Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hello Helsinki

My third week in Finland:

I was in Helsinki on Saint Migual's Tapas Day. I traveled to Helsinki to have a look at the city of Sea.

I got down from the train and i headed to the famous Lutheren Church which is the famous landmark of Helsinki. I love big building with strong big pillar, they are very awesome. The church is white and i feel very pure in my heart standing in front of the church, high on the steps looking towards to the gulf of Finland.

Soon after, i take on the ferry, and travel across to an island called the Suomenlinna. It was a place that protected Finland from the invasion of Russia long time ago. You can see fortress, bunkers and cannons in that island.

I was lucky to visit Suomenlinna that day because that day was coincidentally the the 300th anniversary of the birth of the founder of the Suomenlinna fortress, Augustin Ehrensvärd. People wearing traditional costume and having some celebration within the island. I followed the marching band and enjoyed the activities they had around the island. Some memorial, sketches, cannon fire and photography session.

I also went to the edge of the island where it becomes my favourite hideout this far. Sitting on a big rock by the sea, looking farther to the opposite island. Sea waves hitting the rocks, sea gulls flying in the free open air, people yachting in the middle of the sea, cruise ships bringing merry crowds back from Stockholm or Talinn have been a great scene of relaxation.

Sitting beside with another traveler from Norway. We chatted about places we have been, showing off our travel companion-DSLRs and we share the common interest at this stage of life- See and experience the world when we are young.

Friday, September 24, 2010

In Tampere with Friends

Sitting on the VR train to Tampere, I saw wide fields, yellow woods, little cottages pass by the train window. My heart was longing for meeting my friends in Tampere.

I reached the city center and it was drizzling. Tampere is washing her face and welcoming me with a fresh look. Tampere impresses me in way of city planning with well-blended nature. This city has big buildings arranged nicely in grid, a big canal in the middle of the city with few bridges linked across. She has some great and historical cathedral and churches for prayers, music orchestra and of nice settings for wedding of course.

I met my friends and they gave me a warmest welcome I ever had in Finland. We walked around the city and visited the some churches, parks and the city square. It is indeed worth travelling for weekend wanderers. There is a mural along the wall edge between the roof and the ends of pillars. There are 12 children holding a long tied bush. Each of them has different load on them symbolizes how people carry their burden in life. I feel this mural is so real reflecting how life’s hitting us. We live the way we carry our responsibility, burden and ambition. Somebody have born burdens, some people are living carefree, and some of them have legacies in life. Well, what am I? I live in the way I choose. I am lucky and I appreciate my freedom of choosing my life.

Along the way, we went to Asian Market. At last I am able to get the ingredient for some Malaysia food-Curry Paste. We made curry chicken for our dinner. It’s been awhile my tongue hasn’t got challenged.

The next day, I was coincidentally lucky that I located at the right place, at the right time to attend an Asian gathering for celebrating mid-autumn festival. This gathering gathered a lot of Asian exchange students and some international students in a church. I have a great fun meeting new people from Asia. They are having the same life as I am. Studying abroad alone and facing new experience every moment, they leaving dearest friends and family at far side of the earth. Hence, when we chatted with each other, we felt the same telepathy frequency among us. The best of all is, we tasted mooncake in foreign land. Rare food always tasted more delicious. During the gathering, I meet many Chinese living in this Suomi land on various reasons. They are very helpful to each other, the root in heart and blood. I think this is the connection of ethnic. Living in foreign is never been easy. Finding identity among whites and blondes, these Chinese tolerate with people around, and trying to serve the community as well as they could be. They appreciate the opportunities given to them to start a new life.

Day dreaming when I was on the train back to my place from Tampere, my mind is recalling the smile and the laughter of my friends. I have a great time in the weekend. Unfolding my little torn scrap paper with some written contact of my new friends, this could unveil another subchapter of my life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Its Been A Week in Finland

Today marks my first week in Finland. Hence, i am here to express my impression about Suomi.

Finnish is always drunk. This is for sure. Drinking (a lot) is their culture, so you can see late at night, someone walking in dizzy, talking nonsense (not always) to stranger but in a very friendly way, you bet he is a Finnish.

Finnish likes coffee. Every class i have, they have coffee break. Lecturer will get a cup of coffee to wake up their brain cells, maybe coffee can cure yesterday's drunk hang over? i guess so.

Finnish is erotically cool. Most of the teens got piercings, girls have extreme colour dye on their hair, like pink, blue, green... They are always dressed like rock star.

Finnish can be cool if you don't know them, but once you are close to them, they are one of your best friend that you can get. Finnish is nice people generally.

Finnish sauna is the trademark. I tried and i starting to like it. In sauna, they heat up the rocks and pour water on them. The vapour rises and heat the whole room up. People inside soak in sauna naked. It is the culture, respect and bear with it. Its nothing after all. Keep cool~ Hence, Finnish child got early sex education.

So this is my impression about Finnish and Finland. I guess there will be more to be discovered. Time and people will show me the uniqueness of Finns.