Viime viikolla tuli mieleeni neljä juttua, jotka kirjoitin joskus 2000-luvun alussa Helsingin kaupungin matkailutoimistolle. Tässä niistä yksi viikonloppuviihteeksenne: HEL YEAH-juttua viidentoista vuoden takaa.
Kuvat ovat Visit Helsinki-materiaalipankista (Hakekaa käyttöoikeus täältä: http://materialbank.visithelsinki.fi/login/Login.aspx?l=FI ) ja muutamia omia kuvia. Huomasin, että Visit Helsingin pankkiin voisi lisätä paljon HEL YEAH- materiaalia ja varsinkin talvea. Jääkiekosta on vain yksi junnuharjoittelukuva.
Four Guys in Helsinki
There once were four guys, all working at the same job in London. They sat all day at their computers and worked into the night. But sometimes, when they felt like it, they would hang out in pubs, even during working hours. It was all a bit anarchistic. Their boss set strict targets for them and did his best to monitor their activities, but he could never keep up. He simply had to trust in the systems they were developing, all of which had a good chance of success. The boss had requested reports, but these guys never had the time to write anything when they were busy creating.
It was a Friday in February when the guys decided to take off for a ‘brainstorming seminar’ – anywhere but here, in other words. They surfed the net for suitable locations, their search producing images of beaches with palm trees and girls in bikinis, fancy drinks and gourmet food, luxury hotel suites… Then Nick came across a website showing a snowmobile racing through deep snow.
“Hey, this place is the North Pole. Let’s go there,” he enthused.
“It can’t be the North Pole,” pointed out Tim, who was the most analytical of the group. “There are no flights there. Let me check it out… It’s Finland. Where can you fly to in Finland? Does anyone know what the capital of Finland is?”
“It’s here. I’ll look at the flights. Hey, it’s Helsinki, or HEL for short. That’s perfect. Let’s go to hell!” Ken exclaimed.
“Except it’s not hot as hell in Helsinki,” inserted the most sarcastic yet artistic of the four, Robert (he insisted on being called by his proper name). “In fact, it’s damn cold!”
“But they drive around in snowmobiles,” said Tim.
“OK, so everyone’s agreed. We’ll go there. I wonder how much it costs? Then again, who gives a shit, but I wonder how long it takes to get there? Are there direct flights or do we have to go via Stockholm?”
The four guys went ahead and booked a weekend package to Helsinki.
They were in a party mood when they got off the plane. They threw their bags into a taxi, which took them to a hotel in the centre of Helsinki, alongside the Central Railway Station. It was a calm evening, a light frosting of snow decorating the streets. It was minus 18 degrees. The guys were ecstatic and started throwing snowballs at each other until their fingers turned blue.
Inside the hotel Nick, Tim and Ken headed for the bar, where they ordered warm drinks and took in their surroundings.
Robert was up in his room changing clothes. He had his own plans for the evening. It was commonly known that Robert wasn’t very interested in girls, but it was nothing worth talking to him about. Robert was the creative force in the group, so he could do whatever he wanted with his private life.
Meanwhile, back in the bar Nick, Tim and Ken were checking out three nice looking girls, who seemed interesting as well as interested. They began chatting, and the girls offered to show the guys Helsinki. The girls introduced themselves as Miia, Piia and Tiia. The guys couldn’t believe that these were their real names, even though the girls swore on it. Whatever. The girls seemed nice, and it’s always good to have local guides when you’re in a new city.
Robert came through the bar on his way out. He was dressed in a stylish overcoat, and he even had a hat and scarf, which the other guys laughed at. “You’ll see how cold it is here,” Robert replied.
“How do you expect to find anything?” the guys asked.
“I’ve done my homework. There is some really cool nature and interesting sights,” Robert said, heading out into the night.
The girls knew English well and had also travelled a lot around the world. They were students and told how they studied for free, even getting some money from the government to support them. The boys couldn’t believe this.
They headed into town towards a restaurant called La Tour, where they continued partying. The latest hits were playing, and people seemed to be having a good time. The guys were amazed how much Finns – men and women – could drink. They were really throwing them back, vodka included. Young and drunk Finnish men were very keen to talk with the foreigners. Most were friendly enough and wanted to discuss English football.
