Sunday, February 7, 2010

Otaru and Sapporo

For those of you who were expecting this yesterday, my apologies. I had it all typed up in Word and was ready to copy and paste it when I was called away for work so I locked the computer. An hour later I returned to find someone else on my computer. He had walked in and gone straight to the locked computer since it was by the phone. Seeing I had locked the computer, he merely restarted the computer so he could use it. He didn't even bother to check if the next computer, the one next to the phone that worked but people didn't use, was open (which it was), he just worked on automatic, his mind on calling his girlfriend, not on the fact that I usually didn't lock a computer. He just assumed I was gone and didn't need what was on that computer. Basically his thoughtlessness cost me the work I'd spent all morning and half the afternoon working on intermitantly. Yeah, just another puzzle piece on a horrible day wher5e nothing went like it was supposed to.
Anyway, my first day on the Northern island of Hokkiado I went out with my friend S, who was also from the Midwest, although she hails from Michigan. We got off the bus and frolicked in the snow (a mini snowball fight, more laughter than snow flying) before ducking into the mall with big smiles to warm up. I'd forgotten how much fun snow was, I hadn't seen it since Christmas 2008 and niether had S. Needless to say we had fun. We got through the mall, stopping at a crepe store for a strawberry custard crepe, before getting on the train to Sapporro. Crepes seem to be really popular in Japan, I find them in most food courts, which is just fine by me. :)
We got to Sapporro after dark so we saw the Snow Festival with all lights. Our first stop was on Otari street where snow figures about 45 feet tall are lit up each year. I got pictures of one ice castle lit in an array of pastel lights and massive busts of the Disney characters in snow in another statue. The other huge snow sculpture was of different animal scenes at different heights. One of the parts I recall is a small part that showed King Kong tied up as he was at the theater. The depiction showed him about human height.
The next thing we did was eat. It was 5:30, we were cold and hungry so we decided to skip the rest of that site and get food. We walked down the main street and found an Indian restaurant that served some very good curry. Now thawed out, we again braved the cold for the snow sculptures at the Susukino site where there should have been about a hundred sculptures but we got there at the very beginning of the festival when they were still making most of the sculptures. I did get a number of pictures.
I'm sorry, I really don't feel poetic like I did yesterday. This was much more detailed yesterday.
The next day I spent shopping with D, or I should have. I told her I wanted us to leave late morning, she didn't wake up until after 2 in the afternoon. When we were finally on the bus she made a comment that she wanted a picture "before the transfermation". She didn't realize all night how that upset me. Why is it that most of my friends get all excited about "transforming" me or "making me over"? I realize I'm basically a blank slate compared to them who spend hours getting their hair perfect or an hour layering on makeup and an hour or so picking out their clothes. I like being able to be ready in a half hour in jeans and a shirt, little or no makeup and maybe ten minutes on my hair. I like being comfortable. I agree that I'm an adult and need some older looking clothes, some stuff to dress up in, but that doesn't mean I'm going to miraclously change and spend an hour on myself just to go to the grocery store.
Anyways, add to that the fact that clothes shopping is not my usual choice of passtime. I'm very picky with what I wear and have a hard time picking out things to buy in Japan. Clothes that most Japanese girls have no problem mixing and matching are a little to funky or frilly for me. They have no trouble mixing patterns while I generally go for solids with a few accents. Any patterns I have are carefully picked and well liked. Also, she brought a guy along without asking me. I'd already told her that I'm uncomfortable around new people, especailly the guys I don't know, ones I've never spoken to. Needless to say I didn't exactly have a good time shopping. I did find some stuff to buy, spending more than planned that also added to my happy disposition. The only real highlight of my night was "texting" (the Japanese phones make it more like emailing than texting) with a friend. It was nice to talk to someone who hadn't annoyed me that night.
Yeah, so that was the perfect set up to the day I was forced to stay at work and everything went wrong. This morning I stayed in bed until after one and woke up civil and am now going to watch a good action movie. Hopefully I will be in a good mood tomorrow when everyone comes back to work.
Well, this is Li'l B wishing you all a nice week and signing off for now.