Do not do this to me in Joensuu

I made a remark early on in my travel posts that I had not had a good sleep since my arrival in Finland, on account of both my lack of sleep on the flight in, and then all of my ceaseless worrying at night about my busted laptop. Fortunately I have had good comfortable nights. In fact, the beds keep getting better, as my room in Oulu was excellent and then I walked into my room in Joensuu and sat on the bed and sank. Plush and heaven! There was one night in the Helsinki hostel where some visiting Dutch people had a party on my floor and a complaint from me (the first complaint, from a different guest, apparently didn’t work) at 00.40 did the trick. The Dutch guests kept it quiet for the rest of their stay.

I am writing this on my laptop at the Joensuu main library. The library has a white interior with no wood. Why am I writing this from the library? First of all I am happy to say that I am writing this mail on my laptop. Yes, my laptop was fixed in Tampere last week. However, when I got in to my hostel last night after I took my first walking tour of Joensuu, I logged in to write a private mail to Mark, when all of a sudden my Internet connection was disconnected. I thought the worst: that my laptop was on the blink again. I tried logging in again, and when I clicked on “Hostel” from the list of wireless connections, I got a red X. What the — ? A red X. Other wireless connections were detected, but I couldn’t log in to them of course since they were all password-protected. Why couldn’t I log in to the hostel’s own wifi? Did this mean that my Internet connection or my WLAN connection was fried again? Why is this happening to me? What is going on here?

In spite of this computer worry, I did get to sleep all right since I was tired from my train trip here, which took ten hours and nine minutes, travelling Oulu–Kuopio–Kouvola–Joensuu. I had also walked a bit so I was ready to sleep and tried to calm myself by saying it might resolve itself by morning.

It didn’t, but I did not fret about it. I thought perhaps the hostel’s Internet wireless connection was temporarily down. No one was staffing reception today till 15.00 so I had no one to ask.

Computer people: can you tell me if this red X I saw when I tried to connect indicates that the host’s wireless service is down? I feared the worst when I set up my laptop just now at the Joensuu library. I thought there was no way I was going to connect, and that I would be without the Internet until I got home. But it worked, obviously.

I will see more of the city after I send this, but I need to eat lunch. Here are some sights of Joensuu in southeast Finland:

The art museum:

Birches lining the path all way down Merimiehenkatu:

City Hall, designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1914:

A close-up:

Instead of salt in winter, sand and gravel are used on the sidewalks. A lot of it. I wear hard contact lenses, and whenever grit gets in my eyes the waterworks do not stop. I need to change my lenses immediately or suffer through it. On the walk to the orthodox church a gust of dust swept over me and both eyes started to flood. I continued my walk to the church, blinking like mad trying to clear my eyes and spent a good time standing in front of the church before I could actually see it. It was at first as if I were looking at it through a wall of water:

In case my hostel’s Internet is still down, I will reply to you and write again when I get to Simpele tomorrow morning. If I can connect to the Joensuu library’s wifi then I can probably get a connection in Simpele. I just might be off-line when I get back to the hostel. Check a map to see Simpele: it’s on the Russian border, and I will do some legal exploring. There is a narrow border zone within Finland that I cannot cross, but I can certainly approach it.

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