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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > January 2020 > Prison break

Prison break

Will Stroude volunteers for a stretch in a Helsinki jail. Stripey suit not included…

In late 2016, a banner was erected outside Helsinki airport, greeting visitors to the Finnish capital, which would quickly go viral for its no-holds-barred assessment of the city’s wintry reputation: “Nobody in their right mind would come to Helsinki in November. Except you, you badass. Welcome.”

I soon learn that this brand of gallows humour is typical of Helsinki’s warm yet hardy residents, who live in one of the world’s northern-most cities (the only capital closer to the North Pole is Reykjavik).

Stepping offthe plane less than three hours after taking offfrom London into a bracingly icy blast, it’s difficult not to momentarily envy fellow Attitude colleagues who’d found themselves in sunnier climes for similar recent assignments.

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