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Published: February 27th 2009
They save money by leaving the S off their sign, but it really is Stockman.
I got all caught up on sleep, finally. Cleaned up and wandered down for a quick breakfast in the hotel. Runny eggs; these could become an issue. Finnish food so far is great, but their idea of scrambled eggs is a half-poached runny mess. They're not all that bad, but harried work mornings call for some familiarity after a while. I think I may start throwing a plate of them in the microwave and see what happens.
After breakfast I hit the street to find a voltage converter. Here's the history: I need a voltage converter because I brought my clippers so I can do my own homegrown haircuts. This is the only device I brought that doesn't have a built in voltage converter. Well... I brought a damned voltage converter: Jensen JEN1600, per its advertisement converts 220 to 115. Perfect right? Well, hook that mofo up and power up my clippers and they are running at warp speed. I mean WARP SPEED. So I knock that crap off right away. Now how do I know if my clippers are messed up or maybe my converter? Well, I have a surge protector... So not being electrically inclined I decide that
I'm becoming a regular here.
plugging the surge protector in... Seems to me if the voltage or whatever isn't right then it'll trip and then I'll know. Well, the surge protector didn't trip... The hotel breakers tripped! My room wend dark... I opened the door and the hallway was dark too! So I quickly grabbed my flashlight, found a panel in the corner of the hallway, flipped some switches and everything came back to life. I ducked immediately back into my room and nobody knew the wiser 😊
So now I'm off to find a voltage converter. There's a large department store called Stockman that has pretty much everything you'd ever need so I went in there. But guess what? I can't read Finnish, so the thing I bought was wrong. I figured for 39 Euro it should cut my hair itself! Anyway, I give up on that mission for the day 😞
I headed back to the hotel to send some emails and relax with a movie. Although I didn't watch a relaxing movie... Wanted, not bad, definitely entertaining.
After the movie it was dinnertime so I started walking down the streets trying to find someplace that looked friendly. I walked
They allow cigars so it can't be that bad, right?
into the Celtic House figuring at a minimum I'd have a cider. They have good ciders here, something that's a bit tricky to find in the US. So I've been adopting the attitude of trying to eat and drink here what I can't get at home. Well, the bartender is a friendly guy named Jussi who speaks great english, has lived several places in the world and keeps me plenty entertained for a few more ciders and some fish n' chips. Done with the food I'm in the mood for a cigar. Jussi recomends a bar called Bricks that's been grandfathered in thru the smoking ban so I headed that way.
A five euro cover, that included coat check, and I was heading to the smoking section. Bricks is an interesting bar down in the basement of one of the main drag buildings in Tampere. It's got as you can imagine some brick walls and relatively new decor otherwise. I get a Laphroaig and try to find a seat. The only open chair is at a table with a couple cute girls so I ask if I may sit down and they agree. Some quiet times passes, but Finnish shyness passes with booze and they soon ask where I'm from. We had a really great conversation. They were having a girls' night out. Maikku is a married chemical engineer, mother of one and her husband is a huge rockabilly fan. Petra is a college student working on a social services type of degree. They were very friendly, asked for my email and promised to keep in touch and help me out with ideas of things to do in Tampere and elsewhere in Finland.
The Finns are typically shy people who don't tend towards small talk, but so far everyone I've met is extremely friendly. It was a good weekend, and we drank too much Lonkero, but I'll talk about that another day.
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