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Ad Majorem Annae Gloriam

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Nothing like being in Finland to make me realize I do, in fact, understand Swedish. Well, by contrast to Finnish any Germanic language (let alone Romance or Slavic) seems comprehensible. But I do like the sound of Finnish... heroically resisted dropping 30 euros on Finnish grammar yesterday (I am a freak who likes grammar books more than dictionaries, even), because I reminded myself I will have no time to even look at it anyway when I get home.

Tried reindeer. Not sure I would be able to tell it apart from beef with my eyes tied, though the taste is a little different. Also, finished my quest for Baltic herrings by trying two kinds of Finnish herring. I think my mother will be disappointed by my findings... Today I am going to try and find a place which serves pike... Also, I was already starting to seethe at the low to nonexistent quality of service in restaurants here (way worse than in the States - maybe I am spoiled, but I am thinking of switching my position and arguing AGAINST paying waiters a living wage - then they don't work at all), but yesterday I ate at a really nice place, and confirmed that it's just age-old universal premise of "you get what you pay for" - just here you need to be in an a lot more expensive place to get decent service vs. the States. Italy is still unbeaten in my book as far as the service level goes.

Yesterday the wind from the sea was very cold, but I spent basically the whole day on the water or in immediate vicinity thereof. Suomenlinna is pretty nice... today I am just going to take it easy and wander around the city. It is my last day of travel... Overall, it was a good trip, too short to see everything I would have liked to see, but enough to get a sense of things. If only I didn't have to go back to work... it's not that I don't like my job - I am growing to realize that I simply don't particularly enjoy having to earn my living. Shall I buy a couple lottery tickets when I get back to NJ?

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I wish I knew Finnish...if only for the Quenya connection.

I also prefer grammar books to dictionaries. Having a decent structural knowledge of a language goes a long way :)

Come back! We miss you!

Нихачу. Но пришлось.

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