Saturday, 27 August 2011

But something's telling me to

Busy with people, but now few days alone. It feels good to sit in the dark and have the headphones on, listen to Dusky's Lost in you very loud and feel the evening. It's autumn, once again. I love how everything slows down, green colour is bursting into the shades of yellow, red, brown.

I also feel some kind of longing for... what?

Maybe the old days.

I hope that one day I can try riding again. I quit my lessons when I was young because I was too afraid to call to the stable and make a reservation to the next level riding class. The stupidest reason ever.

I've learned from my mistake and these days I'm not afraid of calling anyone.

Old days, new days. There's time to do things in the future, but future is always running ahead of you.

I started working again, time started flying. Broken bikes, repaired bikes. Nightmares about earthquakes in Helsinki. Music on the marketplace. Dear friends who take the best photos, worry about my bike, carry small people in their backs, ask the questions which should be asked.

42 days and I'll be on a plane heading to Korea and Japan.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Berry story

There has been news about how Finnish people just let the berries rot in the forests instead of picking them. Estimated 90% of the berries are not picked, although they're VERY healthy and full of vitamins and antioxidants. They're really so called super foods!

We have lots of different berries in Finland and while I was in Kuopio, I picked raspberries and blueberries from the forest and blackcurrants from my mom's yard. Later in the autumn it's going to be time for lingonberries and cloudberries.

Raspberries can be found from thickets, where it's rather difficult to move around. But blueberries grow in many kinds of forests and it's easier to pick them, just that your back might be hurting the next day :)

For the blueberries we (me, mom, Seppo) went to an island accessible only by boat.

Of course we wore the most fashionable clothes we could find! Notice our beltbags and rubber boots.

It took about 20 minutes to reach the island. It was a windy day, so the waves were almost big (scary!) but there were no mosquitos at all in the forest (nice!).

We found a place for the boat and Seppo tied the ropes tightly on the trees, so that we would be able to go home, too.

Earlier I said that picking blueberries is easy. True, usually it is, but this time we chose an island where we had to climb a lot to get to the blueberry lands. It was good balance training, especially when we came down with our full buckets.

So blue! So big! So free! This year the berries are very big and juicy and there are lots of them. In Finland everyone is entitled to pick forest berries anywhere for free but still most of the berries are not picked.

The views from the island were amazing. Combined with the soothing sound of wind going through the leaves of trees and crispy air, it felt very relaxing to be in the middle of nowhere :)

I picked about 3 litres of blueberries with my bare hands (mom and Seppo used "poimuri", kind of tool for picking berries) because I like to feel the berries and bushes. And when we came back, I made this.

Blueberry milk! The best dessert from my childhood.

Today I'm going to the forest again to pick some berries with Yi-Te Lai. Our Taiwanese-Finnish group isn't afraid of the promised rain for today!

Monday, 1 August 2011


Berry picking. Mostly. With mom.

Today +14 and 3 litres of blueberries!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Korea and me

Sometimes I've thought about how Korea came into my life and why I feel so strongly about this spesific country. My story with Korea dates back to the beginning of the 1990s, when I was checking the pen pal ads from Finnish text TV at home.

Young people from Korea were looking for pen pals around the world to practice English through a pen pal club. I took the address and wrote a letter stating that I was interested in writing with someone. I didn't know anything about the country at that time.

And soon I got a letter from Si-Nae, my first foreign pen pal :) I guess I was around 12-13 years old at that time. We wrote letters very often and she sent me all kinds of guide books and photos about Korea and I was so fascinated. It was also interesting to know how her daily life was and how busy she was with studies... Maybe that's the reason why we stopped writing letters after 10 years of the first one.

After that I forgot about Korea and concentrated on my complicated life (like all lives are when you're a young student) :) But on one student party I met You-su, a sweet Korean girl who became my friend almost immediately. I guess we were the only ones who wanted to speak quietly when all the others, mostly Spanish exchange students were shouting their lungs out ;) It was 2003.

Once You-su invited me to her place for some Korean food (and wow, the first time was horrible as everything was so spicy!!) and there was also Hyeyeon. I talked a bit with her and we changed e-mail addresses as she was going back to Korea for half a year and planning on coming back in the autumn 2004. I didn't know that she was going to be one of my dearest friends <3

You-su left, but Hyeyeon came back with Seonggwan and Yong-uk, two extremely funny boys. In the autumn 2004 we did everything together, played card games, watched movies, got drunk on christmas, travelled to Ruka for some snowboarding. That was one of the greatest periods my life :)

The boys left, but Hyeyeon stayed for 2 ½ years. And when I'm thinking about going to Korea, travelling with her and getting to know her culture even better... I couldn't be happier.

