31 January 2014

My new room

Mummy had decorated my new room here in Finland so pretty ready for me. When I was still living with my parents a few years ago I lived on the second floor, my older sister Sara downstairs and my younger sister Elina in a smaller bedroom upstairs. But now, naturally Elina has moved to the bigger room upstairs and Sara lives in Turku. So I got the biggest room downstairs, and I have to admit it feel so homely, cosy and warm now. I really enjoy it and sleep well in there. 

From the entrance

All I need for a good night sleep ;-)
Of course had to put up the most important decorations ;-)
I have my own little dressing area, space for shoes and a mirror of course. There is also plenty of space for clothes etc. Mum also managed to fit my two year old sofa and armchair in there, so it feels like home already. Now I just have to make it my own by filling it up with clothes, shoes and handbags ;-) 

30 January 2014

It's all over

Hello Finland!!

It's so weird being back home. I mean, I feel so happy being back to my family and all the "normal" things here in Finland, the stuff that I am used to. But at the same time, I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that I will not live at Korno ever again. At times this unpleasant feeling of sadness and missing the life in Groningen takes over my body and mind. I am sure that it takes a few days or even weeks to really understand the fact that for the next 7 months Pirkkala will be my hometown.
And get to sleep with this little lady <3
Also I keep thinking if I have forgotten to do something concerning my exchange, for example return some paperwork or something..

So yesterday at 14:25 we landed to Tampere-Pirkkala airport and dad was there to greet and hug me, and to help me with all my luggage. I had two check-in bags, a big carry-on, a canvas bag and my longboard of course. As I flew with Ryanair they did not have equipment for wrapping any extraordinary equipments, I had to check the board in just as it was without any case for it. It was quite nerve-wracking to wait and see if the board would even be as one piece arriving from the hold. As a coincidence one Finnish girl was on the same flight so it was nice to have company and the flight went by pretty fast, even though we were both quite emotional and super tired from leaving at 5:30am and also not sleeping the night before.

Souvenirs from Holland

Since my arrival I have enjoyed a fair bit of Ruispalat, the best rye bread in the world, using the oven by baking Whoopies for the first time, doing laundry with a decent laundry machine and of course enjoying the company of my family.

Not bad to come back to this sight!

Mom had decorated my room so pretty and changed the sheets for me to the ones that I got for Christmas<3 You can be sure I will enjoy my time at home real well ;-) No worry of me moving out any time soon, haha!
My thoughts at this moment are just all over the place, and I feel like even writing 100 lists wouldn't help me to clear out my head. I just unpacked the boxes I sent from Groningen via DHL(excellent service btw!) and did a huge pile of laundry. Now I am having my evening tea from this very wintery mug I got from Starbucks, so cute :-)

Tomorrow I will be heading to a birthday party in Jyväskylä and on monday I will start working again, so at least I will keep myself busy in the middle of all these emotions..

Emotional Goodbyes

My last night at Korno(tuesday 28th) was as emotional as it could have been. I was packing up all my last things and preparing my room for the check-out meeting (hopefully I remembered to clean everything..). In the end I managed to fit everything to my suitcases, even though the bigger one was way too heavy. 

At some point after midnight it was time to say goodbye to my dear friends as I was leaving so early in the morning so that they wouldn't see me. I had decided that I would be strong and not cry. I even did my make up to prevent me from tearing up, lol. For the last week I did not feel sad at all about leaving and was more exited than sad. But somehow during the last few hours all I did was cry. First I said goodbye to Kitty and she gave me a pic of Coco with a few words in the back of the pic. I couldn't even read the note as I was crying so much. At this point it hit me that I wouldn't wake up to these girls anymore. They wouldn't be at one door knock but thousands of miles away. My Italian neighbor just laughed at me and my crying-face haha. When Amyra got back it all just accumulated into a stream of tears and remembering all the bad things about Korno to make me feel a bit more happy. We enjoyed the last hallway meeting and big group hugs before I tried to sleep for a few hours but ended up just crying, haha.

The next morning, after just one hour of proper sleeping and otherwise mostly just sobbing, I opened the door and found the prettiest little paper on the floor. I opened it at 5:30 am while waiting for the bus at a freezing cold night. I saw people coming back from bars, singing and there I was, sitting alone crying. Me and my extremely puffy eyes got in to the bus and said goodbye to Groningen, hopefully not for good but for now.

Last elevator-selfie

These two ladies in particular made my 5 month stay in Groningen the best that I could have asked and better that I ever hoped. We had so much fun together. I can't believe I had the privilege to get to know them and become friends. It was so soon that we were "the three musketeers" as Brian would say and I felt so comfortable with them and could share anything. They did not judge me and, hopefully, loved me just as my silly self. 

