28
Jun
10

Stadin Kebab

J-P and I escaped the fancy-conference-restaurant treadmill tonight with a visit to Helsinki’s “bohemian” neighborhood and the first kebab shop we saw: Stadin Kebab. (Don’t worry, we have been sampling the local fare: fish, reindeer, mushrooms, and unidentifiable berries have been consumed. We just wanted cheap tonight.)

Stadin Kebab gave us our first interaction in Finland that had to be conducted through grunts and pantomime. The pictorial menu helped, too. J-P haltingly ordered a “rullekebab ateria” and I ordered fish and chips (the only English on the menu) in my American accent. No problem for the non-English-speaking clerk. That was not the case earlier with the (English-speaking and otherwise very helpful) woman at the Suomenlinna information desk, who heard me say “Pajasali” three times before she understood which building I was trying to name.

When it came time to pay, J-P pulled out a 20 pound note, instead of 20 euros. We all laughed. J-P asked for a “cash machine.” Blank stare. “ATM?” More of the same. They settled on “banke” and pantomimed directions.

While J-P was gone, I filled glasses with water, and the clerk asked me, complete with a demonstration, if I would like ice. Dredging my memory for tidbits from the Finnish primer my sister made for me, I attempted “No, thank you.” “Ei kii-tos?” The clerk grinned and nodded, putting the ice away.

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2 Responses to “Stadin Kebab”


  1. June 30, 2010 at 04:52

    Ha! I had made plans to visit a friend in Finland thirty years ago but never made it; I like this, you will visit this place for me.


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