The snow was coming down hard as I walked along the promenade towards the Market Hall. There’s a Lebanese man there who sells great olives and I had a hunch that he’d be able to supply me with some humous. A while ago I picked up some frozen felafel in the little shop on Laivurinkatu and for various reasons — the alignment of the planets, the coming of sub-zero temperatures — it felt like the time had come to eat it.
And it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. In fact it was fairly tasty and, well, falafel-like. I was also glad that I was able to to find pitta bread from the same source. I served it all up with some tsatsiki which I made myself.
I used to think that if I lived in Finland, that I would miss the multiculural feel of London. But in the brief time that I have been coming here there seem to be more and more immigrants around and along with them a broader variety of food. Even something as exotic as a sweet potato (Bataatti in Finnish) is now commonplace in the supermarket and is set to rival the Swede (the vegetable, not the Scandanavian) as the ingredient for the Christmas laatikko.
And judging by the Tanzanian, Chinese, Indian, German, Moldavian, Portuguese, Russian, Mexican, Nicaraguan, Catalan, Spanish, Kyrgyzstani, Swedish, Greek and even English people in my Finnish Language class, there are many varieties of people willing not only to live here, but to become part of Finnish society, attempting to learn to speak the language, a feat even harder than saying “Findus Falafel in Finland”, five times, very quickly.