Friday, 31 December 2010
Soon I’ll start work, then get ready in a rush (nie wiem jeszcze w czym chodzic… Wybierz cos szalonego). Something crazy it’ll be, and hopefully this evening will be great fun with some tremendously cool people.
I wish you all a very happy and adventurous 2011. *** Toivotan teille kaikille oikein onnellista ja seikkailurikasta uutta vuotta. *** Jag önskar er alla ett riktigt gott nytt år fyllt med roliga och spännande äventyr. *** Zycze wam wsystkim bardzo szczesliwego nowego roku wypelnionego przygodami. *** Os deseo un feliz año nuevo con mucha risa y muchísimas aventuras. *** Nagyon boldog új évet kívánok mindenkinek. *** Я желаю вам всем счастливого Нового года с многими приключениями.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
2010 might be ending with a bang, but then again, it feels like it’s been a really intensive year filled with different kinds of bangs. A year full of fantastic memories, people, experiences, decisions... There has been a great deal of sadness, but even that was marvellous. Sad moments, maybe more than the the good ones, remind us of the importance of living and being happy. I will keep all those memories in my heart.
Being playful is one of the goals for 2011.
2011 then? There’s still not much structure when it comes to my goals and dreams, but if I close my eyes and let my mind wander freely there are a whole list of things that I’d like to do:
- Travel to a new place. We have been discussing this with TT and maybe we’ll be visiting a certain European capital in April. Fingers crossed. And keep those fingers crossed even tighter for the possibility of us going to the certain neighbouring country of the certain capital to visit I, A & P. I’ll give you a hint:
Yes, Ivana. I want to come and visit YOU! ;)
- Do the summer courses I mentioned in an earlier post.
- Exercise as much as possible: because it feels so incredibly great afterwards.
- Find an internship in a company specialising in something related to my studies. The ideal would be something that combines international relations, risk analysis and languages.
- Spend lots of time with my lovely friends. It’s slightly difficult because they are spread around Europe, but if there is a will…. there will be a way :)
- Be more creative and also visit more exhibitions and other interesting events.
- Run at least one longer race.
- Talk more Polish, learn some Czech… try to finish my studies in Hungarian so that I can continue at a more advanced level in 2012. Also try to update my Russian.
- Cook /and eat/ lots of exotic food.
- Get to know some new people.
- Be happy, optimistic and positive.
Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Warning: this post will make no sense whatsoever.
I was going to write something clever, but couldn’t find the words, so here you go: pictures of two of the best looking women (according to Zsuzsi) right now.
Keira Knightley: one of the most beautiful actresses in the world + a fantastic dress.
Anna-Maria Lacatus competes in body fitness, blogs and is very inspirational with her self-discipline, motivation and killer body.
Monday, 27 December 2010
One of the best Christmas gifts this year, a book that I’d recommend to... well, everyone!
The Cowards (1958) is Josef Skvorecky's blackly comic tale of post-war politics that was immediately banned on publication. In 1945, in Kostelec, Danny is playing saxophone for the best jazz band in Czechoslovakia. Their trumpeter has just got out of a concentration camp, their bass player is only allowed in the band since he owns the bass, and the love of Danny's life is in love with somebody else. But Danny despairs most about the bourgeoisie patriots in his town playing at revolution in the face of the approaching Red Army - not least because it ruins the band's chance of any good gigs.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always a difficult one. Basically, too many emotions are squeezed into seven days and the result is usually a what the Finns call an itkupotkuraivari (complete loss of self control- yes, I had to use that word because it’s quite funny). I’m still eagerly waiting for the day when frustration will turn into serenity.
As soon as I stop taking care of myself, everything starts going downhill. It took years to realise that the whole entity that is known as "me" works best when it’s being given proper food, when there is some exercise involved and when there’s something exciting to look forward to. If there aren’t any interesting plans, then make some quick. As soon as the brain receives warnings about "potential boredom", it goes into itkupotkuraivari-mode. Without fail.
It’s been difficult to find any inspiration lately. The most interesting thing I have managed to cook is a boiled egg, plans for the future are running havoc in my head and I’m completely unable to grasp them. I’m trying to come up with a good plan for my own fitness and wellbeing, but deciding on the goals is tough. What is it that I want to achieve? No idea. The lingering thought of achievement is always there. There has to be a reason, not "just because". At least I found a few interesting uni courses for summer: if and when everything else fails, political science will surely brighten your day!
Speaking of uni: the other day I realised that I’ve done 1/3 of my BAand 1/4 of my MA, and I really didn’t know whether I should have laughed or cried.
