Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Joys Of Packing

I have once again brought out my battered and much travelled suitcase. The cats were very interested as to how they might gain access inside the case. Lily in particular knows that the appearance of The Pink Thing is always followed by the absence of a Food Bringer/Belly Scratcher. She needn't worry this time, Mr. S is staying home so the two furballs won't have to encounter the horror that is The Strange Food Bringer.

Excuse me? How do I get in here?

I am going home (Finland) for the first time since last October and can barely believe it's been a year. I got my flights very cheap from Aer Lingus. A quick look at their site now and it would seem that I really did get a bargain; same flights now would set me back about €100 more than they did in the beginning of September. And what's more it's a direct flight. I normally fly with Scandinavian Airlines because they fly throughout the year whereas Lingus only flies between March and November, but all of the SAS flights include a stopover in Copenhagen, Oslo or Stockholm. Saying that, shopping at Copenhagen airport is bloody fantastic!

So, anyhoo... I need to decide what to pack for two weeks while leaving room for stuff to bring back home (Ireland). Stuff like salmiakki sweets, rye bread and some moose meat. Normally on the flight back to Ireland I'm hoping and praying my bag doesn't get chosen for a random security check. Packing for Finnish autumn weather is tricky to say the least. You could pack your summer and winter wardrobes and still find yourself woefully unprepared for the weather conditions. I have been religiously checking the weather at my parent's town and have decided to bring layers that'll keep me warm and dry but at the same time I'll be able to peel stuff off in case it gets warmer.

I am ridiculously excited to get going. I finish work on Monday, and I'm catching a bus from Galway to Dublin 1am that night. Travel up to Dublin, check in, four hour flight to Helsinki, grab a taxi to the train station, four-something hours on the train to Eastern Finland and the final leg of the journey in the car with my parents for an hour. I'm looking at a little over 20 hours of travel in total. Better charge up my iPod! I'm lucky enough to be able to sleep on planes and trains; all I need is my earphones in and my trusty megascarf which doubles as a blanket. Sorted.

I have very little planned for when I actually get there. Catching up with friends and family, eating my body weight in Finnish foods, relaxing and recharging my batteries. Not having had more than a few days off together since last christmas has taken its toll. I feel tired and drained but knowing a two week break is just a few days away will be enough to get me through until Monday evening.

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