Working Holiday on Otaru Project

WHOOP it up!「もりのきヘルパー's Blog」

Thank you for Neil

2014.05.01 Thursday | by まさ@もりのき
Thank you for your help. (11 days) 
Neil from UK.
2014.04 (whooper 133) 
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Thank you for Neil.

2014.05.01 Thursday | by まさ@もりのき
Thank you for your help. (11 days) 
Neil from UK.
2014.04 (whooper 133) 
neil#133 | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) | - | - |

Day 1 - Cruel Caradhras

2014.04.22 Tuesday | by Neil @whooper#133
Today started much as most of my other days start, as part of my ongoing quest to keep the doctor it bay, I ate an apple.  After this the work that I had been so worried about began, but it I soon found myself falling back into the comfortable routine of whipping and vacuuming that I practiced at my previous work exchange and all went smoothly.  

My next task of shovelling snow however, involved a little more backbone.  like - I imagine - most other people who do not partake in that much physical labour, at first the exercise was invigorating.  I had many grand thoughts about the works of Jack London and for a while quite enjoyed the simple repetitive straining of the activity.  That all ended when my back began to ache. 

My romantic daydreams of blissful Alaska had vanished and were replaced by grim thoughts of ice encrusted peaks towering into the sky in Tolkien's world.  This four foot patch of compressed snow was, to me, cruel Caradhras.  Upon eventually conquering this task I was reworded by the sky, rain.  

Until then I don't think I'd felt rain since Glasgow, don't get me wrong this half hearted drizzle was no proper west coast downpour but I'd take whatever I could get.  Speaking of missing things from Scotland I do recall an interesting conversation I had.  Usually, to the Japanese people being from anywhere in the United Kingdom means you live in England, and living in England means London.  By now I'd gotten used to this so imagine my surprise when mentioning that I was scottish brought fourth the reaction of "ahhh East Dunbartonshre", which turns out to be the twin town of Otaru's neighbouring town.  Hearing someone else talking about places in Scotland was oddly pleasant, even if it was "Lake Ness".  

I consider any day without major mishap a success - all that's left is to hope tomorrow goes just as well.
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Day 0 - Arrival by the longest route

2014.04.21 Monday | by Neil @whooper#133
My first day in Hokkaido started far too early.  There is only one half past four in the  day that can be considered civilised, and here I was aboard a ferry slowly approaching the Otaru ferry terminal at the wrong one.  

Not having had the foresight to bring any hard money on the eighteen hour boat ride from Niigata to Otaru I was forced to go without food as my card was welcomed about as well as my four mangled words of Japanese.  I did manage to buy one small carton of milk, payed for primarily in one yen coins fished out from around my various pockets, much to the annoyance of the checkout worker.  Excepting this small drink I had gone without sustenance since Tokyo, and I was feeling it.  

On arrival at the terminal the only thing quashing my desire for food was my desire for sleep.  I have always found it difficult to sleep whilst my body is moving, I'm not sure why it just doesn't sit right with me.  Having spent one night on a bus and the next day and night on a boat I was, there is no other way to put it, shattered.  I lay down in the waiting room ready to let fly my best impersonation (I say impersonation but really there is no acting required at all) of a confused Gaijin should anyone try to move me - but nobody does and I spend the next five hours in blissful unconsciousness. 

I suspect I would have slept for longer, most of me wanted to but my stomach was having none of it.  Thus began the tedious search for a post office to withdraw money, a store to buy food and a train station to find my way to MorinoKi.  All of which went painfully slow with a great deal of wandering about but absolutely no amusing anecdotes to make it worth the effort.  

But now, I am here.  Settled into very pleasant surroundings, simply enjoying the present surroundings and no obligations to go somewhere or do something.  That however all ends tomorrow, when the work begins. 
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