How to spend money when you have none

Trip Start Jul 05, 2006
Trip End Oct 08, 2006

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Flag of Finland  ,
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This is really funny, believe me. I mean you really have to wonder what kind of a dumbass does something like this..

Wanted to fly to Helsinki from Paris yesterday. Stood patiently in the queue and waited for my turn to check in at the airport. Finally my turn came. Gave the ticket to the man at the desk. He was checking something at his computer quite long. Then he said: Hmmm, miss, you do know you were supposed TO FLY YESTERDAY, don't you? And imagine that with a Frech accent.

Silence. What's happening to me? I barely even reacted and went to the SAS desk. Ticket non-refundable, of course. And bought a new ticket for 167 euros. Only one-third of my current monthly income. Not too bad.

It was directly like from a Finnish movie, if you've seen any movies from Aki Kaurismäki, you'll know what I mean. Shit, I was supposed to fly yesterday.. well what can you do about it. I'll just buy another ticket even though I can't afford it.. But I didn't go and drink after that. Would have made it perfect, though.

I never wanted to fly on 11.9. because of what happened five years ago. Or actually because of what someone might do on the same day again. Maybe a bit paranoid, I admit. As I was trying to book my e-ticket some weeks ago, the website didn't let me book for 12th and jumped always back to 11th. Really weird. I'm sure it was some kind of a 9/11 bug. I thought I had managed to book for 12th and for some reason never checked the date again, only the exact time. And so I stood at Charles le Gaulle one day too late... (maybe I'm becoming too much of an artist..)

Some clear signs of approaching Finland. In the plane a drunken Finnish man came to talk to me. Trying to hit on me with his drunken charm. A man almost double my age. How admired I was. He just could not understand that I could not have been less interested in his drunken bla-bla-bla. Amazing how they let people that drunk enter a plane. I mean I am talking about really drunk in Finnish standards. He couldn't walk straight anymore.

Another funny detail. I was waiting for my train close to Helsinki in Tikkurila and went to stand between two people, who held a distance of some six meters to each other. That's really normal if you are strangers, you don't want to get too close to people you don't know. But then I got a weird look from the woman and the man went to stand closer to her. Oh, they were a couple! I had not understood that I was getting in between them. How rude I was. A distance of six meters is normal for couples in Finland ;)

A great thing in Finnish trains are allergy safe compartments. They don't cost any more than normal places and you only have to share the compartment with one or three other people. They're clean, it is easy to breathe there because of special air conditioning and you have your peace to read.

I shared the compartment with an old granny. We didn't speak a word in the first 30 minutes. How nice I thought. I'm really in Finland. The loud Paris metro seemed like a nightmare in comparison. I could almost hear birds singing outside.

Then the train stopped to let out a woman, who was in the wrong train. She was supposed to travel to Tampere. The train didn't only stop, it went backwards closer to the last station. The train conductor came to check our tickets after that and told us that usually they are nice enough to stop the train because of passangers who take the wrong train. He was just joking that people can't probably read and that he would have made jokes about women but that it wouldn't be fair because the last person he let out of the train like that was a man... Can you imagine such a thing happening somewhere else in the world? At least in Germany they would just laugh at your face and blame you for your own stupidity. No way that a German train would stop because of some lost passanger. People with humanity, oh how I like that!

But then the granny started talking. She comes from my region, so that explains her talkativity. We Karelians are rather talkative. If you haven't noticed, when meeting me ;) She had been to Helsinki because her husband had received a new kidney. Some other friends of hers were in hospital there as well. She was a bright granny, though. She asked me what I was doing, from where I was coming. Then we talked about Russia and Russians, St.Petersburg, Paris, culture, architecture and such things. Agreed that Finnish "architecture" looks just awful (okay, there are some famous Finnish architects, but they are all dead anyway). Amazing to get a contact to someone just like that. I've been abroad too long a time..

In the evening I drank with my mom some Bordeaux red wine, transported by me from France. I was able to sleep really well at my parents'. So silent and peaceful. Now in the morning the weather seemed really cold to me after over 30 degrees and sunshine in Paris. But it's so easy to breath.

Now I'm at a lecture about SPSS. It turned out that this course wasn't that compulsory, though I was told that I can't graduate without taking part in it. That's why I came to Finland now, instead of enjoing Paris. How nice to find it out now. Well, I just want to graduate so that I'm free to do what ever I want to do.
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