Today I found this amazing internet site with headbands! Check it out! They're gorgeous!
Here are some of my favorites, which is yours?
Enjoy! Pamper yourself! http://www.etsy.com/category/accessories/hair/headband
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I decided to give my mother a house cleaning for Christmas. Besides that I gave her only small items like a book, a cd and a combined present with her fiancé that included pampering products from going to the sauna. I also gave her some fabric place mats that she liked.
For my mother's fiancé I made a t-shirt with printed photos of the family, Molly (my mother's and her fiancé's dog), my mom and them together. He really liked that and actually got touched when opening the present. I also found a great (?) dvd telling about how to handle fish that I gave him. His passion is fishing so I found it quite suitable. I also gave him a calender to put on the wall with pictures of the Finnish nature since he loves travelling with the boarders of Finland.
For my grandmother I had bought together with my mom a kind of basket for her dog to lay in. She was thrilled about that because her dog means everything to her. I also gave her a poncho and some gloves.
My sister received a jewelley box with a photo of me, her and our dad on top. I had specially made it for her. Everybody that know my sister, know how crazy she is about jewellery so I thought the present was just right for her. I also gave her a jewellery set with a necklace and earrings, a book, a ring, a turquoise fan with feathers and and a make up kit. She's crazy about fans as well.
To my beloved boyfriend I had bought some silver jewellery even though he's worth gold, as dear as he is to me <3 He had been wanting a thicker silver chain, so I gave him that. Seeing as he loves motorcycles, I also gave him a necklace with a little motorcycle, as well a subscription of a motorcycle magazine for a year. He also received a t-shirt.
Just to mention a few presents that I received..I got Inglorious bastards (movie with my idol Brad Pitt) and an organic package including an oven mitt with a dragonfly, coffee, some black tea and a scarf and two pairs of socks. I also got a pair of boots and an outfit for being outdoors (water- and windresistant). Then I got a hair curler, a better one than I had. I also got a set of glasses for mulled wine (glögi). One of my favorite items was the green Mariskooli I received.
Beautiful and so elegant. Somebody had understood that the color of our kitchen is green, yey! All my hard work hasn't gone to waste! Heheh. I also got a beautiful dragonfly necklace.
Me and V got a combined present as well from his parents. It was great, filled with a lot of practical stuff like wine, a tea cup for lose tealeaves, a silicon piece that keeps the content of a tea mug warm, chocolate, teflon oven paper that is reusable and candles. What a wonderful Christmas!
Better late than never...
Christmas time in Helsinki stands for Christmas markets. Just before Christmas I attended two of them; the St. Thomas market at the Esplanade park and Wanha's traditional Christmas market.
The St. Thomas market offered a lot of touristic items like wooden items and knives from Lapland, as well as some items made by real Finnish blacksmiths. Wonderful things, but a little bit pricy for my taste! I enjoyed the most the food part, a food lover as I am. They had even some sellers that had come down from Lapland selling reindeer sausages in hot dogs. I found that interesting and exciting, even for a Helsinkian like me. The only item that I bought at the market was some personal Christmas cards with drawings on leaves. They were ironically from India.
Wanha's Christmas was crazy buzy when I went there on Saint Lucy's (Santa Lucia) day. Wanha, which is an old building where huge parties are held, was turned into this great Christmas market with more sellers than my eyes could comprehend. Like at typical Finnish markets, most of the products are handmade. I liked the most some pieces with dragonflies, which is quite predictable since I'm in love with dragonflies and consider them my personal symbol. There were also other interesting sellers, like the company called ANNA PUSU (in Finnish: give me a kiss). They make necklaces with photos. You can order their necklaces directly through internet. They looked amazing! I highly recommend you to have a look!
Have u ever felt so strong,
That it made u feel weak?
Long days, long nights, and u just cant sleep
Have u ever been so sure,
That it gave u cold feet?
Gotcha floatin on air, u can feel ur heart beat
Well I never knew this feeling ever
Now I hope it stays and lasts forever
I am running
I dont wanna come down,
Hope my wings dont fail me now
And if I can touch the sky
I'd risk the fall
Just to know how it feels to fly
(yeah, yeah , yeah ,yeah,)
Say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Have u ever felt so lost,
But didnt know 'til u were found
Lookin' everywhere but u finally see now
In a room full of people,
You feel like no one's around
Gotcha head in the clouds and ur feet are off the ground
Say I never knew this feeling ever
Now I hope it stays and lasts forever
I am running
I dont wanna come down
Hope my wings dont fail me now
And if I can touch the sky
I'd risk the fall
Just to know how it feels to fly
(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Say, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeaahh!
(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
We got to go
(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah )
(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,)
(yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
I am running
I dont wanna come down
Hope my wings dont fail me now
And if I can touch the sky
I'd risk the fall
Just to know how it feels to fly
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah
Love the song, love Alicia's outfit on the cover!
The evenings might have become darker, and the summer colors turned into shades of grey but fortunately the darkening hours bring interesting events to Helsinki! Last weekend I went to the Ofelia market, a market put together in honor of alternative clothing. Last weekend it was organized for the third time in the culture arena Gloria in Helsinki and it was at the same time celebrating its first anniversary.
The themes for the clothes on sale were Burlesque, Gothic, Lolita, Retro, Rock n' Roll and Vintage. I thought these themes were very well chosen as they really show the new or already existing alternative clothing trends we have here in Helsinki.
The whole event was organized in a funny way. The designers themselves were there, telling about their unique clothing items on sale. Some new trends were also possible to see. I'll fill you in one some of my favorites.
Silly Idol (http://sillyidol.blogspot.com/2009/06/blog-post_04.html) was one of my favorites designers represented in the market. I especially liked the designers leather ribbon necklaces.
Humbugi Asuste (http://www.humbugi.com/) also offered something new, something they call leggings (damaskit in Finnish) but in reality is something completely different. They sell used pieces of leather sofas as warmers/heaters for your feet. Look at these beauties! They suit best shoes with some heals in order to look their best. They combine two things: a good look and recycling, yey!
