When we arrived in Helsinki, it was freezing and snowy and lovely. A little while after, it warmed up and hovered around zero. This means that all the lovely snow starts to melt, and then it refreezes. This creates scary, slippery ice. I catch lots of buses traveling around Helsinki. As the ice started to appear, I had many conversations with myself about how I wasn’t going to run to catch the bus, because I would slip over and break my teeth, and miss the bus anyway. Lots of conversations about this.
So then I was in class on a Thursday, and right at the end our teacher gave us a lecture about being careful on the ice, because it is very slippery. See, I told myself, I was right.
After this particular class I have a 40 min bus ride to get to my next class which is in a different campus. So I carefully made my way to the main road, where I saw that my bus had jut left the stop. Oh, I can totally catch that, I thought, and started running. Carefully, mind you, I didn’t want to fall over after all. Careful all the way around the corner and down the unexpected ramp, until I looked up to find the bus stop and *whap*, I was over. Twisted my ankle and it bloody well hurt. (The Finns continued about their day, as is to be expected.)
It swelled up very impressively, and produced very impressive bruising. Plus, my foot filled with liquid and made disturbing sloshy, squidgy feelings when I walked.
I eventually went to the nurse at student health, which was a minor adventure all of its own. The first time I called to make an appointment, I was put through to someone who put me through to someone else, who said I’d called the wrong number and she needed to hang up now. By which time it was too late to call back. The second time I called the poor person on the phone had to take down my details while I mangulated Finnish and English.
When you have an appointment with a nurse, you are given a room number and are told to present yourself there at a particular time. This I did, and presented myself only a few minutes late. Thereis no recptionist or anyonejust a door,likeall the otherdoorsin the windy corridor. They each have a button you can push, which I did. I got the Yellow Light, which I took to mean ‘Wait’ and so I did, until I was invited in by someone who was perfectly lovely but didn’t want to give me crutches. But I sufficiently complained until I got some.
Crutches here have sharp spikes so you can kneecap anyone who looks at you the wrong way, and presumably so you don’t slip on the ice. It’s noticeable how many more people there are on crutches when it is icy.
My ankle still kind of hurts now, but don’t think I get any sympathy because the first thing I did was to load myself up on painkillers and go tobogganing (sledding, pulkkamäki for all you non-Australians). Also spent the next few weeks ice-skating, tobogganing and dancing, then going home and complaining because it was sore. I think I will survive.
you can see photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/precis-of/sets/72157625983021179/
~ precis of
PS As a result of visiting the nurse, Student Health asked me to fill in an online questionnaire. To log in to this service, I had to enter my phone number. When I enteredit, a computer called me and requested a pin code, to be entered on my phone. When I entered the code, the page on my computer screen opened into the questionnaire. wow.