As my crowded early morning train entered Helsinki, I hear this:
“Kathy, we need a warehouse:”, (“Next stop, Pasila”). “Kathy, can you hear me”?(“With transfer point to Turku at track 3.”) “We need a warehouse.” (“Commuter train leaves from track 4.”). “Kathy? Kathy?”…I’ll send you an SMS.” A sign of the times.
As I entered the train station, this woman with a tray was passing out free yogurt cup samples. Breakfast.
There are a lot of bald white guys. Some of them look like Bond villains.
The price for a full meal at the university with my new student card-€2.43; the price for a cup of coffee at the cinema-€3.00. (I did get a 10% discount on the movie ticket though.)
Cost of a library book at home-free. Cost of a paperback in the bookstores-about €12.00. There a lot more titles here than at home, though, especially in English.
The clerks at the bookstores actually greet you and ask if you need help.
A review of the titles in the bookstores makes it seem that the world is on the edge of collapse, just like cable news. My take: ya gotta live one way or the other.
You can actually find bathrooms without paying a euro if you know where to look.
When you get up at 5 am to hop a train, you’re sleepy by 1 pm, even while drinking coffee.
The poster bearing Tom Cruise in a hoodie at the cimema makes him look like a young Bill Belicheck (coach of the New England Patriots).
“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” was an excellent movie, made more so by the 3 cups of coffee and a couple cups of water. I was imprisoned in the theatre. There didn’t seem to be any way to go to the bathroom and get back in to finish the movie. I’ll have to see the movie again since I was a bit distracted during some real exciting parts.
There was free Internet in town at different places, but I had vowed this would be a computer-free day and I stuck to it.
At an unplanned visit to my favorite ice cream parlor, shortly before catching the train home, I was accosted by a man who looked like the Finnish version of Grizzly Adams. When I began to throw my hands up in the air and appear a bit crazed myself, he said, “No problem” in Finnish and moved on to some poor middle-aged lady. At least he was a nice hobo.
Buses and trains here in Finland have always been on time. Recently, though, I have noticed some backsliding in this area. My bus to the train station was late and the train home was late, too. On the other hand, the communications seem to be holding up. They held the main bus into town until our train arrived.