Saturday, 25 December 2010
The film I’m watching is called Zelary and this far I’m liking it a lot. Watch it if you can! It’s also fun to check how much I understand of the Czech, my estimate is 75% (audio + subtitles) which isn't too bad at all, although it requires a lot of concentration.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Sometimes it strikes me: the clarity that there is no other place in life where I’d rather be than right here and right now. I’ve been blessed with a slightly crazy, but absolutely adorable family. I’ve lived in different places, met fascinating, gorgeous people. Our paths might never cross again, but they will always be in my heart. Then there are those people who will always be in my life, even if they live far away. It’s such a relief to you know that even after not seeing each other for months or years, you can just walk into a coffee shop, order a latte or whatever and talk like you’ve never been apart. And then there are other things too: love, the possibility to go on a quest to fulfil goals and dreams. I come down with a flu about every three years, there’s the chance to study as much as my head can take.
Having goals and aspirations is good, but it is equally important to take a good look around and appreciate all the fantastic people, opportunities and experiences that you have been given,
On Thursday we are organising a small pre-Christmas party for our closest friends, and since so many of us are foreigners (total: 4 Spaniards + 1 Swede + 1 Canadian + 1 Frenchman + moi, la finlandaise), the plan is that everyone will bring some typical dish from their countries. Since this grand event is taking place in my own house, I see this as the perfect opportunity to make myself lots of Finnish Christmas food (I doubt the others will be as excited about it, considering that Finland isn’t really famous for its fine cuisine). This in turn means that I’ll have to find some rather unusual ingredients for Spain, one of them being the rutabaga. I’ve seen it in the supermarkets, but usually it comes in packs with lots of other vegetables, which I really don’t need (I can just see myself carrying on 10 kg of root vegetables just so that I’ll have enough rutabagas for my humble needs).
The plan is to make a casserole which is a very typical dish in Finland at Christmas time, hopefully you will get to see the end result later. By the way, this root vegetable is also very tasty when mashed (like mashed potato without the potato) or in salads. Oh and it’s really delicious when eaten raw! :)
Monday, 20 December 2010
After walking and shopping all day I feel like taking a nap, but no can do right now. Instead I’ll do a slightly silly meme before doing something more useful.
10 things that you dislike more than anything else.
- Being cold.
- People who think they are better than everyone else.
- Flower print on underwear.
- Raw chicken.
- Journalists who don’t know how to pronounce things/names correctly.
9 things that are typically you.
- Ditziness and absentmindedness
- Loves to cuddle
- High expectations
- A working equilibrium between being quiet and inability to keep mouth shut
- Refusal to acknowledge any limits whatsoever
8 things that will charm you
- Sexy accent
- Nice hair
7 things you are wishing for right now
- Enough motivation and self-discipline to achieve my goals
- A peaceful Christmas for everyone
- That various family members will feel better soon
- The perfect body
- A trip to Hungary
- Something hot to drink
Six things you do first thing in the morning
- Check phone
- Walk the dog
- Make coffee and drink it
- Wash face
- Switch on the laptop and check mails
- Get dressed
Five people who know about your worries
- Sometimes my boyfriend, but usually I prefer to keep quiet about them
Four things you are addicted to
- Energy in all forms
The three most beautiful things anyone has said to you
- One day you’ll shine
- “Eres un trasto”
- I like you.
The two things you are most afraid of
Let me think about it.
Sunday, 19 December 2010
It feels so good to be back home again, the journey was very long, frustrating, cold and miserable. It started on Friday at 8 am, and I arrived in Valencia yesterday at 5.30 pm. Most of Friday was spent at the University (the photos below are from campus): and as always, it was great. There are some extremely interesting people in our class, and the subject isn’t too bad either. We were given a really interesting lecture on the psychological aspects of decision making by Peter Juslin, a professor specialized in cognitive psychology at the University of Uppsala.
Our lectures are always held at the same place as the classes in…
…Slavic languages. My heart breaks every single time. Seriously, one day I want to be “more involved” with that part of Europe. But until then, popular psychology in Russian will have to do.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
I have the best friends and brothers. After coming back from town I collapsed into bed, and getting up again was hellish [there’s no motivation for exam writing whatsoever]. Somehow I managed to get my eyes open, stumble down the stairs and open the fridge. And what was in the fridge?
Apparently my brother had gotten me two of these:
I would run upstairs and give him a huge hug, but a) he’s asleep b) he hates being woken up and c) he doesn’t do hugs.
Now the syntax of Hungarian suddenly sounds a whole lot more exciting. Battery makes syntax fun.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Mirad lo que me encontré en la estantería de mis padres:
La versión sueca.
Sebastián mentioned it in his blog so obviously I had to start looking for my own copy, which was hidden in my parents´ book shelves together with some Henning Mankell, The Master and Margarita (in Russian) and the Bible. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a really captivating reading experience. I’d recommend it to almost anyone who loves stories of any kind.
What books do you like?
