Stuck in finland

My story

I came to Finland for an art residency, for a month and a half. It was the 29th of february. It's October, and I’m still here...

When I decided to come, I didn’t know Rauma was in Finland. I just knew it was far.

When I first came to Helsinki, It was snowing. I felt I was in a different galaxy. I had to get to my hotel at one in the morning, from the airport, in a country that have instructions in five different languages (Finnish, Russian, Estonian, Swedish and sometimes even German)... but not in English: I didn’t expect that, and I didn’t succeed at connecting to the airport’s wifi. I don’t know how I made it to Rauma.

After corona madness started, and my first ticket to San Petersburg was cancelled, I realized I was not going to have the choir project and concerts, as planned. I was not going to travel around Europe as planned. I was not going to visit my sister in Poland, as planned. I might just go back to Colombia as soon as possible.

And the fun began. I didn’t have a schedule for a comeback flight, it wasn’t possible… I had just time without doing nothing... and RaumArs people, as different as they are from Colombian people, didn’t think I needed social interaction for happiness or sanity, they thought it was important for me to have access to a grand piano… I couldn't agree more! I love these people so much!

I could just chill down and have time with a grand piano, 24/7, walking inside a “fairy tale” looking town… and the best of all was: it was ok not to talk to people!... I was in paradise, living the dream, hoping that I could see some spring trees. Not knowing if that was going to happen.

And suddenly on my Instagram: It’s spring, and I’m still in Finland! And I had some plans: concerts, for balconies, streaming events, video recording of original songs, interviews… And I had my ticket to Colombia. June 11th. It was great because some other artist was coming to the residency around that time, I couldn't stay there anymore, so timing seemed perfect!

It was so hot in Finland. And all of my beautiful summer dresses were in a closet in Medellín. Anyway, I brought a swimsuit for the sauna; so I was going to enjoy a week at a wonderful beach in Helsinki, and then: home. I said: “goodbye Rauma, I have a feeling we will meet again… (I meant: in a year or two)” I walked the streets for the “last time” and went to Helsinki.

The evening before my flight, I did the check in, donated my coat and most of my winter clothes. I was in a hostel, and I got an email: cancelled flight! I sent mom a video from the beach next morning. She was expecting a video from the plane!

I ended up spending a month in Helsinki. That’s another story that involves naked people drunk in a sauna, playing the piano outside the sauna and jumping into very cold water at midnight in the middle of Helsinki... It was fun!

It was July now, and no flights to Colombia, just a bus ticket back to Rauma. I got to see an apple tree for the first time in my life. Finnish people didn’t understand what was the big deal with the apple tree. I went sailing, picked blueberries, got traditional finnish food...

And again on my Instagram: it’s midsummer, and I’m still in Finland! I managed to plan everything until my flight: September 7th. Some other events and concerts. Corona situation was getting better in Europe, but worse in Latinamerica. This time the cancelled ticket email wasn’t a huge surprise. I had adopted this "silly" philosophy, that is the only philosophy that makes some sense in my current situation. It makes me happy: “Whatever happens is what I want”.

Anyway, I realized I was going to see the “ruska”, becuase: It’s autumn and I’m still in Finland!

So, I went to Lapland. To the middle of nowhere. There wasn’t even a bus to get there. I realized that after booking the cottage, a non refundable option. Somehow I ended up there.

I wanted to see the aurora boreal as well, obviously, but it wasn’t the goal, because if I can’t even control my life, how could I expect the aurora to be there? Besides, everybody told me it was difficult.

So, I went to see this surreal yellow and red landscape and to experience finnish culture in the north. I took some photos, went fishing, walked through the blueberry paradise, went to Sauna and swam in a very, very, very cold river with a lovely and very finnish couple.

Second night in Lapland: it’s one in the morning in the middle of nowhere. I’m looking at the sky, alone, in the middle of a Finnish north forest, nervous about animal sounds, missing my coat very much... And pretty soon, something in the sky started to move towards me. White huge light became colorful, and got crazy. I thought: I’m totally sober, I didn’t eat any of those red fungus, so I’m not hallucinating. What is happening? Nobody told me that watching the aurora was such a scary, overwhelminly beautiful thing. It wasn’t something I saw, it was something I experienced. My brain and body system got confused about what was happening.

After this surreal experience. I got back to Rauma, I had a couple of concerts and choir sessions… And something really incredible happened: I saw an aurora boreal in Rauma. The probability of aurora in Rauma is very low. It was EPIC! I mean, Finland loves me.

And I have a ticket to Colombia now. October 9th… we’ll see!

After all of this time I learned some things about Finland and about myself:

I know that I’m an introvert, in Colombia. But in Finland, I’m suddenly a social person!

I like doing things like jumping into cold water and enjoying nature alone. In Colombia that’s weird, and cold means 12 °C.

I’m very comfortable with personal space. There is not such a concept in Colombia.

I like spending a lot of time by myself. In Colombia, that separates me from friends. In Finland, people appreciate it because they want to spend time by themselves as well.

It’s very easy for me to be happy in Finland. I might get in trouble if they cancel my next flight. I might need a job. If you happen to know of one, let me know!

But of any place I could possibly think of, I’m very happy to be stuck in Finland.