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Sapporo Hotel, Sakhalin Island, Eastern Siberia.

Sapporo Hotel, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin Island. Temperature -8 Celsius.

Sakhalin Island is a few hundred km North of Hokkaido Island and the latter is part of Japan.

Here West, the Russians, meet East, the Japanese. This, through natives, people originally from Central Asia who moved here a few thousand years ago and they have European and Chinese features. Their numbers are now small, perhaps a few percent.

Ladies in their forties staff the reception desk. They are well-dressed and very professional. In contrast, the girls in the restaurant are all young, and seem more interested in the customer than getting some business. There are four of them giggling about something and they have plenty of time as there is hardly any business.

A stroll outside around the down-town area is not much fun as it is cold, -8 Celsius. I greet Lenin on the main square, his bronze statue still there.

Fashionable Russian ladies in dark fur coats quickly pass by and seem to shiffering from the cold. Like children, if they think they are cold, they are cold, and will show it. Many wear fashionable high heels and show a good balance on the icy side walks. They must have sharpened the heels. Some young women have short fur coats with leggings, and wear them as mini-skirts. Interesting.

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