We have arrived. We left Joburg last night at about 8 pm after having to hastily repack (or rather reduce) our baggage. Unfortunately my stash of speckled eggs fell prey to the horrible excess baggage fees. I am not beyond being bribed or gifted with a bag or two…

The flight was easy and Pete and I got a good amount of sleep. We had a 4 hour stopover in Frankfurt. It took quite a while to get through security there (we had to take off our shoes so that they could be scanned). However, it was our last security check. We are now in the EU!

The view from our flat.

My first impression of Finland was the huge amount of snow everywhere and then the icy cold that gets to any exposed bits of flesh – I won’t forget my gloves and hat in a hurry. Pete’s new boss, Miska, met us at the airport with his car. He drove us to our accommodation at Toolo Towers. He then introduced us to the international office chap. Both gave us tonnes of pamphlets – information overload! We then popped into the local 7/11 style shop. More information overload as all the brands are different and the product names and descriptions are in a foreign language. Thank goodness that Swedish is the second language here because we can decipher some of the names that are similar to Afrikaans or English. The random selection of foods that we eventually bought were surprisingly affordable. So far, the food prices don’t seem that much more expensive than back home.

Miska has organised one of his PhD students to meet us tomorrow morning to help us get our ID cards and sort out various bits of admin (bank account, cellphones etc). I will also be finding out tomorrow if I can venture out into the EU with my visa/permit. I am planning to meet up with Annette very soon.

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