Finland. If there is a perfect opposite to the hustle and bustle and warmth of Southeast Asia, it’s Finland. From Laos, we flew to Bangkok where we were going to have an amazing 24 hours of seeing it all. Well, I spent 24 hours with a huge fever in bed at a nice hotel sweating out a real SEAsia bug. So after seeing the nice hotel lobby, we flew to Helsinki (because it was the cheapest route back to America). As soon as we arrived in downtown Helsinki, I noticed it: silence. It was so quiet in Helsinki it made me nervous at first. Where were the street vendors shouting? The motorbikes zooming past? And why was it so cold here in summertime? Welcome to Scandinavia.
We had about 24 hours to see Helsinki, so we wasted no time and went to the Helsinki Cathedral, aka the White Church. We spent a good part of our time walking around the city — I was so excited to finally be in a place with sidewalks again.
The architecture, the buildings — it all felt familiar. I started wondering if this same feeling would be with me when I return to Asia some day in the future? I guess I’ll have to go back soon and find out.
I have to say, my love for Scandinavia grew by the minute. Where else do people bike to work in suits?