double blind peer review process, the verdict on my conference paper submission
came back as: 'Accept with no changes'. This may imply that my paper is
me a minute to gloat...OK. Enough of that.
Now, let me tell you of the Kafe Moskova.
The little description we got of
this place was that it was ‘weird’ so we did not know what to expect. Our
Finnish friends explained to us that the theme of K. Moskova was Russian
socialism. If your 20th century European history is as rudimentary
as mine, then you too have no clue what such a theme would look like. I was
now curious to discover the mysterious Moskova while looking forward to
enjoying my present company which consisted of no less than five different
We proceeded to open the door of the Kafe Moskova and found ourselves in a small queer room that,
on close scrutiny appeared to be a bar. No wait, let me give you
some context. My group and I, were a bunch of academics from around the world,
who converged at the University of Helsinki for a doctoral summer school. This
was the last day of a week-long workshop, and those of us who were clever,
intended to enjoy as much of Helsinki as was humanly possible before we returned
to our drab doctoral work in our respective universities.
already written a lot about my experience at the Doclinks Summer School and it
would be pleasurable, though not useful, for you to read my five previous posts
on Helsinki. Back at the Moskova, I was puzzled by how dated everything,
including a young man at bar, looked. This young man sipped his whisky
pensively as if entertaining seditious thoughts against a neo-liberal government. A group of middle-aged patrons were the only other people in the bar. Speaking in low tones and seated round a decrepit table, I could have sworn that they were
planning the next big European revolution.
Except for my flashy outfit, I too would have passed for a socialist after spending only a couple of minutes in the Moskova. The atmosphere was very compelling and as we sat down by the only other table in the room, we were naturally drawn towards reflective conversations on family histories, culture, politics and such like.
But to be
honest, not everyone I was with would wax lyrical about the Moskova. The
frequent sneers and furtive curses from one of our colleagues, could have been
a sign that she did not like this place very much. To her credit, I admit that Moskova is not for
everyone and I would not even recommend it. You might instead enjoy the more
conventional club that we went to soon after.
It was now 1 am but some of us had already proposed to the night, very much like Lady Gaga did when she sung, 'I'm gonna marry the night!'
But now I
say too much. You must come back for the sequel to this tale of our last night
Labels: Doclinks 2013 Summer School, Helsinki, Kafe Moskova, travelling to Finland