Tring Tring…my phone ringing on a Saturday morning…and that too an unrecognised Finland no. Was I surprised??? It was Sirpa, a lady I had chatted with for a couple of minutes in the office break out area. She had made the effort to call my manager to take my number from him.
She wanted to take us with her to a place called Koiteli, about 20 kms from Oulu where the Kiiminkijoki river runs.
I sure was pleasantly surprised! I asked her where should we reach…and she was like… we will come and pick you up. That was the 1st surprise of the day!
The second surprise was Koiteli itself. This was in early May and the river was so full of water because of all the snow that has just melted…lots of rapids with people river rafting, which actually bought back memories of another trip quite a few years back.
The place itself was very beautiful….a perfect picture postcard place. It had a freshness about it. Bright blue sky, white clouds, a rapidly flowing clear blue river, CLEAN river banks…
I couldnt help thinking of all the picnic spots in India where we have rivers and falls. On a weekend, easily one can see some 20-25 buses and uncountable cars…And all the kids and adults in the water, having a blast, making so much noise.
We walked around a a bit. It is like several small islands in the river.
And then it was time to leave. Again I suggested to Sirpa that Harsha and myself could take the bus back to Oulu, but she surprised me ONCE AGAIN. She invited us to her place for some snacks and tea. That is so so unlike Europeans. I thought that it is ONLY Indians, who will open their houses to everyone and even offer the master bedroom to house guests while they themselves will take the couch. Only Indians who go overboard with cooking for guests!
But so was the case with Sirpa. She laid out a full table of snacks for us. I was so touched.
This just reiterates the point I have made in in several posts that the Finnish people are very warm and nice. Don't know why when I say this to any Finn he or she insists that they are surprised to hear that, as they are generally an unfriendly race!!!