:') <3
Of course, the past semester I had the opportunity to meet so many new people from all over the world and, with some of them, become friends. I feel like I understand different cultures way better and many personalities have opened my eyes to new things in this world. I have had amazing conversations with people from Italy, Bulgaria, France, USA, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Ukraine, China, Tibet and the list goes on. My love towards traveling has only grown and in the future I hope to meet at least some of these people again. 

This is how I left my room - with no soul and looking so sad
And this is how it looked like the next day - haha 
I would like to say: Thank You! to everyone making my past five months amazing. I hope to remember all these beautiful moments for years and years, with that to help me luckily I have over 6 000 pics to remind me ;-)

28 January 2014

What day is it again

For two whole days I was so stressed, overwhelmed and confused about this moving out thing.. I felt like I had so much to do and no time for all of it. In these situations, the best solution for me is to actually see the data and to do-lists are my best friend. After listing all to do's it's easy to see at what stage everything is and that things get done one by one. 

Today I finally sold my bike, which was my biggest concern and also I finally packed the boxes. Now I only need to tomorrow take some paperwork to uni and do some final touches for my luggages. If the weather lets us, we are also finally going to make a visit to the Martini tower to see the city from up high. 

A couple of days ago, we finally got actual snow here in Groningen too. And it actually lasted for more than one night. Of course the spanish and Italians went crazy, but at least for a good reason. It was super duper pretty after that first night of snowing. Hopefully the same view will be available in Tampere too, even though one of my friend already scared me with a comment that there would be even less snow in Finland than in here!! :-O

Its so weird to think that the next time I will be writing something to here, it will probably be in Finland and this time permanently. Next week someone else will be living in my room, sleeping in my bed and having fun with my hallway mates. I guess it's a good thing I have somewhat a lot of plans for the upcoming spring, so time will fly past fast.

26 January 2014


Thursday is recognized as a shopping day in Holland and the shops can be open as late as 9pm, so of course I had to obey the rules and go for a little trip to Amsterdam ;-) Either way, I had in mind to do a "last" visit there so a shopping Thursday was a perfect time for this.

Amsterdam is so confusing to me. It's a very beautiful city, with a lot of things going on but somehow  I'm not too fond of it. The layout of the city is so obscure and to be able to see everything you kind of have to go first down then to the right and them to the left; so getting to places takes a lot of time and effort. Also because of the small roads between the canals and houses it feels super crowded and tight. There are roads going straight, coming from three different directions and somewhere the road goes around and sometimes straight. Just confusing. In my opinion, to be able to get the best experience out of Amsterdam you either have to really know the city and all it's streets or do a lot of research and plan your trip really well ahead. I don't know the city and I suck at planning my trips so for me it has always been just randomly going around.

The department store  De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam has a really good selection of designers presented so I wanted to do a little visit there. They have for example Maje and Sandro, All saints, COS and Whistles. Also brands like Topshop and Karen Millen. Their bag collections is always to-die-for! Gorgeous, gorgeous bags from Alexander Wang, Celine, Balenciaga, Proenza Schouler.. You name it. Basically all my favorites under one roof; Heaven-On-Earth! Everything is so my style and god help me if my 16-year-old self would have been let to go there.. Mummy's bank account would be in debt even today. They also have Hermes and Louis Vuitton shop-in-shops so not a bad environment to spend time at. It's also a good thing I didn't do my exchange anywhere closer to Amsterdam, for example Utrecht, my bag and sweater collection could be a lot broader but on the other hand my bank account figures not looking so positive.

This was my fourth time in Amsterdam and my plan was to check out the Van Gogh museum. But because of our late night arrival from Antwerpen on Wednesday, I got myself up from bed just before noon and therefore the departure was a tiny bit later than expected. The train ride to the Dam takes like 2,5 hours so it was already almost dark when I arrived. That's why I decided to skip the museum and just walk around. For the first time I was brave enough to visit the red light district. Phew, it was scary. And weird. It was so weird to see the girls just standing in the windows, while families, young people, old people, boys and girls just passed by casually. I was a bit scared as of course there were some dodgy people also so my visit was a short one, yet just long enough for me. 

On the way back to the trainstation I was kind of getting hungry so inspired from the amazing food experience in Antwerpen, I aimed for Indian food again. And this time, it was even better have to say. I took some house special dish with naan bread and a mango lassie of course. In Tampere I really want to visit my favorite Indian restaurant for the first time in ages again. And I also want to try and learn to do it myself. Especially Naan bread. 

