Enjoying Finland.

Asha said the way she likes to explore European cities is just by eating and walking. Well, I’ve done plenty of that in Helsinki and in my grandparents’ hometown an hour south of Helsinki. I went to the city yesterday with my mom and aunt. They’re fraternal twins but they start looking strikingly identical the more time you spend with them. They’re exactly the same. I’ve never met two women who trip or stumble as much as my mom and aunt do. I just realized they’re both going to read this, but it’s okay, I love you both.

My mind gets fuzzy when I think of what we did because the most vivid memories of yesterday involve us sitting and drinking either tea or coffee or eating a big meal or ice cream. Oh yes, there was lots of walking around Stockman’s, Helsinki’s giant department store. And a lot of walking around the market in Helsinki where this man was selling awful full length fox scarves. I mean, you saw the head on this scarf. The HEAD OF THE FOX. I’m staring it with gaping eyes and a dropped jaw in terror when the vendor comes over and asks why I’m so upset. I tell him I’m mostly shocked—I’m a vegetarian; I don’t even eat any meat. He says, (as if this is going to make me feel any better)

'It's not from the wild. It's raised on a farm.'

Okay, so the fact that this scarf is the product of industrialized skin farming is supposed to be better as opposed to a single fox being shot in the wild?

In other news, I finally got a cool Suomi shirt. I’ve been wanting a t-shirt that just says Suomi on it. No Suomi Finland, just Suomi. It happened. I feel victorious. I also got a Finnish flag to hang from Jeter’s mirror. (Jeter’s my car for those who’ve not been introduced to my blue machine friend, named after the brilliant shortstop of the New York Yankees.) Jeter’s super personalized now—he rocks a co-exist religion circle on his back window and another unity dangly thing from his mirror. There was a Rutgers magnet but that was stolen, per usual in RU and he has his special parking permit stickers on the driver’s side passenger’s window. Now everyone will know his driver’s part Finnish. All right, I’ll stop talking about my car. It’s quite sad really how much I miss him. It’s a MACHINE. AH.

I finally got my Finnish passport renewed. I look like a psycho in my passport photo. But that’s typical of all passport photos isn’t it? Now I can join the ranks of the bad traveling pictures. We then returned back to the grandparents’ home and ate more bread and cheese. I love Finnish bread and cheese.

With love,

Nadia