Saturday 24th July 2010 - Saturday 31st July 2010
Well… Last week did not gone very well, so I was hoping that my trip to Tornio would go a little bit better.
After we had broken down Saturday July 24th in Amie’s car on the way to Wales (head gasket), got it fixed for £420, drove back to Sheffield (a day later than planned on Thursday) with the accelerator pedal sticking and the oil light coming on, taking it to a garage in Sheffield to find the oil pump might be broken, to get back to home and find MY car didn’t start first time, then we had to take Amie’s granddad into hospital in my car, then we got sent to the other side of the city, only for them to bounce him back to the other side of the city… On top of all that, I was leaving my girlfriend and family to go to a foreign country for 7 weeks.
I did manage to get to my parents in the middle of that to say goodbye and to tell them what was happening, and dad and I also went to pick up a futon for the attic from Next, which was another nightmare, because we got there at 9am (their opening time on the website), to find they didn’t open until 10am, then they only had 1 person on the checkout with about 4 people trying to return stuff… Rage!
Sunday 1st August 2010 - Day 0
D day - well, travel day… I spent the morning with my dad trying to park my car on something that was only just big enough to fit my car on (on their drive), but we’d done it the day before and dad kindly levelled out the blocks so that it was flat. I then spent the rest of the morning with Amie, pacing the house, repacking, making sure I had all my geeky devices etc… 3pm eventually came around and the taxi man turned up bang on time. I chucked my bags into the taxi and said my farewells to my lovely girlfriend. It was a bit sad to be leaving home, but it was exciting to have a new challenge ahead of me…
After having a long sleep in the taxi, and apologising to the driver for possibly snoring, we got to the airport in about an hour and fifteen minutes. I got my ticket (and paid the £50 excess baggage charge) and got myself through the security gates, got a salad from Giraffe and got to the gate all in time, it was a slick operation.
The plane flight was uneventful, however I started to panic what I would do about my bags… Do I collect it in Helsiki or does it get checked straight through to Kemi? It played on my mind throughout the flight, but we landed in Helsinki on time (2 hours 20 minutes) and when I asked two different people, they both confirmed it would stay in the airport and will be checked in automatically in the morning… Got to the Hilton and checked in there OK and got a nice room. It continued to play on my mind throughout the night, after phoning Amie and talking to Sam, we all decided it would be fine… Then the lights went out after a crazy day… zzzzzzzzz
(my room in Hilton Vantaa - crap picture - sorry)
Monday 2nd August 2010 - Day 1
A beautiful start to the day, the alarm went off at 5am Finnish time, then the TV started blaring, then my phone started to beep - I was not going to over sleep…! Decided to get up and get into the hotel because the worry of my bag was still playing on my mind - would be still going around on the carousel? I got to the airport and talked to a nice girl who was with a dog waiting to check in, she was from South America, going to somewhere in Finland to do a biology degree for 2 years… I checked in and the guy confirmed my bag was checked in to… PHEW! I could breathe easy again.
(My Helsinki - Kemi/Tornio Plane)
The flight was fine (1 hour 20 minutes), collected my bag from Kemi/Tornio airport and met the taxi driver. A €50 taxi drive to Tornio Works later and met with HR, who took me to the IT block… Finally, I had arrived and could start what I was here to do! I had a small meeting with my boss and the head of IT Tornio, who showed me the structure of Tornio’s IT and we had a good discussion about what I was there to do.
I met some really good and nice people throughout the day - whose names I cannot remember or pronounce yet, but I hope this will come in time, there are a LOT of people in Tornio Works :-) I will make more of an effort tomorrow though, I just don’t think my Yorkshire accent trying to pronounce Finnish names doesn’t sound right, I am butchering the language…!
I had one very kind person from IT help me onto the bus at Outokumpu and stayed with me all the way to the hotel, she then walked me up to the bus station to help me get a month bus pass… €40 for the month, you also pay €6 for the card, but it is a credit card type thing which I assume can be topped up.
That’s it… This takes me up to updating the blog. I am currently in the hotel deciding what to do for my evening meal. I am still stuffed after my lunch, so might just go to the supermarket. Only another 3 nights here and I will move into a newly refurbished apartment. Then I can unpack :-)