Hiya. So, I'm back. A good 11 hours of sleep was well in need after 4 hours in a train from Helsinki to Kuopio. :'D Anyway. Not going to bore you with details about exams and whatnot, so instead the trip will be summarised with a strange, tense-confusing first perspective narrative I found myself scribbling on one train station or another.
- - -May 24th
I met with my cousin in the Tampere railway station. We hadn't met since our grandfather's funeral years ago, and we probably walked by each other like three times before recognising each other.May 25th
I spent the night on a mattress on her floor and woke up when I attempted to sneeze out my lungs. I keep taking my allergy pills in an attempt to convince myself it's just hay fever and not a cold that won't go away until it's ready to.
(I think I managed to confuse a girl in the exam. I was in the women's toilet, washing my hands, when she walked in, stopped, then stepped out to do a double take on the bathroom door's sign.)
My train is running some 10 to 15 minutes late. There's a creeping suspicion that I might be on the wrong train. It's very unlikely but not entirely impossible. Most likely it's just strange train stations being strange and my control streak acting up.
(Turned out it was the right train, but the wrong carriage.)
I met my Jyväskylä lodging. The conversation started up with a brief reencounter of his collision with a car, then, after a few remarks about women's bikes, moved on to the flaws of the British education system, to the rave scene of Middle East, to the trade between African countries and China, to the mining industry of Africa and North America. He did most of the talking.
I'm currently sitting at their kitchen table, worrying my palate which went strangely numb after I burned it on a pizza. Both residents of the flat are minding their own business on their computers, which doesn't really bother me. I don't mind being left to my own business and it doesn't make me feel like I'm in the way.
(The evening ended with a peaceful conversation about dangerous chemicals and creative ways to commit suicide.)May 26th
Coming back from the exam I sat nearly an hour in the wrong hallway before I realised to call my lodging and ask why she wasn't answering the doorbell. Apparently this happens a lot.
In the bus to the railway station there were two kids sitting on the benches next to me. They'd make out in what seemed like fairly regular intervals. Their kisses resembled the squeaky sounds you usually hear from people in skimpy bathing suits trying to balance on slippery, plastic floaties, and had a certain air of showmanship to them.
Ate some half-cooled French fries at a local Hesburger (my first warm-ish meal today!). It took me nearly five minutes to realise the static breaking up the background music was, indeed, static disturbance, and not part of the song.
People are giving me strange looks for writing in public. I have a strange urge to start speaking in German or Swedish or English, to pretend to be foreign. I'm trying not to react to the announcements in Finnish to enhance the illusion but it's proving itself very difficult.
I had told my aunt to look for a blond boy carrying a red bag, and apparently the description was fairly accurate as we found each other immediately. I have trouble remembering that she is indeed married, because I never see her husband. He's always on a business trip, visiting family, somewhere else. Their apartment is brand new and spacious and looks barely lived-in.May 27th
An old lady sat next to me in the station square and asked me if I read the Bible. I couldn't get a word in to say I'm atheist and didn't realise to pretend to be foreign fast enough so I ran outside to wait by the tracks.
There's an anonymous grey bag abandoned near track 11. I wonder if I should be worried.
A drunk is wandering around the square, hollering. A foreign professional-looking man is taking photos. There's a seagull flying about the ceiling structures. I don't know if it's just me or if it's really a bit stuck inside. Either way, I can't help but feel a bit sorry for it.
- - -
The fancy narrative ends there, so I'll just finish this off with my loot from Helsinki's book and comic stores
. : D Togainu no Chi
's 5th volume isn't included in the picture, ironically, as it was the only thing I had planned on buying. But then I ran into these jewels and couldn't pass by. If my budget allows it, I'll return next week to fetch Battle Royale
novel and a book about Communist era jokes. Oh, books. <3