Jet-lagged and puffy-eyed, I looked down at the placemat on the breakfast table in my Helsinki hotel the other day, and laughed out loud. On the placemat are printed a number of phrases in English, with translations into Finnish. A few lines are serious but most are tongue in cheek, meant to provoke a giggle.
Such as: "Is that stuffed reindeer for sale?''
And: "My hovercraft is full of eels.''
Not forgetting: "I'm so lost.'' (Olen hukassa).
The hotel is delightful in lots of ways. Nicely appointed and attractively designed guest rooms. Good location walking distance from Helsinki's vibrant Design District and eye-pleasing, tree-linede Esplanade. A cool (though lighty used during my visit) lobby bar. A healthful, bountiful breakfast buffet.
The hotel's name? I thought you'd never ask. It is the Hotel Fabian, located at 7 Fabianinkatu 00130 Helsinki, Finland. tel. 358 9 6128 2000, www.hotelfabian.fi.
On the room card, another message is printed: "We don't mind if you stay longer.'' I wouldn't mind either.