My friend Paula Arvas (expert on Finnish crime fiction and co-author of Rintamalottien korkeajännitys (High Adventures of the Frontline Lottas), a comic from the Korkeajännitys series, among other things) recently told me about the Abandoned Places website, which features dozens (hundreds?) of photos of abandoned buildings (and other abandoned things) from around the world. Very fascinating.
When I was about 10 years old, I used to have a friend named Terry who lived on the airforce base outside Spokane. My dad was in the navy, and we had often bought our groceries from the base commissary. Just as you drove into the base, you would pass an old abandoned café, a little white, wooden building with a Coca-Cola emblem on the front and boarded up doors and windows. I had always been intrigued by the place, and once when I was at Terry’s house, he showed me how to get into it. We crawled underneath the building and up through some broken floorboards into the middle of the room.
My memory of the inside of the café is still vivid. There were dishes with food still on them on the tables, a loaf of moldy bread on the counter, a little barber shop in a side room that still had an adjustable chair and little bottles of tonic sitting on a shelf under the mirror. Terry said that the owner of the café had hung herself in the middle of the room, and that was why it was closed up just as it was, with no one ever returning. But Terry said a lot of fishy things.
This photo from Abandoned Places of an old café in Colombo, Sri Lanka reminded me of that day.
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