(Also on Jacob's Blog and the Seventh Heaven Blog..)
After a hectic weekend, when I went to Tampere with Sunil, in a van taking materials to set up four apartments and which included a side trip to Helsinki to check on how Raantel apartments were doing there, we left Tampere late on Saturday evening to return to Oulu so that I could speak at the Free Speech Day in Oulu Otto Karhi Park.
We arrived back at Oulu about 6 am on Sunday morning. I had a nap and went with Annikki to the public park, equipped with my speaking stand.
The opening procedure was just taking place and the Chief Editor of Kaleva Newspaper, a new person, was making the welcome remarks.
He ended by saying that each speaker would be given 5 minutes at the mike.
My talk, which this year was about "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied" would have taken the good part of 1 and half hours.
Ii approached the gentleman and asked that I set up my own stand as in previous years and be allowed to speak. He rejected the idea saying he had no powers to allow that. After much persuasion, he pointed me to a lady. She said that I could do that away from the main central area.
But it was clear that they did not want to move away from their prepared script. Annikki and I decided against making a speech this year under these conditions.
In short - this was no copy of Hyde Park Corner as this was a very controlled exercise to make Finns believe that they have Freedom of Speech - which they don't.
I had promised to meet Ajeet on Monday in South Finland. He and Sari are on a flying trip here to take part in a couple of conferences. So our Alumni meets were scheduled for Monday at 10:30 am, and this time in Toijala, wher he was staying.
I left Oulu by car at 3:50 am and because of the GPS Navigator (the cheap one), I did the trip to Tampere in just 5 hours (477 km). After attending to some Raantel work there, I drove on to Toijala to be greeted by Ajeet and his wife, Sari.
Our joyous Cathedralite and Stephanian Finland Chapter Alumni Reunion was a working one. 100 % attendance as usual!
I exploited the combined legal expertese of Ajeet and Sari.
Ajeet confirmed he would be in Bombay for the November 12th Cathedral Founders Day event. After my 50th year Golden Reunion Celebrations are complete, Annikki and I will go to Ahmedabad where I will give a talk at the Indian Institute of Management about the new developments in technology taking place and their implications on world society.
Then we would all spend a few days at Mount Abu, where Annikki and I have never been.
I left at 14:30, stopped at Tampere to attend to some more Raantel Oy work, left Tampere at 16:30 and arrived back in Oulu at 22:30.
A 20 hour round trip of 1100 km - and because of the hectic weekend of travel and work, this one partially knocked me out.
I got a good scolding from Annikki who thought I was on a leisurely train trip to Tampere!!