already my nose feels snotty.
On monday I turned 36. sigh and sigh again. I wandered out into the sunshine with my dear finnish friend, Heli, and we sat in some asphalt courtyard surrounded by trailers selling weird fried shit. (mainly hamburger style concoctions on rye bread with plastic cheese and gerkins). However, despite it's gritty setting, in the moderate temperature of 8 degrees and lots of sunshine, the Tampelentori took on a kind of italian plaza feel. People sat in the sun and slowly peeled off layers of heavy coats and mittens. Heli's toddler slept and my feet started to sweat under my moon boots.
It wasn't quite Turku - which if I was drunk - I'm sure could be desribed as kind of Parisian. Set around a central river whihc runs out to the sea, it's full of old bourgeouise building, and in the orange afterglow of a spring time sunset it took on quite a festive air - as all the local kiddies - bedecked in goth wear and brightly dyed hair sat on the cobblestone river banks swilling salmiaki vodka. aaah finland, finland, finland... It's the place I want to be.....
turku nightlife had been a bit of a highlight generally. My friend took me on a tour of the best cafes and pubs (hmmm a sober pub crawl, in finland, only mayhem would do it), whihc included a cafe named after finland's greatest arhcitect, Alvar Aalto, and culminated in the local Dyke bar.... which was at the back of some plaza - filled with kirrputori selling Latch Key rugs.
We walked in to the dyke bar - which was almost empty except for a table of young raver style manga goth girls and another table of 40 something butches - who all stared at us. gulp. My friend - a high femme - ordered soda and cranberry for us both. We went and sat in on the blue velvet raised corner seating and admired the decor - which kind of reminded me of hawaii, and the UNITY BAR in Paris.
I forgot to post about my adventures in the dyke-zine launch in New york. Lets just say that alison Behcdel quite possibly is some sort of freaky master of the universe. Because I can now say that I've been in various dyke mileus, in various cities, for more than 15 years, and QUITE STRANGELY - the differences between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Lyon, Paris, New york AND turku are astonishingly few and far between. Maybe there are only 50 lesbians in the entire world and the rest are all clones or a mirage or something.
I was meant to go out to the local Tampere gay bar for a women's dance last night - but I misread the programme (not hard given it was in finnish) and so came home instead. I did catch a performance art event by local megastar MonaRay, but not after walking into some scary bar full of men wathcing soccer.
i've even seen clones of ABEL. And frightening numbers of mini-me's.
I left NYC with a duller plum shade through my hair - so I now look like a standard middle aged bookish finn. Obviously i don't talk like one.The food - largely consisting of Pirrakas (rice or potato filled vulva shaped pastries) and porridge has
bulked up my weight again - and I can't wait to get to old blighty to find some fresh vegetables. (who'd have thought it).
anyway - at least we finally have sunshine - and the sun doesn't set until after 8pm. So I'm off for an evening stroll along the now melting lake to watch the sun set over water and ice.
this wekeend I'm heading off to england feeling a tad anxious because my accommodation is looking really shaky. I'm meant to arrive in central london at about 2am on sunday morning. (shudder). One accommodation offer is undergoing home renovations and is squatting in a corner of their kitchen. another one hasn't replied to my emails, and a third is weighed down with early parentitis. PLUS most of the inner city youf hostels have a strict under 35's policy - and are already booked out!
Strangely enough, acute anxiety seems easier to deal with than depression. I could just hang out in stanstead airport until something turns up...... they have coffee after all