January 19, 2009

In Helsinki

My brother, my Dad, and I have made it to Helsinki safely – my other brother was coming from Charleston and will meet us at the Warsaw airport. Our flight was good – a bit delayed for de-icing, but we had a long layover in Helsinki anyway so we still have plenty of time. I slept the whole way (thank you, lorizapam), so I’m fresh as a daisy feeling like it’s 9 AM (which it is, Helsinki time)… while Dad and my brother stayed up and are feeling like it’s 3 AM. Not my fault!

I did wake up for the meal service. It impressed me to no end because I can’t remember the last time I’ve gotten real food on a flight. Baked ziti, a small salad, a roll, and a brownie. I’m currently in the middle of reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, and I feel guilty and very non-foodie for saying this, but I actually thought it was pretty good. Not gourmet quality, certainly, but airline food gets such a bad rep and in this case it was totally fine.

I brought my Garmin and some running clothes, in an attempt to do my first European run (most likely in Warsaw, though if I get adventurous on the way home, perhaps I’ll try a Finnish run around the airport). I also brought my swag from Swap Beat – Billy Blanks’ Boot Camp, which comes with DVDs and a stretchy band. It guarantees results in 7 days, so we’ll see if I can return to Boyfriend looking all hot and toned. Probably not likely, considering my grandmother’s penchant for keeping us stuffed with food at all times and then sadly asking, “stomach no hungry?” And then we eat more. Also not likely considering the funeral is on Tuesday, which leaves five days to participate in my brothers’ big plans to drink our way across Poland.

The last time I was in Poland, I was 19 and there by myself. At a family dinner (where I was the only native English speaker and the others were struggling), I found a shot glass at my place and a handle of vodka in the middle of the table. My uncle encouraged me to drink up, which I tried to politely decline. I was underage to drink in the states, and even though I knew I was legal in Poland, I didn’t really want to get trashed with my grandparents sitting next to me. Then my aunt points out my five year old cousin, sitting next to me and tossing them back. Embarrassed, I finally had one.

This time, there’s no excuse. We’re all adults, and I think the vodka pounds are going to be packed on (eek). Hopefully I’ll have internet access after some of these family escapades so I can rival Jess with some incoherent posts. I should have sporadic access throughout the trip depending on where we’re staying each night, so I’ll try to stay in touch with some blog updates anyway (drunk or sober).


17 thoughts on “In Helsinki”

  1. I love Anthony Bourdain. I read Kitchen Confidential a few years ago and just picked up “The Nasty Bits.”

    Enjoy Poland. I know I did when I was over there!

  2. Glad you made it safely, how ambitious of you to pack running clothes, I’m one of thos people that thinks of vacation as a time to gorge myself and not exercise. Not a great philosophy! Have a great time with your fam 🙂

  3. You know who has good airline food – Thai Air. Seriously so good! Sorry about your loss, but it sounds like your family is very upbeat. Enjoy your time the best you can.

  4. I hope you have some Internet access…there’s nothing like a good drunk post to start my morning off with a good laugh! Enjoy the time with your family!

  5. Having attended a funeral for my grandmother last year I must say that being able to run was a great way to cope. But downing vodka is a great backup plan if you can’t run.

    Will you be back in town by the evening of 1/30? 🙂

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