Thursday, 28 January 2010

Sweden Again

In Stockholm we are for the third time in one month. The city looks beautiful with all the snow, and we have some interesting plans for the next few days.
Getting here was a bit of a pain, the plane was about an hour late due to the bad weather, and getting up at 5 am is never fun anyway.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Chocodate with the Girls!

Yes. You can really spend two hours on drinking a cup of tea/ a mug of hot chocolate. Good thing we had some salad before filling ourselves with chocolate, so at the end our eating habits might be considered quite balanced.  But anyway, who CARES about eating habits when you have the chance to spend some quality time with a couple of great girls.

No trip to town without shopping. The tea collection found some new members. I'll make myself a big cup now, while preparing for tonight (classes are starting) and the snowstorm that's on its way, while trying to avoid falling asleep. Five hours of sleep last night and I'm feeling quite dead. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Magic Box

I was looking for a t-shirt, but found a box containing some real treasures instead.

Films and books

Russian classics (Dostoevsky, Turgenev and Pushkin are all in another box)

 One of the most appreciated gifts I have ever received

Some chic-lit

Best contemporary writer


Political philosophy

Laugh out loud and contemporary issues

Monday, 25 January 2010

Monday 25/1/10 - Du bist nicht allein


Monday 25/01/2010

Activity: skipping
Whim: sparkling water
Music: Schiller
Attitude: blood, sweat and tears - just bring it on now so that we can get it over with
Happy moment. seeing the sun
Language: German
Failed Attempt: start reading The Rebel (L'Homme Révolté) by Albert Camus
Moment of escapism: discussing Roadtrip 2011 with Allison


See that thing in the middle of the picture? It's something we haven't seen for weeks. Now all other plans will be cancelled, I need to get outside!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Hej Sokoly [Hey, Falcons]

It's time for some youtubing to celebrate the new week. The below song is one of my favourites, as it brings back a lot of memories including wild nights with Polish vodka, karaoke and hiding from nuns.

Not only foreigners like it, though. Apparently the song was very popular among Polish soldiers during the Polish-Soviet war, as well as during World War II.

The song (you can find the Polish lyrics below in case you feel like singing along) is about a young cossack who bids farewell to his girl and his home, the ever so green Ukraine.

In real life you might find it useful to know how to say: "Wina, wina, wina dajcie". That is, "give me wine, wine, wine".

Hej tam gdzieś z nad czarnej wody siada na koń kozak młody,
Czule żegna się z dziewczyną, jeszcze czulej z Ukrainą!

Hej, hej, hej, sokoły, omijajcie góry, lasy, pola, doły,
Dzwoń dzwoń dzwoń dzwoneczku, mój stepowy skowroneczku!{2x}

Ona jedna tam została jaskółeczka moja mała,
a ja tutaj w obcej stronie dniem i nocą tęsknię do niej!

Hej, hej, hej, sokoły, omijajcie góry, lasy, pola, doły,
Dzwoń dzwoń dzwoń dzwoneczku, mój stepowy skowroneczku!{2x}

Żal, żal, za dziewczyną, za zieloną Ukrainą,
Żal, żal, serce płacze, już jej więcej nie zobaczę!

Hej, hej, hej, sokoły, omijajcie góry, lasy, pola, doły,
Dzwoń dzwoń dzwoń dzwoneczku, mój stepowy skowroneczku!{2x}

Wina, wina, wina dajcie, a jak umrę pochowajcie, na zielonej Ukrainie, przy kochanej mej dziewczynie!

Hej, hej, hej, sokoły, omijajcie góry, lasy, pola, doły, Dzwoń dzwoń dzwoń dzwoneczku, mój stepowy skowroneczku!{2x}

Midnight Feast

It looks horrible, but tastes so heavenly that you can slurp it straight from the bowl. Besides, it's got plenty of vitamines and antioxidants, so it's good for you too! Blueberries, cantaloupe and non-fat natural yoghurt.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

One Day

One day I'll want one of these, as it looks like the dog-version of Tomi, the hairball. I even have the name figured out, it looks like something that could be named Frunze. (I have a tendency to name things after either communists or ice-hockey players).

The Finnish Lapphund is one of the most popular dog breeds in Finland, but it's not that known in the rest of the world. Originally it was used for reindeer herding, but is nowadays also used as a companion animal and sometimes also for agility.
This medium sized dog is known to be very intelligent and active, social, gentle and friendly.

So, if anyone really wants to surprise me for my birthday...

The picture and information is from here and here

Friday, 22 January 2010

C'est vendredi!

