Fifth Stop: a short break in Kouvola


We are now travelling again East. We left Tampere this morning and searched for some time for National Road 6. On the exit from town we passed the hospital where Venla was born.

We travel and travel. The girls are getting tired of the car and of changing place every day or second day. But they are good and continue with their strange way of communicating in Finnish with the mother and English among themselves. We tell Olga to use Finnish with her sister but she replies that Venla does not know enough Finnish. And she is right. As for me. Italian has been abandoned many kilometres ago, in the Philippines. But I do not give up: speak to them in Italian and get replies in English. This is how our little family works.

This part of Finland is quite dull. Flat with just few very very low hills. Fields. Patches of forest and, what is quite surprising, no lakes. It rains. The national road is very quiet for Vietnamese standards, but with some traffic for Finnish ones. These are trucks travelling to Russia. Transporting goods or maybe returning empty after a delivery in Finland. There are also Russian cars. Mainly big ones such as Volvo four wheel drives.

When I was young I wanted to become a lorry driver and drive across Europe. I remember looking with admiration at the German drivers who used to bring their huge trucks full of cattle in our farm house or Catello, the Italian driver who worked a lot for our family with his huge Iveco travelling one week to day to Sicily and the next to Hamburg. As it turns out I have a job a like which is making me travel much further than the European borders.

We pass Lahti. Then Reach Kouvola and stop for a coffee which turns out to be a full typical Finnish meal with smoked salmon. I walk in the garden with Olga and she discover a mini wooden house for kids. It was used by the two cousins of Katja who live here.  A dream toy for Olga. She ventures in and soon she opens the door and with her head out asks me: papa’ do you want to play restaurant game?

I sit on a mini-chair and make my order: coffee with mil and pulla. Olga goes back in and I hear her starting to put a imaginary cattle on the stove.  I look at the garden and notice a bush with kind of Asian plants with rain drops resting on the long still green leaves. I think about the road we travel and those lorries.  Maybe this trip is turning also into a trip into memories, at least for me.