Lately Finland has been crazed about reality TV shows about real people at their work place. We have TV shows about police men, nurses, doctors and so on. Today I heard about something refreshing and of course interesting for me since it's related to my field of study.
In spring 2010 we're getting a new TV show "Matkaoppaat", telling about Finnish travel/tour guides abroad. The show is going to be showed by our TV channel Nelonen. As far as I know the show is going to have 40 episodes, starting with one filmed in Alanya, Turkey.
The leading stars in this show is going to be the actual guides, whose job is something completely different from just holidaying. The guides days are filled with work tasks like solving tourists' problems, hosting trips, taking care of tourists' needs and rearranging their own life in a foreign country.
I can't wait to see this show! Already on the web site of Nelonen it's possible to see sneekpeaks of the shows and the tourists seem just as adorable as I would immagine. Something completely new and tourism related, yey!
After my first visit, my hands were hurting SO bad! I couldn't believe it. I know you never should wish you didn't have hands, but that was the only occasion in my life when I have actually wished that. I had problems with even sleeping since my hands were hurting so much. All this due to the smoothing and grinding of the nails.
Nevertheless, immediately I noticed how much time I saved in this way. Before, I had to wake up 1o minutes earlier each morning just to color my finger nails because the nail polish didn't last more than one day even with several layers. Now with the gel nails, I never have to think about my nails anymore. They're already done. All the time. So relaxing.
I have encountered some problems though that I didn't take into consideration in the beginning. First, after some time, my natural nails grow out and the gel nails start to look ugly. It's been difficult to determine how long of a pause I can have between my appointments. I have realized now that three weeks is the absolute maximum pause I can have without the nails looking horrific.
Secondly, if I run to the nail salon every three weeks, it going to cost a lot. Where to find the money?
Third, apparently the price goes up after three times since one's nails grow so much that the actual extension on the nail has fallen off and therefore the gel nail is natural color. Since I want a French manicure, that costs extra.
Due to all of these dilemmas, I have been thinking about going to different places in order to be able to compare them. Today I went to a completely new place, and the funniest part about it all is that it felt like cheating. It felt like I was cheating on the place where I usually go. How funny is that? But I must say that getting your nails fixed is comparable to going to a hairdresser, because you actually interact with the people working at the parlour. Therefore you get a kind of relation to them. And the most skilled women doing nails are of course Asians.
Today I realized that the first place I went to actually was good since I didn't like today's girl at all at the new place. She unfortunately didn't know that much Finnish and therefore didn't say almost anything to me during the whole hour I spent in the salon. I guess doing your nails is in some way a social act and it doesn't work without small talk.
I don't know when I'm going back. Every time I get them done, I tell myself this is the last time but then when I start to look at my nails after a couple of weeks, I just can't help myself from thinking about getting them fixed. Vicious circle.
We decided to have our traditional dinner at Huviretki, a restaurant situated in Kaisaniemi, an area close to the center of Helsinki. It's actually a part of a Cumulus hotel located next to the restaurant. I had read about it on the Finnish website eat.fi where people can comment and rate restaurants and cafeterias. On the site it had got great ratings so that made me curious. The restaurant was quite quiet but the food was excellent. All of us seven girls ate different dishes but still all were satisfied. We had pizza with meat and blue cheese, pasta with mushrooms and reindeer, salmon and potatoes, chicken with fries, and even beefsteak. The menu was very wide, a big plus!
Afterwards we headed for Shaker, one of my favorite cocktails bars in Helsinki! They have such amazing drinks with funny names like Paris Hilton, Daim-Anne, Death of a Pornstar and so on. The names of course indicates that all of their cocktails are made in shakers and have unusual ingredients like candy or icecream. Delicious! After two cocktails and only six hours sleep thanks to the BSB boys, this girl shaked her ass home at around tenish.
How time flies. Last Wednesday I experienced a ten-year-old deja vu when I went to the Backstreet Boys concert held at Hartwall Areena, here in Helsinki. They first appearence in Helsinki happened in 1999! I was only 13!
This was actually my third BSB concert since I also saw them in Milan in 2007. But I must say that the wibe here in Helsinki was way better because everybody knew their lyrics! I must say that I have honestly never been to a more hysteric concert. The crowd was singing and dancing the whole time and didn't get tired at all during the whole concert. A proud moment for a Finn since we're known for being quiet and serious. There was no one serious in that arena on Wednesday!
Of course the guys have become less since Kevin, the oldest of the boys, has left the band and the tempo of the concerts has become slower, but I still must say that the concert was a wonderful experience. I wouldn't have changed it for anything! I could picture myself there, 13-years-old and it put a smile upon my face. I owe those guys so much. I mean, I grew up with them. Their songs have existed for such a long time and they never lose their glow.
I hope next time the boys come to Helsinki that they make a slower show, maybe even oriented towards their "older" fans, let say 20+, hehe...I mean I would actually appreciate a smaller concert where the guys would just sit down and sing. For me their voices are the most important parts of the show. They don't have to tire themselves with dancing. They still sing wonderfully, Brian of course being my favorite. Well done boys!
The new and fresh thing about this year's concert was of course the afterparty held at the nightclub called "the Tiger", in downtown Helsinki. The reason for the choice of club was obvious, the Tiger is the only one with a view over the whole city. Rumors about the actual boys attending had been circulating so the club was packed to the fullest- honestly I've never seen a Finnish nightclub that full. Guys even started to climb on tables and poles etc. I wanted to believe that the boys would show up, and as it happened two of them did. Unfortunately for my sake, Brian wasn't one of them. I was equally happy when I saw Nick and Howie though. It would just have made the 13-year-old girl living in me happy to see her big time teen idol live close by. It was actually funny, the club was so crowded that one had the squeeze oneself through to pass the corridors. I was standing in the corridor with my sis and class mate when somebody pushed me. I was instantly ready to defend myself when I noticed that the "pusher" was a guard and after him followed Howie and Nick!!!! So I really was about 50 cm from them!
The boys had also brought their own deejay to the club which was a nice touch and Nick commented on the music every now and again. I liked that. Now my teen heart can be at ease until the Backstreet boys return to make the streets of Helsinki unsecure again.