“The basis of optimism is sheer terror.” (Oscar Wilde)

A bit of positive thinking on a cloudy day... and sometimes others have said it better: 



“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” (Herm Albright)

“That's my gift. I let that negativity roll off me like water off a duck's back. If it's not positive, I didn't hear it. If you can overcome that, fights are easy.” (George Foreman)

Torikokous uima-altaassa

Lately I have been swimming a lot, mainly because it's a good way to empty my head. I'm not very quick, but my goal is still to challenge myself and my body, to do it a bit faster than last time. That's the point with exercise, isn't it? To push yourself, to get results, to have an effective work-out, to feel that you're actually doing something.
Well. To some people the swimming pool seems to be the place to gossip about everything that is happening in the mighty municipality of Finström. In order to do so, the whole line needs to be occupied. Nobody is allowed to pass, and everybody else has to adapt their speed to that of snails. Arrrrgh.
Now, don't get me wrong. Everyone could and should exercise according to their own capacity, but ruining the whole experience for the rest because gossiping is sooo important? Come on people, we don't care if Pelle Eriksson went to Sweden last week to buy some milk.

Miss Clumsy + Boiling Water

= disaster!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Москва слезам не верит

I spoke Russian today, which was very much fun and extremely tounge-twisting. It's been a while since the last time, so it felt good to see that some of it still remains in my head. Besides, it is always great to meet nice people.
Åland/Ahvenanmaa isn't really famous for being friendly towards outsiders (apart from all the tourists that come in summer), and you hardly ever bump into foreigners (non-Ålanders, non-Finns, non-Swedes) on the street (at least that's what it's like for me, others might feel differently), although rumours* claim that there are lots of them here. It's a great pity that these people are hiding somewhere, as cultural and ethnic diversity is such a fascinating thing.

* Everything on this island is based on rumours.

Mörbultad men glad [sore but happy]

That's it: every inch of me is in pain but I'm still laughing. What else could one possibly do?

“For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else” (Winston Churchill)


Pasta, red onion, tomato, feta cheese, garlic, fresh basil and olive oil.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Energy OD

Is there reason to worry if you spend the whole morning being completely hyperactive, the evening passes by while you lie in your bed feeling like you never want to get up again, and then when the clock strikes about 9, the euphoria is back? Then you can't sleep, because when you try, all sorts of things just pop into your head. It can be anything; the history of Hungary, cognitive psychology, planning a trip, saving the world, eating pancakes... anything.

I don't really care what the diagnosis is, just give me a cure if you know any! Having a lot of energy is nice, but it is kind of frustrating when you don't know what to do with it.

Anyways, seems like Stockholm will be calling next week, whoop!


There are two adorable 18-year-olds in this house, but why do they always bring their laptops with them when they need to do something in the bathroom?

Complete Mess

3 empty cans of energy drink. One mug from Amsterdam. 2 glasses. One bottle of flavoured Swedish water (not much left now) and about 300 sheets of paper. And three exams in three days, just a few more to go. YEY!

Today's song is good ol' Finnish hiphop. Asa, Jurassikki and Jussi Valuutta make some soup.

Monday, 18 January 2010

The Most Depressing Day of the Year

My cousin claims that today is the most depressing day of the year.
Are you feeling blue today?
I'm not, actually I'm quite satisfied with my own achievements. One more exam is out of the way, I slept really well last night and soon I need to go shopping (not for myself, though. It'll be a gift :))

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Children of Arbat

A Finnish channel is showing Russian TV-series Children of Arbat, which is based on the Children of Arbat-trilogy written by Anatoly Rybakov.
It is set in Moscow in the 1930s and tells the story of some young Muscovites and their lives during Stalin's increasing paranoia and the start of the Great Purge.
After seeing one chapter, I can say that it's extremely interesting for a student of Russian and an ex-almost-Muscovite, but I think that anyone interested in history and Russia might find this useful.

Москва ждёт Февраль

Good, good!

Freckled Redhead

Bo ja tak piękna jestem. Zyc bez autoironii powinno byc niedozwolone.

I dunno what to do with myself.

I know what I should do. I should sit down and read a very fascinating book named The Concise History of Hungary. Fascinating my bum. There is nothing interesting about thousands of years of history squeezed into one little piece of strange names and no explanations.
Instead I feel like going crazy. Celebrate a VERY GOOD piece of news, travel, jump up and down, listen to great music. Do some exercise. My whole body is tingling with excitement. God knows why, I want to do something NOW.
Don't worry, the fur is fake.

