Monday, 29 October 2001
I got just a bit of writing done this evening. I'm rewriting a couple of scenes that used to be in immediate action so that they're told by the hero to a friend. I need to get the friend in more, because he's an advocate for one of the false alternatives. Also, the scenes as they stood were way too long. Now I can get all the important info packed into just a paragraph or two.
I've been away from this story long enough that I really need to read it again before I do much more. I've managed to forget enough of the details to make a difference.
It is also long past time to start work on a new story. I've got an idea.
I thought I'd note a few of my observations about Finland for future reference. (Never know when I might want to set a story there.)
I spent almost all my time in Finland either in my hotel or else in Tampere Hall, which served as the testing venue. I interacted almost entirely with geeks (mostly from European companies) or else with people in service industries (hotel desk clerks, waiters, etc.). I'm sure this gave me a very skewed impression of Finland.
The closest we came to interacting with ordinary people was on the walk from the hotel to the testing venue. It took about 20 minutes, lugging our test equipment. I figure it was about a mile. (One day I had to go back to the hotel twice, which gave me three round trips. I very nearly got enough exercise that day).
We saw a lot more people riding bicycles than you see most places in the US. That was good to see. More people were walking than I'm used to as well.
There were a lot more blondes than I'm used to seeing, although not as high a proportion as I imagine Sweden has.
All the people I interacted with spoke English. The only person who even had trouble with his English was the customs guy. On the other hand, they didn't immediately spot me as an American and just start out with English, the way everyone did in Germany. People would speak to me in Finish, and then switch to English when I replied in English.
Sauteed raindeer with mashed potatoes and lingonberries is yummy.