A Perfectly Normal Day

By Jane Mountain | August 2, 2013

4621 km so far.

At 7am, when the ship’s tannoy announced that we were nearing Helsinki, I was overjoyed to discover that I had slept almost the entire night. Stephen had not fared so well. His night was The Amazing Snoring Roommate: The Return.

Yep, the same freight-train-throated man who’d made the first crossing so miserable was present and accounted for on the return journey, ensuring that Stephen and his two other cabin-mates didn’t get any rest.

People, if you have a snoring disorder, maybe splurge for a private cabin, OK? Maybe we should start a charity. Private Cabins For Snorers, or something?

Good To Be Home

We were relieved to get off the ship, where everything was a little tacky, noisy, grotty, and just… not that nice.

When we got to the apartment, it felt good to be home. Even though it’s not our home, whenever we stay with someone, we get a temporary feeling of belonging to a place, which is nice when you’ve been on the road for as long as we have.

While in Russia, Stephen and I had planned to take over the apartment even more by throwing a dinner party tonight. We wanted to cook for Yacine and Jaakko as a small thank you for their hospitality. We also wanted to meet Satu, the yoga teacher who helped Stephen set up his outdoor Helsinki class and also put us in touch with Yacine in the first place. Today was dedicated to organising our lives and planning for the dinner we would make.

In between chores, we managed to find time for a long walk on the waterfront near the apartment.

We found a little cabin for sale, pictured above, if anyone’s interested. Only €29,000, only usable two months of the year.

Yoga Bores

When you get more than two yoga teachers in a room, the talk inevitably centres around the world of yoga. We both love discussing the trials and joys of being a yoga teacher with the local teachers wherever we go, and tonight was no exception.

Helsinki has the opposite problem to most of the cities we’ve visited so far: there is just too much yoga here.

In the last few years, studios have sprung up like wild mushrooms after a Polish rainstorm. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to open a studio than it is to find solid, well trained teachers, so the quality of the yoga in the city varies wildly. There is also fierce competition for students, causing rifts in the community. We’re no strangers to yoga drama – we saw our share of it in LA. It sounds like it may be a little more intense over here though.

We were having such a great time, I totally forgot to take even one picture. Ooops. Everyone looked stunningly gorgeous and the food was utterly perfect, trust me.

Once again, we feel so lucky to be allowed a little window into the lives of the people who live here, and to have the chance to make a few more new friends.

Stephen’s note: One of the things I really wanted to get out of this trip was a connection with some of the people we meet along the way, to get to know what people’s lives are like in their country, and to connect with some of the people in the yoga communities we visit. Tonight’s dinner party was such a fantastic opportunity for all three of these. I feel very fortunate to be part of a community that is truly worldwide, and that helps me find people like Yacine, Jaakko, and Satu.  

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  1. Comment by Jaakko

    Jaakko August 6, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Thanks guys for the visit! You are always welcome back! :))

    • Comment by Stephen

      Stephen August 9, 2013 at 4:06 am

      Thanks Jaakko. It was so fantastic of you both to share your home and lives with us. Careful, we will no doubt be back at some point, and need floor space.

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