May 29, 2009

The Arrival

Written last Sunday.

It’s a good thing my grandmother has switched to digital photography, because otherwise her film rolls would probably have been all used up by the time her airplane began approaching Helsinki-Vantaa airport (making the air traffic radars go crazy with their beeping noises and flashing lights) after her long trip from Quito. I can just picture my father, standing in the arrivals hall holding his camera. Mother and firstborn son reunited through two camera lenses pointed at each other at the very moment the doors slid open and the terminal was filled with the echoing voice of my grandmother letting out an exuberant ”Yoohoo!”

I have to imagine her arrival, because I myself was spending the weekend at the Vaasa Choir Festival with the Krysostomos Chamber Choir. We travelled six hours in a bus driven by one of our sopranos Maija, who had properly adorned the windshield with icons and the choir’s mascot, a ceramic chicken called Sylvi. We’re on our way back now, and have spent most of the time discussing pregnancy and the Muppet show, looking out for rainbows and fancy mansions across the Ostrobotnia region, and stopping for refreshments (our first stop at an ice cream kiosk came quite quickly – it was situated at Vaasa’s main square, 200 metres from our hotel).

On the way to Vaasa two days ago, we made an excursion to Eurohamsteri, one of the most curious stores I have ever been in. Just outside the town of Parkano, the store feels like a giant hall hosting some sort of jumble sale. About half a minute after setting foot inside it, I got lost from the rest of our group and found myself browsing shelves and shelves of vases (3€), t-shirts with Finland’s emblem printed on them (4,99€), dog leashes (19,99€), and cheap angel sculptures (I didn’t bother to look). There is no logic to the way things are piled up: fluffy soft toys are to be found next to rolls of duct tape, and right next to the hair-dye products is a collection of some really tempting sweets produced by ”Mr Willy”. We opted for the jelly balls, which were somewhat harder than your average jelly balls, but still very tasty.

There’s nothing more refreshing than a spontaneous shopping spree, and in this respect, Vaasa’s ”Rewell Center” mall provided. The Center, which brought rebels to my mind every time someone spoke its name, was also one of the venues of the festival – various groups, from barbershop ensembles to operatic choirs form Russia, took part in the ”non-stop choir marathon” right in the middle of the center. We listened for a while before hitting the shops. The downside of paying with cards has always been the fact you really have no idea how much money you are spending. This morning, I tried to log on to my bank account through the internet, but for some reason it was inaccessible. It’s maybe just as well, but when I get through again, I’m going to look out for suspicious-sounding transfers. Last time, I found a payment to ”Oriental Catering Express”, and unless this is a pseudonym for my local Alepa, I have no idea what that's all about!


At 30 November, 2009 20:57, Blogger Heli said...

Tämä blogi on tainnut jäädä täysin unholaan?


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