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sometimes blue
DrewI am a thirty something married gay boy living in Sydney, almost on top of the gay scene but not in it! Why Sometimes blue?, because I love blue, but also I am sometimes blue :)
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Goodbye Oulu hello Paris

I am now in the legendary city of Paris home of The Louvre, Palais de Versailles and so far the rudest service staff I have met in years!

But before I talk about Paris I wanted to talk about Oulu.

Waiting for my flight to leave for Oulu Airport I looked at the Departures board and it did make me giggle a bit. It would seem that there is no other destination from Oulu than Helsinki :)

I must admit that as the plane took off from the airport it hit me that I was not going to see the girls again for a few years and I did shed more than a few tears. It's funny how people come into your life for a short time but you stay in contact with them over the years and they become very close friends.

Landing in Finland last week it really did not feel like it was five years since I last saw the girls, it really felt like it was only a few weeks or months. I won't get to sappy but they really do go out of their way every time I see them and make sure I have a fantastic time!

*wipes away tears*

But back to Oulu and some really interesting observations about the place. This was my third trip to Oulu, I have been there now twice in Autumn and once in the dad of winter. I do love the place and the extreme differences between Australia and I suppose a large city to this decidedly small city.

One of the results of being so far North in the World is both the climate and surroundings and what this represents! Oulu is very pretty and at this time of year there is an intense yellow as the trees all turn and this amazing display of colour is everywhere.

Oulu is very flat which for me coming from Sydney which is very hilly really unusual. Berry picking int he forest with the dogs Hiski and Jalo (who I totally fell in Love with) was really cool! But at times unsettling for me as I would have been lost in two minutes without the girls as there was no higher point of reference for me to look at.

Something really interesting about Oulu and Finland in general is the influence of Russian architecture and design in the buildings. Oulu especially is very Russian in it's influences of the buildings with very strong angular straight lines. There was a huge property boom int he seventies to house the population explosion and much of these buildings are in a very Russian style of box like with small windows.

A really fascinating historical throwback is the Nuclear bomb shelter the bottom of the girls apartment building. It makes perfect sense since the Russian border is just a scant few hundred kilometres away and in the seventies when this building was built, it was the height fo the cold war!

These days the bunker is used as for storage for apartments, but it was pointed to me that the construction of the storage cages was done in lightweight wood that could be ripped out very quickly in the case of a surprise Nuclear Attack on Russia.

You can see in the pictures the huge metal blast door which would have been slammed shut with the airtight seals around it. On the wall you can see the seal able air vents which were all perfectly serviceable as I discovered when I closed one.

The girls were amused by my interest in things like this but as I explained we just don't get things like this in Australia!

On my final night in Oulu we had dinner and drinks at one of the Girls house on the outskirts of the city. She lives in the most amazing old falling down wooden house. Her mother was a nurse who looked after the old lady whose house it was and when she died my friend was given free rent to live in the house for as long as she would like. Really fascinating with huge white boilers in every room and many of the original features of a house built in the late nineteenth century.

There is a lot more I want to describe, but I am waiting for the boy to arrive from his long flight from Australia so I will leave with a special just for the boy. This is Sari showing us where the Crappy Gay Bar is (CGB).


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