I stood beside the large, hot, pool of water, wondering whether I should enter. My hesitation stemmed from the shimmer of oil covering much of its surface and its strong sulphuric smell. A man near me guessed my dilemma and was happy to offer advice.
“Go on, get in. It’s ok, it’s healthy. The oil is good for your skin.”
The colourful, fluid shapes on the water’s surface danced around my legs as I dipped them into the water. I sat down and began to relax, imagining the oil’s therapeutic qualities rejuvenating my skin. The other bather joined me and we chatted for a bit, but he seemed to fall asleep during our conversation. I’d had enough of my oil bath anyway and got out to shower off. I lathered twice but still left smelling like a gas station.
My next driver took me to a local reindeer farm for the simple reason that he loves reindeer. I hoped he didn’t notice the scent of crude oil I’d been emanating since the bath.
Back on the pavement, I came across a bicycle gang of junior high school girls. I saw them sizing me up so I took a risk and asked them about local places to stay the night. They giggled a lot but eventually pointed me in the direction of camp mosquitoville.
It seems that in Hokkaido, there’s just no escaping these suckers. Amazingly, I suffered not a single bite. Maybe that oil did some good after all. Anyone up for a vacation in the Gulf?