They asked what they thought about Chelsea being sold to that Russian, Abromovich. Nick and Tim were Arsenal fans. They thought that Chelsea’s attempts to buy their way to the top would never work, because the team lacked spirit. “Football is played with the heart and needs the joint belief of the team and its fans,” they swore. Ken, a Tottenham fan, also participated actively in the conversation.
Miia, Piia and Tiia listened to the guys talk for a while and then withdrew to talk among themselves. They decided to surprise the guys by taking them to see an ice hockey game the next day.
Closing time was upon them, and Miia, Piia and Tiia said goodbye to the guys and disappeared into the night. The guys stumbled back to the hotel and crashed onto their beds.
It was late in the morning when the boys woke up and grabbed their mobile phones to call the girls.
They had missed breakfast, so they had to find a place to eat and get a couple of beers. They dressed and headed into town. Man it was cold – spectacularly cold! The wind blew and the thermometer showed minus 18 degrees.
“How can anyone live here!” they exclaimed, pushing themselves in a joint hangover along Keskuskatu Street and into Stockmann’s Department Store, where they set about buying more clothes.
They tried on fur hats, scarves and mittens, laughing like crazy when they saw themselves in the mirror.
A polite female salesperson enquired about their needs and asked them straightforwardly what kind of underwear they had on. They ended up buying long underwear, warm socks, sweaters and proper gloves. In addition, they all wanted to buy a blue and white bobble hat with blue reindeer horns sticking out. They dressed themselves in a changing room and giggled at their new look.
It was high time they got something to eat and drink. They walked around the centre and came across a restaurant called Zetor. It was a strange place, but the bartender ensured them that they would fill their stomachs and that the beer was excellent. They were served meatballs and mashed potatoes along with large pints of beer. They felt better immediately and ordered another round of beers.
Ice hockey in Pasila
They had called Miia, Piia and Tiia and given them their co-ordinates, and before long the girls showed up at Zetor’s with ice hockey tickets to see the two local teams, Jokerit and HIFK, fight it out.
To get to the stadium in Pasila they jumped on a tram, as this would give the guys a better idea of what the city looks like. It was a bright sunny day as the tram passed Kaisaniemi Park, the trees sparkling under the snow. So people in Helsinki don’t get around by dog sled or snowmobile! The streets were filled with cars as families spent their Saturday afternoon shopping. Everyone looked warmly dressed and in good spirits. Children were wrapped up like Teletubbies, their moms too dressed in colourful coats and hats.
Miia, Piia and Tiia told the guys how the sea was now frozen and that even trucks could drive on it, it was so thick. In just a few months, however, the temperature of the sea would be 20 degrees and everyone would be swimming at one of Helsinki’s many fine beaches. It seemed very hard to believe at the time. “And the nights are light, almost like the day,” the girls added.
They walked from Pasila Station to the Hartwall Arena, which was filling up with fans of the local teams waving flags and dressed in team shirts. The venue sold beer, so they ordered drinks immediately.
The game started, the spectators following the players closely. Compared to sports fans at home, however, Finns seemed surprisingly peaceful, the guys thought. There was little chanting or cheering. Only when something big happened on the ice did they all start shouting, so much so that the referee could definitely hear. It seemed funny to the guys, who of course did not understand a thing. Ice hockey was a new sport to them, but the fast and tough game was certainly interesting to watch. “We have to tell everyone back at home about this,” they agreed.
At the end of the game they rushed to the taxi queue and returned to the centre. The girls announced that they had a surprise: They would take the guys to Uunisaari Island, where they would have a sauna and dinner.
The guys approved wholeheartedly, so they all jumped into another tram and wound their way through the now empty streets in the centre. The fancy white buildings were illuminated, there was snow everywhere, and in the main harbour there was only a thin channel between the ice where the ships had passed. The ice stretched all the way into the distance, all the way in fact to the coast of Estonia.
When they arrived at Uunisaari Island, the sauna was already hot. The guys were not sure what to do, but the girls began to routinely undress, encouraging the guys to do the same.
