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10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 14 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 14
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-03-07 09:54:09
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14. A confusing answer

Risto is a morning person which means that I was expecting his mail with the answer to come sometime early in the morning so I started checking my mails just after seven every morning. I’m not a morning person, on the contrary, I have a whole theory about the morning sleep and how valuable the two hours between six and eight in the morning are. Actually, I believe that they should make a law forcing everybody to start their day after nine in the morning. My luck had it to move to Finland where everybody thinks that seven in the morning is a normal time to start working!

As I said before, I met Risto in a project I was working when I first came and it included his then partner. This woman had the habit to be in her office before seven and think that the whole world starts working at seven; so one day, early in our cooperation she called me something like five past seven in the morning and she started saying, “You are not asleep, are you?” I bloody am! “Shall we talk a bit about today’s program?” Who are you? Do I have a nightmare? There is a woman in my telephone … help!!! And she started talking nonstop for something like five minutes! “Can I call you back sometime after half nine?” I need three coffees and ten cigarettes, I need to make restart and reload before I start working and normal people sleep this time.” She heard only the part with the half nine, “I have a meeting that time but I told you everything so you just need to work on it and we can meet sometime around four!” I had no bloody idea what she had said and turning off my telephone I went back to sleep.

Risto is exactly the same breed; he thinks that if he will miss the sunrise the world will not go around, so most of his messages and mails arrive sometime between six and seven in the morning and there was one waiting for me already! “Hi, this ring is just a high school thing, nothing serious. I’m coming to Helsinki at week 7, I will call you so we can have a beer and I will explain. B.R. Risto” Thank you very many as the Finns say pal! I’m much obliging! I decided not to break my new Mac and have an early cigarette! And what the hell was this week 7? Risto just like most of the Finns when they arrange something they always say something like, ‘week 12’ or ‘week 35’ and you are looking for a calendar to find out when the hell is that week 12, why don’t they simply say sometime in the end of February remains a mystery. The weird thing is that when they say that they know exactly which week they mean and that without looking at their calendar.

I looked out of the window desperate, I suppose I could always call Ahti and ask but the problem with him was that every time I call him working ours he is so businesslike, so official and that makes me feel like I should buy whatever is that he sells. Ahti was out, what was left? Antti? That would make his day, ‘Hello Antti, I have never called you before but what does a blood ring means?’ There is nothing wrong with Antti and when we meet we always have great time …well except ones but this is a different story, but anyway we always use either mails or text messages, never telephones. Of course sending him a mail would be a solution and we had played once chess via emails but the more I was thinking about it the more stupid the question seemed so I decided to call Marc for a morning cappuccino!

Marc and I are people with habits, we are always going to the same cafes or the same restaurants; we even order the same exactly thing every time. In this café we are going lately …well after smoking was forbidden in Finland I have the feeling that every single worker knows us and sometimes I think they are getting our coffees ready before we even reach the person who is suppose to take our order. So I called him and here was Marc on the phone doing the combination of things I hate people do while on the phone, eating and talking the same time to somebody else, in this case his daughter. “Good day hlup-hlup, yes darling…” don’t darling me and stop demonstrating how cows chew, “sorry, I was hlup-hlup talking with my daughter…” yes and you are chewing something the same time, shall I call later? “Oh no, its fine I can talk!” Good because I cannot hear you!

Waiting for Marc in the metro station a bit later I started looking at the people, a mother with her young daughter, two high school girls and a boy, a bit further two older women and me, this picture really depresses me, is like the world is busy doing something and I’m here without any cause or aim. You are doing your paintings, you finishing your book, I reminded myself. An advert of a news agency on the other side of the rails was screaming at me, “you have no idea what am I talking about because you don’t speak the language” yes but from the pictures I can understand the concept, I tried to excuse myself. Marc you better come quickly because I started talking with myself! But of course Marc as usual was …late!


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