Fun in Finland (shhh… everyone is sleeping)

Finland is a quiet, peaceful country in Northern Europe that used to make indestructible mobile phones. The capital city, Helsinki boasts population of around 300, mostly blonde people. Somebody told me there are more people than that, but I couldn’t find them anywhere.

Helsinki is consistently ranked one of the world’s most liveable cities, which is fair enough I guess. Traffic doesn’t seem to be an issue, and that’s always nice.

Friday night traffic, central Helsinki.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

I did manage to find a bar though, since it was Friday night. Some of the city’s several hundred apparent residents were there… playing blackjack.

Helsinki nightclub blackjack.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

…or having a drink in the weird fake Ice Bar.

Weird fake Ice Bar, Helsinki, Finland.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues.

I had one beer then wandered out into the long, long summer twilight and back to my room. Opening the windows I heard a tram rattle soothingly past every few minutes. There was a busker down below in the square. He was several hundred feet away, but I could hear him clearly above the complete lack of anything. He was singing, I shit you not… Simon and Garfunkel’s, ‘The Sound of Silence’.

In the morning I checked out of my hotel, and braced to brave the peak-season Saturday shopping crowds to get supplies for the next leg of the journey. This, I found would be easier than I’d anticipated.

City Center Mall, Helsinki Finland. Lunchtime Saturday, peak summer.
Photo: Peninsularity Ensues

I hate shopping, and peak hour, and I feel uncomfortable in large crowds, but… where the fuck were the people?

I’ve lived in small villages before and I liked it actually, but a village isn’t supposed to have this level of infrastructure… or, a city is supposed to have people in it.

Finland, you kinda freak me out.

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