We have walked around in Helsinki on a rainy afternoon, hoping to spend the night at the local fire station. However, there is no space so we make our way to the campground outside the city. On our way we meet a friendly couple with their small children, who suggest that we pitch our tent in the park in their neighborhood. There is a soccer field which is never used, with several tiny cottages around it. It saves us kilometers now and tomorrow morning, so we find the spot, pitch and sleep.


Not that we actually sleep all that much. Some young guys and a girl have decided to party all night in their cottage, which is close to our tent. Oh well, those are the breaks if you camp wild. Towards the end of the night it becomes quiet and we finally fall into a deep sleep.
Suddenly a huge noice. I scream, while waking up. We are being shot at! Or not? Antoine tells me to calm down. "I am calm" my mouth somehow manages to produce. As quickly and coordinated as we can we open the zippers of the tent and I jump outside in my underwear and a T-shirt. "WHO DID THIS? I WILL KILL YOU!" comes out of my mouth, in a strange, very low tone of voice. I seem not to be able to speak normally anymore. As I walk around the tent I see a Coca Cola bottle, filled with water, lying next to the tent. The drunks must have had a blast throwing it at us.
We realize everything is allright and we crawl back into the tent, this time with all the zippers open. We do not want to sleep anymore but lie down to let the shaking of our bodies go away. My throat hurts and the adrenaline is still running through my veins. The silly thing is that we feel completely safe. It was the shock while being fast asleep, which was the worst. Although it is not even five in the morning, we get up and leave.
In Helsinki we sit down to eat an apple (stores and bars are not open yet) and are bothered by another drunk, who pretends to impress us with karate.


We sigh when we finally sit down in a nice cafe with a cappuccino and a croissant.

2 Reactions to: “Shot”

  1. 1 Marian Febvre

    Hello Chantal,
    What an emotional ‘almost adventure’! You have to have a strong heart to make it past this kind of moment. I’m glad you got back to the normalcy of a cappuccino and a croissant.
    Thinking of you, as always,

  2. 2 Dottie Ragouzis

    Dear Chantal and Antoine,
    We went on a little holiday this summer and I am still trying to get “back on the track”. Don’t know how you two do it.
    What a fright you had. Waking up to a shot that you felt was aimed at you.
    We thought you were in a civilized country now. One wonders about the bad ways alcohol can manifest itself.
    I received your lovely postcard from Estonia and thank you very much.
    You two are so special.
    I’m trying to keep up with your travels now.
    Think about you lots.
    Love, Dottie R

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