Coming to Finland

Isn’t half the fun in traveling actually traveling to that place? Did that make sense? Well, I always have stories to tell about the coach ride and the plane ride. Anyway, I boarded the coach at 9:30 in the morning in Norwich, armed with half a can of Pringles, a trail mix pouch and a bottle of Vitamin Water. My coach is scheduled to arrive in Gatwick Airport at 2:45, an hour before my gate closes so I’m already pressed for time a bit.

Anyway, life is good and the coach is dull for the first four hours of the trip until we make a stopover in Heathrow Airport, aka, Heathrow Hell. This place is possessed. Before I get to the possession part, my fellow passengers include a young Italian who smokes and listens to music at full blast and an older Brit who verbally chastises the young Italian for smoking and listening to music at full blast. They get to be good friends with the older Brit asking him,

'Where you from?'
'Yeah but you're not American. Where you from?'
'Italia! I go to school in America. I havent been to Europe in two years.'

I’m casually leaning in and the older British guy asks me if I’m traveling to Ireland because I’m wearing my Ireland hoodie. I explain that no, I’m going to Finland. Young Italian guy jumps on my accent:

'You're American! Where from?'
'New Jersey. I'm studying in England now, though.'
'I go to school in Arkansas. People are nice in Arkansas. I went up north to New Jersey once and New York City. They're mean up there. I thought you were Spanish. I kept trying to see your passport because you look Spanish.'

Oh by the way, this conversation is taking place amidst the search for our driver. You get that? They can’t find the driver! So while I’m explaining that I’m an American traveling with an EU passport, studying in England, wearing an Ireland hoodie and flying to Finland, they’re trying to find our driver. We’re about to get transferred to another coach when the driver shows up. Everyone is rightfully annoyed. He acts like we’re entitled because we’re annoyed.

FINALLY we get to Gatwick airport after a good six hours. I make it to the gate just as they’re beginning to board and proceeded to sit for another three hours as we flew over Europe and landed in the wonderful Helsinki. Reunion with my mom was fantastic. Then, once in the lovely Hyvinkaa, my grandmother fed me till I was ready to pop. It was amazing—spinach soup, Karelian pastries, good rye bread and Finlandia muenster cheese and ville and orange juice and blueberry juice and tea and I loveeee my grandparents’ house. Who doesn’t?!

I’ll be back in prison with my fellow cellmates on Saturday at 2 AM. Technically, that’s Sunday. I’m going to soak in this nice home living for the next week.