Up till 5 a.m. watching the Leafs / News in Sami / No ticket to Rønne / Värttinä tonight


Game seven between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators was broadcast live in Finland on Tuesday night (er, really Wednesday morning) from 02.00-05.00, and Risto and I, along with our friend Tero, watched it. I had met Tero four years ago during my first full weekend in Finland during the summer of 2000, when Risto invited me and about a dozen friends to participate in the annual Rossi Olympiad at his cottage. (I excelled in darts–what does that tell you.)

After the first period, Toronto was ahead 3-0. Risto went to bed and Tero went home after the second period, yet I stayed up to see the Leafs finish the clobber by scoring an extra goal, to win the series 4-3 with a final game score of 4-1. I could hear the cheers on Yonge Street from here! Then I went on-line and played a game of Scrabble. My opponent was playing me right after the hockey game in Eastern Standard Time, so he wasn’t sleep-deprived! I slept in till 11.50. When I went to bed, it was fully light out!

Yesterday night I watched the news in Sami. Northern Sami, also known as Tunturi or Mountain Sami, is the majority Sami (or “Lapp”) language and is the lingua franca of Sami communication. It was extremely interesting to hear the varying sibilance (ch- and sh- sounds) and to see the Sami text on the TV screen. The only sibilance in Finnish is the s. At the Helsinki University Language Lab, I can listen to audiotapes of Sami and learn the language on my own.

As of Thursday afternoon, the time I am writing this, my airplane ticket from Copenhagen to Rønne (the capital of the Danish island of Bornholm) has not yet arrived by mail. I had ordered the ticket over the Internet before I left on my vacation. I used the Espoo address where I am staying as a destination to send the ticket. When it did not arrive in today’s mail, I called Cimber Air (pronounced KIM-ber) to enquire about it. I will not be here by the time the mail arrives tomorrow, so I was worried. I was told to contact Cimber on 28 April, the day before my departure to Rønne, and since my confirmation number was in their files, it won’t be a problem if I attempt to board without a ticket. Just show them the Internet print-out and some identification.

In fact, I will not wait till 28 April to contact Cimber Air. I arrive in Copenhagen on 26 April, and before I leave the airport, I will head to Cimber check-in and ask someone there. I hope to take care of the matter before I enjoy Copenhagen. This matter will all be moot if the plane ticket arrives in tomorrow’s mail, yet I won’t know if it arrived till I return from Jyväskylä Sunday night. And then if it doesn’t arrive until Monday’s mail, I’m still screwed, since my flight from Helsinki to Copenhagen leaves well before Monday’s mail delivery. Geez–why can’t everyplace issue E-tickets? [1]

Tonight I see Värttinä in concert at the April Jazz festival in nearby Tapiola. Tiffiny wants to come and we will bike there. Värttinä is not a jazz band by any means yet they are performing at a jazz festival. They are on the same bill as British R&B singer Alex Wilson. I hope to meet the members of Värttinä either before or after the show. I have seen them in concert four times, each time in Finland.

Tomorrow at 10.00 (a.m.) I will be on the train to Rovaniemi. The trip will last ten hours and during that time I will write some postcards and read more about Denmark and Bornholm. I only have two Finnish stamps left and I do not intend to buy more, thus some of you will receive cards postmarked “Rovaniemi” and the rest I will save to mail until I arrive in Rønne, Bornholm, Denmark. My Internet access in Bornholm is likely going to be no access at all, so I will savour writing postcards to you from Bornholm’s sandy beaches, from its rugged cliffs and from its dense internal forests.

Today Värttinä in Espoo…tomorrow Scandinavian Music Group in Rovaniemi…Saturday SMG in Jyväskylä…Monday I fly to Copenhagen. And I am on the hunt for Danish Scrabble sets and Danish Royal Family postcards. Keep those requests coming!

[1] I’m surprised I wrote that. Before this incident with Cimber Air, I always preferred to have a paper ticket in my hands, not entirely trusting E-ticket reliability.

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