Locked Out – A Photo Journey Of My Forced Time Outside

Yesterday I made the brilliant mistake of locking myself out of the apartment as I left for a quick lunch break.  I work from home so normally I try to head out for a few minutes to pretend I am a person who enjoys social interaction.  Plus it reminds me that I am not in New York City anymore and I don’t have to worry about randomly winding up in a choke-hold by the NYPD for some arbitrary violation. 

As I closed the outside door to the apartment (which locks automatically), I realized that my keys were still in my gym bag from the morning.  (one more reason exercise is bad for you!) Luckily I had a fully-charged phone and my wallet.  I can honestly say that there was not a single moment of panic.    I say this because I really needed to force myself out of the house and away from the computer.  I’m glued to this thing night & day.  It has been incredibly nice outside which isn’t normal for Helsinki and I really needed to be forced out.  Here was the unplanned opportunity.

So being the content-driven person that I am, I not only decided to take my unfortunate situation in stride, but also felt like I should document it with photos so that I could share what I did with my afternoon.  So with that in mind, I present to you a photo journey in and around Helsinki while I was locked out.

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Locks in Finland look like this.  They lock automatically when the door is shut so if you leave your keys inside, you’re pretty much screwed.  I did this and I was screwed, but I was in high-spirits, and so off to lunch I went.

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Now I can’t really tell you why any brewery would make a beer that is 2.5%, but I can say that it tastes like beer-flavored water.  It was very hot out so a bratwurst and a beer sounded like a match made in heaven, but the beer wasn’t very good and the brat was dry.  At least it was a nice view of the market from where I ate.

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This is the market by the docks in Helsinki.  There’s something like… 50 or 60 of these produce stands with tons of fruits & vegetables that are super-fresh.

2014-08-05 15.09.53The market brings in food from all over but I think it’s mostly home-grown goods.  There are a lot of touristy things here too like animal skins, Finland tee shirts and other items for the visitors to go home with.  It’s a pretty fun place if you have nowhere to be.

2014-08-05 15.13.09Next to the market there are a lot of ships.  I’m a big fan of ships with sails and this guy was parked a few hundred feet from where I ate.  I didn’t hang out by it for too long because I had sent a text to my friend Jussi and we were going to meet up for afternoon pussikalja!

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On the way to meet Jussi I walked down Esplanadi, which is a big tourist destination, though a lot of locals hang out there too.  It’s a well-kept park near the docks that stretches several blocks with a lot of cafes and restaurants on either side of it.  People usually sit in the sun drinking their choice of poison and eating pastries.  It’s a pretty enjoyable walk.

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‘Pussikalja’ is a concept.  The word combines two words, ‘pussi’ (bag), and ‘kalja’ (beer).  The concept goes beyond a bag of beer though.  If you are going to have pussikalja that means you’re going to sit in a park with beers you bought from the store and drink.  Naturally this is a great concept so Jussi and I had a nice time in the sun drinking beers until my skin started to burn and we moved to the shade where the picture was taken.

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My wife was at a meeting in a land far, far away so I was still key-less when Jussi took the train home.  I decided to sit around for a bit (tough decision, right?) and wait to see what the plan was.

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When her meetings ended my wife and I decided we should meet up and go to Suomenlinna which is not only an old fortress, but home to a brewery where I had been wanting to go try some beers.  So being that it was nearing the end of my ‘work-day’, we went.

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For the third time of the day I found myself walking down Esplanadi, only this time there was some live music.  I stopped for a moment and snapped a picture.  I didn’t stay long because I had a boat to catch!

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Ah, some happy Finnish people deboarding the trusty steed that would be ours to voyage into the great Baltic Sea on our ocean adventure… Okay, really it’s a small ferry that takes us out for about 15 minutes to the island of Sumenlinna, and those ladies were staring directly into the sun.  Sorry gals.

2014-08-05 17.24.06And we were off.  I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to drink beer on these boats.  Not that we would do that.  I mean, there’s certainly no photographic evidence of it… did it happen if no one can prove anything?

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Ah, our destination!  By now I was burnt to a crisp… my forehead looking like fresh lobster… my skin feeling like sandpaper… my thirst having only been quenched by the fascination of life around me (and beers).

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So on the island of beer… er… Suomenlinna… there is this brewery.  I had heard about it several times and I was really looking forward to trying it out.  It was really a perfect day to do this because I was already feeling rather adventurous.

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Bottoms up!  The bartender over-poured my beer.  I certainly wasn’t going to issue a complaint to the manager…  The beers weren’t as good as I had expected and being that they were over 15€ for the two I can honestly say it’s not worth it.  They didn’t suck, but they were nothing special.  Location, location, location!  I enjoyed the experience and I’m glad I got to try them out finally.

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As we approached Esplanadi for what would be my fourth time of walking the length of it that day, my wife suggested we take the tram instead.  I had been walking for something like six hours at this point so a quick tram ride was a good idea!  The wind was blowing pretty hard and I actually thought that red tent was going to fly away.  It didn’t.  Entertainment fail.

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It was a long, hot day.  It started off pretty lame and turned into an adventure that I wasn’t expecting.  The day ended with some cold white wine and a nice breeze coming in through the window.

Sometimes we need to be forced to do something a little different.  I took the opportunity to look at being locked out as something positive.  I turned it into a small adventure for myself and I had a good time with it.  I didn’t do anything too crazy, but it was an unexpected day of fun when I would have otherwise sat at my desk until dinner.

Sometimes it’s the small things that can put a smile on your face.