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Reunion Countdown: One Week

July 19, 2007

Notepaper ‘conversation’, “Rules For Finnbounds” : both by Daph & D’Arc

Playing Trivial Pursuit at Darren’s. Pictured: D’Arcy, Darren, Mel, Ismail

One week from now, I will be reunited with my exchange student friends — a nice long weekend of catching up, 15 years after we all first met at language camp in Tampere. So, I thought I would spend this week writing a series of thoughts on all things Finnbound (exchange student slang for Finland Inbound — the term for exchange students residing in Finland from other countries).

I’ve been looking through old journals, old photos. Sifting through notes and random hilarious shopping lists (“Chocolate bars, crisprolls, marmalade, postcards, mustard.” Mustard??). Making CDs of songs that we loved. This all puts me into periodic states of profound nostalgia. However, I’ll spare you the bad prose… well, bad current prose. Here’s from my first (of three) journals:

August 17, 1992 (written on the airplane to Finland)
So, I’ve said all my goodbyes and given my last hugs and left the old me and old life behind for a year … We’re off to Salt Lake City and then JFK, and then Finland. I wonder what it will all be like. I can tell already that this will be one short year. I feel rather small and immature and very young right now… I tried to pull my walkman out and broke the headphones. They still work, they just need some duct tape. I tried to super glue them, and somehow managed to glue my fingers together, but failed to secure the headphones…”
Ok, so here’s what I wonder. What the heck was I doing with superglue on an international flight? You can tell this was 15 years ago. What the heck was I doing with superglue at all?
At language camp: “In answer to the age-old question, are we having fun yet? The answer is that the fun stopped the minute the bus from Helsinki-Vantaa pulled away. We are all 88 of us dead tired and crabby as anything.”
“Tonight we had dinner. Pizza! I took two slices of cheese pizza thinking, OK, I can eat this — it turned out to be the fabled tuna fish pizza. Ugh.”
Tuna fish pizza. Yep. Love that Finnish food!

More chronicles to come!

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