Sunday, 22 July 2007

Smells like teen spirit

It's good to be back in Helsinki. Today was a perfect day, azure sky with a little nip in the air to keep you from feeling too hot. Only problem is there is something else in the air which is not at all pleasant. While England is beset by flash-flooding, Helsinki is struck by a disaster of a different sort, a rather unpleasant smell. It seems to be mainly located on the main thoroughfare going by the name of Esplanadi but we also noticed it in the little park opposite the flat we're staying in. It's a kind of acrid smell like a mixture of drains and dirty socks left under a student's bed for three terms.

But, its source remains a mystery. Rumours abound. Some say it has something to do with all the major works that have lately taken place. Perhaps they have dug up some centuries old burial ground. Others claim that there is some form of freak insect manifestation in the trees, what a friend of Kaarina's charmingly termed "fleas".

But fleas aside, this is still a lovely city to pass a few days in July. Emptied out as its inhabitants head to the islands, lakes and forests to their "kesämökki" or summercottage, those that remain, to water the plants and feed the cats presumably have an air of cheerful relaxedness. And what could be better than enjoying a Finlandia Vodka and Cranberry Juice or a white wine spritzer at a bar by the water's edge?

Helsinki sunshine
khaki green water sprinkled
with flashes of light.

No comments: