I'm drafting this up while sitting in the Helsinki airport Monday morning but don't plan to post it until Tuesday (to avoid bumping the week's LHMP entry off the front page). But then, I don't figure much of interest will happen for the rest of the day except travel and convention recovery. Sunday morning, having no panels of interest until 11am, I stopped by the WSFS business meeting and helped skate through the remaining agenda items (mostly various housekeeping votes) in record time. The panel I wanted to attend was "Moving Beyond Orientalism in SFF" which was a good solid introduction to "why orientalism is bad". After that, I moved into the realm of "I'm too tired to do much except wander around vaguely." I did finally bump into Tero (whose wedding to my late friend Judy was the occasion of my previous trip to Finland) -- he'd been cosplaying most of the event, so I think I can be forgiven not saying hi earlier!
The panel on "using history for worldbuilding" that I was moderator for went smoothly, except that we had one mic for five people so we punted and begged anyone with hearing impairments to move to the front. I sincerely apologize for this divergence from policy, but try to pass a single mic around during a panel discussion does great damage to the discussion flow. Passing a single mic also would have made it more difficult to try to do turn-taking management--at which I was not as good as I aim for. I hadn't quite expected the conversation dominance to come from the direction it did and wasn't prepared to manage the reins in the way that was needed. (Folks: even very very nice, knowledgeable, entertaining panelists need to self-monitor for hogging the speaking time.)
I hung around for the closing ceremonies, mostly because I needed the psychological closure. (I dislike it when the con just sort of dribbles down to a stop.) Then dashed off to drop stuff at my hotel and join Phiala and Thorvaldr for a nice dinner at a restaurant that specialized in traditional Finnish food. I had the pike-perch with wild mushroom sauce, but we traded around bites, so I also got some sauted reindeer and pan-fried herring.
And then it was a matter of setting my alarm early enough to get to the airport for an 8am flight. Except that the flight was overbooked and they were asking for volunteers to get bumped. I volunteered, despite it meaning changing planes in Copenhagen and not getting in to Schiphol until 2pm. I'd actually considered that flight when originally making my reservations, but opted for the early non-stop instead. Honestly, if I'd had the choice between the 200-Euro compensation and sleeping later, I would have picked sleeping later! But I volunteered, in part, because I could. So here I am, having time to finally watch the YouTube video of the con's opening ceremonies and then type this up for later posting.
Postscript: Arriving in Schiphol, it turned out my luggage was lagging behind somewhere. It had to happen at least once on the trip. It will be delivered sometime this morning (Tuesday) so no harm, no foul. Tomorrow I will blog about Irina & Boudewijn's lovely house with pictures of the view from my bedroom window.