Thursday, 30 June 2011

Taina on the road, part 1.

First cute cats, Kiki & Lissu.

After cat-overload it's time to think what really happened during the week when I was away from home. Fireworks? Explosions? Something really awesome? Not exactly, but lots of great time with the best of people :)

Thursday morning at 7 o'clock. Nea & Moona were awake, I was not.

My visits to Kuopio always include a short trip to Siilinjärvi, because my brother and his family as well as my grandparents are living there. I really love my grandparents and it's interesting to talk with them, but they surely know nothing about vegetarian food. Last time I was offered salami pizza ("but isn't it vegetarian?") and this time pizza with minced meat, shrimps and tuna ("this is supposed to be vegetarian for sure!"). Nothing beats the local hamburger place (which serves vegetarian hamburgers) after the visit to my grandparents house ;)

Kiki was using her laser gaze to shoo off the intruders. So we decided it's better to leave Kuopio behind and head to Syvänniemi.

Syvänniemi is a big yellow old house. With lots of flying things like mosquitos, wasps and frisbees. There were some nice catches...

...and misses as well.

One morning we all (me, Juha & Arash) woke up quickly because there was a huge wasp in the room. We all ran downstairs (Juha first!), but after gathering enough courage Arash was brave enough to go back and annihilate the wasp.

Our juhannus consisted of smoke sauna, cooking food and pancakes, raising the flag, seeing the bonfire and while other were already sleeping, I was watching CSI. And I drove a car in the morning for the first time in 3 years!!

Arash concentrating on pancake making, it's a hard work!

At 18 o'clock it was time to raise the flag. My grandmother and Tuula took care of that :) When my grandfather was still alive, we used to sing "Siniristilippumme" (our blue cross flag) when we got the flag up in the pole, but now we skipped the song. In my opinion the song is way too patriotic and I don't want to die for the flag of our country as it says in the lyrics!

"WTF just happened here!"

We also had two dogs spending the time with us. Luppa is an old lady, who can't hear much, so she occasionally barks in a very loud voice. Onni is a small boy, who pees in a girl style. Both are friends of everyone :)

Being on the countryside is fun for a while, but it's hard to imagine living there all the time. When I was small, I used to go to the neighbours cowhouse to take care of the animals twice every day and those times were the highlights of my childhood! But there are no cows anymore, no cats, no dogs.

These days Syvänniemi means peace for me, endless board games, old Finnish songs on the radio, sleeping easily in the quiet room, TV programs meant for elderly, sauna every day and MOSQUITOS!!

We also played the best game ever in Syvänniemi, like we play every time we spend time there. It's called "Treffipalvelu" (Dating service) and the main goal in the game is to try to pair men and women. The higher their heart beat is together, the better points the dating services are going to get. This time the most challenging thing was not to get good pairs, but to help Arash with the Finnish words of the game! It must be nice to play something where you don't understand the words you're supposed to use... It was lots of fun anyway :D

Part 2, where Taina travels to Espoo, Helsinki and Tallinn, is coming later.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Midsummer stuff

Have a nice juhannus everyone! I'm heading to the cottage and spending the midsummer's fest with my grandmother, friends and 2 dogs. See you next week :)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Snow, Jyväskylä and Japan

Last week was warm. Or should I say hot (+30). So I decided to play some mini golf, read a good book on the beach and then have a cider or two with my friends.

There were noisy middle aged slightly drunk people playing mini golf as well. They were funny and red. I finished 3rd, I'm just not lucky with the stick :D

This book was pure excellency. I've read other books from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and she's one of my favourite authors. "The thing around your neck" consisted of short stories, which are short enough for sunny summer days :)

Jokiasema was so full of people there were no seats left for us and we (me + Merja + Arash) had to sit on the pier. We were talking about all kinds of stuff (especially politics?!?) and the weather was quite hot even at 23 o'clock... But it was not too hot for some snow:

We were even throwing snowballs. And it was +23. And almost midnight.

After talking some more politics and going to sleep at 6.30, I was ready to go to Jyväskylä. Which is a dangerous place for engineers, but luckily I'm a humanist.

I have been playing quite a lot of Space Alert, our awesome board game. Juha's friends have lots of nice board games in Jyväskylä and we tried two of them, Puerto Rico (which I accidentally won by reading magazines while others were thinking for tens of minutes how they're going to play and which are the good moves...) and Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

We played this game twice and both times I played a very fast and strong girl (who was a bit stupid though), who was just using her spear/axe in a skilled way. I hate horror movies, but horror games = so nice!!

