Sunday, September 13, 2009

A step at a time...

Walking is the best way to discover Helsinki.

When you walk, you look around you, and see that behind the bush you pass in a tram is a small urban garden that you have never seen. You see the dogs with the soulful eyes inside cars and outside supermarkets waiting for their owners. You even get to pet them, if their owner happens to come by.

You look up, and you see the architecture of Helsinki. Many have complained about the Helsinki buildings looking too sterile, but they have not seen the peacocks, spiders, mermaids and imps that adorn the apartment buildings. They have definitely not seen the micro gardens that hang on their hooks from the balconies, small rebellions against a space limitation which prevents one from having a garden.

You look sideways when crossing the road, and you see a beautiful sunset on one side and magnificent clouds on the other. You look back and straight ahead and see the sea and the ghosts of hills who fell to the power of machinery.

You feel eyes on you, and you look up to meet the big green eyes of a cat staring at you from a window. You look down and a see a blond, blue eyed little face with surprise written all over it, who just realized that humans come in dusky and black too. You stare back in both cases, share a moment, and walk on.

You get waylaid by dogs who feel entitled for affection. You talk in sign language with the driver of the car when there are no signals to cross and you both need to continue your journeys. You catch men people looking at you, and like it, love it, and sometimes feel creeped out by it.

You press your nose to the front windows of the shops which stay closed, and marvel at the beauty, the uniqueness and sometimes the ugliness of things for sale.

And you realize that, the best thing about walking to your destination is the freedom to stop and enjoy the possibilities of the journey, be it walking alone or with a friend.

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