The market square near the harbour is vibrant. Ferries leave from here to island fortress of Suomenlinna. The local name for this market square is Kauppatori. Squawking sea gulls, little stalls with old women with lined, papery, wintery faces knitting away, selling hand knitted mitts and caps and other woolly things. Little reindeer dolls, fridge magnets and faux fur capes, hand carved wooden tea cups, flowers and of course food!
Reindeer meatballs, fried fish, with potatoes and vegetables on the side topped with a generous dollop of garlic sauce.
Reindeer meat is not at all like I imagined it to be. I am usually very picky about non vegetarian food, but I must admit I liked the stuff on my plate. Okay... further admission, I like everything on my plate these days. And I have begun to pick it clean!
GLORIOUS DAY!! Found a lovely baking supplies shop! Bought muffins trays and muffin papers (pink polka dotted!!) and also found whipping cream! Baked muffins (burnt a wee bit... sigh) and felt so tra la la!!! Also ducked into a lovely little pizza nook and pigged!
We've just discovered that tram and bus travel for one parent with a baby under 4 years in a pram is free here... which is crazy... all this while I was walking everywhere with K or carrying her everywhere, because I could not leave her unattended in a tram/bus while I went to get the ticket (the driver gives you the ticket here, no conductors! and the pram section is bang in the middle of the tram).
And to think that someone gave this a long thought and figured... okay... don't pay!
The parks have big wooden bins with toys, cycles, sand toys, dolls (all donated) which are free to use for the kids. Every mom carries her own key (which a shoemaker nearby makes for a certain sum). The kids put the toys back in when its time to leave and the last person locks the bins up.
I have to admit... I am a little blown by all this. I like it... but hell no! I wont trade this for my noisy, smelly, hot, crazy and chaotic India!
I am in Finland, and if I still dont get around to writing... then I really need a rap on my knuckles! So I am hoping for one post a day, or even a picture, something that helps me get my head around all the new sights, smells and tastes that envelop me every single day! Or just plain old simple living with all its little mundane spots. Anything at all... one post a day. Should not be too tough!
I am intrigued by the lovely little balconies that every house proudly puts on display. And they do, gorgeous flowers, little sit outs, umbrellas and little things tastefully arranged to give that delicious snug feeling. Much as I would love to stop and take a picture, I think the Finns would really not take to it. So I resist and walk on but I cant help but stare. I have my eye on a big bunch of sunflowers I spied the other day at the market square. Must buy one and arrange it in my kitchen and look at it lovingly all day!