Tuesday, August 22, 2006

STRANGE DAYS - Tampere, Toronto and beyond (Last of Week 3)

(Photos: Finnish Hunka Junk 4 Poster / Throng of press photos)

Thursday was a rough day. After interviews and living off a combination of kahvi ja ice cream, and of course Ciideri, getting to Tampere was taking a little longer than anticipated.

Tampere is a nice city with a youthfull vibe to it. Pekka came to greet me at the railway station which was when I got to go their koti and enjoy some awesome salati ja ribs from Stockmann (who knew they made such good ribs?). After finally meeting up with Hannele and other friends, we did a quick jaunt up to "Tampere Tower" and looked at the view of the many lakes that surround the Tampere area. Afterwards, I got to visit with my friend Jussi for a pint and also met some very drunk guy who ran another cafe. Heading towards home, I was zonked and looked forward to crashing for a big day the next day.. Much bigger than I could have expected.

Hannele and Pekka were awake making coffee and bread and reading papers. They then showed me articles appearing in NYT (in one of the widest circulated papers in Finland) and "Aamulehti Valo" (the 2nd most read paper, or publication in the 2nd most read). The photos looked great and Hannele said she liked the "Valo" piece as it was "more serious". I knew another one came out that day in Hameen Sanomat, which later on in the day at the railway station, indeed I did get to read the full page article which happily gossiped about my taste in music, directing videos, and Finn-Celeb gossip. Three papers in one day, not bad!

But indeed, I had to do an introduction at Kino Niagara of "Hunka Junk 4". After a quick nap in the evening, I met up with the posse of friends that had come from Helsinki to some cool cafe that looked like some pioneer amish house behind the railway station. Luckily then Mikko had taken me to the theatre.

Quickly, the people were great (including one guy that after I said that I was happy some people were "tipsy", he grabbed a small Vodka and passed it in front of his friends while I gave a speech). Great fun. Afterwards, people picked up the DVD and told me about which article they read in the paper and also discussed some shining examples of Finn music (cough!). Afterwards Pekka, Kirsi ja mina drove on a dark Finnish highway, stopping at some roadstop overlooking the highway while eating over-priced veggie cheese sandwiches.

As my trip dwindled down, I realized it went by so fast. But as briefly as I got to see friends, any time with them was good. Even doing something such as buying "paprika" at ALEPA, or hitting up a paska Flea Market, it was all good. As hard as it is to leave, I think my friends and the excellent people of Finland draw me back time and time again. Kiitos.

But back at work, suffering jet-lag! Just doing dull things. I'm still not into the work mood yet and going through detox. But them are the breaks! Tomorrow I'll post my new VIDEOCLIPE of the week and more pictures of my travels in the Baltics. Till then, cheers!


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