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22 July 2011

2 More Days in Helsinki; Hitchhiking to Tampere

Day 54: Wednesday, 13 July 2011

After the previous night's debaucherous fun, it was natural that I slept in. Topi was up earlier to clean up a little, and I said bye as he left for work. I stayed in again for a bit, checking up on emails and deciding whether to go to Tampere this day. I decided to try for a rideshare online, and otherwise I'd wait for my new travelmate to arrive from Russia tomorrow and I'd hitchhike with her.

So I left in the afternoon, walked through the city again, seeing a few parks, jazz music on the esplanade, and the Russian Orthodox church.

I strolled back through the market square and enjoyed some more live jazz music before heading for Koff park, where Topi works, and I helped him and his coworker Christian put away their stuff. We then walked to the nearby park that was formerly a gravesite during the black plague, and met Aaro and few more friends, Niko and (something). Another friend came by and Topi and I walked with him away for a couple blocks before splitting off and searching for cheap food. Topi bought me a €5 salad at a cafe on the top floor of the Kamppi shopping center. I bought some Duff beer at the supermarket - amazing!

Helsinki Continues!

Day 52-53: Monday-Tuesday, 11-12 July 2011

Finland is simply fascinating. Thanks to Topi, I'm meeting a lot of people, each pretty outgoing and with a very cool life perspective. It's likely that I'm not getting a complete picture of the Finnish people. They say that the collective mood of people here changes dramatically with the seasons; in the winter, everyone is grumpy and generally despondent. And the summertime non-stop daylight can make it very hard to stay sane as well.

I think that everyone here is really smart to know Finnish and English so well, since they're two completely unrelated languages.

I woke up on Monday in the separate guest house at Topi's grandmother's country house. I joined them for breakfast, and since there was no shower, Topi and I went for a morning swim. We soon packed up his grandma's stuff and loaded up the car, locked up the house, and Topi drove us back to Helsinki. His grandma was talking most of the way, and I daydreamed in the backseat as the countryside whizzed by.