Posted by: suemason | June 13, 2011

Speaking in forked tongued

Today we said farewell to Anssi, Raija and the sick Jowett. Our time with them has been the best, and even though ‘the project’ remains to be Finnished, worse things happen at sea.
Which will brings me neatly onto our next adventure. With NXX in the lead we left in damp dreary grey weather, towards Helsinki where we will stay for three nights, park the cars and take the ferry to Tallin in Estonia.
We navigated some beautiful country roads along the way eventually stopping in Porvoo / Borga for sightseeing and coffee. if you Google this name you can read all about its history.
Absolutely no one approached us or asked about the cars. Shame really as I had declared that next time I would say it was older than I was. Not even a traffic warden came by though we had stayed longer than our allotted hour. Onwards then to Helsinki/ Helsingfors. Interestingly, place names on road signs are given in Finnish and Swedish and this changes order depending in which area you are.
Imagine having Baaarnsley and Bahrnsley on signposts switching round as you enter Yorkshire and you get the idea. It made not a bit of difference to our SatNav woman though, and her pronunciation of both languages was laughable. But we made it to the airport Hotel then took the town service bus all round the houses into the city. Only 500.000 people live here so there’s plenty of parking but frequent train, tram and bus services make driving in the city a bit pointless.
Back at the Hotel we poured over our maps and I-phones planning tomorrow. No doubt we will get a chance to speak a little Estonian if its only please and thank you. Hopefully we will be more accurate speaking there than my blunder of this evening when trying to help out a Chinese business gentleman at the Hotel. He spoke no English so he got the full force of my Mandarin. Unfortunately I translated the price of a tube of toothpaste as €250 than the actual price of €2.50 . He’s now convinced Finland is the most expensive place on the planet, and has gone to bed with pickled herring between his gums.
Tomorrow Tallinn.



  1. Ah, but you should try the picked herring toothpaste!

    I like the comparison between Swedish/Finnish and (am I right?) Yorkshire and Lancashire dialects but sadly the language politics of this small country are rather more complex.

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