Friday, August 18, 2006

Finncon: Thursday

The trip to Finncon started on Thursday around noon when Pasi and I took off from Turku towards Helsinki, car full of stuff to bring to the con. There were banners for STk, buttons for Tutka (and STk as well), loads of fanzines, and of course our own stuff as well.

After a couple of hours, we arrived at Paasitorni, unloaded the boxes, picked up Jukkahoo and headed towards the Otaniemi sauna by the sea where the guests of honor would be arriving later in the afternoon (we’d promised to help Jukka with the arrangements). Once we got there, I took to warming up the sauna; gophers brought refreshments and other necessities, and Jukka continued what I understood he’d pretty much been doing for the past few days: talking on his phone, making sure everything was progressing smoothly.

Stepan and Kia Chapman, guests of the con, were the first to arrive. After a while, Eemeli brought in the guests of honor, Jeff VanderMeer with his wife Ann, Justina Robson and Rickard Berghorn. A moment later, Ipa arrived with another foreign guest, Cheryl Morgan.

Jukka giving the goodie bag to Jeff VanderMeer Jukka giving the goodie bag to Justina Robson
Jeff VanderMeer and Justina Robson receiving their “goodie bags”.

Justina Robon, Jeff VanderMeer and Stepan Chapman checking out the contents of their goodie bags People standing around in the sauna lounge
Hanging around, waiting for the sauna to get warm.

What would a sauna be without the ritual of barbequing sausages?

Sausages on a brick barbeque Jukka’ sausage shining in a beam of light
Behold the sacred sausage!

Stepan chapman eating his sausage Rickard Berghorn, Otto Mäkelä, Jukka Halme and Jeff VanderMeer tasting the sausages
Mmm… yummy!

Justina Robson, Kia Chapman, Maija, Ann VanderMeer, and Cheryl Morgan relaxing after the sauna

After everyone had had their chance to relax in a hot, steamy room, the guests took off to dinner. We quickly tidied the place up and headed for St Urho’s Pub where the Helsinki fandom biweekly pub meeting was just beginning.

It was pretty hot, crowded and noisy in the pub—unless you asked the locals who said it was unusually quiet (at least earlier in the evening), but I think everyone got a seat, at least for a while. People from other cities and some from Sweden started arriving, and the guests joined the crowd after their dinner.

People sitting at tables at St Urho’s Pub People sitting at tables at St Urho’s Pub
People at St Urho’s Pub.

I left relatively early, because I was staying with friends, and didn’t want to arrive too late at my hosts’ place (where we stayed up ridiculously late, talking this and that, and drinking some very fine 18-year-old islay malt, but that’s another story), but from what I gathered everyone had a very good time at Urkki.

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