And something completely different? Juha is going to Japan in the end of July for one year! He's going to teach in a local school(s?) and visit all our Japanese and Korean friends. As I have already collected enough money for the plane ticket to Seoul, now I'm only thinking about how LONG I want to stay there :)

Let's go!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

That time of the year

Eating a cake is always fun, especially if you have interesting company while eating! Yesterday we devoured our cake bits in a local cafe called Houkutus. At the same time we celebrated Lai's birthday, welcome to the 30s!

I decided to buy a summer card for aerobic. I don't have the money of course, but mental health = priceless. After sweating for one hour it was time to go and hug someone on the railway station...

Anxiously waiting...

Inside the train was Hyunsik, who came back after one week of travelling around in Great Britain. I forgot to take photos, because I was hugging him tightly! And of course his bike was stolen from the railway station :( But we were thinking, how lucky it was that the bike was stolen on his last evening in Joensuu and not the first!

Today it was the first time to ride a bike to the airport! They even had bike stands there, I was amazed!

Say hello to group photos ->

This is always the thing to do on your last moments together; take as many group/friend photos as possible. Because you never know if you can ever meet again. But if everything works out, next time we'll meet in Korea!

I had almost tears in my eyes when I tried to explain how Korea has a special place in my heart and how it was so special to spend time with the only Korean in Joensuu :) Maybe all these spring goodbyes during the years have affected me and I don't get so emotional anymore. But still...

This was the last and happy sight of Hyunsik when he waved at us :) 안녕히가세요 현식!

The plane was small and the sound was horrible AND it took off to the wrong direction and I failed to take other photos.

Näkemiin is Finnish and it means goodbye or farewell or see you later. I prefer the latter one :)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

حالت چطوره؟

Yesterday I visited Anna and Shahram in the evening. They came back from Iran about one month ago and had their bags full of foods, books, souvenirs... They served excellent foods again, dried green vegetables were used to make a very tasty (vegetarian!) Iranian soup and my favourites were the nuts and dried fruits always served as a snack or dessert :)

Then we got some souvenirs!

Inside this package there were dried pressed fruits for eating as a snack. The taste was awesome! These snacks should be imported from Iran as soon as possible!

My new book (poems by Hafez) :)

It looks so beautiful, although I don't understand a single word! I hope that one day I would master also these Persian alphabets. Thank you Shahram and Anna!

Today has been a very lazy day, I haven't been even able to finish my knittings because of a sad accident:

I sat (!) on my knitting needles (made from bambu) and one of them just broke. That's what you get when you leave your knittings on the sofa.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Korea is taking over this place

Today was another early morning, because of the postman. At 8 o'clock the doorbell rang and suddenly I was holding a huge package. And it looked like this once again in the hallway.

Another package from GMarket, my beloved shop. These days I don't know the prices of clothes in Finland, because I've ordered everything I need from GMarket.

I ripped all the packages open and surrounded myself with Korea (there's nothing better than RIP PACKAGES!).

And now everything is in order as you can see.

Then I started thinking, how many times I have ordered things from GMarket and Korea (tens of times).

And then I started to find Korean things everywhere.

The Etude House Pure Joy -toner (what a cute name!), The Face Shop Goodbye Dust -mist, BAS Bibiya BB cream as well as Innisfree Eco Natural Green Tea BB cream (I'm still trying to find out if I love or hate BB creams). All Korean brands.

White rabbit cotton puffs :D

This is something I got as a freebie with my Bibiya BB cream -order. I'm still kind of wondering, what is this? Home esthetic program? Interesting moments ahead anyway, when I try this "handpack" on...

It's impossible to get (Jardin's) Green Tea Latte -mix from Finland, so I ordered it from GMarket. I loved the taste of green tea lattes in Korea, but the taste of this mix Also my Korean friend Hyunsik agrees with me on this! But I'm going to force them down!

My calendar for this year is also Korean one. There are lots of pictures from Seoul, the subway maps and enough space for writing :) I'm really happy with this.

This is how the fabric of my favourite dress from GMarket/Korea looks like. I'm saving it for my cousin's confirmation party, so can't post the whole dress!

Books about the language and the country. As well as Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the shore in Korean (part 1). One day I'm going to read it :)

In addition to these our walls are full of Korean art, my Korean tea collection is a big one, almost all my socks are from GMarket (cute good quality animal socks, how can I resist?) and I have huge amount of Korean face masks. 감사합니다 G마켓!

I'm waiting for the morning when I just start to speak fluent Korean.