"I bought it so that I would have something as nice as my friends' have"
"I bought it so I could relax"
"I bought it because I had a bad day"
"I bought it because it was on sale"
"I bought it because I didn't dare to say no"
"I bought it because I desired it"
Some sentences to make you think about today's theme.
Today we celebrated the so called "do not buy anything day", which emphasized the meaning of being able to say no to meaningless buying. The organizer for this theme day was Luonto-liitto, the Finnish Nature Union. The idea was to make people think before buying. The current date was chosen since it's the last Friday in November which stands for high season concerning Christmas shopping. This is also the time when shops start with their so called agressive marketing and prolong their opening hours.
According to the Finnish Nature Union a lot of people forget to forthink about what they're buying due to the lack of time and big quantity of people in the shops. Crowds sometimes tend to make people buy without giving the purchase process itself any further consideration. The union would like the remind people on this day that 80% of the world consumation is done by only 20% of the world's population. There's something to think about.
I am a strong believer in recycling. I hate to throw things away so I have come up with a new rule for myself since I like to renew especially my wardrobe quite often. I am not allowed to buy anything new if I don't sell any of my old clothes. Once I've sold some of my old clothes, I am allowed to purchase something. This slows down my purchasing. I know I still tend to buy too spontaneously gifts for my friends and family members but I would like to think that I have put more thought in my Christmas presents this year than before. One example was my Christmas gift to my mother - I hired a cleaning company to offer her a thorough housecleaning as her Christmas gift. I wanted to pamper her but in a eco-friendly way.
Question yourself- why do you buy things?
My first impression was that these buses seem longer than the usual ones we've had in Helsinki. This is good since it means that it fits more people. The lines it has been tried on so far are some of the busiest lines in downtown Helsinki so a need for more seating places is a reality.
The bus itself had a little bit slower speed, but nevertheless offered a pleasant travelling alternative. I liked the fact that it offered more possibilities for people with children, prams and people with handicaps. I hope this try will make the decision makers understand that the hybrid buses stand for a greener and, therefore, better public transportation system.
Yeah! Helsinki has been elected the world's design capital in 2012! Finally our beautiful city will be acknowledged for its sense of design!
The design capitals have been chosen every second year by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) since 2008. That year Italy's Turin won the honor and in 2010 Korea's Soul will carry the title.
According to front page of the web site devoted to this brilliant news, www.wdc2012helsinki.fi, Helsinki makes design part of every day life! Damn right! The site also tells about the city's great expansion and growth and supposes that Helsinki is the most changing city in Europe over the next ten years! What an exciting time to live here! The biggest changes will happen concerning the city structure and population. Especially the areas close by to the harbors and beaches will change thanks to Helsinki's dynamic character. Helsinki's mayor Jussi Pajunen is calling the election of becoming the design capital a turning point in Helsinki's history since it will bring the city so many changes.
I quote the site "Design is a factor deep-rooted in the urban lifestyle of Helsinki. Design is manifest in the everyday lives of Helsinki citizens in many ways, ranging from home furniture and items that represent old Finnish design traditions to modern urban solutions in the city and contemporary interior design."
The fact that we've won this honor means that 2012 will bring lots of design events and projects to our fine city. Can't wait.
On Sunday I attended the second chocolate festival ever organised in Helsinki. I came to see though that even if we're talking about a relatively new tradition, it has found its audience. The event was full by noon. I didn't have high expectations for the festival since Finland is mostly known only for the Fazer chocolate, but I came to see that we have much more. I must say that my clear favorite was the new aquaintance - Reuter & Stolt's wine chocolate! Delicious! I also liked the Nescafé combination with After Eight chocolate chips, yum! Some other goodies were orange, honey and mint chocolates..incredible!
Even though I had prepared myself for chocolate eating, I must say that after eating it for more than two hours, you definately felt a chocolate haze. Me and two of my friends decided therefore to add some to the haze and attend a tasting- wine & chocolate. Enjoying chocolate with wine to bring out new features in wine has become quite a trend in Finland. Wine knowledge is considered chic. We had a great lecturer telling us about what we were about to experience. We combined four types of wine (one white, two red and one port) with four types of chocolates (white, milk, and two dark. According to the lecturer we take advantage of all our senses while tasting. Actually we start by seeing, then smelling, followed by feeling and last actually tasting. I had never before combined eating chocolates with wine drinking. I must say that the experience was thrilling since the wine really tasted different depending on what chocolate type it was combined to. It seems that the chocolate's rich and greasy character diminish e.g. the strong tannins or fruity taste of the wine. I recommend you all to organise a wine+chocolate evening to get in touch again with your sense of taste, so often forgotten!
Interesting enough, even foreigners coming to Finland seem to think "Finnish in Finland, Swedish in Sweden". This kind of narrow minded way of thinking would make other multilingual states, like Switzerland and Belgium just to mention a few, seem ridiculous. Having a wide culture with influences from other countries is a benefit!
In the end, Swedish for us Swedish speaking Finns is not only our language but it is a part of our culture, which differs from the Finnish one.
Last Thursday in my Italian class, my teacher began to talk about something he called "our emotional language". Some of the people in my class were saying that even though they might learn different languages, a person faces a lot of difficulties if he/she needs to talk about feelings in another language than their mother tongue. They used children as an example. They meant that it is difficult to express feelings and closeness to a child in another language than your mother tongue. This is true also for other strong feelings, love for instance. I must say I think they are partly right. But once to really start to use another language, on a daily basis even, eventually you really can start to think in that language. I first experienced love in Italian and therefore that has remain my language of love. It's difficult to express feelings in the same way in other languages. Besides that, my mother tongue Swedish is not a romantic language in my opinion. At least not in the same way as Italian.
