November 17th, 1997

Hey-Ho, Up And Down We Go

There's nothing new under the sun. Instead there are plenty of new things under the ground. For example the underground or the metro as the humans in Helsinki prefer to call it - in all languages. The new apartment has brought along it many changes and one of them is that I've now become a regular user of not only the blue buses but of the underground as well.

I haven't quite found out what the idea of those underground trains is. Earlier Hanna took me to them very rarely - enough to get me acquianted with them but not much more. She told me they are too complicated if you don't necessarily want to use them and that's what I've started to think, too.

The first complicated thing is that taking the underground is never enough. Every time you want to go somewhere which isn't quite around the corner you have to take both the bus and then the underground. (If we want to get just around the corner we might walk or then take the bus if Hanna's too lazy to walk.) That means first we have to rush to the bus and then after a while to the underground. I mean, Hanna has to rush and then she just drags me after her. I haven't so far understood what the idea with all the rushing is. As far as I know both the buses and the trains go rather often, but of course Hanna always wants to get the one leaving in half a minute. And then we run...

The other thing I still haven't quite learnt to understand is why those trains go under the ground. Yes, yes, otherwise it wouldn't be called the underground. But words are just words... and I just told you we don't call it anything like underground.

When we go to the buses, normal trains and trams, I usually have to jump quite high to get in. With those underground trains it's made really easy: you only step in. Very practical when you're a small dog, isn't it? The other side of the thing is that first you have to go really down to be able to step in.

At our end of the underground route starting the exciting life under the ground has been made pretty easy. There is simply a staircase and up and down you go. In the city it's not at all that simple and that's why I never know in advance what is going to happen.

If it's been raining we possibly take the lift. Those are the biggest lifts I've seen in my life (and I've seen a good many to be a dog) but still there are very rarely any other people or dogs with us. Those lifts smell quite interesting so I guess that's why humans aren't too fond of using them if they don't have to. I don't have anything against smells of course so I don't mind getting up and down without having to do anything myself.

In nice weather Hanna probably prefers the strange steps. They're a bit like a lift but still more like a staircase. You don't have to walk to get forward - though the humans seem to do that. The ones who want to hurry I suppose. Surprisingly enough, Hanna isn't one of those if we don't take the lift. She just stands where she is and desperately tries to hold me up. I guess it's not too easy while I weigh pretty much (that's what she says) and she's rather small.

Humans usually look at me on the escalator and they seem to be quite amused. In my opinion they have no reason to smile at me though it's better that they're happy than angry. I look back and try to smile humbly. Actually it's quite nice to watch the people passing by... the element which lacks totally in the lift, at least for little dogs. A sheepdog I am and there are a lot of sheep to shepherd in the underground.

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