Settling in to Finland
It was an early start this morning as I was picked up at 8.15am to be taken to the university. (Not before I had stoked up on my English tea!) By 9am I had an office – all to myself – with my name on the door, a computer, a new email address, and my own coffee mug. After eating a tasty Paella in the canteen for lunch, Ilkka took me into town to get a bank account. So by early afternoon I was set up and ready to work – perhaps a little too efficient these Finns!
By half four most people seemed to have gone home, so I printed off a map and set out to find mine. It turned out to be less than 10 minutes walk from the office and not much of an adventure, so I grabbed my woolly hat and left for the town, which I found in another 10 minutes. It might have been quicker if I had walked at the pace of a Finn. I thought I walked quickly, but here I look slow and tentative compared to the care-free locals gliding over the frost covered paths.
I managed to pick up some vegetables in town, and I made an important discovery: Mama (Thai soup noodles). I was quite excited by this, as I am sure any Thai would have been in my circumstances. I was so excited that I forgot to weigh and price all my loose vegetables – much to the annoyance of the checkout lady who ended up doing it herself rather than attempting to explain my mistake. Anyway, on returning to my flat, I made good use of my well-equipped kitchen to make my Mama (with vegetables!) and relax in front of the television. Did I mention that my flat has everything that I could possibly need? Most importantly, it has its own sauna! In fact, as I drink a cup of tea writing this diary entry, my sauna is warming up.
[some time later…]
I can report that the sauna is excellent. Well you have to try these things out, indulge in Finnish culture and all that sort of thing. But now I am back to my heritage, having put on my Thai gang geng lay and picking up my book on the history of the British Empire, I am ready for bed.