In Swedish, like in other languages e.g. English, the word of affection is darling, while in Italian it's love. I also like the fact that you can talk to your friends in a affectionate way. Tesoro, which means treasure is commonly used for close people. I don't think a person should restrict oneself to just one language. My mother tongue is a beautiful language that is a part of my identity as it stands for the Nordic part of me. It makes me feel that I belong somewhere. Just yesterday I met a Norwegian guy on the street and I could immediately communicate with him in Swedish. Nevertheless Italian for me is not merely a foreign language, but in a way one of my emotional languages.
Yesterday I saw that one of my acquaintances had made an interesting documentary film. She introduced it to me on Facebook. It seems she has done a documentary film about living for a certain amount of time without consuming anything. This by living in a commune and only eating things she finds in the supermarkets throwouts and garbage.
Watch the clip even if you don't understand Swedish.
You will still have an understanding of the matter.
I think it's something astonishing and mind blowing, doing something like this in Finland, where we want to believe everything is fine and that we are taking care of nature. Like the maker of this documentary film says this is an attempt to live a more ecological life. How far would you be ready to go for the same values in life?
This piece of news, probably not meant to cause all this attention, started a chain reaction. Immediately, a discussion about this was awoken on our biggest Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat's internet site, and not merely a discussion but it was the question of the day.
The newspaper has on a daily basis a question of the day at it wasn't anything of out the ordinary that there was one yesterday. The ironic part though was that yesterday about 30 000 people answered to the question of the day, when usually it's around only eight thousand. Why? Obviously because Swedish speaking Finns react to things like this very strongly. In fact, earlier that day, I received three SMSes telling me to please go and tell my opinion about this question. Somehow an every day question of the day was suddenly important.
This made me think about our dimishing role in the Finnish society. If we can't have our TV channel, what else are we not allowed to have? Is this truly the beginning of a larger chain reaction where our rights are reduced? Are we making history right now, studying in Swedish and having a childhood where we have been allowed to support our roots and traditions?
I certainly hope not. I refuse to give up this battle for the right of our future children. Sometimes the Finnish reality scares me. If our identity's cornerstone, our language, is made into to something invisible in everyday life for regular Finns, do we still exist?
I have already found my favorites in his collection new collection, opening tomorrow.
I do like the clothes like the leather dress and leggings, but I LOVE the shoes, or should I say choos! Look at these beauties, collector items for years to come! Which is your choo favorite?
But seriously, during the last week or weeks actually, I've been discussing my life with a lot of my friends and some even suggested at some point that I would rip my relationship away like a band-aid. She even said that if I only let it be like it is right now, it would start feeling like ripping a band-aid slowly and only prolong the hurting. When she said that, I actually thought she had a point. Maybe it would be easier to just walk away, but would I then be happier? When I've chosen to be without the one person that makes me the happiest?
How messed up is that?
Maybe instead of thinking about a fast fix, we should take it slow. Solutions might not turn up immediately but with time. I know what I feel and I want to continue feeling it. I'm keeping on my band-it.
I like the music because the lyrics are really good.
"When I think about the world out there, I can't help about feeling a little scared so I hide from the shadows and colors of grey and I paint my windows again"
It's so true. Sometimes it feels like you just want to see the reality in your own way.
Like I mentioned, they were also singing some cover songs yesterday. My favorite was an oldie from the 90's - Bon Jovi's "Bed of roses". What a beautiful song that is too. Of course hearing my friend's friend perform it, it was even more special. What a talent it is to be able to sing good! I couldn't help but being touched as I was hearing to these songs yesterday. Acoustic music is truly wonderful. It touches you and carries your thoughts away.
On Thursday, I also met my teacher that functions as a tutor for my thesis. It seems I now have gathered enough respondents for my research and I can finish it and start to discuss the research method I chose and then start to analyze the data I have. This means I'm back on schedule and might actually graduate next January as planned.
Today I went to fetch the last details of my Halloween outfit that I plan to wear tomorrow...it's not a traditional one, so I hope I'll get nice reactions to it. It seems like Halloween is really big in Helsinki this year because the mascarade store was full of people last Saturday as well as today. You could hardly get through the corridors there. I think it's nice to notice that Finns do make an effort for some parties. I can't wait for tomorrow's!
Something related to this, is the new trend here in Helsinki for shops. Lately we've had a lot of shopping evenings, when shops lower their prices between six and nine o'clock, the latest hours that is. Next to come are the "Mango shopaholic night" and Diesel's "Rock is back again" event. I think this is a great way to spend an evening and a great effort from the shops' point of view.
While reading my favorite Finnish magazine "Trendi", I suddenly noticed something that made me feel all warm inside. There was a one-page-long article about Milan, and what places the Finnish designer Teemu Muurimäki would take his guests in the city. I smiled, since I recognized all the places. I realized that I miss Milan. At that moment I came to think about a terrible fact- it's been a year since I've been in Milan!! Not in four years has there been one year that I haven't put my foot in that city. Hmm..I've been thinking about going to Florence in the spring. I think I must pass by Milan. Definately. I must. My second city is calling for me. I feel it in my toes. Must go.
It's funny how you realize how lucky you are with the person you're with when you quarrel. I mean, from time to time I show some signs of the unsecure me, and it's quite natural that we argue with my V. But it's funny, we can be as angry as bees and then we sit beside each other on the sofa and just pretend to watch TV. The only thing we need is one of us reaching out for the other one, and boom, we can't stay more than 3cm from each other again. Just the other day, I said to V that if we really didn't love each other, we would have broken up so many times already. We just know that the other one is the right one and there is always a point in the arguments we have when we realize that it would be so much more terrible to stay without the other one than to give in and compromize. I know we both take this relationship seriously and that makes me seriously happy.
Halloween is knocking on the door. Just yesterday I ran in to a costume store in downtown Helsinki and it was swamped. You could hardly get through the corridors in the store. Halloween in Finland is a somewhat new tradition and therefore people do not merely dress scary, but you can use your whole imagination to come up with an outfit. I immediately noticed that nobody else was thinking of anything any way near my idea. I can't wait. My school is organizing a party next Saturday so I have one week to design and complete my outfit. Oh what fun it's going to be!
Before that though I have a lot to do: school tomorrow, work on Tuesday, Michael Jackson's "This is it" documentary on Wednesday, school again on Thursday with my meeting to discuss my thesis-yeeek! Let's see if I'll survive, hehe...I'll let you know!
