Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tropical-temperate transitions

36 (?) hours. 9 time zones. 4 airports. 2 airlines. What about that seemed like a good idea?

I only got to my new field site a day and a half later than expected (which gave me a day to sleep and a few hours to explore Helsinki. In particular, the Kiasma - the Museum of Contemporary Art. Which was the trippiest, most messed up 7 euros I've ever spent. Highly recommended for pure... weirdness...).

But, as of Monday morning, I am in Hyytiala, Finland for five weeks. This is a boreal forest (read: bog with pine trees) about three hours north of Helsinki - not too far from the city of Tampere. The Finnish researchers seem to either love it or hate it - typically the foresters love it, and the atmospheric scientists... prefer Helsinki... I came in with mixed feelings (no fresh mango every morning and no morning monkey entertainment. But porridge and a beautiful lake!). The first two days were spent living in my own personal timezone - I think I overshot Finland, and was somehow living in around Malaysia time - fixing instrumentation for which, while I had never seen it before, I am now responsible. It's a long story. But now that the instruments are working (huge thanks to some Finnish scientists I'm working with), I can settle into life. I have a bike reserved, and instructions on how to get to town (walk to the road and take a bus going in THAT direction, accompanied by vague hand-waving).

But last night, after getting everything running, having dinner and sending some emails, I decided to settle into the really important part of Hyytiala:

Hot sauna. Cold lake.

Pura vida.

No comments: