Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the country where i want to be

Finland Finland Finland. Soon shall I be leaving Helsinki. It's been great, as always. Wonderful to see good friends, mainly. That's been the whole focus of the trip and it's been really lovely. It's been great to get to spend time hanging out with an almost two year old, and his brilliant parents. It's been really cold, ranging from possibly about minus 3 degrees Celsius, though I was never out in that, up to probably about 8 degrees. The coldest I did experience outdoors was about 1 degree, and the coldest indoors was -5 at the Icebar, carved from ice brought from Lappland and very beautiful, despite being essentially like drinking inside a fridge. Watched the ice slowly melt away each day from the sea inlet beside where I was staying, from solid white and grey stretching from shore to shore, until tonight where it had melted enough to leave open water, softly reflecting the white Finlandia concert hall in the still, cool night air. Was lucky enough to share in an excellent brunch for Easter, which is particularly important in the Orthodox church, including dishes such as mammi, pasha and of course Jewish salad. Got to stand on the ice on a frozen lake which was not terrifying in the least - after all I had a knife to stick in the ice to pull myself up if I fell through into the freezing water, so no worries there. Also bought a few things from recycled, vintage and repurposed design labels, which seem to flourish here, but there were many others that tempted me - badges and jewellery made from old keyboard letters, a bag made of ring pulls, a clock of old buttons. Overall it's been really good, but mostly it has been wonderful to be in the company of great friends. I feel lucky and grateful. Definitely the country where I want to be, and sadly must leave.


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