Helsinki-I've broken 2 of the 3 rules a friend requested I follow when he handed me the keys to his apartment and went off to London.
#1 Don is not allowed in the kitchen or bathroom
#2 The twins are not allowed in the same room
Within a few days Don had been in both the kitchen and the bathroom and the twins had been in the same room.
I am a bad apartment sitter.
The 3rd rule, watering the coca plant every other day, has been followed, but that is just because the green plant is so unoffending and pleasant looking. Potted green leaves on top of the TV.
I can't get over how great Finland is. The weather even works for me. I get to stay inside and write and read all day without being pulled to investigate what is going on out in the sun!
A few days after I blogged about the functionalism in Finland, the country suffered its second school shooting in a year.
My friend in London said, "These things aren't supposed to happen in Finland."
It was bizare. People were listening to TVs and radios in a way similar to how people were glued to the news in the US on 9-11.
Wenseday was a national day of mourning for the eleven people that were killed in one of the most shocking events in Finland's history since WWII.
The US seems almost used to school shootings now. The Finns are still innocent.
Innocent is a way another American friend here keeps describing the Finns. When traveling abroad they don't expect to be taken advantage of. They wake up passed out drunks without fears of aggression. They are humble and seem oriented to thinking that people are good.
Add on the sense of satisfaction and responsibility towards their well functioning society that manages to take care of nearly everyone and it is easy to view Finland as a near utopia in comparision to so many other countries out there.
I'm flying to Crimea on 12 October ahead of the December NATO conference where Georgian and Ukrainian membership is on the table.
I'll be photographing and writing a story on the Russians living there and their desire to maintain close relations to Moscow.
Crimea is interesting in its own right. 1945. Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt. The Crimean War.
And the current sentiments of the Russians living there is one that has to be told.
I admit though. I am kind of wondering why I'd leave Helsinki.
Its so near to perfect here.