First to the quotes: these thoughts by Ralph Waldo Emerson are such a positive way to start the day:
“The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck. “
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Positive thinking is what I need right now: I’m spending a second day in bed, experimenting with hot drinks. I’m not feeling as ill as yesterday when I had sore throat, headache and low body temperature. My voice is still gone, but it’s easier to exist with a clear head. Unfortunately I couldn’t go to the library for a study session (next exam starts tomorrow) this morning, but I’ll try to do some reading on value theory here at home… and the weather is so lovely and “fairly warm” (-5 that is ) I’d like to go for a walk . Tonight I’ll spend some quality time with one my oldest friends.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Protestants aren’t that keen on celebrating saints, but on December 13th we celebrate the memory of St. Lucy (Santa Lucia) with lights, a parade, sweets and Christmas songs.
Saffron buns (Lussekatter in Swedish) are typical on this day.
One of my favourite Christmas carols is Nu tändas tusen juleljus. Here’s the Norwegian version, sung by Sissel.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Ok, let’s try to get some attention from Alf. I am the queen of the house and I demand cuddles.
Alf didn’t notice me, he’s so mean. Time for revenge, let’s eat his crisps.
Fresh fish and scared rats taste so much better. Humans must be really strange, eating this kind of tasteless junk. But wait, I still need some cuddles. Who’ll be my next victim?
Saturday, 11 December 2010
After lots of wondering (why don’t people know how to behave in airplanes?), stressing (managed to miss one ferry and one bus) and running in the snow, I’m now finally on the ferry. Thank God there is free wifi, otherwise I don’t know how I’d stand it until 3.30 am with a bunch of drunkards (the ferries between Sweden and Finland are all about –relatively- cheap alcohol and partying) Now I can at least prepare for my oral exam on Monday.
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Today I had every intention to have fun at bodypump. Unfortunately, I was the only one who arrived on time, so the class had to be cancelled. I decided to attack the treadmill instead, and it was fun while it lasted. Intervals are good fun. Unfortunately my lower back (the area around my kidneys) is now so sore that I can barely walk. Wonderful! It might be time for a little break from running. Sniff.
At least I managed to finish my exam: one down, about four more to go. Bring it on!
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Days like this I’m really happy that I’m working from home. It’s a luxury to be able to work while being cuddled up in a blanket in candle light and with lots of hot tea. My body is so sore after yesterday’s exercise that keeping still is the best thing to do right now. Someday I’ll probably end up in a office again, but it’s needless to say that they’ll have to offer me quite a lot for it to be worth it.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Monday, 6 December 2010
No makeup: check. An extremely depressed face: check. Horrendous posture: check. Teenage skin and Finnish babyface: check and check.
And this is what? Me getting cosy with my little brother while drinking battery and hiding from the camera... nono. Not like this. NOOO! I think little brother agreed with the NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
I’ve been sitting all day in front of the computer, working on Hungarian exams and homework. Also managed to squeeze in a psychology quiz at some point. No proper food, just a lot of coffee and a couple of flans and tangerines. No fresh air either. I think it’s time to get changed and go for a run in the dark, it can’t continue like this: my brain might explode.
- Vårt land, vårt land, vårt fosterland,
- Ljud högt, o dyra ord!
- Ej lyfts en höjd mot himlens rand,
- Ej sänks en dal, ej sköljs en strand,
- Mer älskad än vår bygd i nord,
- Än våra fäders jord.
The country has walked a long and rocky road to get where it is today: a civil war in 1918 left deep wounds in the population, and these would not heal until the three wars in 1939-1945 (the Winter War, the Continuation War and the Lapland War). The situation after the wars was tough; war debts had to be paid, the economy had to get back on its feet, and the relationship with the Soviet Union was tense.
Today Finland is a good country to live in (says the one who got away). It’s not perfect, and there is a lot that could be improved, but I think that today is a day to remember the past and to be grateful for everything we have today. What we have now was accomplished with a lot of hard work, sisu and stubbornness. Tomorrow we will think about the future.
On days like this, even a pacifist finds beauty in the following poem (which happens to be the honorary march of the Finnish Defence Forces). This poem was actually written by the same J.L. Runeberg. The translation, from 1901, is by an unknown person, and quite honestly, it doesn’t have the same glow as the Swedish and Finnish versions (* I took the freedom to swap the word "race" for "people"):
- Sons of a people* whose blood was shed,
- On Narva's field; on Poland's sand; at Leipzig; Lützen's dark hills under;
- Not yet is Finland's manhood dead;
- With foemen's blood a field may still be tinted red.
- All Rest, all Peace, Away! begone!
- The tempest loosens; lightnings flash; and o'er the field the cannon thunder
- Rank upon rank, march on! march on!
- The spirit of each father brave looks on as brave a son.
- No nobler aim
- Could light us to the field;
- Our swords are flame;
- Nor new our blood to yield;
- Forward each man, brave and bold!
- Lo! the glorious path of Freedom, centuries old!
