Four greetings in four languages, corresponding in order to all the places I visited on my trip:
1) Finland (Moi, rhymes with Boy);
2) Åland Islands (Hei, autonomous part of Finland and officially Swedish-speaking);
3) Norway (Hej, pronounced just like Hei, which is pronounced like Hey); and
4) Estonia (Tere, two syllables, pronounce the E’s like the E in the English word Bet).
This morning I had a very interesting (!) experience trying to sell my bicycle back. I returned to the bike shop from where I bought it three weeks ago, only to discover the store was empty and totally cleaned out! Ohmygosh! What was I going to do? I really needed some money and I counted on getting some euros for selling my bike back, since I did not want to have to go to a bank machine again. I recalled the bike shop in the Helsinki region of Itä-Pasila, where I lived two years ago. I bought my bike from Pasilan Pyörähuolto (Pasila Bike Repair) and when it was time to leave in August 2000 I sold the bike back to the same guy. Since I was out of luck with the original bike store on this trip, I headed north to Itä-Pasila and Pasilan Pyörähuolto. The shop owner remembered me, as I did him, and he bought the bike for 70€. This keyboard has a euro key so I am taking my chances the euro symbol will transfer correctly. I paid 140€ for my bike, so I only paid 70€, or just under $100 Canadian. I couldn’t have rented a bike in Helsinki for $100 CDN for three weeks.
Today Arto and I see the new movie “Aleksis Kiven elämä”, a biography on the father of contemporary Finnish literature, Aleksis Kivi. Then it’s an early night, as my plane leaves tomorrow at 07.45 a.m. for London (Heathrow) then on to Toronto.
Since I will be arriving home around 3 p.m. tomorrow, that gives me time to unpack, eat dinner then head out to the Mississauga Scrabble Club. Attention Mississauga Club Members: I WILL be there tomorrow night! Guaranteed I will be dead tired, and by the time game three rolls around at 9.30 p.m., it will feel like 4.30 a.m. to me. I might not play at all if we are odd in number, however I definitely will play if my sitting out creates an odd number. I always jokingly ask the clubbers to “be gentle” to newcomers. Well now club members, be gentle on me tomorrow night! If we are odd in number I can spend my club time calculating statistics and ratings for the past three weeks. Thanks to my brother Grant for filling in while I was away.
Time to sign off for the last time from Helsinki.