Thursday, 29 September 2011

The lazy way of doing things.

As you may (or may not) know, I’m in my third year of Hungarian. If I want, there are still two more years to go. One requisite for the second (fifth) year is to study the basics of another Finno-Ugric language – the options being Finnish, Estonian and Sami. Call me crazy, but I’m seriously considering taking a beginner’s course in Finnish. About half of the students doing Russian in my class at uni were actually Russian, and I though they were sort of cheating (studying their own mother tongue as a foreign language in order to get good grades), well… now I’m thinking about doing the same, simply because it would save me a lot of time and energy.  

Happiness is...

Happiness is the ability to enjoy the moment even when the windows are a bit dirty and the desk is a complete mess.

Happiness is having faith in oneself and one’s abilities.

Happiness is accepting oneself and liking what one sees in the mirror. In the words of Oscar Wilde: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Happiness is the belief that the world and the people in it are good.

Happiness is also the belief that one is a good person who deserves good things in life.

Happiness is the quiet moment when one enjoys a cup of tea and looks out through the window.

Happiness is the complete disconnection of the mind.

Happiness is a good hearty laugh.

Happiness is acceptance.

Happiness is never-ending curiosity.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

More Tea To The People

Today I have drunk about five cups of tea. It might not sound like a big deal, but each time I have to get up from my desk, run down the stairs, possibly bump into people (literally), walk to the other side of the building, got some hot water and a tea bag, and then run up the stairs again. And talk to the people I meet on my way. I definitely should get a kettle and place it somewhere near my desk.

Apart from this: today I want to go to the gym. And after that I will write my thesis proposal. And drink plenty of tea while doing so.

 

Cheerios!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

In The Dark

This morning I started work at 7 a.m. and oh my goodness – it was so dark and so cold outside. The winter is definitely on it’s way!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Disaster Control Of Sorts

DSCN0741

I think it might be time to tidy up.

Hétfö - Monday

Strange idea of the day: people from Kosovo speak Russian. Now, why would they?

Reason for excitement: today I will finally meet my PT for some serious exercising (she was ill last week), I can’t wait!

Answer: Natalie commented something about my languages on Twitter. There are plenty of languages that I haven’t even thought about, but I probably have been learning more languages than most people. I’ve “officially” (in school or at university) studied (NB: doesn’t mean that I have a working knowledge of) the following foreign languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, German, Dutch, Russian, Polish and Hungarian. I liked them all although the Italian evening-class was a bit dreary because all the old ladies kept flirting with the teacher (an Italian man) and talking about different kinds of coffee. Oh, and as you already know, in my heart nothing beats Slavic (and possible Finno-Ugric) languages, my heart melts whenever I hear someone speak those languages. Dutch is a lot of fun, though, and I wouldn’t mind knowing it – it’s like a mix of English and the Scandi languages.

Thought: it’s time to toughen up and focus on myself. I keep constructing a lot of unnecessary obstacles for myself because I think I’m not “good enough”.  

Must-do: get a passport. I have no kind of ID (now, aren’t I lucky for not being stuck in Russia), the passport got lost somewhere between my parents’ house and our flat.

Other items on “shopping-list”: contact lenses and socks. Now isn’t that exciting?

Gift for myself: a book by Czech writer Karel Capek.  

 

 

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The White City

TT aka The Boyfriend mentioned “a trip in December”; he fell asleep and 30 minutes later I’m desperately browsing cheap flights to cities that are relatively cheap. What came up?

Serbia-Belgrade

Why, isn’t that Belgrade? At least a girl can dream.

The image was borrowed from here

Blähä.

C’est samedi. Wohoo, she knows French. It’s Friday (err... Saturday) night on this side of the globe: we weren’t hit by any American space stuff, we didn’t win the lottery (nor did anyone else today), I forgot to cancel a trip to the gym (because I forgot that I was actually supposed to go there), I feel like partying (although it’s only fun as long as you stay at home, as soon as you get out and have to watch all those drunk people trying to get laid you sort of sober up and start missing your own house), and I’m reading some fitness blogs. Aha. That’s inspiring.

Yesterday I had a near death-experience when I had to kind of speak Hungarian with two people called Agnés and Laszló. Point – they speak Hungarian, yours truly doesn’t. They were sweet though, just told me to have more courage.

Do Finnish people have a hard time showing emotions? Well, Mika Häkkinen cried on live TV and I have no problem going crazy in public (yes, I know, I need to learn to control my emotions). But then again, Mr. Häkkinen lives in Monaco and I’m stuck on Åland. Åland is part of Finland but God forbid someone calls them Finns… because that is not the case. (but yours truly is a Finn - not a suomenruotsalainen or ahvenanmaalainen-, of course).

And then I was reminded about something today: life is full of adventures. The moment you forget that, life starts getting dull.

And now I’m off for a glass of red. Toodles.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Size 0

I remember back in the days when size 0 was something worth striving for – somehow it felt like the ultimate goal, a real challenge. Today I’m thankful that I never achieved that crazy goal, getting there would have messed me up too much. And most importantly, what’s the sense in looking like an 8 year-old girl?

