Hmm. There's the first time for everything, I suppose. So today, to honor a wonderful Monday I'll try an initiative to write in English.. Every Monday, that is. Or every Monday, when I can remember to write anyways. Well. You get the picture.
Those of you who end up reading this in English here - you probably know who I am, and what I am doing in DC. For those of you who are still questioning all this, I can tell that I am a barely thirty-something young woman, of Finnish origin. Living and working in DC for some eighteen months. Working for the lights of the world - which actually has very little to do with electricity, and a whole lot more with thousands of international teenagers and families. But nevertheless. I have been involved in the same field of work for years and years now - and the current plan is for me to return to Helsinki in early 2010, when my visa expires. But more about all that later.
My first touch with the US and the Americans was in early 1990's. TV shows, such as Beverly Hills 90210 were an excellent source of accurate information - and inspired me to try living in Michigan as an exchange student for one school year. It doesn't exactly take a genius to tell that TV-shows usually have very little to do with the reality of the Small Town America - and boy, did I learn my lesson. The hard way. It was a great experience, despite the many harships - and the only reason why I am where I am today.
Living abroad when you are 16 or when you are 30 is somewhat different. Not completely though - and it'd be impossible to say if one is better than the other. Of course I enjoy the fact that I can now legally drink the occasional beer (or bottle of wine, ha ha) - without having to constantly worry that the representatives of my current employer will send me home. And yes, Washington DC and a small town in Michigan are indeed very different. Both physically and mentally.
But on the other hand I'd love to have a family waiting for me at home - maybe once a week anyways - and I wouldn't mind having someone to share the occasional cleaning and laundry duty with. It'd be nice to have someone take full responsibility for my needs and actions, and blast music loud with someone banging on the door to keep it quiet... Or maybe not.
The biggest similarity between my exchange experiences in 1996 and 2009, which I just noticed yesterday, is that I will return home in about six months with one suitcase full of coffee mugs. That is exactly what happened the first time around too - and I didn't dare to throw out my dozens of souvernir mugs from my exchange year until a good 8 years later, when I moved from Vaasa to Helsinki. Jeez. So, a mental note to self: no matter how cool it seems to be to fill your cupboards with ceramic memorabilia from around the country - you'll end up hating those mugs during the next five years. Every time you move. And no: you will never use any of them with your Arabia cups anyways!
So, until next week my blogging will continue in Finnish. Feel free to leave a mark or a comment anyways - it'd be great to know if an English-speaker reads this - and plans to return here at some point. So I'm not torturing my two Finnish readers for nothing...