We have been waiting for this already for quite some time and this weekend it finally happened …
it is snowing!
Not much – not how I had pictured Finland at the end of November – but it does look very pretty and makes me very happy! It is so great to see people getting really enthusiastic when it starts snowing, and that is what we really needed since it is getting darker and darker. At the moment it starts to get light around nine and dark just after three o’clock – but only if the weather is not too bad, which is not often the case …
Of course I could not wait to go outside and take some pictures of the beautiful landscape covered by a thin white layer of snow. Just wandering around accompanied by my camera, exploring new areas of Porvoo, almost slipping into the water due to the icy wooden planks, walking through the forest over moss and rocks and getting kinda lost.
I love it ^^
I really have to start capturing Porvoo on camera since there are only a few weeks left. People are starting to count down which makes me sad. I enjoy my time here so much that I do not want to go back. For sure Finland is too dark, rainy and cold for me in winter, but how great it is to live together with your friends in one building. If you want some company, not eat on your own or watch a movie, you just walk to your neighbour, how easy is that! I believe these past three months I have enjoyed my student life more than the two years before … having a good time with friends around me, partying at least once a week and going away quite often … why should I go back? Luckily Malaga is waiting for me in February otherwise it would have been quite a disappointment.
Furthermore I have accepted that Finnish is too much of a difficult language for me. At the moment I have to translate questionnaire answers from Finnish into English – by using google translate – it takes me hours and it doesn’t make sense to me at all. In so many languages you can somehow guess what it means or at least understand the content by identifying some words, this is however not possible in Finnish – at least for me. For example the word activity. In Dutch it is: activiteit, in German: Aktivität, in Spanish: actividad and in Finnish: toimintaa. Even the word ‘yes’ is so different. In Dutch: ja, in German: ja, in Swedish: ja in Estonian: jah, and in Finnish: Kyllä. If you master the language I do get it that it is a very logical language – for example pink is ‘Vaaleanpunainen’ which means ‘light red’, very logical – nevertheless, to learn it is quite a challenge.
Besides spending my time on translating and writing reports I of course have been traveling and attended some events. I for example went to Jyväskylä – 4,5 hours by public transport from Porvoo – visiting Maire who is doing exchange over there and celebrated Halloween in a Swedish/Finnis way … at least is was called “the Sitz”, people were dressed up as scary/ugly nurses and patients – which was the theme of this year – and there were some long tables nicely decorated where we had our “3-course meal” … if I had known that it would be only a cracker, a few fries with a fish finger and some kinda jam with whipped cream, I would have eaten something before … but of course I didn’t … never mind
So, there was the host who was the only one allowed to speak and explained the rules and told the story. In between we were singing, “eating” and drinking and drinking and … drinking … What made it even more fun was that the whole happening was in Finnish – which I, as earlier explained, have not mastered at all. Luckily we exchange students – as we were a bit outnumbered – got someone appointed to translate everything – which was quite a challenge for the reason that the host was speaking rather fast, but it worked out pretty well – and as the evening progressed we even joined them “singing” in Finnish. A totally new experience, which was great fun and won’t quickly forget about.
*Hereby I want to apologize for the maybe incorrect explanation of the celebration, nevertheless, due to the presence of a slightly large amount of booze, I cannot recall everything*
As if I would not do anything else, the weekend after we went on the “Pirates of the Baltic sea” trip. With a massive luxurious cruise and 1.500 students not averse to party, we went to Stockholm, enjoying life all night. Starting with an opening ceremony and maybe the best buffet I have ever had in my life and then dancing all night with exchange students from over the whole world dressed up as pirates. So many new people and so much fun. Hard to explain, but it was special!
After only two or three hours sleep and a delicious breakfast we explored Stockholm which turned out to be a beautiful city, one where I would love to spend some more time. All those old and colourful buildings and so much to see and do … we only had about four hours time, yet at least visited Gamla Stan – old town –, the lively city centre and even got to see the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace. On the way back to Helsinki of course some more partying going on, on a boat that didn’t seem to find it’s balance. Tipsy people all over the place …
Another special and unforgettable experience!
To prevent you from thinking we only party here – it is not that ‘bad’ – I will shortly explain about the great event I attended last Saturday called “restaurant day”. This time not about drinking but about eating ^^ A great idea invented in Finland, but also organized in other parts of Europe, where everyone can have their own restaurant for the day. You can register on the website, promote it and try to get people to eat in your house/restaurant or – like we did – build up your restaurant in a park in Helsinki. There was Turkish food, Thai, Indonesian, Finnish, and much more. But also people selling sweet and coffee. Many people were well prepared with a ‘party tent’ and cooking equipment and some others were less … like us. We were just standing there selling our basic – but good tasting – muffins out of a paper box from Lidl and promoting it with a – cute – drawing on another box. But it worked! At the end of the day we sold all cupcakes and had enough profit to celebrate it with one drink ^^ We tasted some great food for reasonable prices and had lots of fun!
So … a whole month full of crazy things ^^
I hope you enjoyed reading it!