(a stained glass window in Sapporo Station)
Sapporo is quite possibly my favorite city in the whole world. Though I've never lived there, I have many many fond memories of traveling, partying, clubbing, shopping, and of just soaking in life in Japan (preferably from the second story of Starbucks sitting at the bar overlooking a busy intersection..). Mrs. K. and I took the train into the city and met up with her daughter, Keiko, and her friend, Mrs. Oda. First we stopped by Keiko's apartment which is small (2 rooms and a tiny kitchen) but wicked cute, then we made our way to a fancy French restaurant for lunch.
While traveling through the city, I couldn't help but notice the current fashion trends. Notably spring jackets with a belt tied in back (Keiko's had removable lace trim on the bottom hem), skirts with leggings or pants underneath, knee-high socks, and socks & high-heels (occasionally open-toed heels/sandals). Shocking. Loved it. After lunch they decided to let me loose on a shopping spree -- our first stop= Kanariya.
I was in an overwhelmed state of shock upon walking in the door. It took me more than a few minutes to regain composure and realize I was actually there, with money, and no time limit. I don't exactly know what happened, but before I knew it I was pulling rolls of fabric off the racks and saying "ichi meitoru zutsu" (one meter each, please) to the handsome shop clerk (how come cute guys don't work in American fabric shops?!), and that was just the first floor, Quilting fabric/notions are on the 4th floor..
It was almost a good thing that I spent most of my money on the first floor, because of course on the quilting floor things are much more expensive. The beautiful thick cottons behind me in this pic ran $14~$22/meter. I wanted them, but didn't buy any (that day..). Instead, after 2 hours of shopping, I walked out with 22.5 meters of cotton prints, a clover thimble, a sashiko kit, two quilt books, and the May issue of Quilts Japan (my luggage is still in disaray, I think I'll post pics of individual items as I use them later on).
Here Keiko and Mrs. Oda are waiting patiently, probably discussing how nuts I am. I swear, all 3 women were in total shock at what I was doing (and what I was spending). Keiko was very helpful with holding bolts while I ran back and forth from the shelves to the cutting table. We asked the 4th floor shop girl if she knew of any local quilt shows going on that weekend. You'd think someone working on the quilting floor of a HUGE fabric shop would know these things, right? Eh, she didn't know. I found out later (after we returned to Tomakomai) that there was a quilt show right there in downtown Sapporo. Sadly there was no way for me to get back to the city before it closed though. I spent a few days regretting that, but then started appreciating everything else I was doing instead.
Fresh green beans are sold in individually wrapped packs of 10 beans each. We opted for frozen. Parsley also came in cute little packages. This is the largest bottle of olive oil I could find. Ahhh.. that experience made me glad I live in America. When I lived in Japan, I didn't cook, American or Japanese food. Since I came back to the States I've been living with Costas and I still don't cook that much. Now though, the recipes I feel most comfortable with are Greek. I knew cooking Greek food in Japan wouldn't be easy, but... the fasolakia came out pretty good though, and while cooking, the apartment smelled like home.
Ok, that's a long enough post for today. Sapporo, day 2, will have to wait til tomorrow.