Saturday, October 21, 2006


We were talking about traveling to different places in Finland. Kirsi, who’s teaching me everything I need to know about molecular techniques, and her husband are planning to head to her folks' house this weekend. Her parents live in a little village, 600 km north of Tampere.

“If we’re lucky, we’ll get there by midnight on Friday,” she said.

“Yeah, but it depends on the weather too,” Katariina chimed in. She was pointing out that it might take even longer. Apparently Kirsi’s village has already had one snow storm this year, even though it’s only the beginning of October.

So, I was thinking about Kirsi, and her trip through snowy terrain and… yikes! Driving in the snow? “So will you bring chains?” I asked. You know, then if it doesn’t snow, she wouldn’t have to put them on; if it does snow, she could just pull right over to the side of the road and put them on… piece a cake.

Katariina almost died laughing. “Chains! Can you imagine!” And then she laughed a whole lot more. “We’re covered in snow for at least five months per year.”

I realized I had said something wrong. But the Southern California part of my brain couldn’t figure out what it was.

“We don’t use chains in Finland, Laura. We use snow tires here.”

Oooooh yeah, I’ve heard of snow tires before. I’ve never used them, but my friends Patrick and Jenny talked about putting them on their car one winter.

Shoot, I’ve never even used chains before. Boy, it’s gonna be an interesting winter for me.

“Chains, ha!”

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