Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Language helps

While in Helsinki, I try to get photos of cruise ships even here. A so called "Peace Boat", Ocean Dream at Katajanokka. I was there at least an hour before the departure time. After a while I saw a young man with the camera mounted  on a frame. He was with a man, possible his father. They were walking around, especially after 19:00 arrived and the ship did not show any signs of leaving.
I went to them and said something about the departure time. The other guy took earphones  out and said something like: is she talking to us. OK, I thought, leave you alone. But then I heard that they were speaking Swedish.
Swedish - the magic word. When I spoke to them in Swedish, the older guy started talking to me and was quite friendly. Now when I think, maybe I should have said something to the younger one as well. Finland is bilingual, everything from street signs to all kinds of documents, is written in both languages and Swedish is taught in school. The relationships are not always very good, many do not want to study Swedish at school or have met some who have been high and mighty. I have always got along with Swedish - speaking people, have had Swedish friends. And why not, my grandmother was Bro and her parents were Swedish-speaking.
The ship did not leave until c. 7:30, it was waiting for the pilot boat. While I was waiting, I was watching a bird, seemed to be related to sandpiper but it had an orange red long beak and reddish feet. It was quite alone and seemed to find something to eat, as it roamed a long time in the grass under some trees. I talked to a girl who said she had not been able to find it on the net.

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