Our last night in Helsinki!

After a 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 great!

Kindly allow 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 nationalities. 

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.

I have 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 in Helsinki!




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