we wake up, pack and have breakfast. We then go out exploring the city. It feels so different and European. The streets are cobbled and the shops have plaited chairs out the front and round table with brass trim. Everything is lit, but ever so dimly. Light is so considered here.
The buildings are beautiful, big, staunch, functional. They feel powerful and Russian? We find a bookshop with a english history of Finland.
We go shopping and then back to the hotel for a coffee before calling an Uber to take us to the train station. The train is comfortable and efficient. We both feel clumsy and I feel like a bull in a China shop trying to find our seats and stow our luggage. Again, everything feels so quiet, so insulation. Like it’s a vacuum, like the whole country is holding it’s breath, so scared/polite/cultured to make a sound, all treading so lightly.
We arrive at Tampere and am picked up by the residency assistant Carrie, The is an Englishwoman that speaks like an American. She asks us about our studios practices, we both feel nervous. On the car ride back we talk about the darkness (the sun has disappeared by 4pm) and the quietness of Finland and the Finnish people. It starts to snow as we drive to the residency. The snow flurries being flown around by the velocity of moving cars are so beautiful in the car headlights. It all feels dramatic and quiet and beautiful.
We meet the other residents and make dinner, always feeling too loud and too much. We go to bed at 9pm. I sleep ok but not great, I am restless. It feels like we’ve got too much space in this room, and I am intimidated by the expectation to fill it.