quinta-feira, 24 de novembro de 2011

Travel log - Europe - Day 26

Day 26 - Finland and Paris again

I forgot to tell you that I had the problem of clothes. I had some in my hand luggage, and the boys lent me a few as well. I wanted to call the hostel in order to check if the airline had delivered my suitcase there but at the same time I was afraid they would answer, no, nothing had been delivered there. And if it had been, what could I do? The best would be to wait and see when I arrived back there. I managed to do it till the last night in Finland.On Sunday night I called the hostel via skype and they informed me the bag was there. What a relief!
Jarkko came to Sheela’s house for breakfast and to pick me up. The other time I had been to Finland, I had spent more time with him than with Sheela. The reason for that was simple: although I had known her for over a decade, she hadn’t been very present while I was preparing the trip. He always answered my emails, giving ideas and helping plan. I guess she could not really believe I was going there, and she would only really believe it when I was there. Skeptic girl, I thought. Well, that’s what I assumed. When I got there, she was eager to make plans, but the plans had already been made. We would go to Estonia, we would visit Jarkko’s parents in East Finland. She surely felt disappointed. But how could I know? Anyway, this time she told me I would have to spend more time with her and that’s what happened. After almost three nights and two days together, I had the afternoon with Jarkko.
We had no plans. It was winter, I was not really thinking about going to any museums, most of the sights in the capital I had already seen in the summer. We headed to his house and stayed there, talking and playing. We watched a movie, in fact we tried to watch, because he went to the kitchen to prepare lunch and I dozed off several times. I insisted I should help him cook, but he did not let me. By the way, the movie was Robert Altman’s Prarie Home Companion. After lunch, we took a picture, the only one of us together and we went downtown as I had some gifts to buy.

I had a magnet I had bought the other time and a very special friend wanted one, so I would take the chance of being in Finland again and buy. I also needed some hood or cap and some clothes to go back. It would not be nice to borrow clothes and take them with me to Paris.
Lunch was delicious, I just don’t remember what it was, why I didn’t take a picture, as I normally did with food. I guess I was still sleepy.
The funny thing about the part of the trip I was in Finland is that my notes, my pictures and my memories of what happened there were somewhat fragmentary. I guess I was trying to take a break of the big trip and feel at home again. Also, by thinking I was not in a tourist trip, I felt more comforted. I guess this is what they call a selective memory.
Anyway, in the afternoon Jake and I went to a supermarket in order to meet Sheela and her friend Jufelius for some coffee. It was funny because he was one of her best friends there and she had already talked a bunch about him on our letters and he had already heard a lot about me. At least that’s what she told me and then he wanted to meet me. It was a nice talk over coffee although Sheela was not so happy with him because he had been a bit misbehaved the day before. She told him off a little bit, but she did it as a friend, one who is willing to see the best from the others, not their worst.
So, we went to Sheela’s house, I said goodbye to Jarkko, unable to guess where we would meet again and when but sure we would. He didn’t want to or couldn’t go to the airport with us. I just wrote in my notes that before I went to the airport I gave someone a feet massage, but I don’t remember who had it, so if they can help me with this, it would be nice...
Sheela and Sampo drove me to the airport and said goodbye. I had been so happy those days and now I would be on the road again. I went straight to Paris and had no time or desire to make any new friend.
As soon as I landed in Paris I went to the station to get the train. If I remember well, it was almost midnight and I had no idea what time the trains stopped. The thing was, there was no train and the station was dark. A taxi to the center would probably cost a fortune, so another night at the airport? No. They were announcing the trains were being repaired so if one wanted to go to the center, we should go to another terminal and take a bus. I went there, got the bus, without paying, I was a bit confused and trying to get back to French. The bus would take us half the way and we had to take the train and go to Gare du Nord anyway, so that I could take the subway and get to the hostel. Lucky me I knew the way, since I would feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea of getting lost in Paris at 1 am. However, I also reminded myself that the neighborhood I was going to was full of immigrants, what could make the violence increase, but I tried to cast aside any xenophobic or racist prejudice I might have carried. So, I got to the hostel and they informed me I was in a new room. When I got there there were fewer beds, 4, and there was a guy reading. I introduced myself, his name was Jeremy. He was from a city called Toulousse, in the South of France. He was a journalist and was attending a course in Paris. We tried establishing a conversation, we tried English, his English was shitty, it took some time for him to build a sentence, then we shifted to French, but I guess he thought my French was just as shitty. Then we tried some Spanish, but I guess I was tired. It didn’t work. The following day, after some time getting back to a mind pattern in French, we would be more successful in establishing a conversation.

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