Мне не хочется спать... [Ég vil ekki sofa]

Tossing, turning. Rolling around.
Wandering thoughts, but nothing particular to think about.
A body filled with energy, a mind looking for challenges.
Thinking about people, the past, the future, the present.
Books. Psychology.
Words that should have been said, and things that should never have been mentioned at all.
More tossing and turning.
A feeling of longing somewhere deep down inside.
Random languages, random people.
More silence.
A wish to talk to someone, about life and adventure and crazy politicians.
Breathing deeply.
Jumping on a train to Denmark, flying to Poland, running off to Siberia.
Dreams and reality.
The impossibility of life.
2.08 a.m.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

EU Foreign Policy & Muumintrollet

I finally took the EU Foreign Policy exam. And it was actually quite interesting. Writing about bilateralism, multilateralism and all other fun things related to international relations in Spanish was probably quite useful as well, from a strictly language learning point of view.

 Yesterday I found this mug, and as it was a gift it could also come home with me. The Moomins are very popular creatures here in Finland. Those of you who have never heard about these trolls, can find more information here.
The above mug is produced by Finnish manufacturer Arabia, and it belongs to a big collection consisting of about 40 mugs. I would almost dare to say that it is an essential part of Finnish culture, as almost every household has a mug or two (or 25).

No mug without tea. This organic infusion from Clipper is soo yummy!

Personal Challenge: Skip the Meat

I have had the idea for a while now, and finally I feel like I'm ready to embark on the journey of not eating any meat for two weeks.

Many of my friends are vegetarians, and they all have their different reasons for not eating meat. Some feel sorry for the animals, while others do not like the taste. My reason is quite simple: I want to see if my body feels better or worse without eating meat.

There are some basic rules that I will try to abide by:

  • Variety and creativity: skipping the meat does not mean that the food has to be boring. In fact, there are lots of yummy vegetarian dishes out there that are worth discovering. The above mentioned vegetarian friends are living proof of this!
  • It's just about the meat: dairy, eggs and fish are more than welcome. This is not an attempt to become a vegan!
  • Iron and protein: what worries me the most is not getting enough iron (iron deficiency is the greatest suspect for causing my tendency to faint in public places), so this is something I have to pay attention to (bring on the spinach and the lentils). Meat is a very good source of protein, but eating a lot of fish (and those lentils) should be ok too.

Wish me luck, everybody! And if anyone wants to join the challenge, you are more than welcome to do so!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Resolutions 2010...

No shopping. check. Nothing new has found its home in my wardrobe (nor in my suitcase). Being in the forest helps a lot.

Polish: talking to Poles, films.
Russian: a couple of films.
Hungarian: err... class starts again in a couple of weeks. Until that my practice consists of the random music video on Youtube. 
Spanish: some films, some talking.

With a bit of luck, I'll find something to read in said languages at the library tomorrow.

In other words, something is happening although it could always happen a bit faster.

Maybe it's time to do something useful now.

sleeping late and philosophising. Reading Shanghai Baby. Messing around. Reading about the differences of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian. Some chatting and solving love problems. Overdosing on rye bread.

1 exam. Reading in the library. Dinner with friends (at 4 pm. Back in the North, as you can see!), seeing more friends. Tidying up a bit.

Sooooo sweet!

My brain continues being a bit fluffy and my mood is ever so changing. At the moment though, life is being oh so sweet, as I just found photos of some friends, looking so sweet and happy that they could cheer up even the coldest hearted thing there is.

Instead of reading facts, I read stories. Lots of them. The realities of other people are invading me.
Instead of jumping out of bed in the morning, I stay there until noon and try to figure out what it is that I am feeling. If I'm feeling anything, that is.

And I try to see my dreams, but they are somewhere else right now. I try to touch them, but they are hiding.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Fluffy Head and Katyn [Gdzie Andrzej?]

You know your head is fast asleep when you can't tell whether you are listening to Polish or Russian. Both just sound the same.

Today's "lullaby" (listening but not watching while all curled up under a couple of blankets) is the film Katyn by Andrzej Wajda (hence the mix of Polish and Russian. They do some shouting in German as well). Listening to it might not be the most clever thing to do, as it will probably cause nightmares for days to come, but it tells the story of a very important piece of European history and I believe that it is something that one should be aware of.

I dream of a roadtrip

Or a traintrip... or any kind of trip that will take me from Warsaw to Athens and let me see all those places in between while having a laugh with good friends. Prague isn't really on the way, but it might well be worth a visit. A stop in Kraków is also a must, since I've never been there before, somehow I managed to miss it. And I forgot to mark Sarajevo, that town should not be forgotten either.

Missions of the Day

Find something incredible to read. Drink tea. Visit the museum. Meeting friends.

Nothing complicated, just good, basic stuff that might make me feel better.

Monday, 11 January 2010

I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up.

