Kemijärvi and Helsinki Post Office Museum

Moi Kaverit!

Kemijärvi at this time of the year is not cold at all, in spite of the frost warning I heard on the radio before I left. The temperature today is to reach 21°C, which is pretty nice, compared to the rain that my brother Grant in Mississauga (Ontario) is complaining about. And no humidity either! My work friends must be sweating it out in CNT. There is no sticky humidity in Finland.

Kemijärvi Central Library has a large section on Finnish language and linguistics, and I know I will lose myself here reading all the books. Valitettavasti (Finnish for the polysyllabic “unfortunately”) most of these books are old. The 1999 and 2000 imprints are all in the enormous Helsinki kirjakaupat (bookstores). This library has a series of Saame language instruction manuals, written for Finnish speakers. With one Finnish language Intensive Course now complete, I can fully understand book one (of four) in this series. Page one of volume one teaches you how to say your name in Saame. All of you can learn the phrase

“Mu namme lea ______”.

In Finnish the same phrase is

“Minun nimeni on ______”.

Today I visit the local museum, take photos and write postcards. Attention Sharon Darling and Jim Drake: your postcards from Kemijärvi are already postilaatikossa (in the mailbox).

By the way, before I left for Kemijärvi, I visited Helsinki’s Post Office Museum. Now this museum is the most interesting museum of any kind I have been in–ever! Until they build a Scrabble Museum that is. I spent an entire afternoon at that free museum, and I intend to go again. There is just too much to see and read. Highlights were seeing sealed letters from the seventeenth century, perfect specimens of Finland’s first stamps, Finland’s mailboxes throughout the 1800’s on, wartime and censored mail… My Scrabble friend Valeria asked me to pick up some philatelic paraphernalia from Finland. Well Valeria you will get stacks of (English) brochures from this museum. No time to proofread this. Mankiest mistakes mmmaybe.

Signing off from Kemijärvi. See you elokuun lopussa.

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