01 May 2005
Tampere_Saw Don's apartment, met his roommates and spent some time at his school. As I mentioned before, apartment_not that great. However, his school is very nice, as are his roommates. I made him no-bake cookies [his favorite, my specialty].
Helsinki!_ate at a noodle restaurant, visited beautiful church, saw Kiasma by Steven Holl, and some other famous buildings. Went to a Marimekko store [aka AWESOME, it's Finnish designed textiles] and could have spent alot of money. Only bought a bag, but really loved it. Matching clogs, hat and umbrella would have been ideal, but decided to budget.
Kirkkonummi_home to Paulina and Porvoo [Don's friend]. Caught up with Paulina and Ahti, and met her 3 youngest children for the first time. Were treated like royalty [thanks for the hospitality, Paulina] and got to enjoy some home-cooked meals and family time. Went to Porvoo's house for Wappu [the May 1st celebration]. May 1 is a huge celebration in Finland because it marks the coming of spring, and is also a student holiday. So, on April 30, everyone gathers together with friends, eats and gets drunk. Then, on May 1, people picnic in the park. They also wear their student hats and coveralls. It's very interesting. So, Don and I got drunk with Porvoo, his wife, and then a bunch of Finns I had met for the first time. We sang some songs, ate some good food, and drank alot of wine and champagne. Also had some interesting conversation. Joined Paulina's family for the rest of the night. Ate Wappu funnel cakes for breakfast.
Espoo_Ahti took Don and I to see the Helsinki University of Technology in Espoo. The buildings were designed by Alvar Aalto, a Finnish and favorite architect. He also drove us to the airport. Had a great time and learned alot. Will share those insights tomorrow.