Friday, June 30, 2006

The Continuing Adventures of Hobble and Lurch

Hej då!

Just when I'm beginning to master Swedish, we end up in Helsinki. Jenifer and I stayed up until one last night chatting with our "host family," eating strawberries, and doing yoga. And then got up at four to catch the 5:35 train from Central Station to the Stockholm airport. The SAS self-service station refused to produce our tickets, and so we were sweating it out with less than 20 minutes until takeoff. But an attendant worked some computer magic and we were soon doing an OJ across the sleek IKEA hardwood, arriving just as folks were starting to board.

After that, the day was quietly touristy as we tried to keep our energy up and gain our bearings in a new city. Helsinki definitely feels like a city caught between two worlds, and indeed its history is one of being owned or controlled by either Sweden to the west or Russia to the east. As an independent country, it is less than 100 years old, and so it is still in the process of finding its identity.

Still, it has all the usual European features, such as cobblestones and uneven surfaces, causing me the frequent misstep. Jenifer, meanwhile, is the proud owner of a severe blister, and so our pace has been nicely matching our flagging strength. But we're glad to be here all the same, missing Stockholm fiercely, and looking forward to the week ahead.

Labels: ,

4 Comments:

Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

OJ? That phrase is either very dated, or I am not up with what the young people are doing?

I have this image of you two murdering your way through a crowded terminal.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I want to see pics of cobblestones! I love cobblestone streets, we've got a couple here locally, in some of the older parts of cincy, they really have a touch of class.

BTW, IKEA hardwood? Did you go into the store, or is this something else I don't understand?

6:45 PM  
Blogger David said...

Well it's all very clear to me now. The entire premise of the trip was just ruse to get to Finland this weekend. Oh there were lots of little hints and clues which I completely missed during the so called 'planning' stages of the trip. But the mad 'dash' through the airport was the final tip off. We're suppose to believe that you're in Helsinki just by happenstance for the opening of the 11th Annual World Championship Wife Carrying contest?

In the wife-carrying competition, men physically transport their spouses over a grueling 831-foot obstacle course that includes log hurdles, hairpin curves, changing terrain, and a four-foot-deep pool of cold water. Husbands can haul their brides any way they wish--piggyback, fireman's carry, over-the-transom style--but they are severely penalized if they drop their wives at any point (not to mention how pissed off Jen will be). Yes, I can only imagine Jen clinging on to you in some convoluted Yoga contortion as you dead lift her across another rolling log.

Acccording to the press release after everyone has finished the course, the husband with the fastest time wins an array of prizes, including the equivalent of his wife's weight in beer!


It's taken a while Ryan but I'm finally on to you. The weight lifting, the workouts, the obsessive attention to caloric intake..I can just see the screenplay now..a little RC called "Weight Til I Get You To The Finnish Line".

I'm on as usual. Even in Vermont.

David

PS No joke about the Contest. It's real.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

Thomas -- I understand that black is in this season. Just so you know.

Anonymous -- we can't always get what we want. But if we pay enough money, even pics of cobblestones are possible. As for Ikea, well, let's just say that the airports in this part of the world have the same design quality as buildings of state. Function meets aesthetics, a delightful way to move through the world.

David -- Okay, admit it. You spent no less than five hours editing your latest masterpiece. The end result of which is an extended stay on the couch in your summer home, as YOUR wife tiptoes around you, careful not to wake you from your berserk-induced slumber. But yes, you know I take my research very seriously. Authenticity is my middle name. P.S. Maybe you can conjure up some content for that blog of yours.

1:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home