During the years I've also got to know other Koreans and all of them have been very warm and friendly. That's why I know that I'm not going to get lost in Korea.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Cats and dogs. I like them both. Most people are either or, but I prefer both. My grandparents used to have borzois when I was young and when I was living with my mother, we had a cat called Edith. I really loved all those animals plus horses (I used to take riding lessons) plus cows (I used to take care of cows at our cottage's neighbour) plus giant otters :)

So Kassu came into our home for one week. At first the attitude was like this.

New places are always stressful, I know. But then it started to rain and Kassu felt like home immediately.

My first Couch Surfing guest got also his share of Kassu's friendliness. I joined CS recently and almost immediately got requests for surfing and of course I said yes. I'm always free for interesting chats about all kinds of things and that's exactly what we had! The next day he continued his trip to Outokumpu and Kassu was left heart broken.

Maybe someone could explain why animals like to bother you when you're using your laptop? You're trying to check your e-mails and suddenly there is a big furry object in front of you preventing your access to the keyboard. Like this.

Or this.

But we also had relaxing co-existing time :)

In the end, when it was time to go home, Kassu was feeling VEEEERY peaceful at this place. I guess the sofa was perfect for resting his tired bones.

Luckily this was also Kassu's state after I removed a tick from his neck. I'm so proud of myself, because 1) I had never removed a tick before and 2) I was brave enough to succeed with it! Ticks are the most disgusting and annoying insects we have in Finland. I hate them.

As all good times come to an end, it was also time for Kassu to go home. Thank you Tuula for borrowing the cat! The only thing I don't miss are the morning wakings at 4am, 5am, 6am and 7am, because Kassu insisted on sleeping on my stomach. That's not how it works Kassu!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Extremely easy Korean cooking

Open the package including all the ingredients, in this case rice cakes, noodles, dried vegetables and gochujang-looking paste.

In this product seems to be two Korean dishes combined, tteokbokki (떡볶이) and jjolmyeon (쫄면).

Boil some water and add the frozen rice cakes and noodles. Then add the dried vegetables.

Then add the gochujang paste.

If you wish, it's a good idea to add something green, in this case spring onions, easily cut into pieces with scissors.

Add the greenness!

And then it's time to enjoy either with chopsticks or not :) It was as yummy as I expected, chewy rice cakes and noodles with SPICY sauce <3

This and a few other Korean products can be found from Vii Voan in Helsinki.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

This is about GMarket.

I was chosen to be one of GMarket's Top Bloggers for June for writing about the stuff I've ordered from there. As I gift I got a 50000 won (around 32 euros) certificate and here is how I spent it. Of course I'm hoping to win the competition again, so let's see if this post is interesting enough ;)

This time it took one week for my purchases to arrive. This time the parcel was on my door before 8am, luckily I was ready for it! It's possible to track your packages all the way from Korea with a tracking number :)

This time I ordered from 5 different sellers and the weight of the package was only 0,91 kg, so the postage I paid was about 12 euros.

Let my scissors do their job!!

I ordered Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cream samples for my travels as they are easy to carry with me. Innisfree is one of my favourite Korean cosmetic brands as their products are quite eco friendly :) GMarket is selling lots of samples of different kinds of cosmetic products, so it's good idea to try first before purchasing a full size bottle.

And then something utterly expensive, History of Whoo's Wild Ginseng Oil Ampoule. The price of the full sized bottle (30 ml) is 169 US dollars in Ebay (around 120 euros), but luckily I got these samples for a cheaper price, only a couple of euros from GMarket. Sometimes it's just nice to try something luxurious :)

I really like all Enkistar jeans I've ordered from GMarket so I chose one pair of hot pants from their sale collection. And as always, the size is perfect and I'm very happy with Enkistar, once again!

And then something white...

Besides these clothes and creams I ordered one pair of panties. No photos coming.

I tried the clothes on yesterday and this is how they look like.

Notice the huge veins on my hands, it surely was a hot day today before the thunder!

So, as always, GMarket didn't let me down and I'm extremely satisfied with everything, especially winning the gift certificate ;) I know that at first the GMarket home page is just a big mess and you get headache because of the blinking photos! But after the first shock it's easy to see, why GMarket is so popular in Korea and also in other Asian countries. The selection is SO HUGE!

감사합니다 G마켓! When I'm in Korea in October, I'm even going to buy ready made meals from GMarket! Only a while and a scooter boy is going to bring the warm food to me, wherever I am...