Thank you, not f*** you!

A nice short walk this lunchtime that was just the ticket after a very long day yesterday, travelling from home to Helsinki. Long delays at Heathrow meant that we flew around four hours later than advertised, and reached Helsinki in the night, in the four hour window when the city bus doesn’t run. So a taxi from the airport to the hotel, with a potentially scary but funny incident took place.

It was around 3:15am here – we are two hours ahead of the UK – and snow was falling lightly and had settled pretty much everywhere. It was clear that the taxi driver did not have English on his résumé but that is usually not a problem. He steered through some difficult roads to reach the hotel, one where I stayed on my previous visit. I was really really tired and as he pulled up, I said, “Thank you!” He frowned and I realised that his English was very limited, thinking that I had said, “F*** you!” Even after speaking more clearly, he didn’t get it. He was not best pleased and I eventually had to fall back on French, which fortunately he did have some cognition, and everything was sorted.

I had difficulty sleeping despite being absolutely knackered, and had every intention of going for a short walk anyway today. Snow was still ever present: 

and even the main river passing through the city was part-frozen. 
The paths and roads were snowy and icy so I took it very easy, with many locals passing me as I sauntered along. It was hard to relax, knowing that a fall could be catastrophic. It is bad enough breaking bones at the best of times but the complications are multiplied by a factor rather greater than 1 if that were to happen abroad.

But it was pleasant and not so cold as you might think, probably around freezing. Only about 4 miles but it was good to get out. I need to get some sleep now.


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