– “Pretty cool,” all three of them thought, watching as the nude beauties held the door open to the dark steamy sauna room.
They climbed in onto the benches, which were like large shelves. The sauna was really hot, the thermometer showing 90 degrees. Someone threw water onto the rocks, and a thick cloud of hot steam spread through the room. For a moment, it seemed impossible to breathe. The boys cried for help, but the girls told them to calm down and hold their heads.
Once they had grown used to the heat, the sauna began to feel extremely good. The sweat tingled on their skin, and all of a sudden everyone was absolutely silent. It was so peaceful in the sauna, only the slightest hum could be heard from the far-off traffic. Every so often more water was thrown on the rocks, and the peaceful easy feeling continued.
“Here we are, relaxing with naked women in a hot sauna when it is almost minus 20 degrees outside, and I feel fine,” Tim thought to himself, and the same impression could be read on the faces of the other two.
Skinny dipping through the ice
The girls got up and told the boys to come outside to cool off – and go for a swim!
The girls all put on woolen mittens and socks and went out into the cold. A hole had been cut in the ice, with wooden steps leading down from the pier. The girls took it in turn to climb into the freezing cold water.
It was unbelievable. There they were, laughing and shouting at the guys to join them, having a great time.
The boys were terrified at the thought of getting into the water – never!
The girls wanted to make a bet that it was a wonderful experience, but Tim, Ken and Nick were prepared to pay rather than go through with it. They started betting who would be in the sea firs and got their money from the dressing room. They jumped up and down on the ice and threw snow over each other’s naked bodies. They then began throwing euro coins down into the black water. Before long they were throwing notes as well.
“Hey, hey, don’t throw that!” shouted Nick after Ken was about to throw his mobile phone in as well. It was too late, and into the Gulf of Finland went Nick’s phone. Ken had to be punished, so they carried him towards the open water. Ken screamed and swore that he would buy Nick a new one if they spared his life.
There was no mercy, however, and Ken was thrown into the water. He survived and was pleasantly surprised by the ordeal. Back in the hot sauna he felt his skin tingle, and he began to repeat what the girls were saying about it being such a great experience. The other guys still didn’t believe and allowed Ken to go on bragging about his courage – even though the coward had to be thrown in by force!
After the sauna they washed, dressed and had dinner. The fish was delicious, and the reindeer meat even more so, topped only by the dessert. The guys were thoroughly satisfied and did not hold back on their compliments.
They continued afterwards onto Kaivohuone, one of the city’s hottest nightclubs. It was a beautiful old wooden villa in the middle of a large snowy park, but the partying was intense.
“Jeez, is that Darude?!” shouted Ken.
“Sure,” the girls confirmed. The guys were stunned – how can you run into Darude in a place like this!
“He’s Finnish, you idiots!” the girls replied.
They danced and partied to their hearts’ delight. Miia, Piia and Tiia were the most beautiful women in the world, and Ken, Nick and Tim were the luckiest guys in the world. All of a sudden they noticed Robert with his own group of friends. Two intellectual looking guys were dancing with Robert on the dance floor, and apparently Robert had been clothes shopping! He was wearing a rather unique burgundy-coloured outfit, and he looked particularly pleased with himself. He noticed his friends and waved to them.
“We all had a sauna!” they boasted.
“Me too,” said Robert. “I even went swimming in the frozen sea!”
“Oh no, it’s an epidemic!” they shouted.
The night was getting late, and the guys and girls staggered out into the dark, freezing night. They walked through the snowy park with their arms around each other and talked. They still couldn’t believe they had seen Darude.
“When I went to the toilet I saw Kimi Räikkönen at the door,” Ken claimed.
“Yeah, sure!” Nick and Tim replied.
“It’s quite possible,” the girls agreed. “Kimi and Jenni often party here when they are in town.”
“So how come we didn’t seem him?” Nick and Tim asked.
“Maybe because you didn’t go in the water, you wimps,” Ken boasted and squeezed Tiia closer to him.
They climbed up a small hill and the park opened up in front of them. They all stopped at once. Staring straight at twenty meters distance from them under some trees stood seven enormous animals.
