August 11. Sunny Helsinki. Bookstore.

Helsinki is sunny. That’s what it is. I spend a beautiful day walking around the city. My friendly host Hanna has given me a map and indicated some interesting places. This is my second time in Helsinki. I don’t feel like a tourist but I see the city museum. Only a few centuries ago, Helsinki was a fisher’s village with a population of 500. Under Russian rule Helsinki became the new capital. It is closer to Russian territory than Turku. I see objects on display but I can’t concentrate. Whenever confronted with too much and too well presented information, my inferiority complex strikes. Oh man, that’s bad. You have to go to a process, and ta-dah, you will learn to be happy digesting information that is entirely new to you. But that’s not your problem. I like the city and I am amazed by the amount of luxury stores here. The Finns seem to have an extremely good life. Hanna tells me that even the right-wing party supports free education and free healthcare. It is a paradise from the outset, but of course not everybody is happy. I won’t get into that now.
Bad. There is a nice bookstore with a friendly French-British owner who shows me some Dutch books he cherishes as part of his collection. I read and again the inferiority complex strikes. This time, I smile about it. I am not a genius because I don’t write with my dick. Pardon. There is a little concert which is very nice. Piano, clarinet, singer, cello. Happiness fills the room. I have to leave early to do something stupid. But almost through with that. Last dependencies rapidly dissolved, cutting the umbilical cord with not too rusty clippers.
I see people looking so forty, and I want to so something, paint a daisy on my nose when I turn forty. Then I have a beer with Ilpo and his friends, it is good.
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August 11. Sunny Helsinki. Bookstore.

Helsinki is sunny. That’s what it is. I spend a beautiful day walking around the city. My friendly host Hanna has given me a map and indicated some interesting places. This is my second time in Helsinki. I don’t feel like a tourist but I see the city museum. Only a few centuries ago, Helsinki was a fisher’s village with a population of 500. Under Russian rule Helsinki became the new capital. It is closer to Russian territory than Turku. I see objects on display but I can’t concentrate. Whenever confronted with too much and too well presented information, my inferiority complex strikes. Oh man, that’s bad. You have to go to a process, and ta-dah, you will learn to be happy digesting information that is entirely new to you. But that’s not your problem. I like the city and I am amazed by the amount of luxury stores here. The Finns seem to have an extremely good life. Hanna tells me that even the right-wing party supports free education and free healthcare. It is a paradise from the outset, but of course not everybody is happy. I won’t get into that now.
Bad. There is a nice bookstore with a friendly French-British owner who shows me some Dutch books he cherishes as part of his collection. I read and again the inferiority complex strikes. This time, I smile about it. I am not a genius because I don’t write with my dick. Pardon. There is a little concert which is very nice. Piano, clarinet, singer, cello. Happiness fills the room. I have to leave early to do something stupid. But almost through with that. Last dependencies rapidly dissolved, cutting the umbilical cord with not too rusty clippers.
I see people looking so forty, and I want to so something, paint a daisy on my nose when I turn forty. Then I have a beer with Ilpo and his friends, it is good.

August 9. A short night later.

A short night later, Olga and I say goodbye and I drag my backpack once again through the metro system of Saint Petersburg, this time to hotel Oktobrskaya where the minibuses to Helsinki leave. Olga has even made a reservation for me and a very Russian looking man in a jean jacket approached me and mentioned my name. Yes, it’s me, thank you. I have a cup of coffee in the bookstore and the same guy comes in to sell me a ticket (1100 rubli). He forgets his big black calender and I bring it to him. Spasiba. The busride is boring and the seats not comfortable. Crossing the border to Finland takes a long time. I arrive in Helsinki at about 2pm and walk around. Go sit in a bar in Kallio, write and chat, yes, with my friends, until I am tired. Then I take my stuff and sleep on a grass-covered hill. It is a good night but I have to explain that to some people. O how much more important is love to a gentle soul / than a bed or a pillow / how much more does he gain / from a caring embrace than from any wealth his hands may collect? / how long can he be longing for love / before his very idea of love goes bad? So, there goes another day of useless existence. Other human beings have at least reviewed tax returns or sold some stock and I have done nothing…
…are we just traveling to collect memories we can grow fond of? Is it yet another strategy our mind plays in the face of death, our mind the friendly gecko crawling over the face of death.

August 9. A short night later.

