Ovi -
we cover every issue
Resource for Foreigners in Finland  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
Stop human trafficking
Ovi Language
George Kalatzis - A Family Story 1924-1967
WordsPlease - Inspiring the young to learn
Murray Hunter: Opportunity, Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Stop human trafficking
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 23 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 23
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-04-16 09:12:16
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
23. Leena's colourful house

And here I was sitting in front of a small coffee table with three cups of coffee, well one cup and two big mugs with a heart design on them. I have to admit they asked me if I wanted this extra cognac but I refused using my health for an excuse; the truth is that eleven in the morning is just too early for me to start sipping cognac!

I think I had better start from the beginning. I had a weird evening thinking what would be the best excuse to avoid the morning coffee with Leena and that continued also in the morning but I have to admit that no good excuse was coming, you see when it comes to your next door neighbour no excuse is good, they can always check looking out of their window. And it was just after half ten when my doorbell rang and Leena appeared at the door with a small pack of sugar.

“I hope you haven’t forgotten,” she said with her funny accent. I wish I had and I wish I was a few thousand miles away but I just nodded. “I brought you the sugar and I came to make sure that you will not be lost!” she said with a giggle. I have to admit that I had never been invited out of the blue for morning coffee from a Finn so I had no idea what I should do. I mean we weren’t exactly friends and I never been to her place before so I had no idea if I should take with me something, some buns or some kind of sweets. Thankfully I had a pack of Greek sweets from my last visit to Greece and that looked enough good and perhaps exotic for a present. I asked her to give me a minute and after putting the packet into a paper bag I found in the kitchen and put on my jacket I followed her to her house.

Leena was wearing a bright yellow jumper that really made her look much younger and a pair of old jeans. I hadn’t realized how short she was until she started walking next to me and I felt that I was really shadowing her. The weather was surprisingly good and the distance only a few meters so despite the fact that the winter was far from over and there was snow everywhere around us I put on my sports shoes and walked next to her to her house.

It is really strange when you have seen somebody moving in and then go inside their house; there is a weird familiarity with the items inside. I mean I had seen the wooden long table in the hallway just next to the entrance door and I had seen the big Chinese vase on top of the table next to newspapers and old post with supermarket brochures. Then there was the big mirror I had seen Leena her self carrying inside the house.

The sitting room we sat waiting for Juha to appear was a mixture of styles with obviously a lot of pieces coming from others all mixed together, a lot of them from her family house as she mentioned later and all of them pretty colourful with green and ochre really reigning. Juha was still in the bedroom getting ready something I found a bit rude since she had come around to my house to lead me here but then that was me and perhaps he wanted to make some kind of a royal appearance.

His delay was somehow good because it gave me the chance to calm down a bit and have a small chat with Leena who was in an exceptional talkative for a Finn mood. She told me about her family who originated from east Finland and now had all moved to Helsinki, well not exactly all, her mother still lived in a small village at east, in the lakes region but her two sisters and one brother had moved to Helsinki the last ten years, all of them with families that included kids. And this was the first surprise of the morning. She said that she has a daughter who lives with her father but visits her often. Fine I have my own stereotypes and I should have never thought like that but still the idea of a daughter living with the father and just visiting the mother somehow hit me strangely.

And just the moment she was ready to pick a picture from the little desk next to the window Juha appeared or better stormed in the room. The room, I mean the sitting room was pretty small and the strangely combined furniture made it look even smaller, an old wooden sofa with green pillows and another old leather double sitter with a huge flat screen television in the front. Then there were two garden chairs and a very old yellow comfortable chair I was sitting. A small coffee table in the centre of the room and another serving more as working desk with a laptop on the top next to the window. Behind the leather sofa was a bookcase with all short of books all in Finnish I could definitely not understand what were about and then small thing all around some of them touristic memoirs from trips abroad. There was even a small Parthenon obviously from a visit to Athens.

Then there were a lot of small and bigger frames on the walls some of them with family pictures or Leena in foreign places obviously on holidays, old family picture some of them black and white and a big replica from a known painting I could not recognize at the moment from a museum. I’m not sure if I can give you a better picture but the place looked packed and with a colourful small carpet in the floor it made it look smaller from what it really was, and the place was definitely small! So you can imagine the entrance of the man who was twice the size of Leena in the room seemed like a storm entering. I stood up to say hello and I got a “Moi,” and a quick and very soft hand shake.

Read the other chapters

<--Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 Next-->
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi