June 7th: Summer in Helsinki

Thinking of getting my first tattoo with these guys. Late start. Went and sat in the park, in the sun, and drank bad filter coffee I accidentally ordered two of. Sun is intense here. Days are warm - really warm. Can feel the UV. The land here is amazing though. Lush, green, riddled with massive submerged boulders that form the natural slopes and contours of the earth. The park wasn't that big, but people were sunning themselves on these craggy, sloped stone slabs rising up out of verdant clover. Beautiful. It's everywhere. Of course this entire place converts completely come winter. I'm seeing it at its best. Carlos was stoked that he finally got a washing machine so he didn't have to leave his apartment during winter to do the washing.

Wandered down to Siltanen, passed on lunch, found forty euros under the table. That lifts me a little out of the red for this month.

Realising I need to get my act together RE my time here. Work is the priority, but I need to take the Metro out to a national park in order to find and photograph something I promised for R. And there's a second-hand market here that's apparently really amazing. Need to get details off J. And there's a guy living here named Ian. He's from Cairns, my brother grew up with him. Been trying to sort some time to hang out. Might just manage it before I leave. He's busy with out-of-country business and in-country family stuff.

Realised I left the camera back at the apartment. Feel naked without it.

We're headed to Estonia on Saturday. J, myself, and a crew of people I've met but I'm unclear on who is actually going. Enough to make it worthwhile at any rate. The original cheap boat over was a booze cruise and they wouldn't have let us disembark, but Trond managed to wrangle a deal through something he's a member of so we're off on a different ride.

If I could I'd nomad forever. If these grants pay off I may at least be able to do it for a little while. And there's the possibility of a Berlin residency. Will be taking German lessons when I get back if it looks like I'm staying in Oz for a while. I could be there for a few months or a year or so, I've got no idea. Could be longer.

J describes German as being the easy parts of English and French as the difficult parts. I'd kinda pay that. And if I learn German reasonably well it'll only take three weeks to get conversational-ish in Dutch. And that opens up places like Holland and Belgium. I think I just like the idea of being able to speak with people more than anything. I mentioned at the party my first attempt at a foreign language was Finnish and that pretty much killed them. At least with German it's essentially a language made of intuitive codeword replacements for English. Finnish... Jesus. There's actually no point in my even trying. Not when I'm here for three weeks. It's taken J a four-year residency.

You know what I like about things over here? Women don't walk around attempting to be as naked as possible. No muffin-tops, no visible underwear, hardly any sloppy dress sense. Jeans, long skirts, whatever. Man, balm for the soul. Christ. And they read, and when people talk it's not about television. It's about experiences and language and people and desires and ambition and history.

I love Australia, I really do, but the current culture... not for me. If I never hear about Poh's Kitchen again, that'll be just fine.