I am now aboard the Silja Line Serenade destined for Stockholm. I can’t believe now that I have been away for almost 2 months, that my trip is finally coming to an end. It has been such an awesome opportunity to meet old friends as well as new ones, and learn even more about the world’s different cultures. This trip has been such an awesome experience, and I am so excited to have these memories to begin my career at APL. Wow, I am no longer a student. So many Revelations when you are traveling alone…
So Miia and I came back to the city, I FOUND my clothes that I had bought. Stupid Ben left them in a public toilet last night and when I went back to find them, they had already shut the place down for the night. So we went back this morning and sure enough, like Japan, Finland is practically crime free and my bag of new clothes were exactly where I had left them. There is good in this world still!
So, we headed for my first run of Hesburger, Finland’s answer to McDonald’s. We went to the Esplanade and hung out and ate in the warm sun watching all the people hang out in the park. It was a nice lunch and we finished with a goodbye. Hopefully her and Jyrki will be able to visit the US!!
I then went to meet Ian and hung out with him for the afternoon along with communicating with my mom about settling finally an apartment in the Bay Area! Wow, I am actually starting a life on the West Coast! How cool! Anyhow, I am about to head for the cruise line Silja to go back to Stockholm!
So today I went to the city to take a bus tour around the city. It was really cool because it was in one of those double decker buses and it took you to all the nice places around the city. Now, I bet everyone is going to start thinking that I am making up some of these stories.
I was walking down one of the main streets in Helsinki, having my map out trying to check where I can go and find a tour bus. All of a sudden I hear, Ben! I look up and it’s Ian, who is from UT and dated the french girl Carine during the 2001 year. How random is that?! So he says that he has moved to Finland with a girlfriend and he is learning Finnish and was headed to an interview. So I gave him Miia’s phone number for him to call and perhaps we will meet up together before I leave back to Stockholm!
So I found a place that I can get a reindeer sandwich! Yes, it is a food here, along with bear and some other animals that one wouldn’t think were edible. Anyhow, I tried the Reindeer Kebab, and it was really good! All the time really new cool experiences…
After the go-cart racing, we headed for Jyrki’s father’s summer home in the countryside of Tampere on a lake, ate a nice snack and then headed for the sauna, which was inside the summer home. They put wood in the fire to heat the room up, and we sat inside drenching ourselves with sweat, then running out to the lake and feeling the nice cold water. We did that for almost an hour making us so relaxed that we wanted to go straight to sleep. We then dried off and cleaned up and headed back to Miia’s apartment. Saunas are great!
Today we drove to a place where you could drive really fast go carts. They weren’t the normal go-carts that go just a measly 25mph, but super go-carts that can get up to 60mph!! It was so hilarious. I got in the car and straight off I ran through a huge puddle and got soaked. Of course I thought that all the protective clothing that I was wearing like the gloves, helmet, and overalls would definitely be waterproof, but I soon felt the nice damp feeling in my seat meaning that I had really soaked myself already in the first 3 seconds of driving. So, I went full force trying to catch Jyrki, Miia’s boyfriend, around the track, of course TRYING to miss the puddles, but for those of you who know how well I aim, you can imagine how I managed to hit EVERY single puddle, throwing mud and water up on my helmet glass and on my overalls. I was just glad that even though I spun out I didn’t flip the little cart!
I am boarding the cruise ship Silja to go see Miia in Finland today! I will return on July 9, mama’s birthday.