Friday, December 21, 2012

Rauhan mä saan kun palaan kotiin, siellä mä nään sen rakkauden. Sieltä siivet tuotiin mun elämään, niillä mä lennän halki taivaan enkelten.*

I decided to spend this Christmas here in Wroclaw with my boyfriend, since he has to work. Of course I still wanted to see my family and friends, so on 7th of December I flew to Finland after being away for four months. It's amazing how time goes so fast, it did not really feel like I haven't seen my loved ones in Finland for so long. Luckily we are living in a world where we can easily keep in touch even we would not be in the same country. It's amazing how with good friends it always seems like we just met yesterday. :) And I want to believe it's not only because of Facebook.

Breakfast in La Torrefazione & Christmas feast.
I got to meet almost all of my best friends, got to spend time with my family, and of course fill myself with Finnish Christmas food. I also tried if I am still able to work, so I took couple of shifts in a restaurant (read: I need money). Finnish people's ability to absorbe alcohol when "the firm is paying" is unbelievable. See, this time of the year every respectable company throws a pre-Christmas party "pikkujoulut" to its' employees. (Now days the amount of these firms have significally reduced because of the savings. Might be good thing for Finnish people's livers...)

All in all, I proved that I am still capable to work as a waitress, but I also noticed that I would really not like to. So here I am again, with no clue what I would like to do when I grow up. Well "third time's a charm" as they say... :P

I had wonderful 10 days at home, it gives me so much energy and makes me so happy to see all my important people. Wherever I am, I will always remember where I'm coming from. But I'm glad to be back here with my love, and I have no regrets towards the choices I have made. I hope all your wishes will come true this Christmas like mine has.

Merry Christmas! Hyvää joulua! Wesołych Świąt!

*Antti Tuisku - Palaan kotiin

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.

I wanted to see how does famous German Christmas market look like, so we drove to Sachsen last Friday. We booked a room in a small town called Bautzen near Dresden. This was very good idea since Bautzen was the most beautiful city, with its extensive old town. Our room had a perfect location, we could watch the Christmas market opening seremony from our window! All the glory for my travel agent. ;) We got also lucky with the wheater, it was snowing on Friday, and everybody knows how important snow is for Christmas atmosphere.


Medieval Christmas Market.

After breakfast on saturday was time to see "the big city", so we took a train to Dresden. Dresden is about the size of Wroclaw and Helsinki, but it was hard to believe when we saw all the people. Apparently the first Advent is a big thing in Germany, and Dresden is, if not world-famous, at least Germany-famous of its Christmas market. I mean one of them. In total there was suppose to be 11 different markets, from which we saw something like six only by walking around the city center.


Even behind all the tourists I could see that Dresden has its share of remarkable old buildings. I did not have any image of how it would look like, but I must say that I was not expecting this Prague-like city. It's unbeliavable how much amazing places there is I've never even heard of. And I thought I have to travel to the other side of the world to see something. :P And what about the Christmas markets? Let's say Senaatintorin joulumarkkinat will feel a bit sad after these...

By now maybe some of you, my friends, might know that I love breakfast and teddy bears. And myyrä! And cooking and baking. On Sunday we had a cookie making party, and I made so much piparkakku-dough, that I decided to sacrifice some of it to make a piparkakkutalo. I have to say that I'm pretty proud of it. Was not my first one, but definetely the nicest. And I did not even burn myself or the sugar!

I also made some Christmas foods already: potato, carrot and swede casseroles. We are spending the Christmas here, and they don't sell Saarioisten casseroles or piparkakku-dough in Carrefour, so I had to learn to make them myself. ;) So far so good. Now I only need to figure out how to smuggle kinkku here...

P.S. I'm coming to Finland on Friday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Times like these.

This last week has been maybe a bit harder than before. Mentally I mean. Maybe I've been here now long enough for the honeymoon phase to end. I will hold the details for myself, but basicly I felt lonely, lost and miserable. Gladly, I like to think this as a good feature, I am unable to hold things inside me, so I talked to my boyfriend about my feelings. And now I feel much, much better and I believe in us even more than before (if it is possible).

