Gib Finney’s sequel to THE POWER OF UN
The Weirdness of Home
7 July 2008, Finney @ 4:55 pm

Okay, I admit it, I have been somewhat lazy about my blog since we got home. And you are probably wondering what happened at the party in the galley, and whether we got home safely and stuff like that.

The party was great. Dr. Twining wore gym shorts with his big insulated boots and his big Antarctic down parka with the fur hood (which he took off after a while because he was dying from heat prostration). He had the best costume. A bunch of the biologists got together and made this awesome punch out of raspberry Kool-Aid and apple chunks. And I don’t know who exactly but SOMEBODY(S) went up on the helodeck with a couple of big bowls of cream and a whole bunch of chocolate and made chocolate ice cream by cooling the bowl down with liquid nitrogen. I am totally bummed that nobody told me about this, so I didn’t get to watch them do it! I would swear an oath on any dead cat that this was totally the best ice cream I have ever eaten. Ash and Rainy agree.

The next day, we got to Punta Arenas in the morning, and the first thing we did was take our extreme weather gear back to the warehouse. Then we took a walk all around Punta Arenas. Dude. I never thought walking could feel so good. I guess all that time on the ship, my walking muscles were wishing I would use them more. They sure liked getting me around Punta Arenas. We went to the main street and bought presents for our parents. We bought some Patagonia chocolate, and some scarves and hats, which you can find there on every street corner. We spent all of our Chilean pesos. I am sorry to say that the dogs of Punta Arenas were nowhere to be found, which was just as well, because it was way too cold out for any sane dog.

The ride home on the plane was a major pain because it took so long, and we were either hanging out in airports for hours or riding planes for hours. When we finally saw our parents waiting for us, it was like…dude…major hug fest. After we got our suitcases, we walked outside and went, “Whoa!” because it was so hot. No more petrels or icy wind. We were home, and the cicadas were singing, and the world was much greener than I remembered.

The first thing I did when we got to our house was go in the back yard and pick a plum from our tree. Did it taste good? Let me just say that plum was a lot plummer than I remembered plums being, too. I ate about four before I stopped. Now I am sitting here typing this, and Strike is sitting across the table from me, staring with his little black eyes. But he is just a souvenir now, not an avatar anymore. You probably won’t be surprised when I say that’s fine with me.

And now, I am going outside to play catch with Ash till the fireflies come out. Then we Three Musketeers will probably capture a few of them temporarily, just in our hands, for scientific observation. And after we let them go, we will sit on the dark porch and speak of icebergs and waves and Antarctic jellyfish and other strange and significant things.