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10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 11 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 11
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-02-22 09:04:08
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11. DVDs and other obsessions

Marc was continuing his usual excuses about me having misunderstood his music taste and I was watching Leena walking fast just on the other side of the glass window. There was something about this woman that made me think of the big cities, she had the right moves if that makes any sense. When she turned the corner and I could not see her anymore I turned to Marc who had stopped waiting for an answer to a question I had never heard. “Shall we move? Let’s take a walk around the mall!” that definitely struck him as funny because it was like we had a time schedule  with our cappuccinos that they never last less than an hour and this time I hadn’t even finished mine.


“We can check if there are any new DVDs!”  I said knowing that it always works with him and it did! Marc is another victim of the life of a foreigner in Helsinki living with hope and no income. I think he would have much more chance back home but just like the poem says it came one day he had to say the big ‘yes’ or the big ‘no’ and then he had to stick and defend his decision and that’s what he’s doing. I think his bigger handicap is that he is clever and I mean it. When you are immigrating in a country that is not used to immigrants you have to deal with long lived stereotypes. For the locals who can only see the dark, cold and long winter to immigrate here is just unexplained; most of the them dream nothing else than immigrate to your country and …here you are which in their mind means that there is something wrong with you!

Then if on top of the others you are intelligent as well you really spoil the dream for the locals and you are …doomed! Marc falls in this category but I think in a very twisted way and just like me he appreciates other sides of the Finnish life and accepts the cost he has to pay. Of course money is an issue for him and a very serious and depressing issue so he escapes with DVDs. I suppose a harmless way to escape because there are some wild stories among the foreigners here, most of these stories including a lot of alcohol.

I’ve been thinking all morning if I was going to tell him about the man with the ring and my new neighbour but then I decided not, it sounded too crazy, a man with a red ring that Risto had called the ‘blood ring’ and my new neighbour it doesn’t make much sense! And Leena was not there when we walked outside of the café, obviously we had spend too much time getting ready and moving out to catch her and as I said despite her miniature size she was fast and neurotic.

So we entered the DVD shop and I let him storm to the DVDs piles while I was looking around not looking for anything particular. An old record of the 70s group ‘Camel’ caught my eye and I picked the CD checking the songs when I saw Leena going past the main entrance of the shop, not the new Leena but the other one with the cat. “Hi Leena, how are you?” I ran outside to get her sure that Marc would spend at least another twenty minutes checking carefully the DVDs and his list with the missing ones from his collection. “Moi, fine thank you, how are you?” she said with a smile. She was back in her wheelchair. “Hey, we have a new neighbour, did you notice?” I asked lightly pretending that I was just making conversation.

“Leena …you mean? I just saw her! She’s on her way to work!” Oh damn, it seemed that some of us had done better work but I suppose the language is always a great help. “Oh, is she working here at the mall?” I asked innocently. “No, She’s a nurse is just that she needed some shoes or something and she came to have a look before going to work!” Right, there was no way to catch up with her, she probably had already left. “Are you going to stay for long around? Do you want to go for a coffee or something?” Suddenly I missed my cappuccino and obviously the last one hadn’t been enough. “No thank you, I’m in a hurry now but we can have a coffee tomorrow if you don’t mind.” I looked at her wondering what she meant, I mean was she coming to the mall again or …well then I decided that she only tried to be nice after saying no and I smiled, “Fine, see you later then. Bye for now, take care!” and I was just on time to find Marc heading for the cashier with god help us how many DVDs in his hands!

At least I had new information now, Leena was a nurse something that somehow fitted her general style; I could just see her small size with her white gown and a huge needle between her fingers storming in the room to inject medicine in people’s ass!!! Well the last picture didn’t work very well in my mind and we headed with Marc for another cappuccino sine the first one had proved a disaster. Sitting in the café for the second time the same afternoon I started thinking about the man with the grey coat and the red ring or better the blood ring again. Obviously I had to find out what this blood ring meant and I had no idea who could help me!


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AP2009-02-22 22:01:34
This Marc... hummm... does he hate banana and panpipes too? Okay, okay "any similarity between these characters and stories and real people or situations is mere coincidence". Really??


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