We both know it will propably not get easier, it is very likely that in the future we will move to some country further away from our homes and with very different culture. But this is what we both have chosen, and I am sure that together we can overcome the obstacles. And this possibility to see world and different cultures more deeply than just from backpacker's view, is something I have dreamt of for a long time. And what could be better than to experience it all with the one you love? :)

I am a person who wants to feel very strongly. When I was a bit younger, still propably breathing fumes of my teenage phase, my "motto" was that if it does not feel like anything is not worth anything. I felt that it is better to be miserable than just ok. Nowdays my thoughts and efforts are more pointed to the direction "happiness" and I've understood that it is not good for a person to be in mental roller coaster all the time. But still I want to think the same: just ok is not enough. The point here was that these feelings that I've had lately are not unfamiliar to me, still once in a while I need some time to dwell in self-pity. This was the first time since last winter that I had to go there, and that must be somekind of a record! The reason is that I have found a person who makes me want to be happy and who I want to make very happy, and there is no space for being miserable there.

Labrinth feat. Emeli Sande - Beneath Your Beautiful

Friday, November 16, 2012

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back."*

My writing motivation seems to be somewhere else than here now. So here's some pictures for you, maybe from them you can see what I've been up to lately...

Couple of weeks ago we went bowling. I'm no master, but it's fun anyways. :)

11th of November is the Independence day of Poland. We saw the parade from our window. Did you know that Poland has been independent since 1918, so it's actually younger than Finland.

I continued my exploring of Polish food culture by making "sernik" aka cheese cake. Pycha!

Some time ago we decided we want to have cool poster from every city we have lived in. Here is Wroclaw. :)

Finally I started a new book! And almost read half of it the first day, it's gooood. :) Oh, and then there's the stuff I SHOULD be reading. :P

Some Christmas decoration.

I wanted to make this Finnish Christmas pastry "joulutorttu". Unfortunately the dough I made was not very similar to the "real" one (from freezer). And the plum jam was also different... So when I come to Finland I definetely want some good old joulutorttu!

More decoration. Last Friday we bought all the stuff we need for Christmas tree. I know it's a bit early, we were propably the first ones, but this is what happens when you put together two Christmas fans. ;)

No Christmas without some lights. :)

Next week the Christmas market of Wroclaw will open, can't wait to see it!

*Quote by Arthur Rubinstein.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Exploring foreign food cultures.

While my boyfriend was in Madrid watching football, I had more then enough time to test my cooking skills. Only problem was that I had to eat everything myself...

I decided that pierogies, traditional Polish dish, would give me enough challenge. Pierogies are small pastries filled with savory or sweet stuff. Something like ravioli. They are boiled in hot water, so the look of the pastry is not so delicious. But the taste is what counts, right. I've also heard it's possible to fry them to get some color, I have to try that next time.

Basic ingredients for pierogi are very simple: the dough is made from wheat flour, salt, water/milk and oil. Making the dough was not very hard, but took some time. The most popular filling is something called "Ruskie": smashed potatoes, onion and "sour" cheese called twaróg. Of course this was not challenge big enough for a master chef like me. :D So I also made mushroom-sauerkraut-onion filling and for dessert a filling from berries and twaróg. What happened was that in the end I had huge, I mean huuuuge amount of fillings and I had to make more and more dough. I can remember the recipe for the rest of my life. :D Finally I was ready after six hours of pierogi making. I had to divide the work for two days...

The result was, well, 50 something pierogies. And they tasted good, at least in the beginning. :P Could be that I will never make pierogi again, but at least I tried once! (Except that I already made up some variations in my mind, like Christmas-pierogi, filled with plum jam.)

All you need for pierogi dough.

Fillings for my pierogies.

Patience, patience....

Almost ready!

There they are - my cute little pierogies! "Limaista, mutta maukasta."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Serious shit.

So I'm again without job, "bezrobotna". I quit the cleaning job at the hostel and Sunday was my last day. Might be that it was the stupidest decision in a while. But seems that the older I get, the more short-tempered I get. At least when it comes to my happiness. So if I'm unhappy about something, I want to change it immediately. I guess in some things this could be good character, but maybe next time I could give it a few more days. Life is not always perfect and working is not always nice, but (almost) everyone has to do it.

Well anyway, my original idea was to work at the hostel not more than until December (when I will come to Finland for 10 days, jippiiii!) so the amount of money I "lost" is something like 200 euros. Of course now that I've been without a proper job for a while, all the money would be welcome. And the job was not soooo shitty (haha). And actually now I've realized that for this kind of job, I got good money. (Salaries are unbelievably low here.) But what's done is done, and it will not make it any better to cry over milk that's already spilled. I guess I could ask the job back, but I'm way too proud to do that.

For the last two months I've applied every job that I could possibly get, and even some of those that I will propably never get. I don't know if I have bad luck, bad application, bad CV or what, but I have not got any offers so far... Or actually I've had two calls, but the jobs would be in Katowice (170km from Wroclaw) and in Krakow (240km). First I thought that no way I'm moving, but now it starts to seem like it's either some other city here or Helsinki. I can give it couple of months more, but then I seriously need a job.

