Some extra thoughts on today

Sorry for any spam, folks.

Had a pretty nice, quiet day. Saw some beautiful sights from near our apartment, and I really soaked in the beauty of this new country that I find myself in. When I head to Lapland week after next, I will get to see some beauty, plus I will get to share it with my daughter! Here are some pictures I took last year when I was there:

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And this was during a ‘warm’ winter! This year, the snow started early, I hear, and is already pretty deep. I’m looking forward to it — I’ve only visited snow, and Helsinki hasn’t had all that much this year, or last year from what I understand. And when the wind isn’t blowing, it’s almost temperate enough to go out with just a sweatshirt on. We’ve had a little bit of snow, but it’s melted pretty quick. Helsinki is actually within a warm ‘gulf stream’, so it stays pretty reasonable, even though it is more north than Calgary, Canada!

Tonight, when I took Shiva out for her evening walk, I couldn’t help but marvel at the simple vision of the sparkling grass around me. The dew was freezing (even though the air itself didn’t feel all that cold), and with the streetlights, it sparkled like someone had strewn diamonds all over the grass. I wish! I tried to get a picture, but failed. Still, it was a pretty, and magical image to wrap up the evening with.

There are times I wish we had a sauna in our apartment. I felt like relaxing, and would have even courted the fatigue that my MS sparks, to just sit in a sauna for a bit. As it was, I consoled myself with a long, hot shower. Still felt good.

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I can’t help it…here’s an image of Shiva laying on the reindeer pelt I got last year. That thing is actually very comfy to stand on, but I have a blank wall…so there it went. Looks halfway decent up there, too. I just want the Command Strips to hold up!

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I also got the antique Japanese wedding skirt hung up. I am just now converting my hubby’s bachelor apartment, which was so spartan and without any sort of ‘comfy decor’ into something that doesn’t look like a nondescript safehouse! I truly felt like it was some place that was designed to get out of in a hurry. 🙂 I’m afraid that packing up this place would take some time now!

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Since my blog is about me acclimating to the daily life in Finland, and more specifically, Helsinki, let me close with an observation that fits that:

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This has to do with the traffic lights. While I know this isn’t specific to Finland (I encountered this in Germany, too), I think it is the neatest thing. Essentially, the lights do the normal green to yellow to red cycle, but when getting ready to turn green again, the yellow comes on first. I think, and this is by no means scientific, has to do with the fact that the majority of cars are manual shift, and this allows those drivers to shift into first gear and be ready for the green light. Dunno if that is it, but I think it sounds good.

9 thoughts on “Some extra thoughts on today

  1. I never thought of the light cycle being that way for the manual transmissions, but it makes sense. I won’t recognize the apartment when I come visit this spring…looking good. I am happy to see you got the Chinese embroidered skirt up, I had forgotten all about that. Maybe when you get more Command stuff, you can get more hung up.

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    • I don’t think people shift to neutral on red. The yellow would give drivers more time to prepare so there wouldn’t be horns blaring if someone zones out for a second.

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      • I’m sure most do. It’s what is taught in driving school, because it helps to protect the clutch. It’s also the only way to enable the stop-start system on most newer cars.

        It doesn’t take long to step on the clutch and put it in first if you’re paying at least some attention. (It takes much less time than the yellow light usually lasts.)

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  2. In Austria you get something extra on top of the three colors, the green lights blinks for some seconds before turning yellow. 🙂
    Sounds like you are really getting used to living in the cold, cold north. And the apartment definitely was in dire need of a female touch IMO

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  3. If you really feel like relaxing in a sauna, I’m sure your building has one, you just probably have to get yourself a reservation to use it. (Most buildings from the 70s have communal saunas that are shared by everyone in the building.)

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    • It’s not just the tail end of the Gulf stream. The Baltic Sea also helps quite a bit.

      Shiva looks like she could want one of those “sheep pelts” to lie on now that you’ve taken away the reindeer pelt.

      Also, be on the lookout for the Christmas sauna. Just saying.

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