Posts tagged ‘Finland’

Tampere city from the top of the tower in Pyynikki

My first and final Hesburger meal

On my last day in Tampere, Milla and I went on a mini-sightseeing walking trip. We wandered the snowy forested area tucked into the centre of town, Pyynikki, and got an amazing view from the top of the watch tower. After coffee and pulla, we wandered down to browse the shops and wish we had the money to spend (as well as some weight left in my overweight suitcases). I kept rationalizing that I will hopefully be returning in the spring with less luggage and more opportunity to purchase all the amazing Finnish crafts. I think of any country I’ve been in, Finland has the best selection of housewares; I just want everything! It turns me into wannabe interior designer. I did score some bedding (duvet cover and matching pillow cover, pillowcase, and a flat sheet) for my bed in Belgium all for less than 30e at the Finlayson store. (Finlayson is a famous Finnish textile company, which was actually started by a Scot, James Finlayson.) I also had my first, and likely last, Hesburger meal of the trip, which is a fastfood restaurant similar to McDonalds. All in all it was a perfect last day in Tampere. Now I just have to haul my overweight suitcases (23k and 27k) to Helsinki for my last two days in Finland!

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January 26, 2010 at 5:23 PM Leave a comment

Connected

Tampere Library

I’ve found refuge at the Tampere library, home to free wireless internet and a very nice café. I foresee myself spending a large amount of time here over the next week.

January 21, 2010 at 4:30 PM Leave a comment

Tampere Train Station

I arrived with Milla in Tampere last night. Despite wanting to stay in Kokkola another day, I thought it best to travel with her yesterday (as she needed to be at work today). Not only was she a second person to help with my two overweight suitcases, but I figured she would need the emotional help when going back to her apartment where she hadn’t been in weeks since her and her boyfriend split up. It wasn’t as bad as I was imagining, but it was hard for her. He had just moved out early yesterday and there was barely anything left. It seemed like most of the stuff in the apartment had been his, or was mutually owned and he decided to claim. He didn’t even leave us any toilet paper. But there were some lights, a couple chairs, most of the dishes, and Milla’s bed; so I figured we were better off than had he cleaned out the entire place out of spite. There’s electricity and heat but no internet or cable, which means we have a place to sleep and eat but nothing much else to do.

I’ve wandered down to the train station to battle with the patchy wireless internet as I wait for Milla to finish up at work. I think tomorrow I’ll give the library a try instead.

As I stare out the window towards the street I have a great view of the taxi line; the site of a past Amazing Race (I have to admit to always imagining myself competing on the show!). I just remember the poor Finns being so confused at the rude Americans cutting into the front of the line – something Finns would just never do! It’s funny, I’ve been to many of the places featured on the show, but always see it on TV after the fact. Now, I can sit here and laugh to myself as I imagine a bunch of crazed racers running through the station on the way to the next clue. Nerdy? I know.

January 20, 2010 at 4:08 PM Leave a comment

Hei hei Kokkola

Bowling with my second host family on my last day in Kokkola. I lost.

It’s my last day in Kokkola, and I’m sad to go. I got to see all my former families multiple times, and visit with some friends and my old counsellor. Overall, I got to do everything I wanted to. Everyone seems so much the same; it really feels like I never left. Although whenever I was asked what has changed in my life, I don’t have much to say either. I suppose it is just hard to sum up four years into a few minutes. One of my past host sisters, Alina, will be going on exchange herself in September and I am so excited for her. Even though I’m embarking on a similar trip now, it’s not as scary and new as it was the first time. First time flying alone, first time being truly independent and having to find your own way. It’s exhilarating and frightening and I love that feeling. Probably why I’m doing it all again!

January 19, 2010 at 4:40 PM Leave a comment

Bad referees

Kokkola's volleyball team; my host father running up.

I spent the day with my second ex-host family, going to lunch with my “mom” and two “sisters”. They have gotten so big, yet don’t seem to have changed at all! Still as antsy as ever, never being able to sit still. We then went to see “dad” play in his volleyball match; the second highest league in Finland – Kokkola vs. Oulu. It was a big game, I was told it could mean Kokkola moving up to the highest league if they won. It was so close, but the referee seemed to be making some really bad calls, even though I know little about volleyball it was still obvious. Especially when he failed to notice the ball hitting the ground on Oulu’s side! Kokkola just barely lost, and I’m sure many think that if fair calls were made they would have won. Hopefully there is another year left for Janne on the team, as he is the oldest member, but not the oldest in the league.

January 17, 2010 at 8:37 PM Leave a comment

So much for Finnish fun…

I have yet to leave the house and experience anything except the lovely view of the bathroom. Sick count = 8. On the brightside I’m able to stomache small amounts of food now.

January 14, 2010 at 10:02 PM Leave a comment

Successful arrival!

Atfter a long 24hours of travel, I’m finally settled in Finland. It wasn’t much fun dragging my luggage through the snow to the Helsinki train station (all 51 kilos of it) but I’m just glad it wasn’t lost on the way. I’ve had little sleep, witnessed a medical emergency and drunken detainment on the flight to Brussels, and have yet to successfully communicate in Finnish (except for hei! and hei hei!). My cell phone is all set up, even if it could be considered an antique. Unfortunately, I think I’m too tired for a sauna tonight, so it’s off to bed to get over this jetlag!

January 12, 2010 at 11:15 PM Leave a comment


Gingervere is the Middle English origin of ginger. Despite being the go-to word to describe redheads, some definitions of ginger are: spirit, liveliness, vigor, piquancy, enliven, and animation.

I'm a 21-year-old student originally from Canada, but currently on an adventure in Belgium for the semester. This blog will follow me, my musings, and whatever shenanigans I get up to while I travel around Europe and occassionally attend classes.

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