Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tykkimies no more

From this
to this

After 8 weeks in Niinisalo's Tykistöprikaati I was granted a transfer to Helsinki's Kaartin Jääkärirykmentti.

I had initially applied to do my service in Helsinki because I had heard that most non-Finnish speaking Finns go there, and thought that they would therefore be the best equiped to deal with me. Trasportation was also a fairly large consideration for serving in Helsinki. However the fates were against me and I had a choice between two othe bases, one being Niinisalo. I chose Niinisalo out of the two because it was the closest to my family in Finland.

'Close', it turns out is a relevant term, and after the first two weeks I discovered that there were a grand total of zero forms of public transport to get to the base. Instead I had to rely on a car that is older than I am, and at least as inefficient. With winter due to approach at some stage towards the end of the year transportation started to become a little more problematic with absolutely no winter driving experience and a car that is difficult to start on the best days.

So I applied for a transfer to the Kaartin Jääkärirykmentti based on an island, ajoined by bridge to Helsinki. I spent about three weeks wondering what will happen; will I get the transfer, what happens if I don't, and to add to the small but nagging worries, the car that I was using got reversed into, busting the radiator.

Things turned out for the best however and by the next Sunday I was on a train bound for the capital, and on Monday I reported to the base.

Leaving behind the mantle of Tykkimies I have since taken up the title of Kaartin Jääkäri.