A short night later, Olga and I say goodbye and I drag my backpack once again through the metro system of Saint Petersburg, this time to hotel Oktobrskaya where the minibuses to Helsinki leave. Olga has even made a reservation for me and a very Russian looking man in a jean jacket approached me and mentioned my name. Yes, it’s me, thank you. I have a cup of coffee in the bookstore and the same guy comes in to sell me a ticket (1100 rubli). He forgets his big black calender and I bring it to him. Spasiba. The busride is boring and the seats not comfortable. Crossing the border to Finland takes a long time. I arrive in Helsinki at about 2pm and walk around. Go sit in a bar in Kallio, write and chat, yes, with my friends, until I am tired. Then I take my stuff and sleep on a grass-covered hill. It is a good night but I have to explain that to some people. O how much more important is love to a gentle soul / than a bed or a pillow / how much more does he gain / from a caring embrace than from any wealth his hands may collect? / how long can he be longing for love / before his very idea of love goes bad? So, there goes another day of useless existence. Other human beings have at least reviewed tax returns or sold some stock and I have done nothing…
…are we just traveling to collect memories we can grow fond of? Is it yet another strategy our mind plays in the face of death, our mind the friendly gecko crawling over the face of death.

Helsinki #8. Writing at the kitchen table.

The title of this post contains pretty much all there is to say about this day. It was rainy outside so I decided not to leave to Lapland yet. Anna-Sofia left me with all conveniences, which I really appreciated. Fortunately I was able to express my gratitude by going to the supermarket, where I found some German chocolate as a symbolic gift and tomatoes from Spain and Finland. I had to make a picture of those, because the make an interesting comparison. The Spanish ones were 1.90€ a kilo, the Finnish 3.40€. Later I learned the energy involved in glasshouse farming in Finland is even more than a truck ride from the far south of the continent requires.

I also tuned the guitar, first according to my own stubborn idea that all strings hat to be a quart apart, resulting in an E-A-D-G-C-F tuning which exists but is quite uncommon. After a glance in the Magic Box we call computer I got it and tuned a proper E-A-D-G-B-E. Unfortunately I had rehearsed my ‘happy birthday’ in the other tuning, and couldn’t really make the transformation. By the way, Anna-Sofia just got 28.

I produced a few pages for my novel at the kitchen table, and was really content in the evening. I was happy I was able to spend another night with my incredibly friendly host.

Helsinki #8. Writing at the kitchen table.

The title of this post contains pretty much all there is to say about this day. It was rainy outside so I decided not to leave to Lapland yet. Anna-Sofia left me with all conveniences, which I really appreciated. Fortunately I was able to express my gratitude by going to the supermarket, where I found some German chocolate as a symbolic gift and tomatoes from Spain and Finland. I had to make a picture of those, because the make an interesting comparison. The Spanish ones were 1.90€ a kilo, the Finnish 3.40€. Later I learned the energy involved in glasshouse farming in Finland is even more than a truck ride from the far south of the continent requires.

I also tuned the guitar, first according to my own stubborn idea that all strings hat to be a quart apart, resulting in an E-A-D-G-C-F tuning which exists but is quite uncommon. After a glance in the Magic Box we call computer I got it and tuned a proper E-A-D-G-B-E. Unfortunately I had rehearsed my ‘happy birthday’ in the other tuning, and couldn’t really make the transformation. By the way, Anna-Sofia just got 28.

I produced a few pages for my novel at the kitchen table, and was really content in the evening. I was happy I was able to spend another night with my incredibly friendly host.

Helsinki #8. Writing at the kitchen table.

The title of this post contains pretty much all there is to say about this day. It was rainy outside so I decided not to leave to Lapland yet. Anna-Sofia left me with all conveniences, which I really appreciated. Fortunately I was able to express my gratitude by going to the supermarket, where I found some German chocolate as a symbolic gift and tomatoes from Spain and Finland. I had to make a picture of those, because the make an interesting comparison. The Spanish ones were 1.90€ a kilo, the Finnish 3.40€. Later I learned the energy involved in glasshouse farming in Finland is even more than a truck ride from the far south of the continent requires.

I also tuned the guitar, first according to my own stubborn idea that all strings hat to be a quart apart, resulting in an E-A-D-G-C-F tuning which exists but is quite uncommon. After a glance in the Magic Box we call computer I got it and tuned a proper E-A-D-G-B-E. Unfortunately I had rehearsed my ‘happy birthday’ in the other tuning, and couldn’t really make the transformation. By the way, Anna-Sofia just got 28.

I produced a few pages for my novel at the kitchen table, and was really content in the evening. I was happy I was able to spend another night with my incredibly friendly host.