Posted: August 6, 2010 in Culture, Family, God
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Man, it was tough. To cut to the chase, going to Finland wasn’t that hard, it was coming back that almost killed me, or at least taught me a whole new level of patience. Well, it’s one of the gifts from God, so I guess it’s good to get to practice it!

Our return trip started by train from Lappeenranta in Eastern Finland. Due to the second bad thunderstorm to hit the area in a week, trees had fallen on tracks and delayed our train by two hours. Cool… Incidentally, the storm was so strong that 50 campers got destroyed at a camping site by falling trees, and a small town was nearly leveled. Please pray. Once we got out of the train, we ran to catch a local bus to the airport. By this time, we were both sweating and Tea (our 1,5-year-old) had gotten tired and fallen asleep. We made it to the airport just in time to get on the flight, but got bad seats for showing up so late. Tea was cranky, and my patience training had started.

On our way to New York, we got a really poor meal of chicken meatballs with white rice & curry sauce that was so hot no child could eat it. Result: more crankiness and hungry kids. I’m not kidding, I had to force the stuff down my pipe. Once we got to the Big Apple, we were welcomed by the always courteous immigration agents in their booths. Our stroller went with the luggage, so we couldn’t get it until we got through to baggage claim. Result: 4-year-old Miro sobbing “I feel really bad, daddy!” as I carried him in a line that wasn’t moving for about 20 minutes. More patience training. Finally an angel (actually a female employee) picked us from the line and took us through to an agent due us not having a stroller. This alone confirms God’s existence.

After rechecking our luggage, we discovered that we didn’t have boarding passes for the American Airlines flight to New York. After standing in a canceled flight only line for 15 minutes, we spotted an employee telling people that only the self check-in machines worked. The only problem: the stupid machine couldn’t find our tickets… This also happened on our way to Finland, so they must’ve messed up for real! Needless to say, by this time both Miro & Tea were all messed up, crying and making me more patient.

As we checked in so late for the last flight, we got – you guessed it – poor seats! I tweeted during our vacation,  “In God’s aeroplane, the pricey seats are at the back, have no leg space and board last…” Well, apparently we got them, because we sat in the back row, where the turbulence is felt the most, the engines roar the most, and the seats go back the least. Tea made her crowning achievement by screaming uncontrollably on several occasions because of the endless traveling. I did feel for her, but it wasn’t the only thing I felt… Patience lesson.

We finally landed in Los Angeles. It was amazing to find out that 11 PM on a Thursday night turned out to be rush hour at LAX. Our friend got there 30 minutes after we got out of the terminal. It felt awesome after 22 hours of constant travel! Still, it made stepping into her car feel unbelievably good. We were on our way home… After dealing with all the necessary stuff, we hit the hay around 1:30AM and slept for 5 hours before the first kid woke up. It’s 4:20 now, and I’ve got a worship vocal rehearsal at 5PM. After that, I’ll probably crash. It’s good to be back!


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