We are on our way to Frankfurt – sitting on a local train and enjoying the unexpectedness of travelling. We decided to switch trains in Karlsruhe in order to catch a faster train going directly to the Frankfurt airport. But, alas, it turned out to be full-booked, as was the next one, which is why a local train it is. It’s crowded, baby carriages, bicycles and people going to who knows where. The scenery is gorgeous though. One can see more this way than sitting an extra hour at the Frankfurt airport. The best place to have spent the hour would have been Strasbourg, but of course it is understandable that people want to be on the airport in good time.
Strasbourg was beautiful – the most beautiful of these three cities by far. And possibly my new favourite of the middling sized cities – you can’t really compare it to Paris or St. Petersburg since they are so different. It is a shame we had such little time to spend there. The place is really worth a visit.
We walked this morning to the European Court of Human Rights. The building itself is like a big space ship, but it’s situated in quite amazing surroundings. We walked along the river bank when we returned to the hotel and it was really one of the most beautiful routes I have ever seen in my life. Could not tear my eyes away from the river. It flows steadily – speedily – past the court and almost seems to wash away the sins like the autumn leaves which float on its surface. The graceful swans embrace the river banks and with their existence symbolise the compensation that the court distributes.
We were introduced to the operation of the court by P. The speech he gave appealed to me in a way the most of all the presentations. It brought closest to reality the work that they actually do here – as if it is something that really matters. Can you tell that human rights interest me more than internal markets and competition? P wasn’t the smoothest of all people, but his examples were very enlightening.
He was also quite endearing when he introduced himself to me after the lecture. You see, I’ve been working as a courier this trip too. I was supposed to get the proofread articles from our honourable judges to J for the Lakimies-magazine. I’m not absolutely sure that the versions I got are exactly what she wants. If not then she just has to rely on modern communication methods.
They were talking of childhood experiences in the train – one of them. I did not catch half of it, since we were sitting a bit further – Eavesdropping? Me? Never! – but J said something along the lines of sharing childhood experiences, since putting them through the group therapy would help people get rid of childhood traumas that were a hindrance to finishing the dissertation. A joke, I know, but so much truth in it as to be worth a rueful smile. What a masochistic experience that would be; one I’m certain most people would not be ready for. When everything that a person goes through in thirty years gets dropped in your lap in an hour, it is too much. It’s much better to use things like...blogs, for example, as a personal therapist. I don’t know if it quite fair to do that, but no-one is forced to read blogs.
And it takes time before one gets comfortable with the idea of the net as a place where you can come across real people. I have for example told a couple of people at the Uni about my blog and it appears that they don’t read it. I think there are limits as to how well people wish to know you. Another question is of course whether it is naïve to share all your inner contemplations on the net. It is completely possible to misuse information of that kind. I am not as naïve as not to understand that. Yet that doesn’t stop me from writing. The benefits outweigh the dangers at least so far.
Also díscussions of plans of going to Tuscany next year. That would be very lovely. The countryside there is quite amazing too – maybe not quite as wonderful as around here, but still gorgeous. To Florence I’ve been twice already and it – unfortunately – didn’t terribly much impress me, but the idea of olive-picking and wine-harvesting is absolutely frigging marvellous. I would love to do that.
The journey is almost finished. On the airplane now: the food has been eaten – somewhat better than on the way to Brussels, but still not receiving full marks – the paper has been read and the evenings educational BBC-documentary is over. Our people are talking in the rows behind me, but I’m feeling a tad too travel worn to participate. I’m not an extrovert and there always tends to come a point sooner or later – and usually sooner – when I just can’t socialise anymore.
The security on the Frankfurt airport was again relatively high. They search you when you go through the security. Our line was a bit short of the electronic whatchmacallits so only men where checked with those; women were done “manually” by a pretty brunette. She had soft hands. Aargh, life is confusing. Pre-Tillian thoughts again.
Speaking of R+, Ilta-Sanomat reports that Rosenrot is on sale in Free-Record Shops. The DVD-version for 18,99 € – just today and tomorrow. I will not be happy if the DVD-ones are sold out before I get my hands on one. It’s a limited edition and Finland has plenty of Rammstein crazy people – the only country that got Benzin to number one on the singles list already during the first week. Yes, your merry little Finland. I want to hear ‘em songs.
We are almost to Helsinki. The trip is over and we’ve been to the important EU-institutions now. That takes a lot away from their remoteness, but also from their “pomp and glory”. The offices were like offices in any building, the people just like the bloke sitting next door – could be me if I had made my choices differently. Could be anyone – at least in Finland. In countries like France or Britain it may be a different thing, but at least in Finland anybody can become anything.
R asked what the best thing about this trip was and my answer was then food, company, architecture and scenery. After Strasbourg I had to add that city – the walk from the court. The adjectives just fail there. Sometimes things and places just are so beautiful that you have to stare and let them carry you with them.
I hope there is no snow, no snow, no snow... I cannot take snow yet, especially not after the weather in Strasbourg and Frankfurt. It was frigging warm there – almost 20 °C. Those lucky bastards! Lucky bleeping bastards.
Hey, and thanks to everyone who was along. I had fun. Next year in Tuscany, ay?
Nearly here now.