin and as she is a strong woman, felt we should buy another stainless steel bin. ‘I want a pedal one’, she said with determination. No matter what bin, it does need a plastic liner. Again, it has come about through marital habit, that I take out this plastic liner when full. I tie it up, go outside to the garbage bin and chuck it in. This, in the heat, is where I get hit with the bad stench. Helvi never does that.

We drove to the shopping centre in silence. I noticed a strange vibration on my steering wheel together with an unusual, and repetitive sound. I stopped the car and looked at the tyres and the rest of the car. It all seemed alright. No flat tyres. The car has an amazing array of warning signals. In the handbook between page 27 and 34 it explains all the different lights that can indicate a problem. A light came on which signals that I should ‘initialise’ tyre pressure. The car did have a problem. I explained to Helvi that the noise of the car was not very nice and worrisome. However, she was still showing signs of mulling about the bin. (I had already agreed and capitulated to go for the stainless-steel bin) I know her well and she knows me. In time it would come good. For the moment she wasn’t talking and could not care less about the car’s tyre situation. I hoped her mood would swing back to her usual good cheer.

It did, but only after we had eaten the Bento-special.  It is a lovely combination of raw fish salmon with some rice and various bits of health, wrapped in sea-weed. Of course, in the mall itself, and the ‘food-court’  many people were seen grazing out of those beakers and polystyrene containers full of KFC’s abominable chicken nuggets while drinking Coke or slurping smoothies.You could tell the ones on KFC and the healthier Japanese-Korean take away, just by their body sizes.

When we got home I discovered a huge bolt complete with washer embedded in the middle of my front tyre. I did not take it out and waited for the NRMA to change the tyre. The kitchen is now adorned with a new gleaming stainless-steel bin. It is a 25 litre one and pedal operated.

All is good and peaceful again.

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31 Responses to “The Bento Special ‘take away.’”

  1. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    What is it with bolts in tyres ? I’ve had two in the last couple of months. I don’t remove them either but we have a convenient local type guy who fixes them in about 30 seconds with a nifty awl-like device. A smal rubber asp and a fair bit of pushing, pulling and grunting.

    $20 donation and we are back on the Riad again (cue Willy Nelson).

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I was surprised about the size of this bolt. It was a hexenal headed screw with a washer behind it. The sort they use on zinc roofs (rooves). Was it a revengeful act by our cyclamen thieving neighbour? But she is 87! Not likely, Trouserzoff.

      My spare was a space saving tyre. It was not to be driven on for long distances. It looked more like a motor cycle tyre.
      Anyway, the tyre was fixed and plugged where the bolt used to be.
      It cost me $35.-.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leggypeggy Says:

    Glad you missed having a flat tyre. Enjoy the new bin.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Robert Parker Says:

    If you hadn’t agreed to the new bin, you’d undoubtedly have had a flat, and never made it to the Bento box restaurant. It’s -26C. here, I’d rather be hanging out with the listless creatures in the heat, sounds pretty good right now. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are right, Robert. Agreeing to the new bin was not a big deal. In marriages it is give and take. Those little things can flare up during the heat. Even after almost 53 years, one still is circling around seeking positions to defend, in changing domestic issues.

      Yes, winter has the US in its icy embrace. I know it well having lived in Finland a long time ago.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Robert Parker Says:

        A lot of Finns & Norwegians settled in Wisconsin, (and some Dutch in Sheboygan county), but next-door, in Minnesota, every third person is descended from Scandinavians. I think they ordered this subzero weather, and it was delivered here by mistake. If we could just work out an exchange program with Australia – – a few cool breezes for you, and a bit of warm sunshine for us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I wasn’t aware so many Scandinavians went to the US. Robert.
        I know Helvi’s father lived in Canada for a while but came back to Finland, got married at 45 years and had nine children.


  4. janesmudgeegarden Says:

    I love Japanese food too and yours looks delicious. When is this dreadful heat going to end? A couple of nights ago, we had a rousing ( to say the least) thunderstorm which brought us 33mm of very welcome, but now we’re back to the hot weather again and it’s windy too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Jane. Today, a hot one again but this afternoon the temperature is supposed to drop to 19C. We can’t wait.
      The Bento today was a mini one. We both had a good breakfast.

      My iPhone died just after the one year warranty had died as well. So we drove to the Telstra phone shop at the shopping centre.
      I have just set up the new one and am so proud of having achieved that with the complications of transferring photos, passwords and codes texted to my new iPhone.

      iPhone and computer issues easily get loaded with marital tension but more at my end than Helvi’s. She is the sturdy straight sailor enjoying clear air and blowing breeze.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. freefall852 Says:

    The bolt in the tyre was “Karma”… warned, Gerard…women have strange powers and are in constant psychic communications with various Gods….In Italy, it is only the women who can reveal and remove the “Malocchio” ..and if you are not sufficiently ” generous” in your thankfullness, they can just as easy put it back on again as your foot steps outside their door!
    Be thankful Helvi didn’t ask for a steel spike to go through the tyre, because it would have been YOU outside in the heat waving the NRMA van down!
    You have been warned!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I find it odd how a bolt can go through a tyre with the washer as well. I haven’t had that done ever. But Trouserzoff had two of those recently. What is going on here?
      The NRMA man was very friendly. Lean and fit. His wagon was impressive. Now there is a job that must give a lot of satisfaction. Relieving anxious car drivers and getting them back on the road again.


