After what felt like five, looked like three and turned out to be about one and a half kilometers, I find a shop. Not the shop, a shop. Finnish, being what it is, does not read well to the foreign eye.
“Arkoomapahjeknogijluh?” I read aloud from the sign.
Hoping it means convenience store, I approach.
A man with a mullet and two eyes intent on escaping each other each, opens the door.
“Hello” he says to my backwards hat and look of bewilderment. I smile.
“Hi–uh–sorry, Is this the shop?”
“Yes” he says. He motions for me to follow.
It is not a shop. It is a house wearing a shop on its walls.
“We have one-thousand post cards, ” he says, motioning to the wall. I look around, I don’t count, yet I agree. He takes me deeper, onwards, into the store–not store. I start to get nervous. He takes me into a back room. There are art supplies everywhere.
“Wow” I say, feeling wary, ready to leave. I turn. A large woman blocks the door. She smiles, her bottom row of teeth are black.
“Hello,” she says.
“Hi,” I tell her.
“Did you see we have one-thousand post cards?” she says.
I smile. I turn to the man. He is nodding
“Mhm. Yes. Wow,” I say, weakly. The man moves her aside.
“Come,” he says to me.
Like a good boy, I do.
To a deeper room we go. There are statuettes and hand-made pins. The woman follows us; she blocks the door. She is wearing a green shirt.
“You see,” he says.
“I see” I say, noting any weapon-worthy objects and realizing slowly that these people could tie me up, force feed me one-thousand post cards, and leave me in the basement to rot without anyone having a clue.
I start nodding and looking around the room. They watch me. Not wanting to be rude, I just keep nodding.
Finally, I buck up the courage to say something. “Do you know where the food store is?”
They look at each other. Then, the man sighs.
“Half kilometer,” he says and starts walking towards the front door. Post cards line the hall. He waves to them, a sad wave.
“One-thousand post cards” he says wistfully.
I smile empathetically, I hope.
Once we hit an open room, I dance around him and make a b-line for the door.
“Nice, nice,” I say, nodding at the walls as I make my escape.
I get back to the road and continue my walk.
…TO BE CONTINUED