Sunday, September 24, 2006
A country where I quite want to be.
Not much open on Sundays, although there is a large shopping centre directly underneath Helsinki's main rail station. The huge blast doors and solidity of its construction make me wonder if it wasn't designed to house various newsagents and fast food outlets so much as a refuge against nuclear war with the Soviet Pact. Or America. Not that much was open early on a Sunday morning, and by the time I had travelled down two escalators, the Dawn of the Dead-ness of the place had started to spook me.
At which point, and I kid you not, a hunched figure rounded the end of the corridor of closed shops ahead of me, moaning heavily and dragging one foot.
Fortunately her husband rounded the corner about two seconds later, and the two Korean tourists continued on their way without noticing me staring at them in horror. I hope her foot gets better soon. Or possibly they were deliberately winding me up, I don't speak Korean.
Helsinki zoo was open on a Sunday however. It's on an island a couple of miles away from the city itself, and neither Patroclus nor I were put off by the boat returning from the zoo seeming much fewer in numbers than the amount of people getting onto it, if that makes sense.
Anyway, it was a good zoo. Favourite animals were an actual wolverine, some snow-goats and a spiky lizard. Not sure about the axolotls* though, and towards the end I was quite tired and consequently became confused by a cut-out silhouette of a gazelle.
* A small voice from behind me calling out 'Ooh look, their ears go in and out!'. Further tactful investigation has confirmed patch did know these were gills, she was just winding me up, and I am almost entirely convinced this is true.