September 13, 2005

The British goverment forbade its citizens from smiling in their passport photos. Apparently smiles and rumpled foreheads make using new recognition technology too difficult.
As you can see I've returned to the wonderful world of news and information. And I am truly enjoying it. For at least a couple of weeks I'm back to my routine of starting my day with a large cup of coffee and the Helsingin Sanomat (Finland's main newspaper) and finishing it with good conversations with close friends in bars or at home watching good independent documentaries and films on tv. There are so many things I love here in Finland and that I wish I could take home with me to Chicago, but most of all I will miss the people I love here. It makes me sad to realize that I won't be living with them for such a long time. Meeting once or twice for a cup of coffee is wonderful, but it also reminds of how much I would enjoy sharing my life and thoughts with such good and close friends on an every-day basis.
But, in spite of all the globalization hype and the fancy post-modern theories of place losing its importance with everybody living in a virtual connected world, you just can't be in two places at the same time. Either you're here or you're someplace else, or in the worst case lost in some kind of in-between internet limbo no-where. So, I try to tell myself that instead of worrying about how much I miss people I can't be with I just need to make the most of it when I am with them. And I think I have been doing pretty good this time around here.
In addition to n cups of coffee accompanied with good conversations I've also had the time to enjoy the lingering Finnish summer. I've been cayaking and biking and I even tried water-jogging (a new sport that a lot of my friends seem to have taken up) at the olympic outdoor pool. This last Sunday I even swam in the sea after having warmed myself up in a traditional Finnish woodsauna. The water is getting pretty cold with night air temperatures going down to the 40s. But I felt so good afterwards, a weird combination of relaxation and energy that I feel you can only get after swimming in cold water in between sweating in a sauna.


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