Back in Frankfurt again. Only two more weeks to go.
It was nice to have M here for a visit. We saw the christmas fair, which was a great experience, even if it rained cats and dogs. Reminded me of the one in Stockholm that I really liked. The fair in Helsinki on the other hand is not such a pleasant experience - everything is so crammed together that I have never even properly visited the park. Maybe I have to give it a try this year. Assuming of course that it is still up when I go home.
We also ate properly and I decided that I really have to learn to cook, when I go back home. As I've said before, my skills are very rudimentary so I cannot improve without recipes. Yep, yep, that is definitely a thing to do.
I abandoned M on Sunday morning and left for Copenhagen. The first step wasn't the greatest, since the airport security got me a little pissed. They took my shoes for questioning since they apparently looked very suspicious. They did get back in good health, but I found it more than a little ridiculous. Especially as they paid no attention to my crochet hook, which I assume could cause much more harm than my poor innocent shoes if I decided to go berzerk. They also never asked to see my passport. Not one single time. You would think it would be more important to check that people don't travel with a false passport, than worry about shoes. This is exactly the kind of behauviour that breeds paranoia and makes everyone look at their neighbour like they're the next mad homicidal bomber.
I eventually calmed down in the airplane. If I don't want to play their power games, I can always stop flying as the last alternative, can't I? Yes, I can. Not that I really contemplated that one, but it is a thing that has made me feel better many times in the past. Like in the university where many of the younger researchers are afraid to do this or say that, because they are afraid of jeopardising their future. I've never really worried about that. I may be worried about disappointing individual people, but I am not worried about my institutional position. Not because my position would be secure, but because no-one needs to play any power games. It is always possible to leave and do something else instead. That is what I call freedom.
Of course that has its downsides as well. You are incapable of really committing, because then one becomes susceptible to these pressures. Starting a family becomes more difficult. If you have a child then it is necessary to provide for that child. That means money is a must, a job is a must and then bang, you are a slave to the requirements of the system. If it is just you, it is always possible to go live at the summer cottage and take a job at McDonalds or something. You are free.
Except it may be that it is not possible. I think there may be some stupid law, which says that you cannot live the year around at your summer cottage. I've been thinking today about what law is really about. I don't have the most positive attitude towards law and I'm trying to find out, if it is possible to change that by thinking differently. But I keep coming back to these stupid laws that attempt to control your life in ways, which are irrational and unfair.
Okay, just checked google. There is a stupid law that prohibits living at your summer cottage permanently. Well, it is possible after a procedure if the cottage fulfills certain standards, but that is the point. What right does the state have to control what kind of living standards are enough for an individual. If I should wish to live like they did three hundreds years ago, without any modern conveniences, why can't I do that? Why is the state allowed to forcibly drag me into the society and then force me to pay for that? This law is an example of a control mechanism, which limits the right to choose an alternative lifestyle. An example of why I am not that crazy about all the laws.
Yes, but anyway, I was on my way to Copenhagen. Let's say that I have already arrived, found the metro and the hotel and been to see the city. Copenhagen looked nice; the little that I could see of it. It was already very dark, even if it was still quite early. I peeked at the Tivoli from behind the fence and walked to the sea. I like water, if you haven't noticed before. I walked around a bit more and then went back to the hotel.
We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant the first night, which was great. Almost as many courses as in that restaurant in Florence many years ago. It was really nice to see people. I haven't talked this much with the network people in any of the other seminars. I even had a talk with both of the keynote speakers the next day, which has never happened before. Part of it was perhaps the fact that I've stopped pretending that I would for instance understand Danish. Earlier I would have just sat there and smiled stupidly as if I would understand; now when this torrent of words descended upon me and I couldn't understand a word, I actually said it. So much better.
I also noticed that this policy of stating my mind and my wants is a good thing. As I said a couple of months ago, those who understand, do understand all the better and those who don't, they just have to be disappointed that I wasn't the person that they thought I was. But the net gain is still definitely positive. I still have to practice this policy of stating my desires, but I think I am getting to a good start.
The seminar itself went quite well. One of the keynote speakers mentioned lovely things like psychology, anthorology, society, ethics, morals and philosophy quite a few times, which made me happy. My own presentation went well and I got a number of good comments. I was the first of the doctorands to give my paper, which turned out to be a beneficial thing. I talked with altogether five people about my dissertation afterwards, which could never have happened if I had been the last to give the paper. It was interesting to notice that everyone had a different opinion about what I should do with the dissy. Three of them favoured a more society oriented approach and two a more legally oriented approach. It was very good to hear all these opinions and now I am again a little wiser.
I get reminded of a saying I read somewhere last week. "One sign of being an adult is the ability to make out the difference between an opinion and a fact". I thought that was very well said.
Oh yeah, it was a good seminar. We ate well, heard some interesting things, saw some interesting things, sat in the bar and had some good and interesting drinks... I felt part of the community, which is one of the most important things there is. I am starting to believe in friendship again, which is definitely one of the most important things there is. Yep. Thanks for the company waiting for the flight.
Currently listening to: the humming of machines