28 September 2011

E-Day + 30

I've officially been here for a month. That's 8 months of my stay here left to go. It's been a rough month with lots of money spent on starting up, mistakes made on buying food and my refusal to accept that I should be living for Finland and Erasmus rather than obsessing about what's going on at home. Few lessons have been learned, all of them valuable in life!

I don't mind cleaning plates and whatnot now. Crucially, I don't mind cleaning other peoples' plates and glasses. With their food on them. I'm one of those people who finds other peoples' food both sacred (do not touch) and disgusting (do not touch!!!) but now I don't mind. We have to stay on top of cleaning dishes and saucepans and all that and of course cutlery. The place would fall apart otherwise, and me with it.

Washing my clothes is so easy and whatnot and indeed more satisfying. I do not mind washing my clothes in the communal laundry. I do not mind having to book two hour slots for a tiny machine. I do not mind the idea of buying detergent every few weeks. I do not mind the idea of doing multiple loads every week. I can do this now, I can do this for life. I also always loved drying clothes but it feels more worth it now to use the drier and wear the clothes afterwards. So warm and toasty!

I am sick of this 5 month vacation. I haven't had college since March and my exams were finished by May. So technically I haven't been to a lecture in 7 months. I miss the structure of my day that I used to have. It's only around the time I was in Leaving Cert did I start to get sick of the summer dragging on for July and August. Now I feel that sensation again. I want my structured day of eating, coffee, lectures, work and study that I used to have. I am much more conducive to society that way than I am now! Even when it starts, I'll still have only 8 hours a week. But I'll study for around 20 hours a week, so it should balance out!

I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm not in Ireland any more, I should stop fussing about the drama and the politics. I am absolutely sickened by the actions of some people but I suppose I can't blame them too harshly. I figure that my return will be less celebrated than I used to think, so I must make the most of now. There are two drinking parties on Thursday and Friday, so that should keep me going. I'll try and distance myself from Ireland as best as possible, saving my time for only the very best of friends who aren't just the friends who stayed about the longest, but the ones who never left me. There will be showdown in either December-January or March I'd say, when I'm back for a time. After that, nothing left to do but finish Final Year in relative peace and then leave that country when I can.

I can barely imagine what it'll be like after March and May at the latest. I have something very important to take care of from there on out, but I don't know how that'll pan out. I also have someone that I've built my life around and I hope they don't go on me. She is visiting me here next Monday, so we'll see how that goes!

A month in and I'm doing fine. I can only do better, despite the cold an the darkness that is coming. At this rate, I can totally do this!

25 September 2011

World Turning

Everybody's trying to say I'm wrong
I just wanna be back where I belong

World Turning
I gotta get my feet back on the ground
World Turning
Everybody's got me down

Maybe I'm wrong but who's to say what's right
I need somebody to help me through the night

World Turning
I gotta get my feet back on the ground
World Turning
Everybody's got me down

Maybe I'm wrong but who's to say what's right
I need somebody to help me through the night

World Turning
I gotta get my feet back on the ground
World Turning
Everybody's got me down

Turning, everybody's got me down
World Turning
Everybody's got me down

--Fleetwood Mac 1975

I kind of love this song right now. It sums up everything myself and herself are going through at home and abroad!

22 September 2011

E-Day + 24

All is well in Haliskyla. I've been practicing my German, my Swedish, my Finnish and my French. My Irish remains under-used and my English is dominant. I'm writing this while under the influence of beer and vodka, so pardon anything.

All is well here. It's been a very quiet weekend of movies and internet surfing. I've navigated most of my current web comics and must expand into a few others. Just to keep me entertained. I'm mostly settled in now, with most appliances bought or working all is well here. I've been at peace with my house mates since I've moved in so I've been very lucky!

We had our house party today. I had quite a bit of food before we started. I had cereal and a sandwich before the mandatory house meeting at half 4. There were a lot there and myself and Hamish attended. It was pretty much standard - no parties, so we were a bit nervous! There were meant t be 33 attending our house party that night! We all had gin, vodka, whiskey and plenty of beer to keep us going.

The house party was excellent. It was very packed for the first two hours but petered out after 12. It's 3:30 and I'm still posting. Finally met people like Natasha, Lea and Jasmine who I meant to meet at the start of the year. Some others as well that I hadn't meant in person I finally met! I was a great night. Spent most of it drinking, socializing and whatnot so was a happy host! The Mac were playing the whole time so delighted!

All is well in Turku. And my love is coming here in October so I'm happy out :)

14 September 2011

E-Day + 16

It's only been a little while since I've updated this but it feels like ages! A lot has happened to me personally in the last few days and a few new developments in Turku that are worth mentioning have happened!

On Friday and Saturday I hit a definite low. I was doing nothing, the weather outside was delightful and the whole thing was very frightful. It wasn't so much homesickness as it was boredom! I didn't really feel like doing anything so I just lay in bed or surfed the net. Whenever I thought about how little I was doing, I got upset and more sullen. Not cool!

I got much cheered up on Saturday night when myself and my two roomies went to a bar nearby and played pool and drank some beers. They taught me how to play better, which is good! I was happy to learn. We went to another place after for darts. We then returned home for junk cooking, which was really nice in the end! Felt much better. So much so Sunday was another off day but Skyped and mailed and was much happier after that!