There are still ideals, though – and my current shape (although it’s quite OK) is nowhere near that. My summer ended quite unhappily and now I’m slowly starting to get back on track. Last week I went to the gym a couple of times – before Mr. Common Cold decided to come for a visit. Now that I’m assured of the fact that my nose is not going to fall off, I have dared to venture back into the gym. Yesterday we tried the newest Body Combat – release, which was lots of fun! – and I have also made some space in my schedule for body pump, yoga, running and some “normal” strength training. Can’t wait.  

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Talking About Things That Hurt

Someone just told me that it might not be such a good thing to discuss attitudes on immigration because the topic could be seen as upsetting. Of course it’s upsetting: any topic that involves an exchange of opinions can be classified as upsetting, but does that mean that we should all bury our heads in the sand and hope that the problem will go away by itself?

Random Thoughts

I haven’t been good at blogging lately: my mind is filled with fragments of thoughts, but they are just that – fragments. Writing about something specific isn’t really happening right now. Yesterday, for instance, I was thinking about Béla Kun (or, if we shall be precise, Kun Béla*). The man in question was one of the communist leaders in Hungary after WWI, and he was eliminated by Stalin during the terror before and during WWII. And what’s so special about him? Well, I recently read a biography written by a Swedish historian whose mother led an interesting life all around Europe before moving to Sweden right before WWII. The book, The Red Countess, tells a fascinating story about an imperfect woman and the European/German/Russian societies before the war. And apparently she had bumped into (or at least heard of) Béla Kun in the streets of Moscow.

I have also spent a great deal of time on thinking about politics. Elections are coming up again soon. First we have local elections next month and then Finland will be electing a president in April 2012. The campaigns are about to begin, and it will be interesting to follow them. My guess is that the great topics will be the economy, Greece/EU and possibly immigration (depending on whether the True Finns will participate or not). I’ve already decided whom I’m going to vote for, even though I know the person in question will not make it to the second run.

Russian class was nice yesterday: our group is growing! I think the class will be useful and the teacher is also very nice (although she needs to “think over those difficult questions at home”) BUT – what do you, fellow language learners think when a teacher, instead of explaining something tricky, says “ah, this is too hard for you, just forget it for now…”? I personally find it quite annoying – as if the teacher is questioning my skills.

 

Oh, and my nose is sore after too much sneezing. I. Want. To. Return. To. The. Gym. Now.

 

 

 

*In Hungarian the surname is always written before the given name.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Craving For Sushi…

…I’m seriously considering a trip to Valencia just to have some sushi at my favourite restaurant. Actually there is sushi on this island too, but it doesn’t seem very convincing. It’s being a rainy Monday here; I just got back from work, now I’m listening to a lecture in statistics and psychological research methods,  and after that it’s time for Russian class.
Well, I hope you are all enjoying this Monday!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Skördefest

This weekend many farms opened their doors to the public and the whole island celebrated the so called skördefest – a harvest festival.

DSCN0686

DSCN0690

DSCN0693

DSCN0706

DSCN0711

DSCN0717

DSCN0719

DSCN0721

DSCN0729

Petit déjeuner à la finlandaise

DSCN0702
Cinnamon buns might not really be classified as breakfast-food… but if the French can eat croissants for breakfasts, then I’m sure one cinnamon bun with coffee won’t do me much harm on this sunny Sunday morning.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Russian.

There were five of us: one retired woman with a daughter in Ukraine, an elderly man with a passion for lighthouses, a woman who owns cottages and a house in Florida, a banker who spent six months at MGU and me. The teacher was typically Russian: blonde, blue-eyed and mismatching clothes. And she was very, very nice.

We will meet every Monday-night to speak Russian.

Yesterday my Russian was a bit rusty, but still OK. And I remembered why I love that language – maybe that was the most important thing that happened yesterday.

 

Now. There are a couple of language learning tips that I would like to share with you language learners out there.

 

1)       Know your strengths – and accept them. If you know what kind of person you are, you can take advantage of this knowledge when learning a language. For instance, I can be extremely competitive when it comes to certain things that I feel passionate about. Therefore, when learning a language I make it a competition: I choose a person in the group to compete with (usually the one who knows the language best) and continue until I’m better than said person (or at the same level). This sounds horrible (maybe), but it’s who I am, so why not make the best of it?

2)       There are no shortcuts. It’s hard work but well worth it.

 

 

 

Monday, 12 September 2011

It's Raining...

Today

I love drinking hot, green tea and listening to the rain pouring down.

I enjoy the conversations we are having about all and nothing.

I’m grateful for all those nice customers out there.

I’m excited about the Russian conversation class that starts tonight…

…and a little bit scared about the fact that all my classmates in Hungarian will be… well, Hungarian.

I’m pleased that my body is finally functioning the way it should.

I dream about a trip to Porto and Pontevedra.

I think that I should bring a big kettle and leave it on my desk, together with lots of tea bags.

 

 

The word of the day is pillangó. Butterfly in Hungarian.

 

Happy Monday, people!

Perfect Beginning of the Day...

