Thu 02/05/09 (Day 5) - Pea Soup Day


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February 5th 2009
Published: February 26th 2009
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Thursday is Pea Soup Day across Finland. Apparently the Armed Forces serve pea soup with pancakes (and Lingonberry jam) every Thursday. It's made from green peas in Finland and yellow peas if you're in Sweden. Story has it that this originally started as a religious thing in preparation for fasting, but there's also a story of a Swedish King whose death is said to have come from eating a bowl of poisoned pea soup, maybe on a Thursday? Kicker is... neither Dave or I tried the pea soup today, but we were affirmed that it would be available next Thursday, as well as the one after that and you get the idea...

Leaving work I got nabbed in a speed trap 😞 The Prius is such a damned beast it's hard to keep it under 40 kph. Anyway, they nabbed me at 80 in a 40, ouch. I played dumb American (not difficult for me) and the policeman was nice enough to write me for only 60 in a 40, the cheapest ticket they have at 115 euro. Most of their fines are based on salary so this could've been ugly. The police car was a very well-appointed Skoda wagon, just like my brother-in-law Frans drives... So I guess he's the French equivalent of those old Americans that drive white Ford Crown Victorias and make everyone slam on their brakes until they realize it's just an old fart. Anyway, nice leather in the Finnish police car, and get this... Polite cops! I couldn't believe it. There was no cage separating you from the front seat and you could open the doors from the inside. I caused a bit of confusion when they told me to leave and I just sat there waiting for them to let me out. So they said to get out again, and I said, "Don't you have to let me out?" The female cop replied, "No, you can do it." So I opened the door and said, "Hmmm, well you can't do that in an American police car." To which the Finnish policeman asked, "You are in police car often?" Let's just say they didn't believe me that my brother-in-law is a police officer. Even so, they were polite enough and let me go. I need to add... This whole event came to be because of the damned Prius. Dave and I were trying to figure out how to work the wipers or lights or something. We had the manual out and really weren't paying attention. Damned Prius!

The town where we work, Halli, is very small. There's no hotels, maybe one restaurant and a gas station/ barber/bank/bus stop combo sort of thing. So most people stay in Jamsa, the closest town with a hotel and I believe a whopping two restaurants. Well... We toured Jamsa on the way home from work today. As you can imagine, it's not quite as hoppin' as Tampere, but definitely closer to work. We had dinner at the Hotelli Jamsa. Dave got ribs (way to branch out). I had duck and a Finnish potato scallop which is essentially a sandwich of potato scallops and a huge chunk of goat cheese, quite incredible and incredibly rich. So much for trying to get fit over here. The hotel was

Good food, old stuffy hotel (with even older, stuffier pictures of some Boeing coworkers on the wall)... I think we made the right choice to stay in Tampere.

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