Tumbling through history…

Posted by jswt | Posted in General | Posted on 01-10-2009

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So I continue to be impressed by Turku, Finland… Yesterday I worked a good stint thru the morning, and then had a nice afternoon lunch before going and helping out at the venue for the evening. Late night of poker and hanging with the crew, even later night kebab, and a damn nice sleep-in today. Finally sleeping thru the night and getting a proper schedule down…

Today was another of Chris’ days off, so I took the day off as well and after a late lunch and some shopping we wandered down to Turku Castle. It was overwhelmingly cool – wandering up and down crazy little staircases, standing in awe of vaulted ceilings, and being our own tour guides. I mean, we were standing in a place that was built before our home country even existed – it was hard not to recognize that North America is a land without history… that we’re all only a few generations removed from immigration, and we’re really locked in a perpetual novelty curve, rather than building on a longview of history.

One thing really resonated during the tour that was somewhat unrelated… there was a group of kids there that we initially thought was a school tour, but we realized was a birthday party. They fell behind us while we were touring the castle, but once the tour guide hit her point of frustration trying to teach their squirmy attention deficits, they zipped ahead of us and disappeared into a secret hallway off to the side. We nosed about a bit, and realized there was a big ballroom hidden in behind there that was set up for their birthday party, and we heard the kids all break into a rousing version of Happy Birthday in Finnish. Nothing surprising there, but as soon as they finished the first round, all of the kids seamlessly sang it again in perfect english. Chris and I sat there in kind of stunned silence as we came to the realization that a whole big huge group of 8-10 year old kids were inherently bilingual. Extend that to the whole culture – these are an incredibly well read, well educated, healthy, beautiful people who all speak flawless english as a second language.

Again, it’s an affirmation that they’re better than us.
Even the 10 year olds.
(sigh).

Wrapped up our afternoon with a nice swim and sauna (the Finnish are *insane* about their saunas — 5 million people here. 1.8 million saunas) and now we’re just playing a few rounds of “maximize the airmiles” on some travel websites.

Comments (1)

I have for so long, had no interest in europe…you are changing that! Take me with you
xoxo