8 Oct 2007

Repaying a favor

Posted by walterheck

The next morning I started to wake duke up by making coffee and some ricecakes. This seems to be the best way to wake my buddy up! He _really_ needed to go to the embassy and I needed to get out of Helsinki.

The day before I realized that I was forgetting one thing: I had hosted a lot of people from this part of Europe and it would be a lot of fun to visit some of them. In fact, one of the couples that I had the most fun with was living in Turku. Saara is a Finnish girl and Grant is an Aussie. They met down under and fell in love. Now they are living together in Turku. So, my choices for getting out of Helsinki were either to take a ferry to Estonia or to go visit Grant and Saara.

I decided to send Grant and Saara both a text message on their mobile to see if they would be available. Within 5 minutes I had an enthousiastic reply back from Saara saying that I could come and stay as long as I wanted! You can imagine it didn’t take me long to decide to go to Turku.

Duke left for the embassy and I stayed behind to finish packing my bag and since I was gonna hitchhike that was no problem. After packing my bags and looking outside the rain was too much to make me enthousiastic about hitchhiking, so I decided to take a bus to the train station to check out the price of the trains. I fell asleep in the bus (surprise!) and when I woke up I was once again not sure where I was. Luckily it turned out to be the backside of central station, so I got off the bus and walked into the train station. The tickets for the next train to Turku were 30€, but if I was to wait for a few hours, I could get a ticket for 23€ (don’t ask me why 😉 ).

I decided to wait and go see if Duke happened to be back from his embassy trip. If he was, he would most probably be at Café Java, so I headed there. Lo and behold, he was there. We catched up and sat there being nerds behind our laptops. Close to 2pm Duke accompanied me to the train station.

I took the two hour train ride to Turku and was a little surprised that the scenery was not too bad this time 🙂 I arrived in time and sent Saara a message. She told me to meet her at 17:45 at the church next to her university. That gave me over 1,5 hours to slowly make my way there, so I decided to walk. It was a nice walk straight through the middle of Turku, an average provincial town.

I arrived early at the church and I needed to pee, so I looked for a food place with a bathroom. I ended up finding a pizzeria and ordered a cola to releave myself from the guilt of using their bathroom for free 🙂 After that I walked back to the church. I sat down on the steps in front of it, but when it started raining I moved to the kioski that was not far away to take cover under the overhanging roof.

I waited and waited, but no Saara. Since I am really bad at remembering/recognizing faces I thought I saw her in every single girl that even walked in my direction. After 15 minutes I received a text message from Saara that she was there and was waiting for me. That was weird, from my position I could clearly see the stairs leading up to the church and there was no girl there. I sent her a message back telling her where I was and 5 minutes later she appeared. Turned out she was there early as well and needed to pee, but she used the toilets inside the church 🙂

Anyway, we found each other, said hello and took a bus to Saara and Grant’s place. Grant cooked some nice soup for us from vegetables they had been given from a cottage owned by Saara’s family up north. Delicious!

Grant just got papers to work in Finland as he became European citizen because of his dutch family. He was offered a replacement job as a PE-teacher. He has some kind of condition that does not allow his body to hold enough iron, so he has some sleeping problems as well.

Because of this and the fact that Saara had a busy day at school the next day, we did not go to bed late (which I din’t mind at all). One of the reasons I like this couple so much is because you immediately feel at ease and at home in their house. Yopu just become part of their everyday life, exactly the way I like it 🙂

After going to bed I woke up in the middle of the night with a feeling that I had been missing for over a month: the strong desire to program something! I tried ignoring it for a bit, but after half an hour of waking up every 5 minutes I realized that it was probably better to act on it.

So I decided to get out my laptop and start fooling around with the couchsurfing codebase. I played around for a couple of hours and then went back to sleep when I was actually tired (it was already getting light outside 😉 )

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One Response to “Repaying a favor”

  1. Man you just can’t take a hint can you? God was doing his best to get you in that church by making you having to pee, and when that didn’t work He made it rain but you still didn’t go inside. I’m starting to get very concerned about your immortal soul my friend. When His kingdom cometh and all of man be judged to sit at His hand or burn in the fires of hell you will have to pay for your unwillingness to hear His call! You have to listen to the call, hear the call of Jesus coming from the heavens, asking you to join him! I say Hallelujah, and Praise the Lord!!