… a colleague and I spent a good 15 minutes talking about one of the most wonderful cities in the world. Do you know which one I mean?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Disaster Psychology

This weekend I was occupied with a course in disaster psychology, this specific module was focusing on catastrophes. We talked about a lot things that were interesting, horrifying and touching at the same time. Seeing all the terrible things that people go through, and survive, gives a certain feeling of amazement and hope: we are so much more stronger when we get the right kind of help. Disaster psychology is a field of psychology that concentrates on the survivors and how to help them. It was refreshing to get a more practical approach to psychology instead of all the theory that forms such a great part of psychology studies: the theory is interesting, but my wild guess is that most people study this specific subject in order to understand people, to help them. I definitely think I will study this field more.

The lecturer, a woman who is specialized in this kind of work, also gave us the “quote of the day” – a quote that does not only relate to disasters, but which can also be applied to most aspects in life:

If you want to see the world, and experience all it has to offer, you will need two things: humility and respect. If you lack these qualities, you’d better stay in your little village and gossip about your neighbours.

Sounds of Silence

This morning I was cycling to the local university when I noticed the complete silence that was surrounding me. The trees were humming and there was a slight breeze coming in from the sea, but apart from that it was quiet. That silence is so typical for this place. Sometimes it’s so peaceful, and I think that everyone who has grown up here will feel a need for that silence at times.

At the same time I was thinking about the fear of getting stuck, of never getting away. The craving for sounds, people everywhere and life. Those are as important as the silence.

Man tager vad man haver… (SWE: one uses what one’s got)

Sunday. What to cook for Monday? Unless the fridge is shining with emptiness, it’s quite easy to just gather all random ingredients, mix them and hope that the end result will be, at best, delicious.

This is what my kitchen witnessed today.

DSCN0676DSCN0679

Carrots, green pepper, onion, garlic, chanterelles, mushrooms, parsley (all fried in olive oil), couscous (with a bit of butter) and shrimps. Quick, easy and – hopefully – tasty.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Good News!

This morning I was delighted to read that the local government is going to work to improve different immigration issues on the island. This is a great initiative, because the truth is that the amount of people coming from abroad is increasing rapidly. According to my own experience, there seems to be a divide between locals and immigrants, which I personally find a great pity. A multicultural society is a great thing, but all its members have to feel like a part of it in order for it to succeed.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Such Fun!

Favourites right now…

…tv-show: British comedy Miranda. It’s a lot of fun, but… can’t she get it on with that Welsh guy already? (question: why are Welshmen and Scotsmen so much better looking than Englishmen?)

…piece of knowledge: I should get my new laptop this week, which is such a relief.

…thought: softness wins over hardness.

…discovery: one of the local second hand-shops has a lot of cheap books: wandering around in that place is almost like being in paradise.

…ice-cream: café latte, so sweet!

…drink: cold, fresh water… the best thing there is!

 

 

 

 

Ticking Off Items On The Life List

…apparently one of my goals is to learn some statistics (now, what was I thinking?). Well, just imagine my excitement about the fact that I’m currently “forced” to do a course in methodology and statistics, it’s like the best thing EVER. Yippieeee! (sarcasm, my friends, it’s called sarcasm).

 

There’s another item that should be on that life list, but because it’s something I want really badly, I don’t have the guts to put it there. One of my dreams is to spend six months or so (or more) travelling in Central Europe. There’s this romantic image in my head that I just cannot get rid of: sitting in coffee shops, writing about life, listening to those wonderful languages, and observing the life in that part of the world.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Odd Things - Do Not Mix Languages

Maybe I’m the only one who finds the following address rather odd:

 

Muotoilijankatu F porras

Aalto universitetet

Konstindustriella högskolan

Hämeentie 135

Helsingfors

 

 

Thing is – Helsinki (in Swedish: Helsingfors) is a bilingual city, meaning that all streets etc. have both a Finnish and a Swedish name. For those of you, who don’t get this: part of the aforementioned address is in Finnish and the other part is in Swedish. I suppose the person who wrote this never met my high school English teacher who used to say: “it doesn’t matter how you speak, as long as you are consistent”. Now, he was talking about mixing different types of English, but this bold statement could probably be applied to mixing different languages as well.  

 

Thoughts

Smedette* wrote an interesting post about the “requirements” for happiness… how much does one need to be happy? And what are those things that make a person happy? Not only is the answer very personal and subjective, but I think it depends a lot on the situation and culture, as well. People develop, our lives change – what was important three years ago might have lost all its importance now, and vice versa. Some people need more, others need less. Surely, life might be easier when one doesn’t need much, but that doesn’t mean that we all should become eremites living somewhere far from civilization. The

At this very moment I can only think of three things that are essential for my own happiness: a few, but close human relationships, challenging myself and the possibility to go on learning and gathering experiences. At the same time, due to the fact that I’m living where I live, I’m also blessed to take a lot of things for granted – things that surely affect my happiness positively – with a general feeling of trust and a functioning welfare network, I don’t have to worry about the very same problems that many other people have to struggle with on a daily basis. Survival is granted, so it’s easier to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

 

*unfortunately I’m unable to link… *sad face*