Tallinn…and shopping

My dear hubby booked us on a day trip to Tallinn again, and we went today. As many of you may have read, the ferries to Tallinn (day trip version) are mainly for the locals here to buy booze there. Apparently it is cheaper. Viking Line was running some pretty deep specials; our tickets were 3€ each, for a total of 6€, round trip. Heck, you can’t get to IKEA on that. For us, the allure wasn’t the alcohol, but the meat. We bought some fabulous wild boar and moose that last time, and were looking to restock. Meat tends to be cheaper. Also, my nails needed doing, and I had heard that services were cheaper in Tallinn, so we figured we head out and give it a shot. Good way to spend a Saturday.

We did go ahead and spring for the buffet on the way back, which did add about 50€ the price of our trip, but we eat out so rarely, and for eating out, that price isn’t too ungodly (plus, it gives us a place to sit out of the crowd for about 3/4 of the trip back). The buffet is great if you like fish, and only good if you don’t. They have the creamed potatoes, bread, sausage and a pretty good roast for those of us who don’t like the things that swim in the sea, and if you like wine, you can get ‘wine on tap´’ at the beverage station at no extra charge.

Wine on tap

Wine on tap

We sat in the bar on the way there, listened to some karaoke; there were some pretty good singers! Towards about two hours into the three hour trip…well, there were some pretty drunk singers, too. The opening act, per-karaoke, was a guy singing mostly classic country songs (Johnny Cash, some Elvis, etc), and he was actually pretty good. I enjoyed the karaoke mainly because I would watch the screen and try to figure out the words to the Finnish songs. Yeah…I got about one in a hundred, if that.

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We got off in Tallinn with the rest of the herd (mooooooo), and walked over to the ‘mall’. We found our usual (hahaha, I love saying that for our second visit) meat counter, and let her talk us in to wild boar roasts, moose sausage, garlic cheese and about four pounds of filet Mignon. The whole thing came to about 70€ total, which is not bad at all.

Then we headed up to the salon for me to get my nails done. The price wasn’t great, but it was maybe 5-10€ cheaper than in Helsinki. So I didn’t feel like it was a waste of time, but it wasn’t the great deal that others have said it was. It might be that you have to actually go into the city for the better prices. We only had 3 hours, and I didn’t want to chance it. I opted to get my nails cut down short and just a clear gel on them, until the two I broke off grow back.

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On our way back, I picked up some more of the ‘cat’ bowls that I had started collecting for my eldest, including another bowl and plate for the other two to fight over.  In addition, I found the wool inserts for my wellies that are like 7€ in Prisma for just 2€ there. So all in all, a nice little shopping trip.

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Tallinn haul

 

On the way back, we sat upstairs to wait for our seating time, and Wellu quizzed me on my Finnish. Oh, I still have such a long way. I need to go back to just studying the vowels. I am having a really hard time remembering ö, y, e, a, ä (I’ve got ‘i’ down pat), and additionally, I am having a really hard time hearing a double letter when a word is spoken at a regular rate. I guess it’s just a matter of training the ear to hear that little ‘stop’.

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When it was time, we headed to the dining room and took our place at the feeding trough. It wasn’t anything special, just decent food, although none of it was actually ‘hot’ by the time I dug in. Still, it was nice to have a place to just veg after walking, before queuing up with the herd to head off the ship.

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Fish, fish…

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…and more fish.

After the meal, we signed me up for a Viking Line card (free, and gives me access to the specials, too), and wandered around the shop a bit. Didn’t buy anything, but saw some candies my mom needs.

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Nothing more of note…got home, walked the Shiva dog (who had missed us all day!), and am going to shower and head to bed. I think I will sleep in tomorrow. 🙂

And the snow is gone

One day. It was exciting, though. Well, for a Southern gal, that is. Everyone else was probably like, “Eh.” and moved on. 🙂 I woke up late this morning, and when I went to the window to take the picture, most of the snow was gone, with just the memory of it all in small white lines against the grass. But I’m sure it will be back.

October 24, 2014

October 24, 2014

We were going to run in to the City Center together to get his new credit card (I mean, of course!), then catch some lunch, and then I planned to come back to study some more. We got in to a long conversation on the bus about long and short sounds, and it went round and round until it was finally clarified that those terms mean something very different in Finnish and in English. Pronunciation is going to be the hardest thing to get right in learning Finnish. There are plenty of websites, blogs and YouTube videos dedicated to learning Finnish, so I won’t go into it here, except to complain about how hard it is!

Some guy interrupted us, saying in a thick Russian accent, “You two back there speaking English. Russian state will collapse in two years!” then he turned back around. Not sure what that had to do with our conversation of the long i and short i sounds, but hey, whatever. 🙂

We did some walking around the city, at lunch at his favorite place, went to Stockmann’s so I could buy an English version of the Helsinki Times, and then made a break for work and home.

I just love the Tiger stores!

I just love the Tiger stores!

Helsinki city corner

Helsinki city corner

I did the laundry, made the bed, washed the dishes, and generally played a bit of Suzy Homemaker. (Fun Fitting in to Finland Fact (FFn2FF): there are washers, but typically not dryers. You wash your clothes, then hang them up to dry. Either outside on the line, even in the freezing weather, or in the drying room, or bathroom. Means you really need to plan your laundry day!) Then I sat down with my reference cards on Vowels and Dipthongs, practiced those, watched some YouTube videos, looked at some of my textbooks, and then cried in despair.

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I did call up Avery, and we had a good, long chat. It was really nice to talk to someone from back in the old country. Sigh. Back in the day… well, not to get all nostalgic and stuff. But yeah, today I had an attack of the homesickies, and was feeling blue for a while. I decided to try and snap out of it by doing something constructive, so I made some amendments and additions to my reference cards, and went to reprint them. I decided to label my printer with what direction to feed the paper in to do two-sided printing, and in rummaging around for my EU plug adapter, I found money. SHOPPING! Boom! Good mood returns!

For dinner, we decided to break out the wild boar that we bought from Tallinn. Oh. My. God. It is so tender, so delicious…I could have eaten it all in one go. But we didn’t, wanting to save some of this deliciousness for tomorrow! I have decided that this is my new favorite animal. We also bought some moose sausage, so we might have those for tomorrow. I will certainly report on that.

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I’ve been chatting with the kids off and on today, just general stuff. I think we’re all feeling the miles, but it should get better. I do miss my girls. However, for now, we’re kicking back, with an exciting Friday night, catching up on episodes of The Flash. A bit slow to start, but the reviews I’ve read said that it really has potential, so we’ll see.