After attending the European Society of Medical Oncology annual convention in Madrid last October 2019, Monique organized a side trip to Rovaniemi, Finland. The trek to the mountains to see the northern lights was not really successful. Vladimir Kromov, our stern tour guide, whipped us hard as we climbed the mountains. He treated us to bonfire-grilled hotdogs and sandwiches while we waited for the northern lights to appear. “Ayun na yata!” I screamed. “Clouds lang yan,” Oxali harrumphed. The moose hunting and raccoon hunting in the dark were also abject failures, but we thought we saw mutant alien aardvarks.
We retired to our glass walled, glass ceilinged cabin. We delighted at the free, tiny welcome chocolate bars and coffee in the pantry–being a patay-gutom fellow is forever. We finally got to visit Santa Claus the following day, and purchased cards and certificates of kindness or niceness or trueness to oneself that would supposedly be mailed from the North Pole all the way to Sta. Rosa, Laguna. One year and two months, we are still waiting for them, Santa! Those cards weren’t cheap! ^ ^