Before heading back to Groningen, I took a train to a city called Almere, just 20 minutes away from the capital. I knew there was an outlet shop of Riviera Maison so I wanted to stop by there and see what they have. Of course as an outlet store I was expecting them to have just the leftovers and maybe 2nd quality products, and most of it was. They had a lot of christmas decorations for example. That would have been a good change to buy cheap decorations for next year but couldn't be bothered to be honest. 

I left the store with a cozy grey blanket and some super cute golden candle holders with an amazing discount. I still had some time left so I went to Zara and as a surprise to me, I even found something. And they were all in sale! I found a super warm cardigan, a white business casual kind of shirt for work and a basic white t-shirt.

Waiting for my train back home, at the trainstation I was a bit amazed by the number of guards they had in there. I don't know what kind of a city Almere is but there were tens of guards in there. I was expecting something interesting to happen, like they would be expecting a criminal to come from one of the trains but it turned out they were just checking tickets, lol. Finally exhausted from all the shopping (hah) I was home and got to enjoy my souvenirs from Amsterdam, these gorgeous colorful macaroons.

22-1-2013 // Daytrip to Antwerpen

Last Wednesday we had a long day, as we had made plans to visit Antwerpen in Belgium. A week ago I was figuring out what I should do on my freetime for the last few days and decided to just go to Google Maps and see if there are any cities in Holland/near the border worth visiting for. Then I came across Antwerpen and remembered one of my friend saying it is a nice city.
Rise and shine!
At 9:15 we took a train to Rotterdam, where we changed and headed over to Roosendal. That was the closest city to the border, so the tickets to Belgium would be the cheapest from there. We had day tickets for the Dutch train, so of course we wanted to use those as well as possible too. From Roosendal it only took another half an hour to Antwerpen with a bit of a dodgy train, it reminded me of a Russian or Indian-like train.
Effective train traveling

In Antwerpen, we had no other plans other than to go and see the castle by the water. But the city itself surprised us, or at least myself, massively! Everything was so pretty, and as we walked across the center we just kept stopping and pointing to buildings and repeating the sentence "Look, thats so pretty!". In the end, the castle itself was my least favorite thing about the city. 

Pretty impressive Welcome to Antwerpen must admit

First things first, we of course had to try out the famous Belgian chocolate, and yes it fulfilled all my expectations! It was sooooo goood! I mean, I love chocolate but this was just amazingly delicious. 

"You need to kiss a lot of frogs to find out they're all frogs"

It was really, really nice to just walk around the city without any hurry or schedule. After visiting the castle we kind of just wandered around and at one point realized how hungry we actually were. Lucky for us almost right after this we saw an Indian restaurant. The restaurant literally opened up a minute before we got in, and obviously we were the first and only customers during our stay in there. Nevertheless, the food was really good. I don't even remember when was the last time I had Indian food, so a piece of Naan bread, a good portion of curry and rice together with a mango lassie was just what I needed before turning into a hungry grumpy cat. Since then I have been craving for more of that yummy combination. Its a good thing we have one awesome Indian restaurant in Tampere so I can treat my new addiction back at home too :-D

Casual shopping mall
Casual office space

Even though we easily walked across and around the city center, it felt like a big city kind of a place. Not massive, but in a Finnish perspective at least bigger than average; they had trams, a lot of different clothing/accessory/interior shops, shopping centers and Albert Heijns. In every corner there was also a some kind of a cafe, chocolate factory, restaurant or bar. We even wondered how can they all survive and keep up the business, as there didn't seem to be that many people going around.

Grote Markt

Reckless Kitty
Going to miss these girls soooo much <3

After dinner as it was starting to get kind of late, dark and especially very cold it was time to head down to the train station. Surprisingly enough, first we walked like half an hour to the wrong directions and ended up being 37 minutes away from the central station.. At this time, the coldness had kind of got to us but luckily the city was so beautiful and full of everything to look and be amazed by, the way back went really fast. 

Finally after a comfort pit stop (as in (iPhone) battery charging break) at Starbucks, two train changes and almost 4,5 hours of train traveling later, we were back in Groningen, safe and sound. The day was so nice. I got to enjoy a new city, and actually a new country also, in the best company and in a really lovely weather. My day was filled with laughter, jokes about Sieni(...) and too many family pictures.

Oh yeah almost forgot, first thing at the train station we came across to this super funky thing, "Working corner". I saw one woman cycling inside the station and, of course, it caught my eye. After a while I realized that it was a charging point, where you can make your own electricity. How cool is that! Of course I had to test it out, and it was the funnest phone charging experience I have ever had. I also had just a little bit of battery left, so perfect timing! I want these to Finland too!!!