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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
Next 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!
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
And 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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.