stories

Polar King - page 3

According to a railroad officer at Hokkaido Station, the land of Soviet Union is the north of Hokkaido, so you cannot go farther north unless you take a Soviet train.
The officer also told me that Japan and the Soviet Union once had been in a bad mood, fighting, invading territories and once friends,--well, now they are still getting along--besides, there had been countless of various other things that you cannot explain in a word, the numbers of complicating, troublesome affairs between them, therefore the Japanese train cannot go into the Soviet land.
So I had to walk from Hokkaido Station to the entrance of the Soviet Union.
The entrance of the Soviet Union is the exit of Japan.
I walked up, up to the north through Hokkaido Mall in front of the station, just as told by the railroad officer of Hokkaido Station.
Then I came to the end of Japan.
There stood the Soviet entrance gate, as large as the main gate of Tempuku-Ji Temple, and on the entrance was written "Entrance of the Soviet Union" in the Soviet language.
I passed through the gate into the Soviet land.
From the gate continues the Soviet Mall. There I walked through up and up to the north.
Soon, it was noon.
I was hungry, so I went into the Noodle Heaven in the Soviet Mall and ordered a bowl of noodle soup to have lunch in my bag with, just like when Grandmother and I had been to the Noodle Heaven in Tempuku-Ji Temple Mall to have lunch.
After I finished eating, I paid seventy yen for the noodle, and walked up, up to the north through the mall again.
Then I found myself in front of the Soviet Station. I presented my ticket again to the railroad officer of the Soviet Station and got on the train.
The Soviet train ran up and up to the north.
It rushed, rushed and rushed through rice fields, farms and villages, through forests and woods, through big towns and beaches,through mountains and meadows, over railroad bridges and through tunnels, and through countless numbers of them.
And the train arrived at the Arctic Station at last.
The North Pole was so cold that I put on my underwear as I came out of the Arctic Station.