One part of getting older is to get disappointed. One can not always have what one wants. When we are in our teen years, we fantasize about a life where everything goes as we plan and we never get disappointed. Many of us believe that once we move out from living with our parents, we achieve true freedom and it's difficult if not impossible to get disappointment. The unfortunate part being of course that life is full of disappointments. And when we start to feel too safe and secure about ourselves and our lives, something happens to stir it up a bit.
Disappointments are easier to bear concerning some parts of our lives, but when they are caused by people close to yourself, that is when it hurts. Friendships are not something you get for free, and I have always tried to work hard for my oldest friendships. I have always reserved a lot of time for my friends and made myself accessable and available for them.
The honest truth though is that when we get older and start to study and work in different places, we might get too concentrated on what we are personally doing. How can you make a good balance so that everybody feels equally important?
Another problem is pride. Sometimes we get too proud, which is never a good mix with friendship.
"lo sai, con orgoglio non si può amare mai" = you know, with pride you can never love...
So true, so true...it's worth a thought.
I have a very simple taste. I only want the best of everything. -Oscar Wilde
Out of two alternatives, I always choose the one I haven't tried before. -Mae West
A little too much is just enough for me. -Jean Cocteau
Life is like a puzzle, at least one part is always missing.
You don't have to do all sins on your own, you can read about them.
Women are like apples. You need to wait for them until the time is right.
What is forbidden will always taste better.
There are no boundaries in life, only the ones we set for ourselves.
What you hear, you soon forget. What you see, you remember a little bit longer. But what you experience, that will always be a part of you.
Last Thursday we literally spent our lectures writing down all the mistakes she made using English, a language she CLEARLY does not know. Above resembling something like "a bow" and sentences like "there has been some misunderstoods" as well as "mens", "womens", vehicle pronounced as "vessssil". It is actually difficult to follow her.
Not to forget the other things she's done. She is probably what, around 30 years old. And most of my class is 23 or more, some even 25 and 26..so there isn't that much of an age difference. Despite this, she continues to call us her children and it drives us crazy.
She also flipped a couple of weeks ago because some of us haven't been attending all of her classes. Like we would have to. Since this is actually our fourth year, I think we are capable to decide for ourselves. She went far enough to show us her daily programme like some of us actually would care about when she takes our her dog. Haha, couldn't care less! The sad part being of course that the course could be interesting and this teacher is ruining everything for us.
The only good thing she's done is organizing a guest speaker from one of the leading event organizing companies in Finland and making it possible for us to plan that company's "little Christmas" party, a kind of pre-Christmas party we have in Finland to celebrate the approach of Christmas. Usually just another reason to party, primarily with your co-workers. It's also the event when most of Finns cheat their spouses. Horrific. But I really look forward to this event and the planning of it. It's going to be a great add to our CVs. I guess it's true what they say; every cloud has a silver lining.
How is it that every time we feel unsecure and sad, we return to things we know so well. Things of comfort that makes us feel good. For me an evening of comfort is a glass of wine with the Sex and the City girls. Imagine, I picked one disc out of my SATC box and the one I grabbed was the one that explained my problems perfectly. That's what you get from a perfect relationship, hihi.
A pair of violet gloves. Violet has been one of my favorite colors even since I lived in Italy, and finally there are a lot of accessories in that color! These go well with my new violet winter jacket.
London, London, London..what a city! I loved it! I must belong to the few people who haven't been to London. That's one of the reasons I decided to go there on "an autumn get away from everyday life" trip. And it was definitely worth it! I also thought it would be a great place to go to with my boyfriend since he doesn't speak e.g. Italian like me. In England, we could feel equal.
We left on Monday around twelve o'clock with the air company Blue1. I must say that we had terrible luck at the airport, checking in at terminal 1 and then departing from terminal 3. That meant walking through the entire Helsinki airport. I don't know who planned that, but it was awful and caused some unnecessary stress for us. After all, we all know England doesn't belong to the Schengen zone, so we knew the flight would depart for sure from the terminal 3. Sigh. Anyway, we made it on time and we were off!
We arrived in London at around one o'clock since they're two hours behind us and the flight took three hours. I tried to research as good as I could about the city before going but I wasn't sure what way would have been the best to reach our hotel from the Heathrow airport, so I relied on the receptionist at our hotel. That turned out to be a mistake since she only mentioned on the phone the most expensive way to reach the hotel from the airport, the Heathrow Express train that is. We decided to take the Heathrow Connect train and arrived at Paddington station in 20 minutes. From there it was easy to change to the underground. We bought the weekly ticket for about 27 pounds.
Our hotel was not exactly what I expected, but it was fine for its purpose - a place to sleep in. We had our own room and toilet and a view to the garden and next street, that was fine. But the doors were paper, the lift didn't work and we found somebody else's boxers underneath the bed. The receptionists weren't the greatest either. The included breakfast consisted of toast and corn flakes. We managed, but I wouldn't return there. The neighborhood of Baywaters was nice though. We had a lot of restaurants and pubs nearby. Besides that, we were located close to the Notting Hill area which I very much was looking forward to see and explore.
The first afternoon in London we spent at the free and awesome British Museum. I knew that they had a lot of Egyptian treasures there, but I came to see that the collection was even far greater than I thought! I felt I had never been that close to history before, never been to Egypt. The museum was beautiful and well kept and organized. 10+!
We passed by the King's Cross station on the way back to our neighborhood to see the Harry Potter trolley put into the platform 9 3/4 at the station in honor of the movies. It wasn't that easy to find, but it was worth the search.
We had dinner at a cozy Italian restaurant that turned out to belong to an English chain of Italian restaurants called Bella Italia. Great Italian food, really Italian standard. The dinner costed us each about 15 pounds with drinks included. Before returning to our hotel, we stepped into a real authentic British bar called the King's Head. The atmosphere was wonderful. I felt like I stepped into Emmerdale, hehe. I found it a little bit tricky to find something to order since I don't drink beer. Luckily they serve Corona, the only beer I accept. My boyfriend was in heaven with so many different beer types to choose from!
