Wednesday, 31 December 2014

May there be a lot of laughter

*** I wish you all a very happy and adventurous year *** Toivotan kaikille oikein onnellista, iloista ja seikkailurikasta uutta vuotta *** Med önskan om ett riktigt gott, glatt och äventyrsrikt nytt år till alla *** Os deseo todos un feliz año nuevo *** Życzę wam wszystkim bardzo szczęśliwego nowego roku *** С новым годом ***  Boldog új évet kívánok mindenkinek *** Prajem vám šťastný a veselý nový rok ***

[500 Days]] 2014

Natalie asked how life and work were going. It made me think back on the year and all the things I have actually experience. Once again, I can say wow! 95% of the time I think my life is uneventful, but when I start summarizing the year, the summary may include moving to a new country or crisscrossing across Europe.

So, in 2014:

  • I moved to Sweden. This far I'm happy with the decision. There have been no great culture shocks of any kind and we have been very lucky with finding somewhere to live and finding jobs. Apart from this, my boyfriend's family has been really supportive, which has also helped us a lot. 
  • Started a new job. Also happy with the decision, it has been stressful at times, but I feel that I'm doing something much more important (to me) than IT. Besides, they give me A LOT OF BOOKS. 
  • Travels. The aim was to go to five new capitals: only one of the capitals I visited was new (Vilnius), but hey, I have been to more than five capitals :)
  • I started tai chi. You know how yoga people can be completely obsessed with the benefits of yoga? I think tai chi is a bit similar, albeit in a less trendy way, 
  • Language-wise I have not done much new. Unfortunately. I did read a couple of books in Spanish - does that count? 
When December came, I decided to be diligent with the blog. It started well, but ended not-so-well. I think this has been the most social month in a very long time. We have managed to squeeze in trips, dinners, and parties. 

Here are some photos from the past month. 

Alexander II guards Helsinki

I <3 helsinki="">

Christmas dinner Finnish style

Catching the sunset in Åland

Winter day in Stockholm


Sunday, 28 December 2014


Food is among my favourite things on the planet. There is quite a collection of books on my shelves, so inspiration is never far away. Food is, in general, a fascinating topic. Issues relating to ethics, nutrition, the social are as widespread as they are important. In 2015, I want to pay a lot of attention to food. 

My apologies for the poor quality, I quite haven't lerant to manage this tool yet. 

Healthy stuff on a Sunday: spinach soup with boiled eggs. The cheese sandwich made it somewhat more bearable. 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Times

Christmas came and Christmas passed. There was snow and there was delicious food. Not enough time to meet everyone. Once more it passed. We are left with memories of laughter and plans for the year ahead. Plans, how could the human mind exist without them? Without the promise of à brighter tomorrow? 
I notice how our minds wander to the other side of the world. We dream of seeing the wonders of South America.
Like the layers of an onion, the layers of the mind are peeled off, one by one. What is left is the simplified version of the hopes and dreams of me. The mind always returns to languages. And to food. And to the gym.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Wall, hello

Desperately trying to leran using a smaller device than before. How are you? All good? 😄

Thursday, 11 December 2014

[Book] Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

I am a fan of Murakami's fiction, often feeling that it takes me to places unknown. Unlike his other books, this one lacks the supernatural component, which is positive.
The reason I liked this book is strictly personal: I did not spend much time musing over the language used or literary finesses, I was attracted by the theme - loneliness, or maybe even colorlessness. Someone who has experienced this lack of color, often incorrectly, can relate with the story.  

[Joy] 10 Joyful Things

  • Listening to the rain smattering against the window while cuddling under a warm blanket
  • A tasty croissant and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • A really good conversation
  • Finishing that puzzle that is called a translation
  • Laughing until you cry. With no reason. 
  • The beauty of nature
  • Feeling that pang of inspiration 
  • Creating
  • Coming to a new place for the very first time
  • Returning home

NaBloPoMo December 2014

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

[Joy] Joy is.. saying no!

A couple of weeks back I decided to stop drinking coffee. As it turned out, it wasn't tasty anymore. The reasoning behind the decision was simply that what's the point in doing something that does not bring me in any joy. So I stopped. And I haven't looked back (yet)(who knows what will happen in the future).

And suddenly I realize that my life is slightly more joyful than before because...

...instead of coffee, I am now drinking tea. What's more fun than experimenting with different types of tea?'s easier to get up in the morning. Before I was unable to cope in the morning before having my coffee, now I cope a lot better since I know I won't be getting any coffee anyway.

The point being? I think that sometimes it is a good idea to break a routine to see what life can bring us. The change might be a positive one.

NaBloPoMo December 2014

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

[Joy] Joy is... travelling!

I cannot imagine my life without travelling. 

2014 has been filled with some interesting trips and travels, mainly in central Europe, but we also managed to squeeze in a week in Spain. Sadly enough, I only visited Hungary once. The whole trip consisted of a few sad hours in lovely Esztergom, My love for Hungary seems to stick - I sometimes forget about it, but it will always eventually strike with full force. So, next year I definitely want to go to Hungary. Szeged, Pécs and Kecskemet are all places that I would like to see. Poland is another place that I need to visit now and then to keep my sanity. This year we experienced Warsaw and Gdansk, next year it might be time to visit Poznan.

However, one of my dreams for 2015 is to go further. The boyfriend and I have been discussing three possible scenarios: Australia, China/Japan or South America. The Wanderlust is increasing every day!

NaBloPoMo December 2014

Monday, 8 December 2014

[Joy] Joy is... Learning!

