#205: Winter clothes - 2010-11-29

February 5, 1995.

Atsuko woke Rosa up by pulling her hair, scolding her.

“ Ouch ”

“ What are you doing, sleeping with so little clothes! There's just two degrees! (2°C; 35.6°F) Cover yourself with the futon, or you're going to get a cold! ”

“ Noooo! It's so hot down there, it's smothering! ”

“ What? Wouldn't the kotatsu be still plugged in? ”

“ No. Remember that I unplugged it myself. ”

“ Hmm... ” - Atsuko inserted her hand beneath the futon. - “ Well, I feel it lukewarm. ”

“ Let her be, doña Atsuko. ” - Clara interrupted - “ Rosa has a different sensitivity. She doesn't like heat. ”

“ But it's so cold! At least she should put a blanket upon herself! ”

“ Rosa always goes with a short-sleeved shirt or blouse during winter. A year and a half ago, we passed winter vacations in Talca, and one day when we woke up Rosa was playing outside in the backyard, and there five degrees BELOW ZERO. (-5°C; 23°F) ”

“ Holy God! ”

“ Yeah. But, on the other hand, now when we got off the bus in Santiago, it was around noon. After we got lunch, we went to take another bus to the airport, and Rosa fainted. There were like 30°C (86°F)... ”

“ 30! It's not so much heat, like to faint! Careful, that could be low blood pressure or dehydration! ”

“ I don't know. A lady took her blood pressure and said it was normal, and Rosa always drinks a lot of water. What I know is that Rosa dislikes heat a lot, and that she enjoys cold... On the other hand, Hugo and Eliana really feel the cold... ”

“ But that's because they're more skinny. ”

Rosa fell asleep quickly, while Clara and Atsuko talked. At some minute, Atsuko called Clara for help in taking a very large and very hot pot from the kitchen. They walked outside to the street, and quickly a pickup truck arrived, with some men dressed in black, with dark eyeglasses. They did but a short, silent reverence to the housewife, and loaded the pickup with the pot, along with some sacks of sugar and some boxes with bread. Carlos appeared from inside the house, with a box of tea and another with noodled. They received them and left immediately.

“ Volunteers. They're raising Kōbe from the rubble. And meanwhile, at the town hall they have tons of noodles, medicine and other provisions stocked up, and they don't move a finger to distribute them. For those lazybones bureaucrats, following protocol and precedent is more important than caring for the life of the citizens. ”

A couple hours later, Clara woke her children up for breakfast. After that, the promised: they left the house to buy clothes, everyone except Carlos.

“ A friend of mine had a clothes store near Sannomiya. The building collapsed, so she's selling off all what she could rescue. She told me she was going to donate her earnings to a volunteers' centre, so I want you to come with me. We must go early, because many people said they would buy clothes there. ”

There was no public transport. In fact, the streets were cut at several points, because of the buildings that collapsed and fell, and that still weren't demolished. In a while, they reached a dead end caused by a building that blocked all the way.

Clara lamented herself: “ Whew! I think we must turn back. ”

But before she could turn back, Rosa and Pedro grabbed Clara by each side, and jumped with her, going up until they surpassed the building. Everyone else, even Atsuko, passed over the building by they own means.

At Hiromi's business there were already five people, four of them very old, including a lady dressed in rags. Hiromi had pity of the lady, and decided to give her all the clothes she took for free; the lady replied a bit upset, saying that she had plenty of money at that she could easily pay for these clothes.

“ Ah, Nishida-san! ” - Hiromi greeted Atsuko - “ Ohayō-san! Irasshai! ”

“ Ohayō, Hiromi-chan! Koko ni watashi no Chiri no kazoku desu. ”

“ Sugokunai ya! Prease enter, chireans, and choose arr what you wish!

“ Thanks! ” - the Martínez Gomez replied, all together, surprised by the (mispronounced) spanish of Hiromi, and started searching in what was available.

“ Don't forget you must get hold of winter boots. ” - Atsuko warned - “ Days of rain and snow await for you. ”

They all chose winter coats, except Rosa who picked a woolen sweater that she decided not to use unless it was really cold. Hugo found a white shirt that he liked a lot. Clara and Pedro picked jeans, while Juan and Hugo opted for sport trousers, the last one that remained.

Eliana didn't find trousers of her size, but she found some rather thick woolen tights, which she combined with a pleated miniskirt. Rosa wanted a skirt, but there was no skirt that she liked or was of her size.

“ Hey, try these jeans. ” - Atsuko said to Rosa.

“ No, those are very narrow! Also, I don't like wearing jeans or trousers, I prefer to wear skirts. ”

“ You shouldn't wear skirts there in Sapporo. It's very cold there, you're going to freeze. ”

“ ¿Sapporo? ”

Atsuko then noticed that between the clothes there was a very ample pair of trousers, colored watermelon green.

“ Then use this. It's almost like a long skirt. ”

Without thinking it twice, Rosa went to try them. When she returned, Atsuko said to her:

“ Hey, I was joking! You don't think of going outside like that! Do you? ”

“ Don't worry. I know they're not quite cute, but they're quite comfortable. I buy them. ”

They all stared to hor. Rosa could pass completely and without much difficulty through inside each of the legs of these trousers. Rosa didn't care about it too much, and she felt it was a change from having to show her legs, white, thick and often full of scars from thumps and other accidents.

Finally, all of it costed about 22000 yen, which is quite cheap compared to the market price of those clothes in Japan. The boots alone would have costed more than 30000 yen.