If I was asked which are the 50 places I would like to visit before I die, at my age even 20 is not fair, I would have never included Finland. You can only propose but disposal is by someone else.
It is cold, -X degrees , no sun or when it is there, it is there for 24 hours, some such rubbishes were my impressions of Finland. The name would freeze me.
Well, right now I am writing this from Joensuu, Finland. We get off the flight at Helsinki with our luggage holding their breadth, to weigh within the limits. From there it is a 5 hour train journey to my Pappu’s (soninlaw) place. We reach the central station and I am looking at the board to know the platform number. Somebody near me asks, where do you want to go ? uhh.. I am…going to….! I kept shaking my head and smiling and made a hard search for the place’s name in my head. Some names never come on board straight. Of course , it is different for different people.
I remember in India when I asked the tourist where he intends to go from Bangalore he was in the same predicament that I was in to tell me where he was going. He kept hinting about films studios and then he said sounds motherly, earlier the name had something to do with some blast and the name changed, like working on crossword puzzle. Ah.. mombai. he said finally. The name was Mumbai, which was earlier Bomb ay. I thought what a lousy tourist, cannot remember Mumbai!.
Coming back to me, I had kept a hint in my mind for the name, some joe wanted to piddle. Oh ya, joensuu, though J is pronounced Y. I said Joensuu, after lot of head shakes and smiles. He looked around , may be for a policeman, to check me out. He said platform 11. I was impressed with him for not telling me what he thought of me.
A lovely journey by train to ..to…oh ya..Joe, was on, smoother than the flight from Delhi, which had to encounter air pockets and bumps for a six and half hour trip.
Within half an hour it became dark and the snow desert we were travelling through faded away.
At last, Joe….!
Pappu right in front of the bogey, grabbed two boxes and me the rest, hurried to a waiting taxi, before we could freeze and become a statue. Right near the taxi, I found myself on my butt, slipped on the snow. Next second I found my wife next to me on the ground. While I was landing, my leg hit her and she was along side me. The taxi driver was not bothered, since he has seen many romances like this, before. Pappu gave a hand and pulled me up straight after two pull ups. Getting back on your feet on a slippery ground is tougher than falling.
Lesson one, please wear shoes that has a grippy sole and be aware of your steps. Walking with awareness is a form of meditation.
I am not sure of my foot prints but I have left my butt print at Joensuu, serves me right for forgetting the name of Joe…joensuu.
Another lesson, Joensuu means mouth of the river.
Aurora borealis – A natural light display in the sky caused by collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. A picture by Balu Chandra in the skies of Joensuu