My current workplace is situated near Kurvi, which is a smallish region in Helsinki’s Sörnäinen district. Sörnäinen is next to Kallio, which is known for its many bars, prostitutes and drunken people having fun – so generally it’s a pretty merry area. Most of the serious drunks and addicts seem to get pushed to Sörnäinen, and if you want a tour of what the holes in the social security net let through, feel free to visit Kurvi – day or night.
I usually have my lunches in Kurvi’s Picnic-cafe, which is the only place where you can get a light lunch. It’s always interesting to see what you can spot during the three block walk there. If nothing else, at least you have the table full of old convicts in the cafe talking about their court cases and jail time loud enough for God and his subtenants to hear.
What Kurvi offered me today was a guy who looked like an ex-con in his 40s, sitting on the steps of the office of children’s psychiatry, hugging a deflated sexdoll and listening to a transistor radio going full blast, which he was pressing tightly against his ear.
When I walked past the spot a couple of hours later, the only sign of him was a discarded latex glove.
Yeah, welcome to Kurvi.