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Archive for September, 2010

30.09.10 – Yes!!! I went to view an apartment yesterday and it’s sweet! I took the kids there in the evening and we all agreed it’s “the” place. The landlord seems very cool too. It’s across from the park I’m currently staying at so it won’t be too much a move. I’m familiar with the neighborhood and I really enjoy it. Max, Emma and I got up to the place just before sunset and the views are amazing. The bedrooms, there are two, have views of the ocean and some rooftops of the neighborhood which are very colorful. The living room has a balcony and views of the park. The apartment is on the top floor which is the eighth. Hopefully I can move in next week! Keep fingers crossed.

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29.09.10 – Meet Sisu, Otso and Voima.

One of the busiest and most often visited areas of Helsinki is the harbor where the big boats leave for Stockholm, Talin and other points which can be reached by sea. Most visitors to the city are familiar with the market place at the harbor and the big Viking and Silja cruise ships which arrive in the morning and depart in the evening. Not everyone is familiar with the harbor on the SouthEast side, opposite the Viking Line, which is home to the icebreakers which keep the sea lanes open during the cold winter months. So far I’ve only seen them sitting in the harbor but as the days grow shorter and colder, I can’t wait to see these three ships in action.

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28.09.10 – There’s a small place just outside my front door which turns out to be a karaoke bar. It’s called the Karaoke Bar Restroom. At first I thought they were just advertising the bar had both karaoke and a restroom but no, it’s the name of the place! I’ve only been in once but I plan to go again. I’ve been studying Finnish most nights and the one time I went I felt like I was still studying. I tried to listen to the words to the songs when they sang in Finnish, although most of the songs are in English. As usual, the Finns tend to speak… and sing!… English very well. There was one guy although, that could barely stand up and he kind of growled/slurred through a version of Billy Idol‘s Rebel Yell.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I love this guys stuff.” It’s nice to offer someone else’s work on the blog too. Hope you all enjoy.

Neo-Baroque apartment building on Annankatu Neo-Baroque apartment building on Annankatu, originally uploaded by Brin d’Acier. Most buildings in this neighbourhood date from the late 19th century, and range from Neo-Renaissance to Art Nouveau. This one is from 1898. … Read More

via Mille Croquis

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27.09.10 – I had a great time in Spain. It was just what I needed. Now that I’m back, I’m recharged and ready to start a new chapter. It was hard before I left because I knew there were so many things I wanted to do in Finland and I hated putting things on hold, even for a week.

It’s great to be back already. I had my Finnish for Foreigners class today and I can’t tell you how good it was to see my classmates. They saved the lesson plans that were passed out the week for me and they were excited to hear about my trip to Spain. It was a real warm welcome and it really made me feel great to be back.

I’m also looking for an apartment now with a goal to find something within two weeks. I’ve had time to figure out which neighborhoods I like in Helsinki, I have a good feel for what the market has to offer and I’m ready to settle down. It feels good to be moving forward in that direction.

I have focus!

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26.09.10 – All of my “stuff” is tied up in storage right now because I haven’t found an apartment yet :( Max and I are big time gamers so it was great to find out there was a game fair called Games People Play being held on the weekend. EA and Nintendo were two of the big sponsors, so it sounded like fun.

The building and location of the event were interesting too. It was held at the Kaapelitehtaalla in the Ruoholahti neighborhood of Helsinki. Kaapelitehtaalla translates to The Cable Factory, is a beautiful old factory building which was acquired by the city of Helsinki and converted to a cultural center.

There were a number of demo stations so Max and I dove in. Unfortunately 90% of the consoles were running EA’s latest NHL game. Well, we are in Finland so I guess hockey dominates. Luckily Nintendo doesn’t have a serious hockey game so there were also some Mario games to test out. Max showed the Finns how to dominate Super Mario Galaxy!

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25.09.10 #2 – It was so nice to get back to Helsinki and make a beeline to Jaana’s place to see the kids. Unfortunately, my little girl Emma has become miss popularity since moving to Finland. Apparently, the night before she was at a sleepover and by the time I got home she had left to visit a friends summer-house.

Luckily my boy, Max, was ready and waiting. I hadn’t slept much the night before because my flight left at 0605. Max was ready to just chill with me so we rented two movies, The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Kick-Ass. We also picked up some candy at the movie rental place. I’m not sure if all movie rentals are like the one I’ve been going to but at this one they have bulk candy that you can create your own bag.

It was a great homecoming!

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25.09.10 – Time to head back home, Finland that is. We said our goodbyes at the airport. Never easy. Never easy.

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24.09.10 – Yep, “lost” full day in Barcelona.

We spent our last day in Spain comfortably lost in a city worth loosing yourself in. We wandered the narrow streets off Las Ramblas never knowing what would be around the corner and all the much better for it. I wish the day would have never ended.

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23.09.10 – We made our way back to Barcelona today and as planned, we stopped at the Dalí Museum in Figueres. One thing Anita and I learned while we visited Dalí’s home in Port Lligat was how he was involved in so many types of artistic expression. He drew, painted, sculpted, wrote books and screenplays. He even did some work with the Marx Brothers! The museum in Figureres was a comprehensive display of his drawing, paintings and sculptures. Most probably know Dalí as a bit of an oddball but when you get to see more of his work you get to see more of his “genius.” We saw a scope of work which spanned from the abstract to the more conservative and beautiful pieces. I’m no art critic so it’s hard to explain but I love his work. Sometimes it’s just fun.

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