“Those are elks,” said Miia. “They are completely harmless. We could try to get closer.”
“No way in hell,” the guys said. “They have huge horns, even. How can they live in the middle of town!?”
“Let’s get closer,” the girls repeated, moving forward.
The largest of the animals turned to them, smiled and said:
“Hey guys! Come back in the summer and see us again – Finland’s nature is really worth getting to know!”
© Ulla-Maija Rouhiainen
Lainlukijantie 42, 00690 Helsinki
Puhelin: 040-7647149, 040-5879869
Translation by Edward James Crockford and Ulla-Maija Rouhiainen
050-346 7068, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aivojeni paleoliittinen osa tunnisti joulukuussa Suomenlahden rannalta jäisen juurakon. Otin sen mukaan ja panin veteen. Se alkoi tunkea vihreää putkilokasvia jo parin viikon jälkeen. Se on tehnyt jo ainakin viisi oksaa. Keräilytaloudessa elävä perheeni olisi saanut aikoinaan kasvista vitamiineja pimeydestä ja kylmydestä selviämiseen, mutta kyllä se on koristeenakin pitänyt elämää yllä. Kasvi on Vuohenputki. Ja meillä Helmi Liiketalousopistossa oli tällä viikolla kiva talviretki luontotoimittaja Veikko Neuvosen johdolla Kallvikiin ja Kulttuurikeskus Sofiaan!
Seurataan blogipostauksiamme, tässä Rebeccan postaus:
Lukekaa hyvät ihmiset Johanna Korhosen kolumni alla olevan linkin takaa. Tulee vaan mieleen, että me matkailualalla teemmekin humanismista businesta!
Panen tähän teille muistikuvaksi tällaisen oudon jutun:
Tämä on kirjasta Retkeilyn rikkaus.
Paavin metsä Sipoossa
Lisään tänne toimittaja Marketta Mattilan jutun YLE Areenasta: ”Kolumnistimme, toimittaja Marketta Mattila käy paaville lahjoitetussa metsässä Itä-Uudellamaalla ja pohtii sisäistä tyyneyttä” : http://areena.yle.fi/1-3295494
Jaan myös Luonnonsuojeluliiton kampanjan, joka kritisoi Metsähallituksen uudelleenorganisoimista:
Metsähallitus tänään: julkista palvelua ja bisnestä
Suomalaisten yhteistä maa- ja vesiomaisuutta (noin 12 miljoonaa hehtaaria) hallinnoi Metsähallitus. Yhteispinta-alasta puolet on metsätalouskäytössä ja toinen puoli koostuu maamme tärkeimmistä ja arvokkaimmista luontokohteista.
Luonto tappaa! Päivän filosofinen keskustelu:
Anna Savolainen lisäsi 2 uutta kuvaa.
Luonto yritti tappaa minut tänään ja eilen.
- Onneksi ei onnistunut (smilehymiö)
- Oikee kannanharvennuskeli kyllä. Tule jo kevät!
- Olisiko se ollut luonnollinen kuolema?
- Luonto on radikalisoitunut! Terroristi!
- Eix tässä on kysymys siitä että kitka sinun ja luonnon välillä on vaan vähentynyt?
- Ja ajattele, tuolla se luonto saa vaan vapaasti olla ja levittäytyä. Rajat kiinni!
- Ai jaa, mut se yrittää hengiltä about 300 kertaa vuodessa
- Ulla-Maija Rouhiainen saanko jakaa ajatuksianne tästä luonnonfilosofisesta keskustelustanne urban-nature opaskurssilaisillemme? olette niin syvällisiä, että totuus alkaa jo häämöttää. tai totuudet jotka löytyvät jokaisella kompastumiskerralla.
- Anna Savolainen Tässä ollaan vahvasti jonkin ytimessä…
- Anna Savolainen Mutta siis tarkemmin, saat jakaa vaikka mitä. Olemme yhteisen asia ääressä.
- Täähän on perusmeno. Mut ainahan se kirpaisee.
- Meillähän on meneillään sosiaalisen median opiskelu ja siksi lainaan luvalla Annan ja kavereiden arvokasta keskustelua.