The thunderous convergence of Rotterdam Unlimited

It was as though I could hear the thunder before I saw the lightning. My high stool could have rocked – if my ear drums hadn’t trembled and knocked me off onto the pavement. The beer vibrated within its glass, which pulsed atop rhythmic shockwaves drawing near. Then, everything stopped: the quake on the ground, the air-shattering thuds… MORE »

The melodic resonance of Sastamala Gregoriana

I’d come to the old church to revel in its acoustic resonance – yet the only echoes I perceived were dirt grazing against my sole, and the soft-spoken Finnish dialogues between Johannes and the elderly parish overseer. But then, the recital wasn’t taking place until the evening, and the prolonged sunlight during Finland’s summer had me… MORE »

Canoeing on the lake, Kuhmo

The sunset draped a glean on the sapphire lake and turned it amber – and we were about to run our canoe head-on to the shoreline. My focus was so fixed for a moment on the horizon, the bold line of landmass – the Finnish town of Kuhmo, distantly – separating the two patches of… MORE »

Dinner at the Helsinki Fire Station

The evening gust caressed me and cooled me down; I hadn’t noticed my body was overheating – from climbing up almost-ten storeys of the watchtower, no doubt, but was that another source simmering in my pores from spending the last three hours in the kitchen? My gaze hopped over the balcony’s barrier and captured my reward:… MORE »

On travelling with chronic suffering

“Oh no, not again.” Two bites into the main course and the all-too-familiar sensation punched my stomach. Like how we rehearsed it, I commanded my muscles to tense and suppress the abdominal simmer. No use. The fizzling was violent like seismic activity inside me; the invisible fist, now an unclenched paw, was scraping against my gut inner lining. The containment… MORE »

A photographic sketch of Rauma

Question was: which house to look at? Structurally, every wood-panelled lodging in Rauma’s historic Old Town seemed uniform. To walk amongst them was like miniaturising myself and meandering within a diorama; aligning the grids of side streets and public squares, they may well be model houses mass-manufactured in the same design, in minute variations of shapes and frameworks. Yet… MORE »