After the bookshop we went into the National Museum, looked at a photographic exhibition of rural life but decided we didn’t want to pay a hefty admission to go into the main part of the museum where the current exhibition seemed to be about Barbie dolls!
In a children’s playground beside the botanical gardens, two young Chinese women were both busy with their phones while their children a boy and a girl aged around 3-5, charged around with delightful exuberance – up and down the slide, leaping on and off the see-saw, bouncing on spring-mounted animals. When one of the women eventually looked up from her phone, I managed to ask her if she was Chinese and tell her a bit about our travel plans, but we soon lapsed into English. She and her friend are on a whistle-stop tour of “the North Countries” (Scandinavia), and are in Helsinki for just one night. She’d taken a photo on her phone of a statue – some guy on a horse – and seemed surprised that we couldn’t tell her who he was. It was only after we moved on that I realised they’d assumed we were Finnish, since English is the common language among travellers from everywhere.