Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Trip to Kemi

We came back from a six-day tour to Kemi, which is very north up in Finland. It's almost Lapland - not quite. Some people - especially the travel department in the city administration - call it Sea-Lapland (Meri-Lappi) but it won't stick.

Kemi is a place where my wife, Elina, was born and raised. Her parents are moving out to Hämeenlinna in South Finland to be closer to their grandson, Kauto. So this was the last time we visited there. And it was a nice time, indeed. There's practically no snow in Turku, but there was plenty in Kemi. It was nice to see some frosted trees. They are beautiful. (If there's an exact word for that in English, I don't know what it is.)

But the trip itself... ugh. It takes 8,5 hours to get to Kemi from Turku. We travel by train, since we don't want to support something as unecological as aeroplanes. (And they are mighty expensive, too...) Kauto was amazingly patient, given that he's only four months old. We were prepared for much much worse. Luckily nothing happened - except that Kauto shat his pants just before Toijala and the stuff went up to his neck!

We won't have to do the trip anymore, as I said (if we don't want to go skiing in Lappi for holidays, which we probably don't). But it's always somewhat saddening to leave a town you've just become acquainted with. I don't know why, it's just a gut feeling.

There are also some good flea markets and two second hand book stores in Kemi. On this trip, I found a very nice American early fifties overcoat ("Made for Hollywood") - it was almost in mint condition and cost only, believe it or not, three euros (which is close to 4 US dollars, if I'm correct). In Southern Finland it would've cost ten times that and I shudder to think what it would've cost in some vintage shop in the UK... I already have a nice dark green fedora... Private eye pictures, anyone?

I'm listening to a compilation called "100 % Dynamite", which presents ska, soul, rocksteady and funk from Jamaica. Some very good tunes thrown in with the usual reggae stuff. I like especially Brentford All Stars' "Greedy G". It has a riff I knew from thousand hip hop tracks, but never knew where it came from. There's also Sound Dimension's "Granny Scratch Scratch", which also has a great riff. I have to teach these things to my son. "All you need is a good riff, mon."

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