Sunday, January 17, 2010


Sophia and I have done a lot of mooching round the shops. We have visited the large department stores around the kauppatori. I am a sucker for stationary stores and book shops. We have been here 3 weeks and I have bought 3 pencil sharpeners. I have been buying yarn for myself and Sophia. There is a treasure hunt aspect to any shopping since we don't know the language and we don't know what is popular. I consider each shopping expedition an important anthropological expedition even if it revolves around socks or underwear.

Learning about school shoes from a woman at Stockmans was fun. And when I gave them to Sophia, she was very pleased.

Sophia needed an apron for her art class and I discovered not only aprons, but reflective vests and wrought iron gadgets and all the wooden shelves you could desire in a store on our street. My friend, Mari, told me this is the prison store. Turku's answer to Corrections Creations. No wonder I was loving the offerings. The store motto is "handicrafts from a place beyond time."

Sunday I decided to visit the Kirppis that I heard about from Keisha. Sophia's school said it would be a good place to buy skates or skis and sent home the address. Sophia decided to stay home reading Harry Potter, but Chris wanted to come even though he was not savoring the anthropological importance of the trip. He kept saying, "We don't need skis or skates". His inner explorer was not yet awake. I, however, was buzzing with excitement and armed with several carrier bags. Who knew what artifacts I might uncover. Finnish life in 2010! It was all there waiting for me.

Kirppis comes from the word kirppu meaning flea. It was like being at the J & J Center but in one large building. The place was hopping. What were people buying? I have no idea, but the man behind me at the check out was holding a small TV with a price tag of 10 euroa. Chris allotted 20 minutes to the expedition. This gave me just enough time to decide I had to return...solo.

We scored: a blini pan, a can opener, a package of high lighters, some tissues, some tupperware like boxes.

Our successful day was rounded out by a trip to Frolic Hour at the Petrelius pool. For one hour on Sunday, two lanes usually filled with dedicated breast strokers and water walkers are combined and filled with floaty toys for kids. Sophia loved it. And she loved the sauna at the end.


  1. Frolic hour!!
    Do they let kids in the saunas, then? Here the public saunas (at hotels and such) always say you have to be over 12 or sometimes 16. In Sweden we used the bastu from a very young age, but that was a private one.

  2. I guess they let the kids use the saunas. She also used them 2 years ago when we were in Finland. Since I can't read any signs, I am blissfully ignorant.

  3. Doctors orders to new mothers is that no sauna before age of one, since childs temperature controlling system is not ready yet. But after that its allowed everywhere.