Heaven and Helsinki

Luckily, Hotel Arthur in Helsinki has internet access for a modest fee, so here is a posting from this utterly fascinating city. I can recommend this place to anyone: the weather is beautiful this time of year, the people are extremely friendly and helpful, and the reports of excessive prices are grossly exaggerated. It isn't a cheap city, but hey, neither are Paris or London.
Having no preconceptions about Finland or Helsinki to begin with, I was surprised to find that this city has large, broad boulevards with imposing buildings. It's not squeaky clean either, but to me that is a plus. It's a mystery to me why the people of this country, which in many respects is at the end of the world, have mastered the English language to a startling degree of fluency, especially if you realize that Finnish is as different from English as Korean is from either-- in fact, Korean and Finnish are somewhat alike, I just read. Also, the vast Academic Bookshop contains not just novels in English, French and German, but also in languages like Dutch and Czech.
I'll report more about this city, or about St Petersburg and Moscow, as internet access warrants.

Posted by cronopio at 11:27 PM, August 12, 2006