“Aaah, my favorite people from Karlsruhe!” Jukka says when meeting us for the second time. “How are you?!?”
And then he notices the bottle: “Aaah, Jack Daniel’s, now that’s interesting!”
While I still wonder how to offer him some or at least tell him we’ve been taking sips directly from the bottle, which is why he might not want any, my husband simply asks: “Would you like some?”
And while I pretend to be searching for a suitable glass in our plastic shopping box full of stuff, he has a go at it, straight from the bottle. And he tells us a joke about Finns and alcohol before taking his leave for today: “Should you be passing this island in the north tomorrow, do visit us! We’ll be staying in a cabin and it has a sauna. Have you done the Finnish sauna before?!? No? Well, you are welcome.”
“Kiitos,” we thank him and promise to drop by should we find ourselves in their neck of the Kolovesi area.
“They arrived at this island at ten and at midnight, I decided to go and ask them politely not to be so loud, because we needed our sleep, there was a lot of paddling to be done the next day. But when I approached them they simply asked me whether I’d like to eat some fish, so I said yes. And I couldn’t really tell them to be quiet after that, could I?” a nice Dutch lady confesses. “They said that was what they did for fun: paddle, catch fish, eat and drink and celebrate in the evenings. That’s the Finnish way.”
I nod and smile, being quite happy we had never arrived at the point where I have to tell all those lovely Finns I don’t eat fish. Actually, I was seriously fed up with the all-pervading stench of fish from the day of our arrival, but then I don’t really want to discuss the one dislike I always suffer from during our holidays: fish and sausage stench at fire places and in common kitchens.
“We were even invited to a sauna by some Finnish,” the nice Swiss girls we meet in the evening tell us: “It was really great!”
We’ve been spending the evening mostly laughing about things and live surely does fell good at this point.
“My exam is in September, so I took my learning materials with me, but I haven’t been able to study so far.” I confess to the blond one, who’s just finishing her Bachelor in economy. Some jokes about my learning intentions follow, before she consoles me: “If your exam is in the middle of September, you still have enough time.”
I sure hope so. 😳
“Helsinki? Well, the zoo is nice. And you should visit Tallinn!” we tell them. “It is really worth seeing and you can do it in one day.”
We were only satisfied with having visited Turku and Tampere, this being the Stage Two, when we feel we’ve done our urban duties in a new country and can now concentrate on the really important things in life.
Sorry I don’t feel able to describe them …
I will offer you a photo or two in the days to come, though.