Her big brown eyes lit her pale face when she started to tell us about her adventures in Japan. The best thing, she said, was all the things she learnt by talking to people and hearing their stories.

The most amazing thing about language learning is the moment one realizes that s/he can understand what the world around is saying, the ability to make oneself understood in a world of aliens.

The best moments in her life were spent in bars with anonymous people who recounted their adventures in foreign lands. They taught her so much, and inspired her to walk her own path, a path unknown to the rest.

You cannot hold on to past happiness, you need to go for it. Seeking happiness will not automatically increase one's happiness. Rather, keep doing something you like every day, one day you will get there. And if the final destination is not what you planned it to be, at least you will have had happy moments very single day of your life.

NaBloPoMo December 2014

Good morning from the ferry

On the way back to Sweden with a long day ahead. It's pitch black and windy, People are quiet, sleepy even. 
The weekend was great. 
I learnt that my Polish has grown quite bad, need to practice that more. I was searching for words, messing up the grammar completely. At least I heard my mistakes. 

16 days until Christmas Eve. In 15 days we will make this very same journey all over again. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014


[500 Days] Most/Now

Drink: chai latte/ Ital: fűszeres tejes tea (chai latte)
Feeling: relaxed and rested/ Érzés: nyugodt és kipihent
Weather: cloudy/ Időjárás : felhős
Music: none/ Zene; semmi -  I prefer silence. Én inkább csendben vagyok. 
Today's plan: attending a baptism/ A mai terv: egy keresztség

This mini trip is somewhat refreshing - it's interesting how I always return to being a teenager when I visit my parents. For instance, I stayed up all night reading and don't feel tired at all.The Murakami book was fantastic, as I expected it to be. There are so any things I'd like to squeeze into this day, but I don't think there will be enough time for it.

Today's quote

Saturday, 6 December 2014

iViva la independecia!

Dear Finland,
happy birthday to you!

May you live long and wisely confront the challenges ahead of you.

The journey you have walked has been long and sometimes your citizens have been outstanding, heroic even.

May you remember that the nation is more than physical attributes or language or a shared religion or traditional values. A prosperous state is made when people work together and all are included. It needs to rely on the minds and the brains and the work and the courage of its people - all of its people.

A good state is one that takes care of its citizens, looking for ways to protect and increase the common good.

[500 Days][Joy] Word Of the Day: Decadence

So, I'm visiting my parents and drinking Baileys from a wine glass. Only silence and the scent from candles surround me. Haruki Murakami's newest book awaits me and life feels generally very good.
To be honest, my life is far from decadent - BUT I do like the word. As it turns out, though, it is a very boring word to translate.

On the ferry today - while taking too much an interest in the people around me - I did even scribble down a few words on decadence.

And today's language lesson:

Swedish: dekadans
Russian: декаданс
Polish: dekadencja
Slovak: dekadencia
Hungarian: dekadencia
Spanish: decadencia

What a boring word... Finnish, we trust in you to spice things up a little bit...
Finnish: rappio THERE WE HAVE IT :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Second-hand Time (Время секонд хенд)

There are all sorts of books in this world. The best ones are those that teach us something, or leave a trace in our heart. They shock us, shake us, but do not leave us feeling indifferent. 

I have read quite a bit about Russia and the Soviet Union in my time. I have spoken to people, who have given me their first- or second hand accounts about their lives during the Soviet times. Svetlana Alexievich's collection of stories - those stories lived by former Soviet citizens - does shake me. It raises questions about the good, the bad, and the fact that it is sometimes very different to draw a line between those two. The same goes for love and hatred, empathy and indifference. These narratives paint the picture of a very complex society, where little was as it seemed. A society, whose fall was harsh indeed. 

The narratives, and the way they are told, are humane, cruel, beautiful, all at once. They are the stories about a society that was built - and destroyed - at a great cost. 

Being Joyful

A couple of weeks back we had some type of group ther... oops, sorry, team-building at my job. One of the things we had to do was to say positive things about other people in the group. Sounds easy, doesn't it? It seems that it usually is easier to be kind to others than being kind to yourself.

Anyhow, I had hoped to be called intelligent, smart, quirky, clever. Instead, what do three different people tell me? "You are so positive", "Always with a smile and seem genuinely happy", "Working hard"... and "joyful". That is a great compliment, because it is something that I have always tried to be. Basically I don't like grumpy people. so there is no excuse for me to be one.

However, being joyful is sometimes a hard job. Essentially it probably something of a personality trait and a human flaw. Someone once asked me what the point was in pretending to be happy. I believe that happiness is a part of the self - even if everything is going terribly wrong, one still needs to stay happy. And that sometimes means forcing myself to be happy. It is about pretending, it's about finding that inner happy place filled with serenity, solitude, light and faith in people and the world.


Monday, 1 December 2014

[Joy] It was a dark and foggy morning

The clock had not yet struck eight. The air was heavy with humidity, the light from the street lamps almost failed to make it through the thick fog that nearly touched the ground. The world was filled with an eerie silence - there was not a single soul on the street. A big white church cast some of its light onto the street. I was just waiting for the film crew to show up.

In moments like these, a strange feel of joy may come over me. It is a feeling of calm, security and happiness.

The topic of this month's NaBloPoMo is joy. Instead of following the prompts, I am planning to share the joy instead. Shared joy is the best joy.

Today's quote on happiness: “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” (Albert Camus)

Today's happy memory: tasty coffee + summer + trip abroad (Estonia) = many reasons to be happy

Right now this moment: feeling happy and cozy under a warm blanket. I look around at our new home, and it really feels like a home, a place to be happy in.

NaBloPoMo December 2014