Thursday, March 26
My bedroom was next to the bathroom so I woke very briefly when Tove got up and then went to sleep again. Now I am showered and dressed and downstairs eating breakfast with Erik. In fact I am looking through the window in the living room at the fjord, which looks like a lake to me, and is covered in a thin white mist. I have been looking for ten minutes at a man waiting at the bus stop and now, as I prepare to photograph him, a bus arrived to speed him away.
Erik will have an important staff meeting all morning, so I will sit and make the backgrounds for my second lecture. By the time he arrives at 12:30 I will have three quarters of it done. My spirits will be raised by this sudden and successful burst of creativity.
Erik will still not know what time the university restaurant stops serving dinners and when we get there we will find out. Two minutes after we arrive is the answer. The hot food will have gone but I will still find a sandwich and two kebab sticks.
We will have a final meeting and then Erik will drive me to the station. I will realise my problem with the buses. The traffic flow in the city has been completely altered as part of a plan to enhance the status and visibility of the area connected to HC Anderson. This explains why the buses didn’t work the way they did last year, and also why the ten minute journey has already taken Erik twenty five minutes.
We will stop for a beer at a bar we stopped at last year. Then I will board my train.
On the way here I had a seat reservation and this time I don’t. I therefore don’t have a seat and spend an hour and a half sitting on the floor by a door. The train goes right into the airport, and I will get there in plenty of time. I will check in, pass security and settle down to wait.
I will notice that the plane has been delayed by half an hour and I am supposed to wait for “a further announcement”. I will find a Servisair lounge where my Diner’s Card gives me entrance and have some soup, some sandwiches, a glass of wine, some biscuits and a coffee. I will also download the airport app which promises to keep me informed of any changes in my flight.
From time to time, as I sit there, the app will add another fifteen or thirty minutes onto the expected departure time. Eventually I cannot take any more biscuits and I leave to wander the airport.
Bad mistake. Five minutes after leaving the official departure time for the 20:30 flight is announced as 23:30. I will find somewhere to sit and then phone Irma to let her know what’s happening.
When the flight finally takes off my intention to sleep will be foiled by the fact that I am seated in the middle of a large group of excitable South American teenagers all going to Helsinki for the first time. I will spend nearly two hours at the centre of shrieking, shouting, jumping and high-fiving.
I will eventually land in Helsinki at 2:10, get a taxi at 2:25, and be in bed by about 2:50.