It is raining today in Finland. June is always rainy and cold here, and so it seems this year also, after a very warm and sunny May. Rain feels nice and cool now after spending time in the sun.
I remember one time when I was eating soggy crackers with my friend at their summer-house in a weather like this. I think we were twelve. I also remember the time when the princess of Sweden got married and I was watching it on TV. It was sunny over there, but here it rained. It was so romantic and we all cried. Once I was listening to a Finnish orienteering event on the radio, a very popular and traditional event here. A friend of mine was taking part in it, and the weather was like this. The commentator was whispering, like they always do, and I could hear the rustling of the bushes when the competitors passed him. On more than one occasion, it has been exactly like this when it’s Midsummer Eve. Then we’ve spent the night playing cards or dancing in the rain.
Last night I had a fantastic nine-hour sleep after a day with my kids at home, a night with only some short naps at the airport in Frankfurt and another day at Athens airport. Everything went wrong when we were coming back home, flights were delayed, hotels full, batteries dead, people rude. We were extremely disappointed with the service we got from Lufthansa. “I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I am going home now.” After a long day of traveling, running half across Frankfurt airport and standing in line for an hour, that’s all we got, plus new plane tickets for the next day, and a 10e voucher each for dinner. It was midnight and we had no other choice than to spend the night at the airport. There were just few benches that were already taken so we sat on the floor. I have never noticed before how dirty Frankfurt airport is, and there are no sockets for charging your phone – in case you, for example, need to book a hotel, due to inadequate service from your airline. For my friend who had to take a bus from Helsinki to go home to Eastern Finland after missing the bus she had already paid for, it was a 34-hour trip from Greece to Finland. One could fly around the globe in that time. After all the lies people told us, we were happy that the last plane actually took off and we were in it. And you know what… I got a full cup of nice and warm café au lait on my lap on that flight. It was like from a movie, after everything that had gone wrong, sitting in a puddle of coffee. Incidentally, I was just reading a John Green novel and it started to feel like the was no fact anymore, just fiction. There was nothing else to do anymore – except laugh.
There is another trip waiting for me next week. Meanwhile I have been going through my photos today, remembering the most delicious Greek Salad in the most beautiful place on Earth, at Pori beach on the Pano Koufonissi Island. It is a far away place with authentic Greek people who will talk to you in Greek and you will understand even though you’ve never studied any Greek at all, and they will be friendly and helpful and happy to talk to you. You’ll just have to take a few crappy flights and even after that there’s a long boat ride with some splashes of sea water, but it’s all more than worth it. Turquoise waters, white sand, warm sun and heartfelt people. Jassas!