Why I don’t love public transport

August 25, 2008

It’s my first day of holiday and we are heading to Lapland on Wednesday morning. The weather is shitty and cold. And of course we both catched the flu while attending an outdoor concert on Friday and now our apartment is full of sneezed papers and empty mugs we’ve been drinking hot black currant juice from. I’m actually feeling much better already but DH doesn’t look so good at the moment snoring on the couch 😦 I visited the acupuncturist today and he put some herbal medicine on my face and forehead when I told him I caught the flu. And it seems to be working. I don’t know which spots he stimulated this time but I was like macaroni after the treatment and been really tired the whole afternoon.

This time he held his practice in a different place than usual and I had to take the metro to city center to see him. I hate the metro, seriously. Well not so much the metro as transportation but the co-travellers I’m forced to share my space with. Every single time there’s a drunk/junkie/crazy person/preacher in the same wagon with me. Every Single Time. The trip from us to the center takes only 12 minutes but it feels like an eternity when you are locked into a tin can with a maniac shouting in your ear. I’d rather take the bus but guess what, there’s no bus lines from us to the center. Hilarious.

During the three years I’ve lived in Helsinki I’ve come to master the behaviour rules of the subway. I’ve learned the empty zombie gaze you’re supposed to put on your face while traveling. See nothing, hear nothing, gaze a spot on the wall and pretend you don’t care about that person next to you reeking of piss, booze and vomit. You are not supposed to look anyone in the eye. But still I like to observe people and if somebody is staring at me I love to take a staring contest. Unless the other contender is a lunatic with a crazy look in their eyes. When I was visiting Paris one time my French (male) friends told me that I’m flirting all the time in the subway. In their eyes just looking at someone normally was flirting. So I tried to learn the universal empty subway gaze.

Finnish people are famous for their silence. Small talk is something we definetely don’t master. If there’s a bus full of commuters who are strangers to each others no one will utter a word even though the travel would take two hours. We definetely enjoy our silence. When I was living in Maastricht and took a bus once I was shocked with the noise the Dutch people were making, was so loud it hurt my ears. I was homesick otherwise too at the moment and so I dreamt about being back to Finland, in a bus with nobody speaking a word. But there’s an exception to this rule of course. If a Finnish person gets a phone call on their cell while on any public form of transport, they are more than happy to share their sex problems/diseases/criminal record loudly on the phone. It’s twisted, I know.

Today was time to enroll to night school courses. I attended metallography (I think art graphics is another term for this) last year after trying to get on that course for two years. There’s one lousy course in the evening in whole Helsinki and they only take 15 people in. I got to the office 30 minutes before the enrollment started and there were already 10 people before me in the queu, mostly old ladies. I filled my registration form and waited anxiously. Finally it was 4.30 PM and they opened the counters. At the same moment I started to dial the number where you also can enroll, but it was busy of course. I heard a boy next to me get through on his cell and he was enrolling to the same course I was going to. My course!!! And he got a place. I was getting so nervous, those old ladies before me talking so slowly, filling their forms with their shaky hands, moving so slowly and the time was running so fast. I tried to call again and again but it was busy all the time. And finally it was my turn at the counter. I threw my paper at the clerk and he was so slow too, hitting the numbers on the keyboard one at a time. A few agonizing moments passed. “You were the last one to get a spot on this course!” He uttered. “YES!” I screamed an ran away. I was so relieved. That course means so much to me, it was one of the main things keeping me sane last year. I love the various phases you have to complete when making a plate, I love the printing with an old press, I love the smell of thick paper and the chemicals. I love how the making of a picture swallows you completely and you have to concentrate so hard on the process you can’t think of anything else during the time you are spending at the course.

All these are etchings with aqua tinta, the last one has lace printed on the plate as well.

Night time

Night time





The bride

The bride

About TTC, now it’s CD18 and 5DPO. I’m trying not to hope too much this cycle but to concentrate on the next one with IUI. DH is going to see the acupuncturist too. So far I’ve had much less cramps this month, hooray for that! Some mild back pain as always this time of the month. I’m going to have my CD21 bloodwork on the way to Lapland, luckily you can do it at any medical centre you choose.

Tomorrow we’ll pack our backpacks ready and then head north. So it’s gonna be silent around here for almost a week.



  1. O M G

    I rode the bus from Espoo to Helsinki quite a few times when I was there for the summer….and your story is too hilarious!! And true!!

    And quiet Finns? I never…LMAO. My Dad spoke about 100 words in his life…heh.

    Have a great trip, and dont’ forget my pictures!!! 😉


  2. And I forgot to mention, LOVE Your work!!! LOVE.

  3. Thanks Dagny :)! I promise to post some pictures tomorrow, the trip was great but it was soooo cold!

  4. Glad you had fun!!!!!!!

    I await the pics eagerly. 😀


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