The next day we got up early and headed for Notting Hill directly after breakfast. Notting Hill is an enchanting area with colorful houses and boutiques. So idyllic. An immediate love story. I even found the Travel book shop where the Notting Hill movie was shot, what an honor. I actually felt the atmosphere of the movie.
I had heard about the change of guards. Since we went to London quite late in the year, the summer season was considered to be over and, therefore, the change of guards only happened every second day, on even dates. So I knew that Tuesday would be our only chance to see it. We hurried to Buckingham palace and managed to see a glimpse of the proud guards.
After that, we thought it would be a good idea to go to the Madame Tussaud's wax figure museum. I'd heard that there were long queues to get in so therefore it was a good idea to go there early. Before going in the queue, we stepped into a local pub again for lunch. This time I had some delicious meat pie and chips with peas and ale gravy. Yummy! My boyfriend had a grilled steak and he loved it as well. By now, I realized that Coke was a rarity in England and it belonged to the Pepsi kingdom. What a pity!
Madame Tussaud's was a fun experience. We entered after 45 minutes of queuing, not that bad in my opinion. I was surprised about the little amount of wax figures. Somehow I had imagined more of them for 25 pounds. But I got to see Brad Pitt and Dalai Lama so I was happy. I would have been even happier with Audrey Hepburn, but you can't have it all. The most original part of the museum was the scary part where they had live actors inside that yelled at you and blowed air at you. I was so scared that I had to hold on to my boyfriend all the time and scream, hehe.
We saw that there was a discount if you bought the Madame Tussaud ticket together with the London Eye ticket and therefore we decided to combine these on Tuesday. This also offered us the possibility to watch a 4-minutes-long clip about the London Eye before going on the ride. The 4D clip was nice since I've never experienced any 4D before. During the clip, there was a scene with soap bubbles and at the same time I could actually feel some coming at me. They had released some bubbles in the room. Incredible sensation! There was a similar situation when it snowed during the clip and they dropped snowflakes into the showing room.
One of my friends had recommended Oxford street to me as the greatest shopping street and oh was she right! I bet you can find anything you want on that street. Me and my boyfriend fell in love with a shop called Primark.
That evening we had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe London. We managed somehow to get into the restaurant the back way so we came into an empty restaurant. That was really scary. We continued walking until we came to some stairs and came to understand that the actual restaurant was on the second floor. There was a really nice hostess at the restaurant. She was great at her work! She reminded me of the hostesses I've seen on the TV show "Sex and the city". On the show Carrie has always made it clear that the laws of a major city are clear: you need to get along with the hostess or you've lost the game. If you get a hostess angry, you'll never get into the restaurant you want. This hostess was exactly the same. She was calm and equally kind towards everybody. She actually apologized to me because we came in the back way and let us pass another couple and so we only needed to wait about 20 minutes to get in. I'm sure that if one would live in London that would be a contact you wouldn't like to miss.
We got a surprise trying to get back to the hotel. It was raining so the underground stopped working. That's why we had to try something I'd actually looked forward on trying-catching an English taxi. It turned out to go smoothly. The tricky part was to understand where to get them. The taxi driver was very polite and the way home went well.
The next morning we spent going to the Tower of London and taking a Thames cruise. The cruise was nice even though it was difficult to hear all the explanations on it. It was nice to see another part of London and especially some of the sights nearby, e.g. Shakespear's Globe Theater, Tate Modern..we went into Chinatown for lunch. On the way, we got a surprise at Piccadilly Circus. Some of the PETA people had arranged a demonstration against fur on the square so there was some half naked women sprayed with body paint trying to get attention. And they sure did get some, hehe.
Chinatown turned out to be a little bit of a disappointment. The Chinese people tried to sell cheap English stuff, such as umbrellas and so on. That kind of took the whole glow away from it. We still had a delicious three course meal at the London Dragon restaurant for 17 pounds each. I was full for the rest of the day.
We passed by the West End area on the way back to the underground. It would have been so nice to manage to see a musical, but you can't squeeze everything into just four days. Not even four full days! There must always be left something for the next time and I'm sure I'll visit London again. I liked the city so much! We spent the evening at Oxford street for some final shopping and headed back to our hotel.
Thursday morning before departing for Helsinki, we went through the Harrods department store. What a beautiful store! It felt like walking into an American candy shop! Seeing as I'm against all luxourios things, I didn't like all of it, but I like the part with tea, chocolates, candy and food. Yummy!
It was funny because the clerk at the tilly ask me if I had the Harrods card when I wanted to purchased some candy. I told him that it was my first time in England, that I wasn't from around here. Then he replied "So from what part of Ireland are?" I thought that was the cherry on the cake. The top of the top. What a great compliment!
On the whole, London left me with such a great impression. London is a open minded city where everybody is accepted. It doesn't take long to get used to moving around in London and the people are super friendly and great. Never before have I been spoken to as "madame" and "darling". I really felt bad for leaving. I left a part of me in London. I'll see you soon again, London, my darling.
Otherwise lately I've been thinking about the dating life here in Helsinki. One of my colleagues told me that she'd met somebody on the internet from another city here in Finland and that he was coming down to Helsinki in order to meet her. I must say that at first it striked my mind as strange, but later on I started thinking how cute it actually is. How nice it is that some people actually still consider dating something serious and they are ready to make an effort to find somebody special. I actually personally think that internet dating is one of the ways of dating where you get to know the person you're going out with. Of course a lot of people lie on the internet, but I think after a while they get caught doing that since they don't keep track of their lies anymore. I mean my friend knew a lot about this guy not ever having met him. Seldom we already have a mental profile of the people we date. I find it interesting to follow my friends' dating life since I find myself so far from that kind of life nowadays.
