Monday, May 21, 2012

Yötön yö (On the midnight sun)

I'm just completing the triathlon in the jetlag Olympics.  The first event was a 12-hour, sleepless overnight flight from San Francisco to London in a middle-seat, with an 8-hour time difference and my face smashed into the reclined seat in front of me.  Like on all such flights, I spent 90% of my time deciding which position will finally bring relief - jamming my legs under the seat in front of me, or extending them into the aisle until they get nailed by the drink cart.  The remaining 10% I spent wondering if the girl next to me was sleeping or faking it.  The second event was a 14-hour Thursday, which I think started during the first event and ended somewhere between London and Helsinki.  I am writing this post during the final and most challenging event - arriving to a land where the sun rises in the North, sets in the North, and shines almost the entire night.  I don't know what time it is, and I'm not sure "time" is even a meaningful concept in describing what's happening to me.  It feels like the end of the Truman Show, like I finally worked up the courage to escape Berkeley, and Ed Harris turned on the sun in the middle of the night to try to find me.  There are Finns everywhere, and they're speaking Finnish, but how much could it possibly cost to fill a fake airplane with Finnish extras?  I certainly don't understand the language - they're probably just pretending to talk to one another, and relaying my coordinates into little Nokia microphones hidden in their blonde hair.

On the other hand, if this is the Joosef Show, at least I can expect more pageviews than I ever got on my Russia blog.  Maybe I'll even hit it big, and get comments from people other than the actress who plays my mom.


Stay tuned, and subscribe by email (using the widget at the top right of the page), to this second edition of the extremely-small-cult classic Time Flying blog.  It took me three semesters to describe Russia in its entirety, but Finland is an awful lot smaller, and I understand even less of the language.  As such, by the end of this summer, this blog will be an exhaustive, authoritative guide to the country, so thorough that it will render senseless any further reading on the subject.  The reader can trust that everything that follows is factually accurate, entirely free of subjectivity, given appropriate weight, and recorded without irony, insight, or enjoyment on the part of the author.

Tervetuloa Suomeen - Welcome to Finland!


  1. Whoo hoo! Glad you're back in the saddle again. You need to rethink the whole grad school thing since it takes you away from entertaining the masses with your travel blogs.

  2.'re fitting in there pretty well right now, all blond and fluent and everything? hooray for the reemergence of the blog!

  3. Please to include timepieces of note in blog, current and historic, as masthead of internet-page leads reader to expect.

  4. Don't worry... all previous blog posts, here and in my Russia blog, are just to provide context before I really dive into the timepieces.

  5. Ося,
    Как всегда образовательно и развлекательно!

    Ваши описания финов и Финляндии напомнили мне о романе-утопии Александра Богданова "Красная звезда," где он писывает коммунистическое общество на Марсе. Особенно эта сцена с билетиком в офисе и статистическим учетом всех посетителей... совсем как богдановская наука тектология, которая регулирует общественные процессы на Марсе.

    Буду ждать дальнейших записок!

    1. Спасибо за комплимент, Елена Ивановна! I met a busload of Russians today outside of Helsinki, and longed for Russia even more than usual. Not that they were particularly noteworthy, but I sure did understand what they were saying. That was a nice feeling. Finland is very interesting so far, but I've got a long way to go with the language before I can claim to know much about it. Stay tuned...

      Передайте привет от меня своим, в Мэйне и Майкопе!