In the beginning I thought that if I will not get a job here 'till end of October, I could go back to Helsinki for some weeks to work as a waitress in these Pre-Christmas parties we love to have. But already after some days it was clear, that leaving is the very last and worst choice. Not that I would not like to live in Finland, but my home is where my love is and it would break my heart to leave.

The main thing getting a job is of course getting money for living, but I realized that being unemployed here has some other consequences also. After next May I will not have Finnish social security (public health insurance), but if I don't get a real job in here, I cannot get social security from Poland either. Also I'm starting to worry how it looks like for potential employers that I did not work in months...

So let's all keep our "peukut ja pottuvarpaat pystyssä", that I would here some good news soon.

Otherwise everything is perfect and there has not been even a minute when I would have regretted moving here. <3

And if there is some you that are in the same situation now, I found this encouraging writing. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm not so much of a Halloween person. I'm scared of the vampires, zombies and witches. I also cannot understand why would you wanna eat black spaghetti or sausages that look like fingers. Or spidermuffins or punch with eyeballs... Anyway. This year I wanted to carve my very first Halloween-pumpkin. Actually it came out pretty nice. :)

The insides of mister Pumpkin I used for soup. Which did not come out so good. There must have been something wrong in the recipe or the pumkin meat, because I don't make bad food. ;)

We also bought some smaller pumpkins for decoration, they don't cost too much here. I don't know where this sudden decoration fever came from... :D Actually I'm waiting for Christmas already, I wanna cover the whole house with red and green and golden and glitter. And little gnomes and candles and Christmas lights.......

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rakastan. Ich liebe. I love.

Christina Perri - A Thousand Years

Silbermond - Für dich schlägt mein Herz

Anna Puu - Sinä olet minä

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mówisz po polsku?

Today I wrote fifteen sentences in Polish! Wuhuuu!

Lately I've noticed that apparently I do not look very different to Polish girls. Almost everyday somebody asks something in Polish when I'm on my way to work. Of course it could be that people are just assuming there cannot be anyone non-Polish speaker living here... But Polish girls are usually pretty, so let's stick with that theory. ;)

My answer to these questions has changed from I "I don't speak Polish" to "Nie mówie po polsku" (I don't speak Polish) and even "Nie wiem" (I don't know; because usually I have no idea where this street and that office is). I hope I'm able to develope my skills a bit more. :P
 I have been told, without even exaggerating much, about hundred times how hard language Polish is. Mostly by Polish, but foreigners tell me this too. I invented my very own answer to that; "I heard Finnish is one of the hardest languages in the world, I learned that, so I think I'm able to learn Polish too". Funny or not, you can decide. Truth is that Polish is hard, like any other language I've learned (or tried to learn). There is so many rules, so much to remember, and then when you finally think you got it, "just a few" exceptions. As I might have mentioned before, the pronunciation is not so hard once you get that you are not suppose to pronounce every consonant. You can easily skip every other... :D Obviously I have no idea how good or bad my Polish sounds or if it even sounds like Polish at all, so maybe it's the safest to ask advice from someone else.
 Now that I've learned some useful words and phrases, I should start using them. And that is the problem for me. You see, I'm not the person who tries every new word right away like a kid. I am the person who wants it to sound perfect. And it never will. So I cannot even order my food in restaurant in Polish (or German) because I might make a mistake. That's why I like writing, I can think and check before I publish anything. So if somebody has solution for this mental problem I would be really glad to hear it. Somehow I got over this problem with English...maybe that was the exception. :D
Funny thing here (or not so funny anymore) is that often people ask if I speak German or if I'm learning it. Well of course it could sound like a rational question to some people, but lately it started to irritate me. Why would I learn German? We are in Poland, for God's sake. I'm learning Polish, isn't that obvious? And if (when) they ask this because my boyfriend is German, why nobody ever assumes him learning Finnish (except as a joke)? I'm sorry about this sudden burst of annoyance, I promise I will learn to speak German when we live there. :P (Actually I think German skills would help me to get a job here...) Anyway I enjoy studying Polish, and I'm sure I will enjoy learning German someday too. ;) Fifteen year old me would never believe her ears if she would hear this...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Goodbye September, hello October.