Last Friday me and my boyfriend celebrated our 9 month anniversary. My superb boyfriend had bought us some champagne glasses for our new wine cabin and we had some sparkling wine. It was perfect! I actually feel that this is the healthiest relationship I've been in, and I am genuilly happy. For this reason, my new favorite song for my Ipod Shuffle is Scandinavian Music Group's "Onnellinen Nainen", a happy woman. Here follows some parts of it that I like:
Mulla on vain yksi ilme
se ei ole surullinen
pitkään se vei
vihdoin voin sanoa hei hei
ilman että jään miettimään
niitä jotka taakseni jää
I've also been thinking about where the line goes when it comes to friends doing physical things with people you've had a history with. I mean, if you have spent the night with somebody in your history, are your friends allowed to do the same? I've always thought that the is an unwritten rule concerning friendships and that there is no need to say it out loud. But now I've noticed that you should never expect anything to be a matter of course. I mean in my situation, it's not the fact that I long for something I've had. I am completely satisfied with my life situation. I just don't like the idea that one of my friends would have something with somebody I've had something with. I mean, I don't like the feeling about knowing too much. Having had a history myself with that person, his glow has sort of been switched off and I hope for something "better" for my friends. After all, we all have our reasons not to pursuit somebody.
The working ethics in Helsinki have changed. Before you could be sure to get your pay check on time, that your colleagues would be on time and give the same kind of input as you on their job, that your rights would be honored at work etc. What I have come to notice is that this is a completely false assumption. I was chocked about the fact that like I mention before, nothing is self-evident. You have to fight for your rights, especially as a student working part time. We have pressure from our school's side to do well and graduate in time, but at the same time we have to work hard in order to have enough money to pay our monthly rents. Until now, I've been having two part time jobs on the side of studying. Fortunately this has now ended and I will from now have free weekends, something I haven't had since the end of June!!! Of course this also calls from some sense of being stingy during the rest of the year. Every euro is important when it comes to getting through the everyday life. After all, Helsinki does not belong to the cheaper European capitals. But after heard what my boss told me about the Norwegian prices, we have still nothing to complain. According to her, a McDonalds meal could cost 14 euros in Norway, double of what it is here. A cocktail costs 20 euros there, not even 10 euros here.
I went to the Picasso exhibition yesterday with my dear sister. We have the honor of hosting the Parigian permanent exhibition of Picasso's works until the beginning of January. We've placed it in beautiful surroundings in the Finnish National Gallery called Ateneum. The exhibition has been highly awaited and I actually bought the tickets for us in March for my sister's birthday.
Since the exhibition started the 18th, I didn't expect there to be a queue. And seeing as we already had the entrance tickets, I thought that we could basically just walk in. Way was I wrong. There was a queue of about 50-100 metres.
But I must say that the waiting was justified by the exhibition which in my opinion was one of the biggest ones we've arranged here in Helsinki. My favorite thing about the whole exhibition, was its wideness. There were not merely paintings but even sculptures, photos, graphics and drawings. Since Picasso was active during such a long of a period, he witnessed some of the main events in recent history, e.g. the world wars. This could be seen in his production and the exhibition was divided into different rooms with themes. I was really proud of Helsinki managing to arrange something so well. Walking around in the Ateneum, I actually had the feeling of being in a major European city. Well done Helsinki!
Although there are many positive aspects of Helsinki, I wouldn't be honest if I wouldn't tell about the negative. Going to work on Friday, I was chocked thanks to one of these. Me and my colleague were sitting on the tram at 10.50 a.m. when an about 35-year-old man pulled down his pants and started urinating all around the tram. He was apparently drunk or high, maybe both. Luckily after about five minutes, the driver let us know that we had to change the tram as the man was escorted away from the tram and the tram was to be washed. The situation was handled well even though it got me thinking about how lacking the alarm system is in the Helsinkian transportation means. I mean, we were almost only women on the tram when this happened. What were we supposed to do? There could also have been children or elderly on board. I think that especially on trams, trains and underground trains, alarm buttons should be installed.
I also got chocked about the neverchanging fact that we have these sort of people here. How can we be completely happy with our society as long as we have these unhappy and lost people?
The cause for my frustration?
Well, about one month, one month and a half ago, an Italian I got to know came to Helsinki on a short work practice experience. He worked in a hotel and stayed at some kind of campus apartment in Haaga, Helsinki.
He spent one month here in Helsinki, and when he and his Italian friends were about to live, they decided to leave a sign of themselves on the Helsinkian streets. Therefore they came up with the idea to hang some shoes close by to the Glass palace also known as Lasipalatsi, a wellknown building in centre Helsinki. They hung these shoes on electricity cables hanging between two buildings. On the shoes they had written different things; how much they liked the city, about their plans to return and so on. The point behind this? To leave a mark in the city that had touched them so deeply.
This is all fine, but soon after they did this, different theories about the shoes started to occur among the people of Helsinki. Some actually thought the shoes to be a sign of drug dealing like it is in some other countries.
Anyhow, this all lead to the fact that the biggest Finnish newspaper started to ask for stories about these misterious shoes. I thought, since I knew something about it that I should say something. So I sent one of the reporters at the newspaper an email explaining what I knew about the shoes and there origin. I even sent him some pics that I had got from my Italian friend, just to show that I didn't come up with this story but that it was actually true.
The reporter soon contacted me, asking me for more details. At that point I told him that I didn't want to participate with a more significant role in this whole story. He continued to send me emails and asking me to call him. When I didn't do so, I thought the whole thing would fade away. But how wrong I was...
Last Sunday when I was at work, I opened the newspaper and what shock was there waiting for me. I found an article with my story, that was fine, but even with my picture that I had never given the permission to publish!!! It wasn't even my picture!
Well, I must say that I learned something from all this. The secrets of this city should be kept as secrets since anonymousity is not respected. I feel like I let down my friend because I didn't ask his permission to publish his pictures, but I didn't mean to publish them. Arrghh! I must say this changes how I feel about the newspaper we call our most important one.
The major change happened in the entrance from where the chest was move and a new kind of stand was built. There are also finally some boxes for my beloved shoes. What do you think?
