4.10.16

FINLAND

I had a dream last night that I was in Finland again with my Finnish friends.
Mika, Eero, Toni and my Canadian pal Kyle were all there together and it felt just
like old times. This is fitting, since, whenever someone asks me, I tell them just
how much Finland was like a dream to me.




This is my friend, Mika. We sat side by side under a ferris wheel in Helsinki and
watched the ships going in and out of the harbour. It felt nice sitting once again
next to someone I used to sit by every day. The sun was lovely and warm and
everyone was rolling up their sleeves trying to get their yearly dose of sunshine.
I was putting on a jumper. You should have seen the way Mika looked at me, like I
was committing a crime for not lapping up the rare Finnish warmth. 











The day after the sunshine came rain. I made Mika come with me to Kiasma
Contemporary Art Museum. When he was a child he used to look at the building and
swear he would never go there. Sorry, Mika. After Kiasma, I waved goodbye to Mika
and Helsinki and messaged Eero I was on the train to Seinajoki.




Eero and Toni picked me up from the station and we drove to Eero's. The whole
afternoon was beautiful. I met Eero's family and fat cat, went for a walk around
Eero's property and was fed some of the first fresh vegetables I'd had in weeks.
Also, Finnish people have milk with every meal.













I know Eero and Toni will laugh at me (again) for saying this, BUT the rugs in
Eero's home were incredible. They were all handmade and seasonal and as they were
showing me around, I couldn't help but admire aloud how great they were.


The following day, we packed the car and drove out to Eero's summer house by the
lake. Did I say already how dreamy it was?






Of a morning, Eero's mum, Johanna, would get on one of these bikes and go for a
ride into the forest to collect fresh berries and vegetables. She'd return home in
the afternoon, dirt under her fingernails and a bag full of produce and join us
for a soak in the sauna and a swim in the lake before preparing dinner for us. 








One thing I was VERY excited to experience were the sunsets in Finland. The sun
never fully set while I was there. Having a 'before bed sauna' and jumping into the
lake at this time was really magical and I felt honestly very privileged by the
whole thing.








On this night, after Eero had rowed us around the lake, we returned to the summer
house and all three of us laid down on the big double bed side by side. We laid
there maybe for 20 minutes, laughing with one another. It sounds really cheesy and
dorky but it was a really nice moment for me. I felt like I was a kid again with my
two friends on summer camp. 














Being in the sauna with THE BOYS was a super super cool experience. Even though I
felt like my eyeballs were melting into my brain, I tried my hardest to be strong
until either Toni or Eero suggested a dip in the lake. Johanna joined us at times
and once gave me a 'sauna hat' to wear which was for protecting my hair from the
heat.

















Staying with Toni, Eero and Johana at The Summer House was a definite highlight of
my trip and life so far. On my last day in Finland, Eero rode his bike to his job
at the local bank and Toni took me to have a coffee before my train left Seinajoki. 




I spent my last few Finnish hours in a town called Turku, which, I am told, is
known as "the arsehole of Finland", at least among my filthy mouthed friends. 







To Stockholm!