Working Holiday on Otaru Project

WHOOP it up!「もりのきヘルパー's Blog」

Day 5

2020.09.04 Friday | by camila 2020 #257

Sunny day again! After the first two rainy days, it seems like summer has come back in Hokkaido.

I finished work early thanks to Mayumi-san's help with the cleaning and on Masa-san's recommendation I went to Cape Takashima. It's about a one hour walk from the guest house, but with the heat it felt longer. The view at the end was totally worth it though!

On my way to the cape, I saw a few historic buildings made of stone and also a small park where two people were playing music. As I came closer to the cape, I started seeing more nature and less people, and eventually had to go through three tunnels very close to each other. It was a bit scary as I was the only one walking. The tunnels were dark inside but it was the sound of the cars passing by that were the most scary. I wouldn't like to go there at night...

On top of the cape, it was very windy and there was a small shrine that looked very old. There was nobody else there and so I sat for a while and ate an onigiri prepared by Mayumi-san while looking at the deep blue sea.

Afterwards, still tired from the walk under the sun, I decided to take a bus back. From a shop in town, I then tried this huge ice cream with 6 flavors: chocolate, vanilla, melon, strawberry, green tea and lemon soda. There was actually an even bigger ice cream with 8 flavors but 6 flavors was plenty for me.

After a long day outside, the ice cream was particularly good. I was a bit surprised that my favorite flavors ended up being chocolate and vanilla. I understand now why they are classics!

Day 4

2020.09.03 Thursday | by camila 2020 #257

The sun came back! And so, for the first time, I went to the guest house's garden. It's a japanese style garden with a pond and fish and lots of green. From there you have a nice view of Otaru and the mountains around it. You can also hear the train once in a while.

In the afternoon I read again the same manga, Golden Kamuy. It's pretty violent but interesting as it explains many aspects of Ainu culture. I'm now curious about the Ainu museum.

I then took a walk around town. I went along the canal and up and down some slopes. On the way to the canal I stopped at a convenience store and ate a sweet potato bread. It was very good, not too sweet.

I also did a bit of shopping and went to Don Quijote. I'm always impressed by the music in the big stores in Japan: it's the same music playing all the time!


When I came back to the guest house, Momo was outside, on a pillar, as if she was waiting for me.

Day 3

2020.09.02 Wednesday | by camila 2020 #257



私は仕事の後で昼寝しました。そしてハンモックでまんがを読みました。まんがを読みながらハグはソファでずっと寝ました。 犬の生活はいいですね。





2nd day

2020.09.01 Tuesday | by camila 2020 #257

On my second day I woke up a bit before 8h, ate Mayumi's breakfast, talked with Mayumi and Masa and then did my first shift: beds, toilets, shower and vacuum. While vacuuming, Hug came a few times and bit the vacuum! I think she doesn't like it. Momo just looked at it with big eyes. She's probably too scared to do anything.

Somehow, at home when I'm cleaning, it's just a chore, but when I'm traveling, cleaning can be meditative. I wonder if I can keep that feeling when I go back to Canada? Hum...probably not...

I have a friend from America who's doing a work exchange in a farm close to Otaru and we agreed to meet that day somewhere in Otaru. So a bit after I finished work, she sent me a message about an exhibition and said we could meet there in half an hour. The exhibition was in a museum, the Otaru Art Base, which is not too far from the guesthouse (I have the impression everything is "not too far" around here). So I finished my tea, washed the dishes and went out a bit in a hurry, picking up my umbrella on the way as it had been raining since the morning, and managed to find the museum pretty quickly (with the help of Google maps). I went inside, happy to have arrived just around the right time. Or so I thought.

My friend had said the exhibition cost 500 yen but when I arrived there, the exhibition was 700 yen. "She must have made a mistake", I thought. And then, when I went in and didn't see her, I thought "She will probably arrive soon". But after a while, still not seeing her, I checked my messages on my cellphone and then realized the exhibition she had suggested was about ukiyo-e. I was at the stained glass museum...

I didn't know but the Otaru Art Base comprises four different buildings with each holding different exhibitions. So we were pretty close to each other, but not exactly at the same place. After realizing the mistake, we decided to meet after the museum. When we finally met, about 2 hours later, we went to a local restaurant to have lunch (a bowl of rice with mayo salmon) and laughed about the whole story. This is the typical situation that only happens when you're traveling. But thanks to modern technology, we had quickly solved the situation! After lunch, she had to work again in the evening so she went back to the farm. It was short but fun!

This made me realize that when your mind is set on an idea, it will do anything to make sense of things. Even if they don't make sense, it will find a way to make them coherent. In my case, I was so sure I was at the right place (and in a way I was), that I managed to find an explanation for all the incoherences that I found. Sometimes it's good to question the initial thought, that's what I learned that day!

Arrivée :

2020.08.30 Sunday | by camila 2020 #257
J'avais entendu dire que Hokkaido était moins chaud que le reste du pays, mais en sortant de la station de train à Otaru, le contraste était frappant. Ça m'a immédiatement rappelée Montréal, tout y était : le froid, le vent et même la fine pluie des nuits d'automne. Les rues sont presque vides: il y a des gens par-ci par-là. Certains rentrent chez eux, d'autres sont assis dans des terrasses de restaurants et d'autres encore fument tranquillement assis sur des bancs. Et moi, seule, encore une fois, en transit, après 3 semaines passées dans une auberge dans les montagnes de Wakayama. Je marche lentement en me demandant comment ce sera cette fois, et puis je me rappelle que chaque endroit où je suis restée comme helper était bien intéressant à sa manière. L'inquiétude fait place à la curiosité... C'est Hug le premier qui me reçoit avec ses aboiements, et ensuite Masa qui me fait faire le tour de la guest house. Partout où je pose les yeux il y a quelque chose à regarder, tellement que c'est à peine si on voit les murs. Il y a des livres partout, des mangas surtout, et plein d'endroits où s'asseoir. Mayumi, dans la cuisine, me prépare un omurice. Délicieux! Je sens que je vais aimer rester ici...

Hello! New whooper! "Camila"

2020.08.29 Saturday | by camila 2020 #257

New whooper!
Camila from Canada.

(whooper #257)