I am heading back to Oz on Wednesday night, which means my 6 week overseas stint is almost over. Six weeks! I an't believe it. It seems like quite a while now when I was flying out of Melbourne on my way to the USA. Yet, on another level, this trip has gone by really quickly. I have to admit, though, that I'm starting to miss Truffles (oh, and Nathan too).
Today will be my last full day at the research station. I made sure I told the head chef (in the hope she will make something really good for lunch). Long term researchers here at the Station bitch and moan about the quality of the food but I don't think it's that bad at all. Besides, think it's nice that there is someone to prepare hot lunches (though 11.30am is, in my opinion, a bit too early for lunch – even by Finnish standards).
Tomorrow, I am taking my students to Helsinki for the day. I think they have earned a break. Because there is five of us, we'll be needing a bigger taxi to get us to the closest train station. There is only one such taxi in the adjacent town and I hope it arrives on time. Typically, you can rely on Finns to be punctual (with the exception of my one Finnish friend who is always reliably late). Hence, it was a big surprise last week when we ended up waiting 40 minutes for the taxi to arrive. We'd be screwed if the same taxi is 40 minutes late tomorrow as we only left ourselves 24 minutes to get to the train station (and it's 15 minute drive).
Anyhow, assuming we get to Helsinki, the plan is to spend the day doing touristy things with the students and then send them back to the research station in the evening (they are all staying a few days longer). I'll then have almost another full day 'student-free'. Yay.
And with only a few days to go, I've once again started to obsess about my flights (part of the fun of air travel). As mentioned in an earlier post, I managed to convince my boss to allow me to fly business class on this trip (on medical grounds). It has been a real treat so far – and so nice not to be crammed into an impossibly small seat. I've already reserved my seats for the trip home and chosen my meal on the Singapore-Melbourne leg of the journey (a chicken rendang with kankung and jasmine rice).