But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'aww'!

Jack Kerouac - On the Road

Green Tea with a Hunch of Cranberry

This flavoured green tea from Twinings is a welcome addition in my collection. Although it's not the tastiest kind of tea there is (according to the people at Twinings, the flavour of cranberry is sweet; if you ask me. it's bitter), it is fresh and different compared to all the "old" varities of green tea (jasmine, sencha, with lemon, with mint etc).

It's definitely worth a try!


How come you can spend all day in some dark, sleepy state where all you want to do is hide under the covers, but as soon as the clock hits nine you're filled with some unexplainable energy and all you want to do is conquer the world?

Sunday, 10 January 2010


The one good thing about being on a strict non-shopping-diet is that you can spend your money on far more interesting things, like flavoured water. Thank you, Sweden. We love you for this!

Going (almost) French in Stockholm

25 and Confused

Are you in your mid-20s and feeling that your immediate death is near? And that your life is a mess, you have no career to speak of, that you wasted a big part of your life on trying to achieve results that turned out to be completely useless? That you would like to hide in the bushes and when you hesitantly poke your nose out from there, the world will have turned pink and pretty and everything will have been all figured out?

The good news are that you are not alone. Personal crises come and go, and it seems that the quarter-life crisis has become something of a real headache for twenty-something university graduates, who have worked hard to get where they are just to be punched in the face by Life.

At 25 (or before, or a bit after) you are likely to start analysing every single aspect of your life. You realise that you might actually die someday (and that day might come soon), the insecurity regarding financial matters and one's personal achievements, goals and dreams increases, and the combination of fear, unsatisfaction and frustration leads one to scrutinize personal relationships, employment and pretty much one's whole future.You sit there with a nice paper from a top university and nobody appreciates it. Everyone else is getting married, or having children, or travelling the world, or working in the City, or having some cake all the time and still staying slim.

The bad news is that I cannot offer you any clever and foolproof advice on how to survive the crisis: I'm in the middle of my own. Unemployed, qualified and confused. Nevertheless, I have a hunch that maybe time is an important factor: there is plenty of it (unless that truck runs you over and you indeed die young), no decisions have to be made on this very spot at this very moment. Another good piece of advice (stolen from here) is to figure out what you want to do with yourself. A lot of people run around, not knowing what they want to do with their lives. Take a deep breath and answer the following questions: what do you do for fun? And what are you passionate about? It is important that the passions come from within, that they're not something that someone else is imposing on you. What are you really good at? It could also be a good idea to check your signature strengths over at the Authentic Happiness-site. Why? Well, for starters, once you know what you are good at and where your heart lies, it might be easier to start figuring out the rest.

Remember to stay motivated and positive: life might feel tedious and horrible right now, but this is also an opportunity to search your soul and to to find your path. Who knows, you might even be able to avoid the mid-life crisis in 15 years or so from now.

Ok, let's stop here. As this whole “surviving the crisis of 25”- project is very much ongoing, I will keep this updated. I would also like to hear comments from people who have survived or are going through the same process.

Heard On the Radio

I'm not really a great fan of love songs, but this one really makes me sad, even if there's nothing sad about it.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Satu & Anselmi

Please send me your addies on my e-mail (sasucaaa at gmail dot com), your comments to the earlier post (are you bribeable?) will be rewarded.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Things for 2010

New year, new decade... and new adventures.

I just created a list of things I want to do in 2010 in my Happiness Project Toolbox, and thought that I'd share it with you here in the blog as well:

  1. Return to univeristy: either continue in my own field or start on something completely new. I have realised that life without studying isn't for me.
  2. Improve my language skills: Russian, Polish, Spanish and Hungarian. German?
    - Russian: current level- advanced. Not only do I need to maintain a certain level of everyday-Russian, but I also need to read more advanced texts (mainly politics & social sciences). Talking would be good as well. 
    - Polish: current level- upper intermediate/advanced: talk, talk, talk. Get to a more advanced level. One day, I want to be completely fluent.
    - Spanish: the goal is to take the DELE-exam at C-level. 
    - Hungarian: apart from passing the exams, my plan is just to improve and have fun while doing so.
    - If there's enough time, I would also like to dedicate some time reviving my German skills. 
    1. Exercise: pilates, 4x week, running 2/3 x week.
    2. Travel more: only a fool would not take advantage of open invitations to Athens, Poland and the United States.
    3. Be inspired: more writing, reading and photography.
    4. Be more ecologial.
    5. Eat better: actually, the goal is to get a flatter stomach, hopefully less chocolate and healthier food will contribute. 
    6. No shopping until May. You already knew about this one :D