After Kautokeino in Norway the next stop was Hetta, so I found myself back in Finland. This is because the border zigzags a little in the north. I could've gone north to Alta, but then I would've been on the same road I cycled last year, and I prefer to avoid repetition. (Click here for a test version of my route map.)
While hungrily waiting for a hamburger in Hetta I met Benedict, a gray-bearded German cyclist on his way back from Nordkapp. He kindly loaned me some tools I needed to adjust my front panniers to a lower position to improve my bike’s balance.
I mentioned potentially sailing across oceans, so he gave me some advice against seasickness. Apparently it’s best to remain out on deck, keeping your eyes on the horizon. This may come in handy eventually on this trip. Turned out he’d done a fair bit of sailing in his time. These days he travels six months of the year and spends the other six back home with the wife.
At least I think that's what he said. There was a bit of a language barrier. Even though it was somewhat reduced by this magic app in a magic box you can speak into, that speaks back more or less the same thing in whatever language you choose. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Google Translate can do that, but sometimes it feels like the future has arrived so early.
I had a hard time deciding whether to continue in the evening or just take the whole day off, but a visit to the local camping ground settled the matter. I asked if I could purchase the use of shower facilities, and the answer was no. No service to outsiders. This wasn’t the first time I’d heard this answer, and I've yet to hear it abroad.
What is it with Finns and their lack of business sense? If someone wants to buy only a part of your service, don’t say no and send them away - set a price you’re happy selling the service with instead. That’s how an “outsider” becomes a “customer”. If you think that the usual 3€ shower is too cheap and may reduce the sales of your 17€ tent packages, just increase the price of showering to 5€, 10€ or even 15€. Let the customer decide if he or she wants to pay, instead of just declining outright and losing out on potential income.
I understand if you’re so busy that there are simply not enough showers for even your regular customers, but that was certainly not the case here.
So that's my free tip for all camping ground owners. Especially the ones along my future route. Also please register your business on Google Maps so I can actually find it. Thank you for reading and please come again.