Walking on sunshine…

Jan272015

hahahaha…I wish! Haven’t seen sunshine in a long time! But now you have an earworm. Enjoy! 🙂

This has been a pretty good week so far. Nothing really to pinpoint, but just generally going well. I feel like I am finally getting the hang of some itty-bitty part of the language. I still have CRS (Can’t Remember Shit) when it comes to recall, but my pronunciation is getting better, and I’m actually understanding some of the grammar rules, which is more than what I could say about the rules of English grammar. We get to do fun things in class, too!

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Tracie and I have been hitting the trails every morning so far, and we upped our distance so I’m reaching and surpassing my step goal each day. I even raised my goal by quite a bit. So I feel really good about that! Being outside in the morning is really a great way to start the day, and the scenery is beautiful, and it gets Shiva out on a longer walk for her to explore all manner of new landscapes.  Plus, I get to vent with another expat about all sorts of things!

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I was wandering around a store the other day, and remembered Wellu telling me that Valentine’s Day is not a big deal in Finland. Of course, in the U.S., it’s huge (for the candy makers, the card companies, florists, etc), and the aisles are festooned with red and pink for as far as the eye can see. So, this is what I see in the sort of place that back home would be gaudy with the season:

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That is it. The extent of the offerings. I guess I’ll just have to be content with a trip to a resort in Antalya, Turkey for Valentine’s Day (or Winter Holiday). 🙂

These are my notes from my classes today:

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In addition to Finnish lessons, I took advantage of my international classmates and learned how to say greetings in Japanese, Turkish and Arabic, and I learned how to write my name in Arabic:

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I think that’s it for now,

Nähdään huomenna!

 

 

 

Busy, busy day!

Today was one of those days that was really busy, but I didn’t get anything done, really. But I did ride a bunch of buses and run all over town, so you get to see pictures from my errands!

First off, the day started late, as I slept in rather late. I had napped yesterday–I swear, I laid down at 3pm for a nap…but with the cool air and it getting dark already…I slept until like 7pm. Which meant I was awake until…past 1am. So anyway, I slept in, meaning my day day didn’t get started until 10am already. The apartments had a notice that they were cleaning and waxing the floors today from noon until 1330, so could people please refrain from going in or out during that time. That meant only one thing to me–I needed to plan to go shopping during those hours so that I wouldn’t leave tracks on the newly polished floor!

I have been jonesing for a really good burger (Spoiler alert: haven’t found it yet), and there was a place in the Center called Stones that has a reindeer burger. Got there, but the burger alone is like 17€, and that doesn’t include a drink or anything on the side, plus it has onions in a sour cream sauce and all sorts of stuff I wouldn’t want on it, so at that price, I passed. There is a Hard RFB_IMG_1415878281922[1]ock Cafe right around the corner, so I figure some good ol’ American place would have a decent burger.

And I’d be wrong.

It was ‘okay’, but it was underseasoned and generally bleh. Not bad, but nothing I would cross the street for.

After that, we headed out to go pick up my Moomin duvets which arrived. They didn’t come to our local pick up place, but instead were shipped to Valentatalo, and that was a new bus for me. Once that was done, we did return back to our R-Kioski and picked up our new digibox. But the real star of the mail delivery service are the Moomin duvets! These will be on the bed by tomorrow!

Arrived!

Arrived!

Opening!

Opening!

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

I can’t wait to get these on the bed and take pictures. I am such a fool for this Moomin stuff! I love these little characters — possibly because I identify with the little round-shaped figures.

We went to the Arabia Design Center, to go check out the Finlayson, Fiskars and Ittala outlets. Even as outlets, these places are way out of sight in prices, even for 2nd grade items. Did get to see the Fiskars ‘museum’, which had a few cool displays, and some interesting history on the Fiskars scissors.

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These are frying pans.

Those are the iconic orange handled scissors hanging down in what is a sort of creepy dangerous chandelier. 🙂  I think if the zombie apocalypse hits, this is definitely one place to come get weapons…no one would think of a museum right away! Look at all those splitting axes; just perfect for splitting undead skulls.

I got this amazing Moomin find on Facebook, for just 10€. 20141112_140531The key to wind it up and play music is missing, so I am using it as a desk organizer where I can see it every day. 🙂

Is this not the cutest thing? I wish I could hear the music, but I’ll need to find a broken music box to steal the key from.so I can hear it at some point.

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In schooling news, I am struggling with the very basics. Why couldn’t Finnish be more like Spanish? I am still in toddler classes, learning colors, numbers, basic vocabulary, and I am having so much trouble making it stick.

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This blank board is like my mind. I just can’t seem to get it. The language just refuses to stick to my Teflon® brain. Although, in all fairness, every once in a while, I do manage to recognize or remember a word. I just wish I could do so in context.

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I have so many books, websites, phone apps a20141110_142920nd you’d think it would come easier.

However, I have to continue to believe that once I really get in to it, maybe it should be better.

I was studying my flash cards on my phone app, and managed to miss my bus stop this morning! I was cursing under my breath as I got out of my seat, and the girl next to me asked me what I was grumbling at and I told her I missed my stop. She laughed and said she missed hers, too.  At least I’m not the only one having to cross the street and take the bus back one stop!

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Speaking of bus stops, I managed to take a picture of this backpack at the bus stop this afternoon. These things are EVERYWHERE! Of course, I want one, so I can be like the rest of the cool kids, but in looking them up, I find out just how expensive these are… 70+€ for the basic backpack! I haven’t paid anywhere near that for any backpack that I’ve owned. I suppose I will have to get a closer look at them to see if maybe they are lined in gold or they carry themselves or maybe they are some sort of Bag of Holding so that they can carry everything!

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can look at the Fjallraven Kanken website to see if you find something you like. According to the website, these backpacks were originally designed for Swedish schoolchildren back in 1978. Of course, now I want one. Damn peer pressure.

I think I will end with just a few photographs that I took around town that shows the winter season descending upon us.

Berries against a winter sky

Berries against a winter sky at Helsinki University

Inside the Forums Mall

Inside the Forums Mall

The Stockmann's corner

The Stockmann’s corner in downtown Helsinki