      • freefall852 Says:

        Odd..yes…I wasn’t going to mention this next “incident” with my good lady…Not wanting to instigate any new Salem style or medieval witch hunt, But just has happened numerous times before, I got a political “Robo Survey” over the land-line phone…I always hand the receiver over to Irene when these call come in…she revels in them, punching the numbers selected in with a robust strike of her finger..and I can state with eerie and suspicious premonition….you know..( lowers voice to a whisper) she ALWAYS gets them right!!…..


      • auntyuta Says:
        Robo Surveys! What next? This kind of technology would just be too much for me. There may be something in Karma, however, I am sure that Helvi would be only too glad now that it was ‘only’ a simple screw. Enjoy that nice shiny bin, Gerard, and keep exercising on it to your heart’s content! 🙂


  6. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Good! 🙂
    Smart man! 🙂
    Happy wife, happy life! 😉

    OOH! I love Japanese food! Oh, any Asian food! Your meal looks yummy! 🙂

    It’s interesting the little things we married people discuss and fuss over. Ha! It’s that way sometimes with me and my hubby. And, yet, on all the big things, on the important things, on the love, support, etc., we mesh beautifully. 🙂

    I sure do appreciate good men, like you, Gerard…who are willing to bow and make their wives happy. 🙂 Thank you for being a good man!

    Please stay cool and safe!
    Cool HUGS to you and Helvi!
    PS…I must admit I got some chuckles while reading this post. AND you are such a good writer, Gerard! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Carolyn. A happy wife is what makes marriages stay together.
      I was trying to stick to the plastic bin but I could see it would ruin the day. Where would we be without a woman? In the garden of Eden eating an apple and that can get very boring.
      Glad you like my writing, thank you. You are so kind.
      Hugs too,

      Liked by 2 people

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        HA! You make me laugh! 😀 Yes, who wants to be in a garden eating apples! 😉 😛

        I was one of 8 siblings…so I am a pretty good compromise-r. I rarely got my way growing up…so I’m good at letting my first-born (in his family) hubby have his way. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  7. freefall852 Says:

    I’m not that keen on Japanese food..especially those raw Sushi things…sure, they look pretty, all colour-coordinated with the dark seaweed wrappings and those fine lines of another vegetable matter giving a “sketched” look about them…But then you Dutch have a tradition with that other curious seafood dish..: “roll-mops”….another dish I try to avoid…and of course, we know of the deep-north denizens and their familiarity with various raw fish dishes…I don’t know…what’s wrong with a damn good lasagne?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. shoreacres Says:

    Sorry, but if I were in the food court with you, I’d be munching on the chicken. Granted, I haven’t had KFC in several years, but if the choice were that or raw fish, I’m taking the chicken. I tried to develop a taste for other kinds of sushi, and succeeded to a degree, but seaweed’s not on my personal menu either. Now, a nice grilled salmon steak or mahi-mahi? That’s something different. I do love fish and seafood, as long as it’s cooked.

    (However: ceviche is an in-between treat, between raw and cooked, that’s especially nice, too — if you can make it with very freshly caught fish.)

    As for the plastic vs. stainless, I’m agnostic: either would do. My biggest trash problem just now is an across-the-hall neighbor who refuses to abide by our trash rules. It’s going to be time to have another talk with management tomorrow. The details don’t matter; getting it resolved does.

    It is good you got home safely, and weren’t stranded out in that heat with a flat tire!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Ceviche is something we had a long time ago, when a Peruvian born friend visited us. It is lovely and I should really make it one day.
      That heat came to a sudden end yesterday afternoon and this morning the temperature was 13C.At the moment it is just 16C so, back on the heating! Unbelievable.

      My love of raw fish established itself early. As a boy I used to ride my bike to Scheveningen which is the sea- port of The Hague. I loved watching the fishing boats come in. They were still using sails then.

      Sometimes fishermen would drown during terrible storms while away for long period fishing for herrings at the Doggers-Bank near England.. The wives would be waiting wearing dark-brown long billowing skirts at the end of the quay, hoping for their husbands to be safe and well.

      I used to come home with fresh salted herrings. They were beautiful with some chopped up raw onion.
      As for plastic versus steel. As long as it looks aesthetic adhering to the rules of beauty is what both of us prefer. That plastic bin irritated Helvi more than me. It is more of a Finnish thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. freefall852 Says:

    Talking about fishing…:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I’ve been reading about your heat wave, Gerard. It sounds horrific. An air-conditioned mall would make a nice break. Laughed about the bin. Lose some, win some! –Curt


  11. rangewriter Says:

    Well, glad to know that outing had a happy ending. Ah, the wisdom of the long-married! I am sorry you are dealing with this awful heatwave. I heard the cause of it as it relates to the polar vortex that’s causing all the trouble in central and eastern America. But I also heard that it has been SO hot in Australia that even horses had to be euthanized. Heartbreaking. I’m glad you and Helvi have air conditioning. The alternative is not good.


  12. jennypellett Says:

    All very well till the pedal mechanism gives up. The Bento box looks delicious.


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