Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

World Figure Skating Championships

World Figure Skating Championships

During the 2010 Olympics, I stayed up past midnight in Ithaca, New York, to watch the ice dancing finals live. Huddled in the bed, surrounded by pillows so my laptop glare wouldn't disturb sleeping Jeremy, I watched Canada's Virtue and Moir take home the gold with a truly stunning performance.

Seven years later, the World Figure Skating Championships arrives in Helsinki, Finland. Pro tip: when the World Figure Skating Championships comes to Helsinki, and you live a mere two hours away, YOU GO. You buy the best seats in the cheapest section you can find, you grab your two kids who are old enough to appreciate it, and YOU GO. It was yesterday, and I can't believe I almost didn't buy the tickets back in January. They were €33 each and I balked at spending "so much" money on something we could watch on TV.

But here's what I learned yesterday: it is so much better in person. Turns out there are many things about figure skating that the TV broadcasts can't really capture: the speed of the skaters, the scope and flow of each performance across the expansive rink, the immersive experience of the music playing all around you, and the communal experience of watching each performance with thousands of fellow spellbound spectators. It. was. magical.

And I got to see Virtue/Moir skate, and win! I will never forget sitting next to my daughters and seeing that happen. It was even more dramatic because HE FELL. There was an incredible synchronized sharp intake of breath from the entire audience when it happened, it was so shocking. But the thing is, when you are as good as they are, you can fall, and still win the gold medal by two points. It was so exciting!

As for Team USA, the girls made a few posters to cheer them on. The Shib Sibs took the bronze. France got second - I haven't been a fan of Papadakis/Cizeron before, but they won me over last night.

PS - the jumbotron was showing live tweets tagged with #WorldFigure and #Helsinki2017 throughout the evening. The girls begged me to try to get on there (Magdalena's exact words were, "Mama, can you twit something?"). I gave it my best shot with this tweet, but I don't think it ever showed up on the big screen.

Your Finnish is worse than you think it is

March 31st, outsourced