DSCF1479The most misleadingly tranquil picture of Rastila ever taken.

My trip to Helsinki was unusually disastrous this year, and I blame Boston entirely. Looking to save a few hundred bucks, I decided that this year, I would travel to Helsinki by way of Boston. After all, I had the time, and the bus from NYC to Boston only cost about $8. Very quickly I learned that you get what you pay for.

It’s not very metal to talk about the horrible things that go wrong during one’s travels (unless they involve explosions, which…mine don’t), so I’ll keep it short. My bus to Boston was 45 minutes late, it took me nearly a half hour to find the airport shuttle from South Street station because Bostonians don’t believe in signs that actually point to places apparently, and my bag got left in Reykjavik, meaning I was stuck in laptop-less, charger-less, and with only airport clothes (a sun dress and flip flops) for the duration. It also took me about an hour to get to the hostel, which I was unable to find after walking around in foot-destroying shoes in the hot sun, and when I did find it, it turned out to be up a very steep hill. I firmly believe this was a curse from the god Perkele for being stupid enough to schedule a flight to Finland without having a return ticket first.

My dearest friend Henri (you may know him from the awesome Finnish doom band Ever Circling Wolves) met me at the hostel and took me to his house, where he and his awesome girlfriend Jannika fed me, clothed me, and set me up with a phone that was almost unusably smart for a Luddite like me. MANY, MANY THANKS TO HENRI AND JANNIKA FOR THEIR HOSPITALITY!

My entire plan for the night was to head to Rastila, a camp near Suvilahti where many Tuska-goers choose to stay during the festival, and wander around until I saw someone I recognize. Being a big-time melanin-haver, I was not terribly surprised when my plan worked like a charm. What DID surprise me was how willing my old friends were to hug me despite the fact that I hadn’t showered or changed my clothes in what seemed like days. It was somewhat late in the day, so I figured the alcohol killed their sense of smell.

I think my time at Rastila can probably be summed up by this picture:

DSCF1477Believe it or not, things managed to get even weirder.

On Tuska Day 0, I learned a couple of valuable lessons, and they are as follows:

-Boston should always be avoided.

-Save more than you think you could possibly need before traveling to foreign lands, especially the ones that use Euros.

-If you check your bags, keep your underwear in your purse just in case.

-When an Icelandic man recommends you a beer, don’t take his suggestion because it will knock you unconscious and make you miss The Hobbit, featuring the lovely Aidan Turner.

-Friendship is magic, but beer is magic-er.

Coming up next…