Wednesday, October 17
I had to put my lights on the bike this morning before I set off to the metro. The sun had not risen properly and mist seemed to cover most of Helsinki.
I got to Sörnäinen and walked to office of Migri, the Finnish Immigration Service, for the appointment that I had made. I wanted to check that I have everything I need to establish my right to live here before Brexit kicks in in March. When I got my permanent residency granted in 2004 I received a sticker in my passport, but when my passport expired I never had the sticker transferred to the new one, and neither did I get one of the plastic cards that the Immigration Service issued after they stopped using the stickers.
The woman that I saw said that I had everything in order. She looked amused when I showed her the sticker on my old passport, as she had obviously not seen one in ten years or more, and said that they had not issued either the stickers or the cards for the last six or seven years. Everything lives online in their database.
She explained that I could apply for a paper certificate demonstrating that I had a residency permit for 20€. I asked what purpose this would serve and she said: none. They sell it because some people from some countries feel unsafe and worried unless they have their permission on paper. She explained that if I show it when I enter the country nobody will have any interest in it at all. If the person at the security check cannot find me in the database the paper will prove nothing, and if they can find me in the database the paper will serve no purpose.
She also told me that she had checked my details online before I came and I had everything there that I needed, and all the data seemed up to date. I left without spending 20€.
I walk back to Sörnäinen and catch a bus to Arcada through the mist. When I get off I look back at where I have come from and notice the cars appearing from the gloom. I stop and photograph the headlights appearing. The photograph fails to catch how strong the mist appears.
I will spend the morning having an MA tutorial and preparing for another one on Friday. I will have a long Chinese lunch with Jutta and Mirko at which we will make a number of long-range plans about developing courses. One of these will concern the Storytelling course in late Spring which Mirko will use as a case study to show how to turn an existing course into an online, peer-reviewed course. I will therefore prepare more and teach less, which suits me fine.
At 15:00 I will have a podcasting meeting with Sophie, in which we will record Episode 2, and make plans for the next three episodes. I will look out of the window and notice that either the mist never went away or it has returned.
I will cycle home with my bicycle lights on.