Waiting for the train at Rautatieasema (Helsinki Railway Station)

Right now, I am on the train to Järvenpää to join some people for lunch. It is the first time that I am using the train alone in Finland, the second time I am using the train in Finland and perhaps only one of a handful of times that I have ever been on a train. So, I was a little apprehensive about using it (which is maybe why I have not used it yet in almost a year here in Finland). But there is really no need to be.

I bought my ticket from an automated machine. They are a new system which had the commuters a bit flummoxed for a while and caused many delays and long queues. But it all seems to be sorted out now.

If you are short on time, you can buy your ticket on the train. Just make sure that you go to a car that sells tickets. My train has a little digital display saying whether you can buy a ticket or not. I accidentally sat in a car without ticket sales. As I have a ticket already, that’s no problem. Also, according to a local, these cars are actually better because they are less crowded and quieter. Here’s more information (in English) about buying tickets.

All in all, the train was quick and quiet – I just had enough time to write this quick blog post and then I had reached my destination:

My destination

Update:

The train was so easy to use that I got off at the wrong stop! Actually, I thought I needed to get off at the Järvenpää station but I really need to get off at the previous one. Matka.fi had directed me to the correct station but I had presumed that it was the Järvenpää station without checking as I had come back from there the week before. Only once I had gotten off the train and vaguely followed the matka.fi directions, did I realise that I was in the wrong place because I couldn’t get find the roads mentioned.

Fortunately, it was a balmy -3°c with light but constant snow! With benumbed fingers, I stood there and forced my iPhone to find my current location and direct my steps to the desired, warmer one. The phone took some convincing to stop thinking that I was still in South Africa – maybe that’s where it wanted to be at that moment..

It was a 2km hike on a fortunately straight(-ish) road to my destination. It was only right at the end that I took a wrong turn and ended up adding a little bit (much) more to my little adventure. By the time I landed at my friends doorstep, I was snow encrusted and my makeup was spread all over my face – I looked quite a state! But after a few minutes in above zero conditions, I was resuscitated and feeling fairly human again.

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