February 16. Jack enters.

I decided to split up. One part of me is sitting in the sun being wonderfully happy, living up to his dreams to his heart’s content, he produces reflections like sunrays on the surface of a still mountain like, and he produces the illusion that those reflections will last at least a few centuries. The other part is called Jack and Jack is moving around the city. You have to move around and do certain things in order to spark a reader’s interest. Obama understands that. Yesterday he moved around in Air Force One called it a ‘spiffy ride’ and was all excited about it. The aircraft can refuel in mid-air. The other part is going to roam the city in search of excitement, in search of people with a tough story, with lilac scars covering their pale skins, with a dark history of violence that just sells better than the author sitting in the sun being damn happy. The other part jumps off buildings and refuels in mid-air, spouting a radioactive tail of glistening vapor behind him, he catches big time crooks and turns their faces into rotten tomatoes, he wades through the Tejo with delight and dances up the hill to join the Christ-redeemer and look over the city together. Jack is awake, you can sleep safely tonight.

“Stream of consciousness”: there is a name for this writing technique. Just let everything flow through your brain, in and out, straight through. A mouthwash. A good round of gurgling
with fluor gel and antibiotics. A flush of our system. How we enjoy observing this stream passing in front of our inner eyes. We don’t need to bathe in the river, neither do we need to
proof that we can only bathe once in it, neither does anyone challenge us to proof anything about the stream. Yet it’s not the stream that interests me. It’s the phenomenon that you find
yourself urged to tell a certain story, to add a certain comment, to add some news you just heard, or the recipe of humus. You are making a decision to put in something that is at
first sight totally disconnected with the stream. But of course there is a connection, there is some hidden reason why your brain popped out that particular item at that particular place.
You can analyze that later, and you can call it your “subconscious” being that organized your writing. That subconscious can become a good friend of us. We cannot see him unfortunately since he is always ahead of us. He is something like the opposite of our shadow. Jack is chasing him, in my case.

That night we were invited to be the public in a Portuguese tv-show called “pros e contras”, they discussed the issue of gay marriage. It would take the whole evening and we’d have to take
a taxi back home. We decided to skip the studio thing and watch the show on tv instead. They had a bunch of people there talking gayrights, homophobia, venting their worries about the
children that would be adopted by the homosexual couples. I couldn’t understand them but Cristina interpreted it. She is a good interpreter and I really appreciate it.

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February 16. Jack enters.

I decided to split up. One part of me is sitting in the sun being wonderfully happy, living up to his dreams to his heart’s content, he produces reflections like sunrays on the surface of a still mountain like, and he produces the illusion that those reflections will last at least a few centuries. The other part is called Jack and Jack is moving around the city. You have to move around and do certain things in order to spark a reader’s interest. Obama understands that. Yesterday he moved around in Air Force One called it a ‘spiffy ride’ and was all excited about it. The aircraft can refuel in mid-air. The other part is going to roam the city in search of excitement, in search of people with a tough story, with lilac scars covering their pale skins, with a dark history of violence that just sells better than the author sitting in the sun being damn happy. The other part jumps off buildings and refuels in mid-air, spouting a radioactive tail of glistening vapor behind him, he catches big time crooks and turns their faces into rotten tomatoes, he wades through the Tejo with delight and dances up the hill to join the Christ-redeemer and look over the city together. Jack is awake, you can sleep safely tonight.

“Stream of consciousness”: there is a name for this writing technique. Just let everything flow through your brain, in and out, straight through. A mouthwash. A good round of gurgling
with fluor gel and antibiotics. A flush of our system. How we enjoy observing this stream passing in front of our inner eyes. We don’t need to bathe in the river, neither do we need to
proof that we can only bathe once in it, neither does anyone challenge us to proof anything about the stream. Yet it’s not the stream that interests me. It’s the phenomenon that you find
yourself urged to tell a certain story, to add a certain comment, to add some news you just heard, or the recipe of humus. You are making a decision to put in something that is at
first sight totally disconnected with the stream. But of course there is a connection, there is some hidden reason why your brain popped out that particular item at that particular place.
You can analyze that later, and you can call it your “subconscious” being that organized your writing. That subconscious can become a good friend of us. We cannot see him unfortunately since he is always ahead of us. He is something like the opposite of our shadow. Jack is chasing him, in my case.

