Reading a bedtime story via Skype to your child when the child is in Britain and you are working in the continental Europe is the easiest way to guarantee that you life frugally, save money and keep away from any temptation. Of course, one could hit town or any bad habits afterwards when one has also discussed the day with your partner. However, if you are working, you start to be quite tired by 9 pm. In addition, you may not life in the busy party central, but the residential ‘garden city’. By 9 pm the bus service has grinded to almost to a halt, so reaching any hotspots will take time and waiting in the freezing evening.
I probably should have started a hobby, but the travelling schedule would bring gaps to any evening classes. Sitting in for example would mean that I would mix with people who are not archaeologists, I do not work with and who actually live locally. Now I live in a student flat in a house where the nearest thing to a local is me, another Finn and one Norwegian guy who may or may not still live in the house. Well, there are some Russians, but if you consider people who by definition speak at least some Scandinavian, I am almost native. This is a bit alienating, but making the most of the window of being able to write and study means that I am easily at the University until about six a clock, when I have to leave, if I want to eat before skyping.
Luckily the archaeology seminar sometimes leads to a dinner in a pub, but since I miss the Christmas party, these occasions seem to be rarer now during the ‘nose-whitening January’. The discussions at the swimming pool where I go about once a week relate normally to some queuing issue, when I transform into a small-minded middle-aged woman when people pass me in the Jacuzzi or shower queue. May be I should have taken up Italian discussion group or something. Well, now I am heading to actual Rome and my Italian will be hilariously mixed with Swedish words. You should have heard me on the phone! ‘Februari’ came from my mouth instead of ‘febbraio’. No wonder the funzionario was puzzled... Or perhaps written Swedish may have been more fitting. Considering my first stab in formulating a paragraph in Swedish for 15 years in academic language. Total laugh-out-loud non-sense!