I am writing this sähköposti from Hanko, the southernmost town in Finland. Hanko is 137 km southwest of Helsinki.
I am in the town’s (population 10.000) only library, and the Internet sign-up arrangements are very different from both Canada and the system used in Kemijärvi. First, one is only allowed to use the Internet for twenty minutes a day.
Second, if the terminals are all in use (and there are merely two), then there is a five markkaa charge (~ $1.25 Canadian) to reserve a spot. Luckily I just walked in at 11.20 and sat down. The library is open from 11.00 to 20.00.
I have 46 E-mails to read and I will not get the chance to open every one within twenty minutes. As my Fennophile friend Keith says, “Finland closes down in July”, and he is correct. The University of Helsinki’s free Internet lab in the Language Centre is closed in July. Therefore, I will go to any of the trendy Internet cafés in Helsinki once a week and check my mail. The rate is 30 markkaa for an hour.
I have written 39 postcards so far–that’s better than one a day. I am mailing some specifically from Hanko, the southernmost place in Finland!
Check your postilaatikko!