Rummaging through my collection of stuff - over the years I'm reduced to a small box of memorabilia - I have a ticket from 1982 from a passage over to and back from Stockholm to Helsinki in the dead of winter. I made the trip a lot of times but the first, in January of 1982 - well cold, dark - dark and cold - that covers it.
I sat at dinner with a woman from Helsinki who eventually sent my now/then stepkids a Finnish version of the Night Before Christmas that is still a cherished possession, and a fellow from then Ceylon who was buying boat firefighting equipment from a supplier and an additional couple from
somewhere up north in Sweden who took the trip once a month as the booze cost nearly nothing and they simply drank their way over and back...they weren't much fun. Marja was a lot of fun and good very good natured. She paired well with Dangyp from Ceylon. He died in the Tsunami a few years back and we had emailed for 25 years off and on...moving from telex to AOL and now and then on yahoo. He was a nice person.
Marja is still living with her husband and now grandkids just north of Helsinki and I hear from here now an again. The Swedes were not remembered.
Think of that and the silliness of taking an overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki - two wondrous cities - and you make quarter century friends because you could.