That night we were invited to be the public in a Portuguese tv-show called “pros e contras”, they discussed the issue of gay marriage. It would take the whole evening and we’d have to take
a taxi back home. We decided to skip the studio thing and watch the show on tv instead. They had a bunch of people there talking gayrights, homophobia, venting their worries about the
children that would be adopted by the homosexual couples. I couldn’t understand them but Cristina interpreted it. She is a good interpreter and I really appreciate it.

Finally: Lapland

The next day I said goodbye to Tuomo and tried to hitchhike to Rovaniemi. This turned out to be very difficult. I remember walking along a highway, and decided I had had enough, so I got back to Oulu, where I waited in a “cafe de Provence” for my train to Rovaniemi, writing, of course.

The trainride was really comfortable, and I arrived in a small snow-covered town, where I phoned up my couchsurfing host who would meet me in hotel Santa Claus. Yes, Santa lives here in this town on the Arctic Circle, they say. I have other information though, that he lives further east, near the Russian border. And so I met Veronika and Juusi, we went to a bar, and could almost immediately connect to each other. She mentioned a trip to Tromsø, and I said yes to it without hesitating a second. I never seem to run out of luck (but that is also where the saying “lucky in games, unlucky in …” might eventually cause me some trouble.
The keys of Veronika’s bike broke and got stuck in the lock. After some trial and error, I managed to open it with cutting pliers, thus proving I was okay. We took the sauna with eucalyptus essence and a good conversation. We made snowflowers outside. Running naked through the snow at 2AM. Welcome to Finland.

But the coldness was compensated with the hottest event of the year. It was election night. I stayed up watching the first results come in, until the computer crashed and I went to sleep.

The next day, Veronika was out, and I wrote in the kitchen, listening to my only source of information: a Finnish radion station. When the words Obama and president became significantly more frequent and the intervals smaller, I realized that he had won the election. I turned up the volume and sang along with every song they played. I also cried, but so did Colin Powell so I am in good company. After Veronika came back, we had a meal together, and cycled downtown. And that is where I met Tasos the Greek.

He was a funny and interesting guy, I could see that immediately (I told you I would write that, Tasos…!) We went to the same bar that night for a few Obama-beers. The pictures are taken during my bicycle trip the next day, but today’s post is borrowing them for aesthetic reasons.

Finally: Lapland

The next day I said goodbye to Tuomo and tried to hitchhike to Rovaniemi. This turned out to be very difficult. I remember walking along a highway, and decided I had had enough, so I got back to Oulu, where I waited in a “cafe de Provence” for my train to Rovaniemi, writing, of course.

The trainride was really comfortable, and I arrived in a small snow-covered town, where I phoned up my couchsurfing host who would meet me in hotel Santa Claus. Yes, Santa lives here in this town on the Arctic Circle, they say. I have other information though, that he lives further east, near the Russian border. And so I met Veronika and Juusi, we went to a bar, and could almost immediately connect to each other. She mentioned a trip to Tromsø, and I said yes to it without hesitating a second. I never seem to run out of luck (but that is also where the saying “lucky in games, unlucky in …” might eventually cause me some trouble.
The keys of Veronika’s bike broke and got stuck in the lock. After some trial and error, I managed to open it with cutting pliers, thus proving I was okay. We took the sauna with eucalyptus essence and a good conversation. We made snowflowers outside. Running naked through the snow at 2AM. Welcome to Finland.

But the coldness was compensated with the hottest event of the year. It was election night. I stayed up watching the first results come in, until the computer crashed and I went to sleep.

The next day, Veronika was out, and I wrote in the kitchen, listening to my only source of information: a Finnish radion station. When the words Obama and president became significantly more frequent and the intervals smaller, I realized that he had won the election. I turned up the volume and sang along with every song they played. I also cried, but so did Colin Powell so I am in good company. After Veronika came back, we had a meal together, and cycled downtown. And that is where I met Tasos the Greek.

