Salo, Finland

June 27-28, 2000

I was greeted at the train station by Tiiti’s bohemian daughter, Petra, and her Swedish friend. We had a fine little ‘hello my name is…’ type of dinner on a docked boat restaurant (they seem to be common in Finland) after which the friend left and we had a walk around Salo and a pub visit.

Just about everyone in this town works for the mobile phone company Nokia. I hear there is also a city in Finland called Nokia and as you might have guessed, mobile phones are quite popular here, although not in an overly showy way. On most European trains, when something starts ringing, half the car starts looking in their bags to see if it’s their phone. The Polish people pull out small, but bright flashy (like day-glow pink) phones and make sure everyone can see how small the phone is. The Russians, let it ring on full volume for a few extra rings just so you know they’ve got a phone.

Another interesting technology comment here is that the Linux operation system appears to be as popular, or more so, than Microsoft Windows. This ripples to Estonia which follows the Finish in technology trends.

Back her cosy place, it was just barely cold enough to light a fire. We had a good chat and Petra gave me some nude postcards of Finish saunas she modelled for as soulvioners. “Guests generally share the same bed. Are you comfortable with this?” It’s amazing how in a different cultural context, none of this doesn’t insinuates anything, and it was indeed a very comfortable sleep.

Petra thought I’d be bored about just visiting a pub and then checking out her display in a fun flea market type of store; however, it was different enough to be fun experiences. This exhausted the adventure in Salo though, so we hitchhiked to Turku.

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