#216: Photos from our travel to Hokkaidō - 2011-03-02

Just a little while more they stayed in Otaru. Hugo already had finished a roll film cartridge, and decided to reveal it immediately. After an hour strolling around the canal and the city, they decided to return to Sapporo.


When they returned to Otaru station, they met a group of middle school children, that would go to Sapporo to see the snow festival. A japanese girl stared at Rosa and, without saying anything, proceeded to take out her school sweater, becoming dressed in a blouse, a tie and a rather short skirt. After that, she took a small pile of snow from the ground, and proceeded to apply it over her body.

- “どこから来ましたか?” - the japanese girl asked Rosa.

- “Chile. あたしはチリから。

- “そこは寒いですか?

- “いいえ。何時でも雪があらへん。時には、それは非常に暑いです!私は好きやねん!

Then, the japanese girl grabbed Rosa's arm, and let it go immediately. She quickly proceeded to put back her sweater, and entered with her classmates to one of the wagons. Rosa was indeed very cold.

- “ I guess that the people from this place must be used to live in the cold. ” - Hugo remarked.

- “ Chaunen. If it was like that, there wouldn't be central heating at the restaurants and elsewhere. Don't you think so? ”

- “ But, going like that with those miniskirts, so short... ” - Eliana added, mimicking with her own miniskirt - “ And without tights... ”

- “ But with a sweater, winter boots, thick socks, gloves... Anyways, I don't mean to compete with anyone on who resists more in the cold! That girl could get a cold! ”

- “ And you can't! ”

- “ I've never caught a cold. ”

Soon, the train would get full of people, many of them school children. Usually, there are two more class hours after lunch, so it's very rare to see school children at that time of the day. Possibly, they left school early, or maybe they're at a school field trip.


The train from Otaru to Sapporo took half an hour. Getting out from the train was very complicated, because there was a lot of people waiting to ride it. They soon returned to the square in which they threw each other snowballs during dawn.

It was full of people, many of them foreigners who travelled to see the famous Sapporo Snow Festival. There were North Americans, English, Swedes, a couple of Salvadoreans, and many groups of people who spoke languages from the Min family (Taiwan, Fujian, Hainan, etc). There was also a young couple of Chilean descent but who spoke Finnish instead of Spanish... This all gave Rosa an horrible headache, because she seemed to understand everything the tourists whispered.

The festival was magnificent. At Sapporo's central park, called Ōdori, there were installed a lot of snow statues, showing famous buildings and people, anime characters, animals. It was really beautiful.

A lady with a showel walked towards Eliana, and tried to talk with her, but Eliana couldn't understand what she said, so Rosa had to intervene.

- “ This lady is a sculptress. She built a tower and wanted Eliana to pose at the tower top like she was Rapunzel. ”

- “ Ha-ha! ” - Eliana replied - “ Tell her to bring us to her tower. ”

Before the woman could go look for the ladder, Eliana had already climbed the four meters that the tower was tall.


Eliana was then bombarded by the flashes of dozens of tourists, so she soon got off the tower.

- “ This is not what I wanted! I didn't wish to be a tourist attraction. ” - Eliana said.

- “ If you're going to keep your hair long like that, I think you should get used to being stared at by strangers. ”

- “ But I'm so ugly! It's embarrassing to me! ”

A japanese man was staring at her. A whispered “ Kawaii ” was his way to disagree with what Eliana said about herself.

- “ Kawaiinai! ” - Eliana yelled at him, and covered her face, very embarrased. ”

- “ So you're learning Japanese, too! ”

- “ Not at all! I just want to go back home! ”