Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders


2007/09/07-14 Teaching and visiting in Finland

Posted on September 14, 2007 by daviding

Routing a flight through the UK is generally fortuitous, because it’s on the way to Finland. Since I’ve been coming to the Helsinki area relatively steadily during since 2003, I’ve developed a routine of doing similar things when I’m in town. On this trip, Minna and I co-taught a class at Stadia. One difference on this occasion was the grand meeting room, which is an improvement over the basement lecture hall.

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When I stay at Taina’s house, my schedule follows her commute pattern. Picking up Rulle from tennis lessons in Munkkiniemi puts us near warehouse shopping, so we stock up the pantry.

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On weekends, there’s an opportunity to prepare a leisurely dinner. This time, at Taina’s house in Soukka, we decided to cook Chinese food — an improvement over the choices available in local restaurants.

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With weekday schedules full, visiting people sometimes rolls into family time. I suggested to Saku that we could talk while taking the kids to the park. One was on a training bike, and the other was in the carriage, when we had tea at the cafe by the seashore at Matinlahti near his house.

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I’ve been around Helsinki often enough to know the sights. Rick was visiting Stadia from his university in Illinois, so we scheduled a leisurely afternoon together. We went to the computer superstore in Ruoholahti looking for a cable for his laptop, but didn’t find what he needed. On the way back, we walked by the west harbour where there are shipyards.

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Social networks can be funny. When I was a conference in Berkeley, California, in spring, I happened to meet Johan who is from Helsinki. It turns out that he’s good friends with Karlos, whom I know from HUT, and I see regularly. We took the opportunity to schedule a dinner at Tapiontori together to discuss research interests.

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One office where I’ve often met is at Nokia House in Espoo. I happened to bring my camera this time. Here’s the front entry, with a glass bridge over to the parking garage.

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I’ve often found the front lobby to be warm. It could be because it’s a greenhouse effect, or it could just be that Finns like their buildings warm.

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Minna usually takes advantage of my frequent visit, so that I get to have face-to-face conversations with some of her colleagues. This time, I met Minnamaria.

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The coffee bar is by a display of Nokia devices — I think that they use the layouts to plan some of their showrooms.

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As much as I tend to live on the Internet, my travels to distant places gives me the opportunity to be in the physical world.

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