After a lot of meaningful conversations, academic and non-, and a lot of drinking (and, I must admit, cigarettes), I left Falun on Saturday morning (thanks again to Lenka & Dima, Elena & Andreas for your hospitality), had lunch in Stockholm with Vilhelm and Josa, took the ferry to Helsinki (this time in a cabin, which wasn’t so much better for sleeping than a bench, but it wasn’t so much more expensive either) took a bus to Helsinki airport, nearly managed to resist the Moomin Shop, flew to Heathrow with a spectacular view of central London on the descent, started to come down with a cold (probably thanks to the cigarettes, this always happens when I smoke, which is good I guess, keeps me from smoking more than a couple of times a year), then flew to JFK. British Airways was nice; tasty food and separate TV screens for each seat where you can choose your own movies. I watched Goodbye Bafana. I’m not sure what I think about it. Considering that it was a movie about Nelson Mandela’s prison guard, the character development wasn’t very deep.

After asking me the standard questions, the guy at passport control said “Are you all right?” I guess I must have looked tired or grumpy or something. Or maybe I had my Russian poker face on. In Russia I have to remind myself not to smile too much in public to avoid looking foreign; here it’s the opposite.

So here I am in the U.S., if being in the airport counts as being in a country. I realize now that I missed coastal America’s diversity; I didn’t miss being surrounded by American accents, even if I have one myself. 

My flight to upstate New York isn’t until 9am, so I broke down and paid for wireless internet to get me through the night. With this cold and sleep deprivation, I’m going to be a wreck by the time I get to my dad’s house.