Last weekend I saw my first Borussia Dortmund game live. I have propably mentioned before that my boyfriend is HUGE football fan, so he wanted to take me to Dortmund to see his favourite team. Trip was kinda crazy because of the travel schedules. We flew to Germany on Saturday morning and already on Saturday night we were on our way back to Poland. We reached Poznan at 8 on Sunday morning, had a small breakfast and continued to Wroclaw.

I think it was more interesting to see the game live, but next time I want to sleep in bed... (The train seats were not that bad, but anyway.) I also had some difficulties to see the first half because we got tickets for the standing zone. And I was afraid that someone will spill beer on me or fall into my neck. So next time: proper seats. :P Before the game we went to Borussia Dortmund's fan shop (and got out without buying anything!) and Borusseum, a museum about the team.

The result was satisfying.
When we arrived to Dortmund we had fantastic breakfast in Rigoletto. If you ever find yourself in Dortmund, go there! :)

Art in Poznan.

Morning sun in Poznan.

 Today was a national holiday in Germany, Tag der Deutschen Einheit. Which means that they celebrate the reunification of West and East Germany that happened 3 of October 1990. For us it meant a day off from work, breakfast together and going for a cocktail party held in the consulate. The weather was perfect, sunny and 20 degrees (what autumn?!).

The adult costume.

To celebrate the possibly last day of summer we had a small Mölkky competition in the park near our home. We got some curious glances from the people passing by... During the game we got an idea to organize Mölkky championships for the CouchSurfers here in Wroclaw.

P.S. I won!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bayerisch is stylisch.

Last weekend was for sure one of the best ones this year. (This year has had maybe 50 best weekends of my life in total.) Our "hitchhiker" turned out to be a really nice guy, who had been travelling a lot and spoke excellent English. So the first hours of the journey went quickly while chatting. Hopefully we will meet this guy again here in Wroclaw. Lately I have met quite a lot of people who have been hitchhiking and in general I would say it's more "normal" here than in Finland. I've never before thought about travelling by hitchhiking, but now I'm actually a bit curious to try that. So we have been playing with the idea with my boyfriend. We'll see if we will carry out this plan some day...

On Saturday my preconceptions about techno parties vanished like a fart in Sahara. People looked as normal as in any Saturday night party, they were drinking beer like in any other party and gathering on the dancefloor when they were drunk enough. :D No neon colors, no glow-in-the-dark items, no weird clothes with ropes and strings hanging, no hair like the Prodigy-guy.... Before I was wondering how on earth is it possible to dance techno music. But apparently it is! I just don't have any idea how I did it... I have to admit that I really enjoyed my time on the dancefloor, but it is still a long way for me to really like techno. (And it's also a long way for me to dance when I'm sober...) And I do still think that most of the techno songs sounds the same: first comes the bass, then the DJ takes the bass away and then the music gets louder and then the song reaches it's peak and then people are like "Yay!" and then the same bass comes back. And this repeats again and again and again.... :D (This is just my opinion, don't get mad.) Example can be found here.

On Saturday and Sunday we were playing Mölkky with some German friends, and now they are totally hooked. ;) Apparently German girls have natural talent in this game (unlike me)... I think I should get some kind of commission from the Mölkky company, because I'm making it known outside of Finland. Mölkky was one of the lovely surprises that my boyfriend have given me, he ordered it from Amazon (we could not find it from Poland...) and there it was waiting for us in Germany. <3

Sunday was also ice hockey day, and after a really exciting game, ERC won! The atmosphere in the stadium was amazing as always. ERC has propably the best fans in the world. ;) And everytime I feel more and more comfotable to be there with them (I even think I know couple of songs already). After the game we had dinner in Italian restaurant with my boyfriend's siblings and their boy- and girlfriends. I'm glad I've had so warm welcome in this family, even thou we sometimes don't have common language. And I'm really proud of my boyfriend's sister who is speaking much more English now than on the first times I met her. Also their grandma is really trying her best with English which is quite unbeliavable (she has studied English in school, 70 years ago). And now I feel guilty not trying more with my German.... Maybe someday.

Monday was Oktoberfest day. It was raining half of the day, but that did not bother us. We still got to go to rollercoaster and Ferris wheel and I got my beer. And we got to see the drunken tourists. :P So we had fun, but for next time I wish better weather and more time. :) (..and cheaper beer but I guess that ain't gonna happen.) And I got another super-cute surprise, Lebkuchenherz!

