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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 3 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 3
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-05-07 08:16:51
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3. The girl with the yellow jacket

I was in the metro on my way to the mall with my latest companion on hand and me lost in thoughts when a group of young boys and girls entered the wagon laughing and swearing and behind them a younger girl with a yellow jacket and red boots. I would have never noticed them if they hadn’t come and sat in the bench next to me and if the younger girl hadn’t sat just opposite of me. And again I would have never notice the girl since the gang of the four was definitely monopolizing any sound in the wagon if when I looked up I hadn’t seen her eyes. She was looking at them through their mirage in the wagon’s window and there was something very strong in the look. Pure hate!


 Getting older means that everybody looks really young and sometimes I find it hard to tell the age. Boys and girls that probably are over twenty look to me like they are in their teens and a lot of times I look shocked seen one of them in a pub drinking beer thinking that they are too young even though rules regarding drinking in pubs in Finland are pretty strict. So this girl could be anything between sixteen and twenty-five, with heavy make-up and bright red lipstick. She was wearing a bright yellow jacket on top obviously two sizes bigger than her normal size and shinning red boots with high hills under a long black skirt that was barely coming out of the long jacket. She was carrying a small red purse and a mobile telephone in the gloved hands and a dark red beret was covering her ginger hair. She had a real pale face and gray blue-eyes.

The boy on the other side was singing now something in Finnish I couldn’t understand but it was obviously funny because I could see a couple of faces in the wagon smiling and the girls giggling encouraging him to continue. The girl turned her face giving them a quick glance and then she turned her face back towards the window. And it was her look so hard, full of rage and hate that somehow shocked me and made me put my digital book in my bag and start watching her. The next metro stop was mine but I decided to stay where I was and see what was going on.

He fingers were so tied around her purse and her telephone that despite the black gloves I had the feeling that they had turned white and the small electronic device was going to break in small pieces in any moment the boys had finished with her song and now they were exchanging some jokes with another group a bit further down the wagon making everybody laughing except me who I couldn’t understand what was going on and the girl opposite of me. In the beginning I thought that she might know them or one of them but there was no sign of recognition with them, on the contrary they seemed to ignore her, never notice her too busy with their new recognition from the other passengers.

Suddenly the whole wagon had turned to one big gang with people singing from the other side and the boy answering. I suppose this is not something you will see often in Finland, most of the time people are too close inside their little words but this morning seemed somehow exceptional and the gang of four had given a new spirit to everybody. Somewhere in the far end a Somali boy was standing up doing some dancing moves bringing more laughter and a couple of new passengers that came aboard in the last metro stop seemed to join the mood straight away.

The girl was still staring at them through the window and nothing had change that vicious look of hers. I was watching her hands and the way she was holding the purse and the mobile. Then the metro stopped on the stop before going underground, two passengers exit and then the gang of the four stood up. The next station is pretty close and they seemed like they were ready for a last encore before they leave. One of the boys, the one who had been singing made a last bow with everybody laughing just on time when the metro stopped and the doors open for the four of them to exit.

The girl with the yellow jacket was staring at them without moving and followed them while they were walking towards the escalators with the same tense in her eyes and her body. The metro started again and suddenly all the tense vanished from the girl. Wow, I was somehow surprised seen the sudden change. The tense from her face had gone, her fingers were holding lose the purse and the mobile had disappeared in one of her pockets and her eyes …her eyes looked suddenly relaxed and soft. Actually the gray had totally disappeared and a soft blue was what was left. Amazing, human will never stop fascinating me so I decided to exit in the next stop and take the next metro on my way back to the mall and my coffee.

On my way back and having in front of me at least another twenty minutes in the metro I continued thinking about the girl with the yellow jacket. Perhaps she was jealous of all the energy her coetaneous had, perhaps she was a very lonely person and she was wishing to have some of their companionship or fun, perhaps she was angry for what she didn’t have and she was wishing them to die. I should stop reading so many mystery and thriller books. That’s what I thought and returned my attention outside the window.

Helsinki metro is not much underground but this is something that makes it better. It gives you the chance to see outside the city and especially during the winder is nice to watch the snow from the moving wagons. One more thing I like about the Helsinki metro is that every station is a very weird way has its own personality. Be careful, I said personality not character. When you travel in London, every station of the underground has its own character with history that goes through decades if not centuries and some of the stations mirror the landmarks that are standing above the ground. The same feeling is in Paris metro or the Moscow metro just to mention a couple I’ve been. Athens metro is the newest but there are everywhere reminders that this is the metro of a very old city with very long history. Helsinki metro stations have personality. Stations that remind you that the weather can get really ugly and you must be protected and stations where people need to be fast to go to work. Station with sad faces and stations with cold look in the future.

The station under the big mall is the station for girls with yellow jackets and red boots. There is something dispirit about this station, going to a future without aims and dreams. People running out of the metal contraction to do the same things they did the day before and the day before and most likely they are going to do the day after and the day after.



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afan2010-05-07 19:21:27
i think i have been the girl in a yellow jacket a few times :)

I think it's not anger or frustration, it's more of an annoyance.
But i always ensure nobody else notices my impression :)


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