On Monday we invited some people over for drinks and whatnot. I had coffee and water, wasn't in the state for alcohol again so soon! Lots of chat as we had a German, a Turk, a Belgian, a Scot, an Irishman and a Yank. The conversation quality fluctuated a lot and eventually drove the remaining guests from the house. Not in a bad way!

On Tuesday I got up early to meet my tutor for lunch. It was at half 11 so I was in bits! Hadn't slept well either. Didn't matter as we had a good chat and a fine lunch. He showed me where to find my key as well as got money from me that I owed him. I walked him to his lecture then went into town. I bought a camera at last and even though its disposable it'll do. Was very tired but still shopped around despite it all. Bought a card for Cathy too!

Today myself and Brian went in and I got my card programmed for the gym while he bought his card as I had the other day. It was absolutely pouring in Turku so we returned home - after buying some dried reindeer! It was good but very salty! Now I'm just chilling... I'll write something more substantive again soon!

08 September 2011

E-Day + 10

Ten days after touching down in Finland, I am doing very well for myself! I know a whole bunch of people from all over the world, have a flat that keeps getting more homely and all the time in the world to explore Turku.

I moved into my flat after scouting it out on foot without any bags one day. I took the long way around to get there but the whole time was in awe. Just outside the city itself are all these gorgeous forests, fields and sights that need to be captured to be believed! Eventually found Halinen and went into my flat. The other roommates weren't there yet or at the time but all I remember is how depressed I was looking at the place. It was a tip! The previous tenants had left it in a state. I left fairly soon and went back to the hotel. The moved in on the 1st of September. It was quite painful as I had to lug all my bags around and find the bus to my place. I found it and had to run in, introduce myself to my American flat mate Brian and then run off again - damn Orientation!

The Orientation course started on the 31st. A Japanese guy, Tomo, introduced himself to me when he saw me standing on my own. He'd been here since January. We went into a big lecture hall with all the other Erasmus students and met the academic coordinators as well as the tutors. There was a part where people had to stand up when their country was listed on the screen. There were many people from Germany, Spain and France but only 1 from Ireland and some others also only had one or two. I met my tutor, a Swedish-Finn called Frederic. He was dead on as he got my keys for me and was a huge help. He knew Tomo from before, so that was cool! I was absolutely wrecked from my 7am start so I went back to the hotel to sleep. The same thing happened on the 1st - more Orientation and more tiredness. A lot of money was spent on administrative expenses and whatnot too. Finland is hella expensive! I went back to my house in Halinen for more sleep on the 1st but was woken at midnight by my flatmates and a person they brought with them! I didn't mind too much I was just driven near insane until they eventually became more quiet. I met them the next day properly and we immediately hit it off. We all went to a night club that was having a welcome party but failed to get in. We went to my new favorite club, Klubbi, instead. It was quiet but nice!

I spent the weekend catching up on much needed sleep. Slept in for all hours and ate and walked about town. The weekend was good as I saw much of Turku. We had gone on a bus trip one of the Orientation days, but I was exhausted and didn't take in much. On the plus side, I was getting plenty of exercise from my walks as well as eating pretty much no processed or junk foods. I eat a lot of canned fruit though. I call it my US Army diet. I eventually bought enough so that I wouldn't need to go to the shop again, but this was after a few trips. I have very little meat bar packaged stuff, like the salami I bought. I bought a lot of cereal, pasta and rice as well as instant noodles. These provide a good staple food I can build onto every meal. I can also take advantage of the meals in the cafeteria, which cost 2.50 and are self service! I can shovel loads of food onto my plate, have two glasses of drink and have an extra plate of bread and salads. It's great!

This week was pretty busy. We went across the road to the Gregorius, which is a fairly large bar with a small, loyal clientele. We played darts and drank beer, it was good fun! I even randomly ended up in a conversation with one of the rough-looking locals. We discussed minority languages - it was great! We went back here to the flat and drank a little more before we finished up around 4 in the morning! That was on Sunday I think. On Wednesday, we had the welcome party in Klubbi to attend. There was a bit of pre-drinking in our apartment with 8 of us here! We had procured couches from the nearby game room, which was abandoned anyway. We got the bus over to Klubbi and got in no problem. Drinks were 2 euro, which was the cheapest thing we'd seen in Finland comparably yet. We met a lot of people that night and had a lot of beer. I spent about 20 euro so I bought 10 pints... about half of them went to me! I drank with Italians, Finns, Swedes, Germans, Poles, Russians, English, French, Spanish... I also wound up upstairs dancing with a group of Finns - they must have thought I was one of their own at that point! We eventually regrouped and headed home at around 3. The walk home was tough but we all made it in various states. A good night was had!

So a week and a half in and I'm having a great time. Still no luck on the job front; no classes until October and budgeting my time and money. Nonetheless, I'm very happy and all is well! On Wednesday the 7th I also managed to link up with the Turku University FanSci or Tyrma and became an unofficial member or their convention committee - English officer! They were nice to conduct their meeting in English for me :P