A fruitless search.

Or should I say ‘cupless’?

The day dawned rather dreary and wet, but the temperature was a balmy 48°, so just a turtleneck and windbreaker would do. And I use the term ‘dawn’ rather loosely, as I didn’t actually get up until after 8:30am, and by the time breakfast was done and we’d piddled about the apartment some, it was nearly 11am. I am getting rather spoiled about my mornings!

In any case, I decided that today I would make the trek to Itäkeskus, catch the (free) IKEA bus to IKEA, and purchase a set of measuring cups, so that my new-found baking hobby wouldn’t have me running from computer to kitchen doing measurement conversions. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. I decided to be efficient, and pack up all the garbage and recycling to take out with me, as well. So I get my backpack ready, get the bags and boxes all gathered at the front door, put on my windbreaker and shoes, and gather the IKEA cart, and head into the hallway, nudging the door shut with my hands full.

Remember in my earlier post, talking about how the outer doors are constructed without exterior door handles? Makes it hard to grab when you suddenly realize that you’ve not checked to make sure you have your key with you and the apartment locks when the door is shut. Yup. Locked myself out of the apartment. I verified this when I went ahead to go take out the garbage and realized that I needed that same key to get into the rubbish bins. Fortunately, a neighbor came by and opened that up for me, and I was able to at least dispense with those items.

Then, I called Wellu, informed him of my rather bonehead move, and set out to go to the Kumpulan kampus stop to meet him to get the extra key. By then, we were nearing on 1pm, but he tells me I can take the bus to Sörneinen and then take the Metro to Itäakeskus, and catch the 2pm IKEA bus. I get to Sörneinen, then decide that surely the Lidl store would have measuring cups. Nope. I’d already checked the local S Market to no avail. I figure, aw screw it, I’ll go tomorrow, and head to the bus.

On the way back, I realize that I am coming to the Arabia Shopping Center, and surely the Tarjoustalo store (‘Bargain Store’) will have a cheap set of measuring cups. They are located on the upper floor, so as long as I am on the ground floor, I go ahead and check out the markets (S and K, respectively), but no luck. So up I go. I scour every inch of this bargain store, and while they certainly do have lots of stuff (candles, hockey sticks, clothing, candy, food, hygiene, cookware, linens, yarn, toys, sauna supplies, and more), they do not have any measuring cups.

What? Are measuring cups disallowed in this country? Heck, I think nearly every dollar store, gas station and grocery store back home carried at least one set to choose from. I can add these to index cards, on the ‘nearly impossible to find items that should be everywhere’ list.

To clarify, that’s not to say I could not find ANY measuring items. I could find plenty of the first item, but none of the second item pictured:

measuring bowl measuring cups

If I want to measure just a quarter cup (or the metric equivalent) of something, using a huge mixing bowl is rather…inaccurate, to say the least. And especially when I need the bowl to mix in, and then also need to measure wet and dry items for the same recipe. Not saying that it can’t be done, just that it’s a royal pain for someone who isn’t all that enamored of cooking in the first place!

But, I am returning to the States in November, and from there I will have a set of civilized measuring cups and spoons, with both metric and imperial measurements on them, waiting for me. So I’m not completely despondent over the issue. Just perplexed. 🙂

So, all in all, the day was mostly a bust, although I did get the laundry washed and hung up. Sheets are still drying out on the balcony, where they will likely stay until morning.

I did add another picture to the Changing Seasons page, which shows my main tree becoming more and more bare. It’s happening so fast, I’m glad I went to taking a picture at least every other day. I think it’s really going to look impressive by next spring!

Fall is in the air!

The leaves are changing color and falling to the ground. For a Southern girl who only knows that the seasons come in two colors (green and brown), the landscape is so beautiful. On my walk to the grocery store today, I took these pictures:

20141013_133748[1] 20141013_133744[1] 20141013_123401[1]

Speaking of taking a walk, I think I’ll take a moment to point out something I have really enjoyed here — the rights of the pedestrian! Long live the pedestrian! 🙂 But seriously, there are walking and biking paths that can get you anywhere you need to go. They are clearly marked and paved, even divided for bikes and walkers.


Also, the rules are pretty well followed for crossing the street. If you have a light and crosswalk, you just wait your turn. But if there’s a crosswalk and no signal, the vehicle has to stop for you. I’m not used to that. Even if you are just approaching the curb, a car will usually stop and wait for you, as opposed to try and beat you through it!

On a personal note, my cooking skills are starting to really develop. I had gone to the store looking for the canned biscuits and frozen ready-made pie crusts that I am so used to using back home. Well, no luck here, so I had to do it the old-fashioned way. I had to actually make the freaking pie crust for my shepherd’s pie! And on top of that, I had to actually peel, boil and mash potatoes from scratch. This cooking stuff is hard! But in any case, here’s the in-progress and finished product:

Pie crust, rolled out with a glass!

Pie crust, rolled out with a glass!

Ready to put in the oven

Ready to put in the oven

Hot from the oven!

Hot from the oven!

Second night of the theater workshop. Unfortunately, our numbers are dwindling, but we have RSVPs for next week, so hopefully we get more folks in. We managed to pretty much pound out a script and get a plan for the actual play itself. I actually like the way it is coming together. My original plan had been to join this so that I could meet new people, but I’m actually enjoying the process of doing the play from start to finish more than I thought I would.