I come back to Helsinki to find that the Winter still disappoints with a measly one degree above zero. As I step off the plane onto the tarmac, my foot finds slippery sleet-water on top of ice, and I fall on my new case, painfully pulling a neck muscle which still hurts.
I’m back just in time for the start of my new Finnish course (“Once more unto the breach dear friends!“). It turns out to be a toughie. The seemingly most able teacher gives us an assessment test and the comprehension text – which seems to be something about the financial condition of the postal service – is otherwise incomprehensible to me. And I can’t quite bring myself to just randomly tick the multiple choice questions in order to gamble on getting at least 25 per cent. Having taken courses provided by Helsinki Summer University which are almost exclusively about pumping you full of Finnish grammar, I think I do OK on that part of the test, but less well on finding the “dictionary forms” of declined and conjugated nouns and verbs. Time will tell if I’ve been too ambitious in choosing this higher-level course.
After a remarkably long and deep sleep I awake to the darkness of the kaamos, on a day with temperatures happily a couple of degrees below. And with Mrs Kaamos, still on GMT, sleeping late, I sip green tea and look across the rear courtyards to the lights of the office building opposite, wondering what it must be like to go out to work in the dark, and come home when the sun has long set.
[Haven’t found a better pic for this post yet. Do pop back later and I’ll find you one.]