Finland!

Tuesday, 01.01.2013: Cheers to the new year bebe!

Today has me waking up at 6 am, after about 3 hours of sleep. I proceed to get ready and try to close all 3 pieces of my luggage. I’m no Hercules, so this takes up much of my time and has me (tearfully) having to leave many clothes, and all my cooking condiments behind. My travel bag and my clothes suitcase finally get closed, but the other one, let’s call him The Monster, he refuses to get closed. I am adamant about removing any other thing, so I leave it like that and begin the arduous process of carrying everything downstairs. I get downstairs and it’s raining, and the cab guy who’s supposed to come get me hasn’t arrived yet. There’s also no more money on my phone. My Chinese friends have already started walking under the rain, to the bus station (which is about 1 km away). I can’t even deal. I go to my friend’s building, because we planned to meet at 7.30, and she hasn’t contacted me yet, so I’m scared she has left me or something. Turns out she’s still asleep (jet lag, she just got in from Canada yesterday), LOL. This should be good. I go downstairs, to find my other friend, and I find her in the lobby, waiting for the taxi she already called. There’s no way we can join her, because we have loads of luggage, but she still has money on her phone, so she leaves it with me and I call a taxi (specially requesting for a car with a huge trunk), for me and my friend. We make it to the airport, and it’s time to check in. A little back story here, when I was buying my ticket, I read on the website that Lufthansa only allows you check in 1 piece of luggage, if you’re travelling within Europe. I already mentioned that I have 3 pieces, right? Now, for every extra piece, you pay 70 Euros, so I was fully prepared to pay 140 Euros. Time to check in however, the good Lord in heaven smiles on my friend and I, and the guy who is checking us in waives one piece of luggage apiece for us, and so I only have to pay 70 Euros. Whoop! The other friend (who lent me her phone) wasn’t so lucky, because she got there before us and she got checked in by a different guy, so she paid the full price. Bummer.

Anyway, we head to the departure lounge, and I decide to peruse the duty-free shops as usual, with no intentions of buying anything (I LOVE to window-shop, I have no idea why). My friend is hungry however, so I spot some macarons and we each decide to buy one pack. As an ignorant girl who has never bought anything at a duty-free shop, when the cashier asks me to show her my boarding pass, I go “oh, we have to show our boarding passes? I didn’t know that”, and she goes “yes of course, oooh, you’ve never traveled before…”. For some reason, this irks me and I retort with “yes, I have traveled before, I’ve just never bought anything at a duty-free shop, because you people are robbers”. Trash.

Frankfurt Airport: I get free internet for 30 minutes, yay! Chili con carne for lunch, but I get it after 2 hours, as I’m about to board the plane to Helsinki. This meal looks like palm-oil beans sha, but it doesn’t taste so bad. I begin to eat it as soon as I get to my seat, and I stop when I’m full and the plane is just beginning to taxi down the runway. I actually stopped because I was feeling weird about eating when no one else was.

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport: I start wearing all my winter stuff as soon as we touch down, because I don’t want to be caught unawares. Anyway, we have to wait a bit, to catch the bus to the city we will call home for the next 5 or more months. Free internet again, yay!

The bus ride to my new city lasts 3.5 hours. There aren’t many things worse than having to fly for about 7 hours in total, and then enter bus again, for another 3. After we arrive, we wait a few minutes for our tutor (not teacher o, this person is the one who is going to help us with stuff throughout our time here), who has collected our room keys for us prior to this time (because, in case you haven’t noticed, today is a public holiday). I finally make it to my room at about 10 pm, and begin to unpack, as I simply cannot sleep without arranging everything properly. My new room is twice the size of my room in France, and I even have a mini balcony and a mini corridor/hallway. Nice!

Err…the weather is cold, and carrying my portable heater from France was one of the best decisions I made. Here, I can continue to sleep with just my shorts and a tee shirt, no blankets.

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