At the end of September, I had the good fortune to visit Helsinki and meet some inspiring art teachers. We had some wonderful discussions about the importance of design in art education, and the role of technology in children's lives today. It was a stimulating experience; hanging out with like-minded creative people, who are passionate about art and teaching.
The first thing that struck me about Helsinki was the air, which felt like medicine upon each inhale. I breathed with every cell of my being, as though I could store it up for the return to a less than fresh Istanbul.
The second thing I was taken by was the absence of homicidal drivers on the road. Taking a walk in Istanbul requires nerves of steel and the slightest death wish— seldom does anyone stop for a pedestrian. There is no way to predict what a Turk behind a wheel is going to do; one-way streets go three ways, turn signals mean little— and everyone is in a rush. I found myself stunned like a deer in headlights when the first Finn driver stopped to let me cross the road.
The third thing, was all the straight lines.