Most of Montreal, and especially my neighborhood, is throughly Francophone. Signage, menus, and most people on the street are all communicating in French. And while I have been hesitant to use my conversational French, I’ve been lucky enough to have studied it in college, so I can get by with basics and do almost all the reading that I need to do.
I’ve read that many Fins speak English, for which I am already thankful because there are so many words in French that any English speaker can instantly identify…danser, visiter, le fruit, la soupe, le docteur, octobre, parc… The list goes on and on. Finnish is not only not a Romance language, but it isn’t even an Indo-European language! This beautiful language family tree shows related languages, and Finnish is on it’s own little tree of Uralic languages. The closest related language? Estonian! I’ve started using Mango Languages app and some websites to start practicing the basics and it is hard because it doesn’t resemble anything I’ve ever seen. So with very little to instantly recognize, it is a lot of just rote memorization. While I’m glad at least one app has Finnish, it doesn’t do a great job of explaining grammar. The same illustrator has another comic showing what an outlier Finnish is for the region.
In other happy but not related news, Tim successfully defended his dissertation on Wednesday in Bloomington, Indiana. He started this process a long time ago, and has worked really hard and has overcome many obstacles. I am so proud of him and his huge accomplishment. It doesn’t quite seem real!
I was watching some Scandal while I was going through some paperwork last night and could have died when Olivia Pope decides to move and of course, even her packing looks perfect. There isn’t anything out of place and no piles of “keep”, “donate”, or “sell”. She does have one open box with some perfect throw pillows peeping out, which I guess counts for “messy”.
Tim and I did a huge purge when we moved to Canada from Indiana, but things accumulate and it is time to go through things again. I had binders full of print outs with recipes or patterns for quilts and other craft projects. I think I have successfully transferred most of those to pinterest that I could find online. I did have to type out a few recipes and add them to my google drive. I also had some quilt patterns from magazines that I scanned and added to my drive as well. I have a few other files that I will shred right before we leave too. Even if you aren’t thinking about moving in the next 5 years, start with your old files! When we left Indiana, I couldn’t believe that I still had bill stubs and bank statements from 5 or 7 years ago. Even if you are moving across the world, it is time to get out the shredder, people. Next up, my closet.
Finding a one euro coin in my building felt auspicious. And then I tried to unravel the world of Apostilles and it felt like 100 steps backwards. Warning, you might be bored by in-depth coverage of government paperwork, but trust me, this condensed version is 1/1,000 as painful as the real time.
I lied. Apparently Mayflower and United are still different companies in the US, but in Canada they are the same. Anyway, they work with the same local company, Martel Express, that we worked with when we moved here from Indiana. They were easy to work with then and have been most responsive. They gave us a reasonable estimate, which is almost exactly what we paid to move here. I guess that makes sense, I was just worried about some crazy number. We now have a reservation for them to pick up all of our stuff on Tuesday, June 23. Last step on that front is to call them a few days before to get the exact time. I am glad that is crossed off the list. Now on to box hunting and then the packing can begin.
Today we drove from Montreal to Ottawa for our required visit to the Finnish Embassy. As legal residents of Canada, we were allowed to go to the embassy in Canada which is by far the closest for us. The embassy is tiny, and I guess I’ve never been to an embassy before so I didn’t know what to expect. Instead of being a separate building, it was an office in a large downtown building. There were no security checks, but we did have to get buzzed into the office, and then all transactions took place behind glass.
We had a month to mull over the possibility, and then one weekend to decide. Tim was offered a post-doc research position at the University of Turku in Finland for 1.5 years, basically the academic year of 2015-2016. With his research position ending in Montreal in September, 2015, and only a few real options in the US we are packing our bags.