I Swear It’s Work

At noon today I found myself in a pub in the middle of Helsinki, hanging out with about seven 50+ year old men drinking. Well, I wasn’t drinking but they sure were. Welcome to day three of the study, were we studied a retired man in his late 60s start his day in a pub hanging out with his friends. Hanging out in the pub generated many-a-hilarious stories as a bunch of his mates started to talk to us in broken and a bit intoxicated English. After the pub we went to his home to talk to his wife and see his place. Once done with the observing we went to Stockmann’s to get dinner, took it back to Minna’s apartment and worked on our report until 2300.

Luckly, last night I slept quite well, for about 9 hours. In fact, the alarm on my cell phone went off at 7:30, I snoozed it knowning I didn’t have to be up soon, and then I woke up on my own at 9:30. Groggily I remembered I had told Megan that I’d call her at 9, so I picked up my mobile and was greeted by her angrily saying she’d been up since 5 or 6 in the morning. I went over to her place at 10, checked in to our new hotel, and got brunch on the Esplanade. Megan went off and did some shoping while I hung out at the cafe and did some people watching. It was nice to get a morning to do a bit of relaxing before heading out to the aforementioned ‘work’. Pictures here.

Commentary for the day: everybody here hates America and specifically Bush. I mentioned this before, but talked to those gents in the pub makes it not one day that I haven’t heard this. The most painful comment I heard was from a man who was a pensioner in this late 60s (a friend of our subject) who said “America is a sick country.” He was telling me how the biggest crime rings in Europe are not the Scillians any more, but the Russians, but the biggest criminals in the world are the Americans. He called Bush crazy. The crazy part for me was, he wasn’t just some European America-hater, he had thought Regan was a great president! This election is not an American election, the fate of the world in many ways is resting on its outcom. It’s sad that now that the USSR is gone as a world power, we’ve become the unilateral superpower. Europe really needs to build a pan-European military force to fill the gap in firepower the USSR left behind.

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