He was a funny and interesting guy, I could see that immediately (I told you I would write that, Tasos…!) We went to the same bar that night for a few Obama-beers. The pictures are taken during my bicycle trip the next day, but today’s post is borrowing them for aesthetic reasons.

Finally: Lapland

The next day I said goodbye to Tuomo and tried to hitchhike to Rovaniemi. This turned out to be very difficult. I remember walking along a highway, and decided I had had enough, so I got back to Oulu, where I waited in a “cafe de Provence” for my train to Rovaniemi, writing, of course.

The trainride was really comfortable, and I arrived in a small snow-covered town, where I phoned up my couchsurfing host who would meet me in hotel Santa Claus. Yes, Santa lives here in this town on the Arctic Circle, they say. I have other information though, that he lives further east, near the Russian border. And so I met Veronika and Juusi, we went to a bar, and could almost immediately connect to each other. She mentioned a trip to Tromsø, and I said yes to it without hesitating a second. I never seem to run out of luck (but that is also where the saying “lucky in games, unlucky in …” might eventually cause me some trouble.
The keys of Veronika’s bike broke and got stuck in the lock. After some trial and error, I managed to open it with cutting pliers, thus proving I was okay. We took the sauna with eucalyptus essence and a good conversation. We made snowflowers outside. Running naked through the snow at 2AM. Welcome to Finland.

But the coldness was compensated with the hottest event of the year. It was election night. I stayed up watching the first results come in, until the computer crashed and I went to sleep.

The next day, Veronika was out, and I wrote in the kitchen, listening to my only source of information: a Finnish radion station. When the words Obama and president became significantly more frequent and the intervals smaller, I realized that he had won the election. I turned up the volume and sang along with every song they played. I also cried, but so did Colin Powell so I am in good company. After Veronika came back, we had a meal together, and cycled downtown. And that is where I met Tasos the Greek.

He was a funny and interesting guy, I could see that immediately (I told you I would write that, Tasos…!) We went to the same bar that night for a few Obama-beers. The pictures are taken during my bicycle trip the next day, but today’s post is borrowing them for aesthetic reasons.

Finally: Lapland

The next day I said goodbye to Tuomo and tried to hitchhike to Rovaniemi. This turned out to be very difficult. I remember walking along a highway, and decided I had had enough, so I got back to Oulu, where I waited in a “cafe de Provence” for my train to Rovaniemi, writing, of course.

The trainride was really comfortable, and I arrived in a small snow-covered town, where I phoned up my couchsurfing host who would meet me in hotel Santa Claus. Yes, Santa lives here in this town on the Arctic Circle, they say. I have other information though, that he lives further east, near the Russian border. And so I met Veronika and Juusi, we went to a bar, and could almost immediately connect to each other. She mentioned a trip to Tromsø, and I said yes to it without hesitating a second. I never seem to run out of luck (but that is also where the saying “lucky in games, unlucky in …” might eventually cause me some trouble.
The keys of Veronika’s bike broke and got stuck in the lock. After some trial and error, I managed to open it with cutting pliers, thus proving I was okay. We took the sauna with eucalyptus essence and a good conversation. We made snowflowers outside. Running naked through the snow at 2AM. Welcome to Finland.

But the coldness was compensated with the hottest event of the year. It was election night. I stayed up watching the first results come in, until the computer crashed and I went to sleep.

The next day, Veronika was out, and I wrote in the kitchen, listening to my only source of information: a Finnish radion station. When the words Obama and president became significantly more frequent and the intervals smaller, I realized that he had won the election. I turned up the volume and sang along with every song they played. I also cried, but so did Colin Powell so I am in good company. After Veronika came back, we had a meal together, and cycled downtown. And that is where I met Tasos the Greek.

He was a funny and interesting guy, I could see that immediately (I told you I would write that, Tasos…!) We went to the same bar that night for a few Obama-beers. The pictures are taken during my bicycle trip the next day, but today’s post is borrowing them for aesthetic reasons.

Finally: Lapland was originally published on Meandering home