Category Archives: The Great Northeast

The Great Northeast #2 – Getting There

By Alan Mattli


Click here to read part one.

A lot of people will tell you that they are “not good fliers”, by which they mean: “I feel the same kind of reservation as everyone else when entering an airplane, which is perfectly natural, given that I am entrusting my life to a steel monstrosity that shouldn’t be able to fly. However, unlike most others, I don’t keep these feelings to myself”.

As for me, I’m not really sure whether I identify as such a person. Do I worry about flying? Of course I do. But since I essentially view life as one long chain of things trying to kill you until one of them finally succeeds, I feel it would be presumptuous to align myself with otherwise perfectly rational human beings who just lose their marbles twice a year when their respective families force them to fly to Ibiza. Suffice to say that, for all intents and purposes, I don’t hate flying. On a good day, I even find – much to my own surprise – that I am able to enjoy it.

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The Great Northeast #1 – The Planning

By Alan Mattli

NOTE: I sincerely apologise to Bill Bryson, whose style I am shamelessly ripping off.

There comes a time in every person’s life when they need to go somewhere “funny” for their holidays. At least I think so. Howard, whose name isn’t actually Howard but who insisted on a pseudonym, not for the sake of privacy but for the fun of having a pseudonym, certainly wanted to go somewhere “funny” that summer. We’d been talking about it for several weeks, so I wasn’t at all surprised when one night in May the phone rang and Howard was at the other end: “Helsinki is funny”, he said.

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