Saturday, October 28, 2006


Last night I was hanging out with Nicki, and some people that she had met came over for dinner. They were from Liverpool, England, and were travelling all over on a see-the-world kind of thing. What fun! It reminded me of how, when you're travelling and open to meeting people, all kinds of funny connections happen and the next thing you know, you've made new friends for life. It was a good reminder about being open to meeting random people. I am usually so shy or just averse to interacting with strangers that I rarely meet people like that any more. I should. Get me out of my little shell. I say that, but I know how I am. There's a reason why they sent me to Finland, where nobody will talk to you, not even if the bus is on fire.

It got me thinking about travelling, and about Finland in particular. There are certainly things that I miss and that I would like to bring into my life somehow.
  • The breakfasts. I loved Finnish breakfasts. Flat chewy rye bread spread with butter or cheese and thin slices of cucumbers or some sausage. Of course, D'Arcy and I subsisted mainly on cornflakes, but a real Finnish breakfast was a good thing.
  • Khavi (coffee). Similar to English teatime, afternoon khavi took place at around 4 and involved small cups of very strong coffee, and a pretty plate full of treats. What's not to like? I mean, really. At my second (and favorite) host home, my host mom was on the dot about khavi. Her husband was a farmer and needed his khavi every day. It was so comforting to come downstairs to a nice, civillized cup of coffee and a pastry. That's a good tradition.
  • Sauna. Every day. Need I say more?
  • The open mind of an exchange student. I mean, I tried blood pancake. Once. It was gross, but I tried it. And the way that we glommed onto anyone who spoke English. It was like, Insta-Friend. Maybe it was desperation, but I miss that openness of bringing new people into your life, just because they're there. I'm so picky, now. Or maybe, just scared.
  • The Northern Lights. They made the intense cold, snow and dark, almost worth it. Actually, seeing those lights on a regular basis is an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I used to ride my bike home on the deserted, frozen roads at 1 or 2 in the morning after being out, and look up to see a giant, eerie green curtain elegantly waving over the entire sky. It truly was like magic. The snow was illuminated, I could hardly keep my eyes on where I was going because all I wanted to do was watch those lights. I would stop in the middle of the road, in zero-degree temperatures, and just watch. Someday, I would like to see those again.

I was also thinking about Halloween, and how, when I was there in Finland, my mom sent me Halloween decorations and I decorated my room (no Halloween in Finland). And then, on October 31st, D'Arcy and I went to see The Rocky Horror Picture show in the city. And then in December, our school decided to have a Halloween dance. In December. Oh, those crazy Finns.

I wish it were quieter, less crowded, less expensive, and had a little more real weather here. I just get tired of it. I'm trying to keep my mind open to options, but it's truly depressing sometimes. However, I have been loving my Friday walks on Bay Farm Island. If we could find a nice townhouse or something over there, by a lagoon, I think that would be quite nice and I could feel settled and happy. Now, all we have to do is find a way to afford the $2000+ rent that's required. It could happen! Right?

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