Friday, September 21, 2012

In the afternoon we'll start our long weekend in Germany. Plan is to drive to Bavaria today and be at my boyfriend's parent's place around eight or nine. So six long ass-killing hours ahead! :P But for me it's easy, I get to sleep or do whatever, because I don't have to drive. (I've always thought that I'm lucky not having driver's license.) We will be joined by a Polish guy, whom we never met. Hopefully he is nice (and quiet and hygienic and likes our music). :D

Oh and about the music, can someone give me a solution in our music problem? My boyfriend wants to listen techno and let's say that I don't "enjoy" that quite as much. I wanna listen melodic pop songs with lyrics about love and such things. Songs like Angus and Julia Stone's Big Jet Plane. But my boyfriend says it makes him sleepy, and that's dangerous of course. So should I just give up and listen (read suffer) techno the whole six hours...?! He is the driver after all. But I am a woman after all... (so I get what I want? :P)

Anyways back to business...The way to our destination is mostly not too interesting: first Polish motorway and then the German one. First time when we went to Germany by car in April, I was really nervous because they don't have speed limits on Germany's motorways. But actually you don't even notice you are going 140km/hour because everybody else does that too. Of course there is some crazy maniacs testing their cars' speed limits passing us by...

We have again quite packed schedule for the weekend, but it's alright. I'm just going where they are taking me, no stress, no planning, and I think in the best case I don't even have to worry about eating. :) This much I do know about our plan thou: Saturday we will meet my boyfriend's friends and I will attend my first ever techo-party (we'll see how long I can take it...), on Sunday is ice hockey game "Auf geht's blau weiße Jungs!" and family dinner. And on Monday is OKTOBERFEST! The real one! Geil! I've heard different kind of horror stories about the people (drunken tourists) there, but I don't care. In the best case (or worst) I will be one of those drunken tourists myself. :D
So let's hope I will have some photos of my own to show next week. :)

P.s. Have yourself a nice little weekend <3

Monday, September 17, 2012

So let's see...what did I promise to write about.

The parents meeting
Little over one week ago both mine and my boyfriend's parents visited us. They haven't met before, so at least my parents were a bit nervous. Maybe they would have been nervous anyway, but I think that the fact that they had speak English made it even more exciting. The first dinner together was ok, not anything special, just asking basic things and then akward silence. :P But already second night was better, and in the end I think the meeting was very "succesful". They invited each others to Finland and Germany next summer, so I guess that was the result I was looking for, haha.

It was nice to see my parents and show them where I live. I think now they feel more comfortable with the fact that I moved here. They liked the city, it's very different to Helsinki for example, with the Rynek and it's old, pretty buildings and dozens of old huge churches around the city. On the first day my dad said that beside the city center it looks more battered than he would have thought. Maybe I'm just use to it because I don't seem to notice that. And he was also wondering why they are building so many huge new buildings here.That I have been wondering too...
My parents were interested on different kind of cultural events here, and they will be back for sure. But maybe after winter. ;)

The job and the Polish course
For these two weeks that I have been working at the hostel, I've mostly liked it. I like to have something to do at work, for example the receptionist's job does not seem so interesting anymore, they are just sitting by the computer all day, not having too much to do. Of course cleaning poo from the toilets, changing sheets and taking trashes out is not my dream job. But while searching the dream job, this is ok. And I always wanted to work in a hostel, just to see how it is. One more dream accomplished! :)

The polish course has been fun. People there are relaxed, but mostly motivated and also my own motivation is very different than learning languages at school. I really want to make effort to learn the basics of this language. And 'till now it also has been quite easy. :)

Last week
Making soap bubbles.
The week was normal; work, Polish, coffee meeting at one Finnish family's place and Thursday meeting with other "international" people. On Friday we went to opera for the first time in our lifes. The opera was "Magic flute" by Mozart. I'm glad I read the story in advance, since I would have not understood anything about the German singing with Polish subtitles. But it was not too easy for my German speaking boyfriend either. ;) As a conclusion I would say, that it was worth trying but the next opera could be, let's say, in 20 years. :P Meanwhile I wanna see some musical and maybe even go to theatre.

Frankie's Juice Bar.

On Friday night I got a flu out from nowhere, at least it seems like that. Anyhow we had busy Saturday, I had to work, then we went for BBQ at my boyfriend's colleague's house and in the evening we had some friends coming over for drinks. Even I tried if vodka shot would help to cure the flu, I had to give up around eleven and go to bed. On sunday I had to work again, there was shortage of people this weekend at the hostel, and after that I felt completely dead. Fortunately I was able to get this Monday free, so now I'm trying to take it easy and hoping that tomorrow the flu will be gone. Because tomorrow is Oktoberfest here in Wroclaw! ;)

Fitting the traditional Bavarian clothes.