- Gleam high! thou banner Victory-sealed!
- In the grey bygone days, long since, all battle-worn,
- Be still our splendid colours, though tattered, onward borne!
- Of Finland's ancient Standard there's yet a shred untorn.
This is the translation of the Finnish version of the poem (i.e. it’s not an exact translation of the original Swedish version). This is also the national anthem of Finland.
- Oh our land, Finland, birthland,
- echo loudly, golden word!
- No valley, no hill,
- no water, shore more dear
- than this northern homeland,
- this precious land of our fathers.
Saturday, 4 December 2010
The Spanish air traffic controllers managed to do something unheard of: for the first time in over thirty years, the government declared a "state of alarm" after a walk-out which led to cancelled flights and chaos at airports.
Apparently this is the culmination of a long struggle between the government and the workers. Without the inside information, it’s impossible to take a stand on who is right and who is wrong in this case, but in the aftermath of a rather odd general strike on September 29, it’s good to see someone is taking an initiative.
The economic situation in Spain bad and the general feeling I get is that people are rather fed up with the government. However, not much action is seen. There are the usual complaints, maybe some protests and demonstrations, but that’s it.
Action is the key to change, but a lot of people seem to have forgotten about it. Not only in Spain, but in all of Europe people are just waiting for someone to make the right decisions for them, to save them. This is not going to happen. We need more action and more unity. And plenty of solidarity. So maybe this will serve as evidence of the fact that action leads to change. The air traffic controllers might not get everything they asked for in the first place, but at least they have proven that they are willing to fight for change. Just imagine what it would be like if every person would do this in order to show their dissatisfaction instead of just complaining?
… és regén elvesztettem a fejem. What on earth? That’s just a way of cheering myself up by learning completely useless phrases like and I lost my head a long time ago.
Natalie asked about the languages on my computer, and even though I answered that comment, the above picture pretty much shows what it looks like most of the time. Swedish, Hungarian and Polish in a lovely mix.
I also have a couple of questions for you, dear readers: which languages do you speak? Is there any language you’d desperately want to learn? What are your best tips for learning a foreign language?
If you don’t like people who are complaining until their faces are red with rage, don’t read this post. Just look for something better on the internet, it’s surely filled with fun stuff.
Today is not being a good day. What’s wrong? Firstly, it’s starting to get cold. And when it gets cold my body refuses to wake up and get out of bed. So instead of cheerfully jumping out of bed at 9.00 am (which was the plan) and go to the gym and then do some studying, I woke up when my friend called me at 11.20. My head hurts. My left ear hurts. I should be getting dressed, but instead I and my coffee cup are still hiding under the blankets. In 30 minutes we should be in town.
Messing up my own plans makes me angry. Life is so much easier when one gets everything done. And manages to squeeze in some relaxing and/or fun activities as well.
Now the plan is this: go to town – have lunch – study date with myself at Starbucks – come home – go for a run – go grocery shopping – study – study some more – go to sleep.
I’m sure at least a couple of these “links” will break.
Sen pituinen se.
Friday, 3 December 2010
Reading right now: metaphysics. Why? Только Бог знает почему... and maybe our professors. Apparently it’s useful for making good decisions.
This Friday will be spent with Hungarian noun cases, more precisely the elative and the illative. Just add some Hungarian radio and the brainwashing will be almost complete.
The other day I had an extremely nerve-wracking experience: I had to visit the local whateverit’scalledinEnglish office (in other words, a government agency). The only way to calm my upset nerves was to take stupid and blurry pictures in the loo. Say hi to the guiri. (apparently I so look like a foreigner)
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Since it’s the World AIDS Day, I did something unheard of and joined an FB event: “Wear Red In Honor of Those Living With…”. (actually I’m in the “Hug a Finn”-event too, but unfortunately there are no Finns to hug. Just a Swede. Anyhow: I’m wearing red (and hiding it under lots of other clothes because it’s too cold to just wear a tank top)
Oh. Did I tell you I wouldn’t write anything else about food? Well, I lied: in an attempt to make the world a better place by sharing inspiration, I must tell you about yet another delicious dish. Well, I think it’s delicious, the problem is that nobody dares to try my cooking, so it might all be an illusion created by my taste buds.
Spaghetti, turkey, mushrooms, feta cheese, tandoori paste, parsley and lots of chopped garlic. No vampires will be entering this house tonight.
It looks like I’ve been cursed by absentmindedness. Every time I go to the gym, I lose or forget something, and now my phone charger and USB-thingy have both disappeared (from home, although they could possibly be in Stockholm). Ironically, we are doing a module on cognitive psychology right now, so any clever person would take some tips from there and just try to sharpen their minds. However, the problem with being absentminded is that you don’t realise you’ve forgotten something until you actually notice that the thing is gone.
So I need your help: do you have any ideas on how not to lose personal belongings?