Conversation 1 with receptionist:
-Please can you ask the carpenter who is hammering in the corridor just outside my room to work somewhere else for an hour or so.
-No, he has work to do.
-So do I, I have to make phone calls but I can't hear anything.
-Well you'll have to call from somewhere else
- Ok, can you give me a key to another room
- No, you have a room
-Yes, but I can't work there
-Why don't you use your mobile phone outside
- I don't have a Finnish mobile phone. I want to use your landline.
-We don't have any other rooms available.
(I went over to talk the carpenter instead who didn't mind working on another floor for an hour)
Conversation 2 with the same receptionist:
-Can you tell me how long it would take to get to Esbo by taxi
- No, I can't. It depends
- Ok, well ballpark
- I don't know, it depends
-Are we talking 30 min, 1 hour, 2 hours?
- I don't know. I can't say!
- How far is it?
- It depends on how you drive.
- The shortest route
- I can't really say.
- Can you phone the taxi company and ask
She phones the taxi and hands me the phone
- Can you tell me how long it would take to get to Esbo
- No, I can't really say. It depends.
- Are we talking 30 min, 1 hour, 2 hours.
- It depends.
-Ok, I need to be in Esbo by 12.15. So should I order a taxi now though (it was 10am).
-No, that's too early
-When do I need a taxi by?
- I don't know. It depends
- Please send me a taxi anyway.
- It's too early
- I don't care. Just send one.
Furious with all of Finland I strutted out of the hotel with my head held high...only to slip on the ice and fall flat on my back, where I stayed for a while pondering over what I might have done lately to deserve this.
It took 20 min to Esbo so I took a long penguin-style walk in a snowy park.