Today at school we continued with the first aid course we started yesterday. In my opinion it's about time we touch the subject. First aid skills are needed in everyday life, but definately in our line of work. I must say that the last course I've chosen, the one of event planning, has been a wise choice. The course is divided into three parts; event planning & design, event security and bureaucracy and first aid. Through the part about security, we will receive a card which proves our skills concerning risks and security matters in the line of events. The first aid part on the other hand will give us a card showing our first aid skills. Today we got to try to do CPR on a doll. Seeing as I'm quite small of size, pushing on the victims chest turned out to be tirening. I was surprised though about how well I managed to blow air into the victims lungs. The best thing with this course is that I know I'll feel safer working knowing how to perform CPR. Therefore first aid courses are vital for the working life.
Autumn has started here in Helsinki even though we still have quite warm days with about 20 degrees and sunshine. Actually it has turned out to be quite impossible to determine what to wear each day since it can be chilly in the morning but warm during the day. During the day the temperature rises with an incredible 5-10 degrees! Therefore I have decided that layers are the answer for this autumn's temperature dilemma. I'm still waiting for ruska, a word we use to describe the colorful trees during autumn. I saw some colors in the trees in Lappeenranta, but they still haven't arrived here in Helsinki.
This is all fine, but the reason for my anxiety is changes. I find myself in the middle of them. This summer I feel I have been overwhelmed by work. I know it has been my own choice to work as much as I have, but still I have a feeling of overdoing. And I definately need a break. My working habits have even affected my home life, seeing as I am trying to live together with somebody I love. Work tiredness ads unwanted pressure to any relationship.
Don't get me wrong. I've had some great times at work. I have received thank yous, letters, business cards as well as unforgettable stories at the Helsinki City Tourist Office. I know that I for sure have a good understanding for the tourism of Helsinki. My job has taught me an incredible amount of things about the visitors we have here in my dear home city. One of the most memorable customers was an Asian man who recognized my perfume and told me that I reminded him of his ex girlfriend. Moments like that astonish you and makes it all worthwhile since they are hard to find in other kind of jobs. And let's not forget the people I've worked with. One of my dearest colleagues moved recently to the States and that got me thinking. The friend in question has a very strong sense of will and personality. I look up to her. Seeing her going through this change in her life has made an impression on me. I wish I could be as sure as she about a whole lot of things.
I've been living about one year and two months now in my apartment. I've grown very fond of the place where I live and consider it my home. Despite this, my thoughts run towards the future and new adventures in other places. But that has to wait for now.
Last Monday we had a visit from our landlord. I hadn't seen him in over a year, and of course he wanted to check that the apartment was still in good condition. The great news was that he was so pleased with the way we have it here that he promised to buy us a new fridge! Yey! Something I have dreamed about for over a year! We get to choose what kind of fridge we want, and we have decided on a combination fridge with a separate freezer underneath the fridge. I cannot wait to start filling the freezer! How luxiurious some everyday items can seem when you don't have them!
One uncertain factor is of course the little matter of next year and my whereabouts. According to plans, I'll get my diploma in February. And then what? Thoughts of going to the States for a year as an au pair and/or going to Sweden for a master program in tourism have crossed my mind. I find myself puzzled.
In moments like this, I find it best to spend some quality time on my own and gather my thoughts. I should choose what feels right for me. I needed a self-esteem boost in order to manage with this questions in my mind, and therefore I decided to do something radical to my hair, as usual. It's my way of regaining strengths, like one of my friends have taught me. And I must say that I already on my way out from the hairdresser felt better...now I'm ready for this autumn!
I know I’ve been silent for an awful long time now. What can I say? Sometimes life puts you through so many changes that we become unable to describe them. Only now I feel ready to write again. I’ve had this feeling of wanting to write so long, but unfortunately I have felt incapable of doing it. Since I last wrote, many things have changed. The shift from Italy to Finland was enormous. It was extremely difficult to return home once again, and nevertheless I wanted to do so more than anything. After all, my life is in Finland, and all my personal reasons for living are here.
Fortunately I was able to get the same summer job as last year at the Tourism Office of Helsinki. This year, despite all the internal problems and the effect of the economical crisis, we’ve had a great group. I often say that I’m working at one of the funniest work places in the sense that I get to laugh at my work every day. We have so much fun together. And of course the tourists are the reason why we do our job. I’ve had some fun experiences this year too, people not knowing that Tallinn is in another country and so on. I could actually write an insert just on the customers we’ve had.
For now, I just wanted to let you know that I am still living and breathing. I’ll write another insert still today. I have a lot to say. I found my voice again.
On Sunday for the first time here I felt bad from drinking. I just need to face the fact that the heat here makes it impossible to drink even close to the amount I drink at home. Fortunately my colleague G let me sleep at her place, so we could feel bad together on Monday morning before heading for work. Monday was a great day at work. My boss actually said to me that it’s a pity that I’m going home soon since I’ve improved everything so well. That’s a lot coming from a woman who never gives compliments.
Today we got a real chock. One of the colleagues working at the hotel I sleep in decided late last night to leave the hotel. But she did so without telling anybody. So this morning the housekeepers and waitresses found the reception empty without any kind of note. Instead her room was cleaned and empty and her working shirt was thrown in the laundry. Of course this has caused a lot of problems around here, and I fear that my last days here in Lignano will be filled with work.
Today was my last free day before finishing my internship here. After this, I’m working until next Friday when it’s my last working day here. Then Saturday I’m free and Sunday the 21st I fly home to Finland. Yeah!
I spent today tracking my lost package from my mom. Apparently it won’t arrive since she put in a nice Marimekko package. It’s been over two weeks now since she mailed it and there is no sign of it, so I think it’s quite evident that it’s not coming. The funny part was that I had to go to two mail offices in order to find out that they can’t help me. Wonderful. Actually I was happy to get a chance to go to Sabbiadoro, the outer part of Lignano Sabbiadoro, so I could look around for some souvenirs to bring back home. And I found just the kind of things I wanted to. And I managed to hear Finnish for the first time here too. I saw two girls and I couldn’t believe that they were actually speaking in Finnish. How strange it sounded, hehe. It will be a chock to come home and not hear merely Italian everywhere. Oh my god, I have been Italianized!