Friday, September 19, 2008

Helsinki.

I didn't update my journal, either paper or online, yesterday. My stomach feels a bit queasy; I'm not sure why.

I did something very, very stupid today (stupid in the financial sense, not the personal safety one). I forgot to check my Eurail pass for discounts which means I spent twice as much as I should have on my ferry ticket. As Aki sensibly pointed out to me, it would have been cheaper for me to fly back to Stockholm. I hate it when I don't think and I hate it when I miss obvious things; it makes me annoyed with myself.

Helsinki was quite nice, not least of which was because I met up with L.'s friend Aki who very generously showed me around and let me crash on his couch. We saw (and I am likely to get the names wrong here), the Helsinki Cathedral, the Russian cathedral, the market on the shore, the fortress island complex of Suomelinna, and the Tower to get a view of the city.

The highlight of the day thought was going to Fazer Cafe, a posh little place I'd passed the day before, but hadn't stopped at and so couldn't stop thinking about.

I quite believe the cake I had at Fazer is going to be the closest thing I have to sex for quite some time. I ordered a jewel-like, glistening, raspberry topped sweet, filled with custard, and nesting on a crust which tasted exactly like shortbread cookies. I wish my writing weren't so blunt so I could convey the full splendor of that dessert, but I'll try as best I can.

As good as that confection looked (like a ruby, only better because it was edible) the taste...oh gods, the taste. First, there was the tart sharpness of the raspberries prickling my tongue and making me salivate, followed by the smooth, sweet, creaminess of the custard, warming in my mouth and spreading across my tongue as it melted, and finally the crisp bite of the shortbread, a textural contrast with both the jellied consistency of the raspberries and the sensuous richness of the custard.

The first taste made me dissolve into a puddle in my chair, and the feeling didn't diminish with each subsequent bite. Over and over again, there was the tartness, the creaminess, and the crispy finish, every taste as intense as the last. For the first time, I understood the full meaning of the phrase, "Having your cake and eating it too."

The mint macchiato afterward, with it's harsh yet flavorful bittnerness, felt how I imagine a cigarette would feel after an evening of great sex. After the whole thing, I left the cafe with an improbably inappropriate grin on my face, stumbling into the street.

I'm on the ferry for the rest of the night, and don't imagine I will have much to report whilst I'm in the middle of some unknown body of water. Tomorrow, I'm back in Stockholm, and will see the VasaMuseet, Nobel Museum, Ikea, and the Ice Bar before moving on to Copenhagen, the birthplace of The Little Mermaid (squeeee!!!).

1 comment:

Holly said...

Unfortunately, can't say I've been to Helsinki yet, but spent 1 week on Stockholm and Copenhagen each, where you seem to be heading off to and I'm glad to inform they're absolutely awesome places. I'm sure you'll enjoy it very much!

Btw, I loved your blog! I'm fascinated by travel-logs of sorts and yours seems pretty original.