Sleep is for the weak!

*Yawn* It was one of those nights that just never really got started. I ended staying up way too late last night, until around 1:00am, which is not the usual for me, but I just wasn’t sleepy. Then when I finally went to bed, I just drifted in and out of light sleep, finally giving up around 3:30am, and getting up, staying awake until 4:30am, when I finally started feeling tired. Went back to bed. Big mistake! Had to wake up at 6:45am so as to get ready and catch the bus to the police station to turn in my paperwork before the lines started to get really long. I felt like I was trying to think through a molasses brain. None of this was helped by the fact that hubby was also plagued by the same sleeplessness, except his had to do more with all the emails he was getting from the U.S. side for a project he is working on. Misery loves company!

But, turned in the paperwork, and that happened with relative ease. For the return trip, we decided to try and take the train back, except that the next train was canceled. And the next one after that. Apparently, there was an issue with the switch up the line. So, not knowing when the trains would be running again, we went back to the buses. We eventually got home around 11am or so, and I just crashed to back to bed. Slept until close to 3:00pm, too!

I needed to get up to head to Caisa for drama practice which was starting at 5:00pm, but I had volunteered to run by the Vero office when they closed at 4:15pm, in order to scavenge their used queue slips, to use as props in our play. Hah! That simple request didn’t go over well, with the clerk apparently thinking that I wanted them for some nefarious purpose, and denying the request. Odd. In any case, as is the case-in-point for our play, enough places use the queue slips that I can find another place to beg them from.

Our play is going quite well, and our Markku character actually did very well after just having a single night to review the script. I have some more work to do on the screen shots, but nothing too difficult. We’ve got one more meeting next Tuesday, then the performance! I encourage you all to come out and see it if you can.

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I did a couple of web searches out of curiosity earlier, and found a few oddities when searching for things Finnish.

Notice the different search themes that come up, depending on how you enter it in? 🙂

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In other news, Finns are funny! At least one of them is. Ismo Leikolan won Laugh Factory’s annual World’s Funniest person contest this year. He was actually quite funny, too.

http://m.iltasanomat.fi/viihde/art-1288756376058.html (this article is in Finnish)

(The video below is in English)

Well, I should probably get to work on my project. And I have school tomorrow! Yay for learning in a language I don’t know! 🙂

Finnish is Hard!

Wow! Today was quite a busy day and it hurt my head! However, it was an exciting day in its own way. Remember me mentioning the language class that I had signed up for through the Family Club? The one that is supposed to be for people who are illiterate, so I figured that maybe I’d be able to keep up? Well, today was the first day of that class. However, I think something was lost in translation (ha ha) in that everyone could write (at least, they were writing something down), but just couldn’t speak Finnish. So it appears we are all on the same level. Well, except for one of the older guys from Iraq who figured that the teacher would give him higher marks if he answered quicker and louder than everyone else, sometimes even before the teacher finished speaking. Fortunately, she did shut that down pretty quick. I got the impression that he has either taken the class before, or was at the very least, known to the teacher in some capacity.

The class is taught almost entirely in Finnish, and you pretty much just have to figure it out from her gestures, pointing and context. It actually wasn’t quite as hard as I thought it might be to do that. I managed to keep up with most of it. But it does make sense to teach the class in one common language (that no one else speaks!), as not everyone speaks English. The class is pretty multicultural, with 3 folks from Iran, 3 from Iraq, 2 from China, one from Cambodia, 1 from Taiwan, 1 from Afghanistan, and 1 from the U.S. Guess who that is? 🙂

I learned some words, wrote them down, and wrote them down a bunch of times each while saying them. Plus we’re going over the alphabet and pronunciations, which is where I am having some issues. I did write down one word ‘lokakuu’ and thought i was for ‘month’, when it is actually for October (close, but no cigar). However, I am feeling pretty stoked about the classes, and for ‘free’, they’re the right price.

Day 1 study notes

Day 1 study notes

After the class, I left for Elisa to try and argue my case about the service charge for technical support. Unfortunately, my powers of persuasion were not enough to sway them. I felt it was a smidge unfair that I called about unlocking a phone from the States, stated specifically that I needed an English technician, yet at no point did anyone think it was important to inform me that the recording at the beginning of the call (in Finnish and Swedish) was warning me about a 2+€ charge per minute for the help. Ah well, I will just have to consider it an ‘account activation fee’ in my mind, which makes it more palatable, since it would be nearly twice the cost back home. A downer, but not majorly so.

I did discover the Moomin Shop at the Forum, and just HAD to get myself a little something. Of course, after purchasing it, I did realize that I didn’t have anything leftover to put in it! ha ha. No seriously, it wasn’t too bad, as far as Moomin stuff goes. I think I will go back and get a reflector for my backpack. They’re just so cute!

Moomin sussie!

Moomin sussie!

Afterwards, I met Wellu for lunch at his favorite place, and we noshed there, while I tested out my new knowledge on him. He corrected a bit of my pronunciation, plus the aforementioned month/October snafu, but overall, I did well. I had some thoughts about going back to the mall, but instead decided to head home to clean up, which I didn’t do before I left (since I was running late, as is usual it seems).

I took a short nap, cleaned like crazy, and was ready to go about the time Wellu got home. Drama club! We were interviewing two potential actors for the part of our Finnish male lead, and I wanted to get there on time. We actually had three males show up, but one decided to take on the other male parts we needed, and the other two tried out for the lead. We’ve made our decision, although the guy is pretty quiet and we just hope he’ll be able to project well on stage. But he was definitely the part.

Got a letter from the Poliisi today about my application for my residency permit. At least we know it is in the system. Apparently, they want a copy of our passports to show proof that we actually did travel to see each other when we said that we did. Also, I have to bring in some form of proof that I live here. So that’s a trip for tomorrow! But it is in the system and working its slow way through the sea of red tape.

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:

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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.

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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.