tiistai 27. joulukuuta 2016

Christmas 2016

Another Christmas has come and gone. Compared to last year's Christmas, this time it was way different. This year I spent it in Finland with my family and I got to eat traditional Finnish Christmas food and not McDonalds' like last year... Our plan for Christmas Eve changed a bit but still I had fun and enjoyed myself. But once again I got thinking that Christmas is actually quite annoying event because I feel like everyone is just stressing and worrying about presents, food, clothes, cleaning, family + possible work/school related things. So during the weeks leading to Christmas people are just bunch of stressed and burned out monkeys. I wish people would just forget all the stupid fuss about "what to buy as a present" "oh no I still need to cook this and this" "the house still looks horrible" and just enjoy and relax during Christmas time. But that probably won't happen ever especially in the Western countries... At least I tried to take it easy even though I had to work and do a lot of cleaning at home. Luckily I didn't have to worry about presents because I had bought everything from Japan or somewhere else earlier and I like cleaning so that wasn't a problem. But it almost started to get on my nerves when I heard almost everyone panicking about something. 

I was excited about this year's Christmas because for a change I was going to spend it with my family and even though everything didn't go as I would have wanted, it was a nice Christmas. I was happy that I got to give out really nice gifts and I also got gifts which I liked a lot. Plus I got to play with my cameras (Otto wasn't that happy about it sometimes) :) 

I reeeeally wanted to get this!

Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas & please try to relax more next year, okay? :) 

xoxo, Elina

tiistai 20. joulukuuta 2016

Living like a vampire

Living like a vampire...that's how my friend described my life when I told her about my work and sleep schedule for the past week. On last week's Monday I started working for the Finnish post as a Christmas helper and my last shift was last night. During this time I have been working every day or well actually night because I had only night shifts. The same time every night. Many people have been asking how was it, was it hard etc. I don't think it was that hard. It was actually quite the same as working during daytime. But there was one thing that helped a lot and it was the fact that we had something to do all the time and that's something which keeps me going. I know the nights would have been a lot worse for me if I didn't have something to do the whole shift. Plus every time I felt tired or at home I felt like I didn't want to go, I just thought about the good salary and additions for night work (+weekend work) I will get and just kept going. The work itself was really easy so the nights went pretty quickly and I think this was one of the easiest way to get money especially if you had a morning or afternoon shift. After spending money in Japan and having various plans for next year, I'm really looking forward to my pay check and I think my messed up living schedule was worth it. Now luckily I can go back to my normal life and start sleeping during the night! And I can start getting more things done at home before Christmas because due to my work I haven't really gotten anything done which has pissed me off. That's the biggest negative side of this work for me. Christmas is almost here so I need to start catching up, bye! 

xoxo, Elina

lauantai 3. joulukuuta 2016

Hello December ♥

So November came and went just like that. Is it really December already? I'm actually excited about this month! There are many things coming...  Next week I'll spend in Japan which I can't wait! I really miss my Japanese friends and I can't believe I'll see EXO perform live once again. After I come back to Finland I'll have a couple of lessons and an exam left. I'm really nervous about the exam... I just hope I can pass it. During that week I'll also start a job with the Finnish post. It's only for 9 days because it's a Christmas helper work but I'm still glad I got it. Extra money = yes please! Someone might think I'm stupid but I'm quite excited to go to work for a change. Even though I'm going to be so busy because I need to prepare for Christmas at the same time. I bet there will be a day (days) when I'm not that excited anymore...

Let's look back at last month a bit. As I told earlier I had many birthdays to celebrate including my own. In addition to those celebrations, I got to celebrate my nephew getting his name. My brother and his wife had chosen me as his godmother which I gladly accepted. I just wish I'm going to be able to help him and be there whenever he needs it. I already decided that I won't be giving him lots of gifts which he might not even want/need but to spend time with him as much as possible. I can't wait to take him to Tappara's games and to other fun places :) 
Speaking of Tappara... Last month there were a couple of games that I wanted to go see but ended up staying at home. But on last Tuesday I finally made it! I went to see Tappara vs. Jukurit which was really interesting because it was the first time Jukurit played in Tampere. So it was quite a historical game. The game itself was full of surprising and suspenseful moments. Unfortunately Tappara lost 4-3 but it didn't bother me because I still enjoyed myself. Would have even more if the judges weren't so stupid almost during the whole game...

This week I also went to do some final purchases for my Japan trip. Now I'm all set and I have also finally managed to open my luggage. Now I just need to figure out what exactly to take with me and surprisingly clothes are the hardest to choose. Why they always have to be so difficult to choose? Luckily I still have time today and tomorrow even though I should also do some Christmas cleaning at home. 

Yesterday MAMA 2016 was held in Hong Kong where I once again would have loved to go but couldn't... At least this year I was able to find tickets but because I'm travelling to Japan on Monday I had to skip going to Hong Kong to attend MAMA. Maybe next year.... 
I was so happy that EXO won a Daesang (Album of the Year) for the 4th consecutive year! Congrats EXO, you really deserved it and all the other trophies :) Another thing which made me feel happy and proud was that BTS finally won their first Daesang (Artist of the Year). Those guys have come a really long way and they would have already deserved that award earlier but even more this year. There were a few other awards that I think went to the right group/artist too. Can't wait to see what other awards my favourite groups will win and all the special performances they will give in the next end of the year award ceremonies. They're going to be great as always. For me they're one of the highlights of December :)

xoxo, Elina

maanantai 7. marraskuuta 2016

22 years old

Years just keep on going faster and faster... Feels like yesterday when I was still 18 and now  I'm already 22! Honestly sometimes I feel very old even though I know 22 isn't that old yet. There are (hopefully) still a lot of years to come but there are also so many things that I want to do/experience so I feel like there are not enough years left. Enough with this age crisis text! 

This year my birthday consisted of driving to Helsinki and participating in a group job interview. I was left with a quite satisfied feeling about it and now I'm just anxiously waiting until I get the result of how it went and if I move on the next phase. It should take max 2 weeks so luckily I don't need to wait a really long time. After I finished the interview I drove straight back home with my mum. Then I was so tired that I just wanted to eat dinner and watch the newest episode of The Walking Dead. Now it's getting so late that I need to take Otto out and then head to bed because tomorrow I need to go do some studying in Rauma for a change. 

Goodnight everyone! 

xoxo, Elina

PS. Here's what I got myself as a birthday present :D 
Now I'm ready for my birthday "party" this Saturday 
& for EXO's concert in Osaka next month! 

lauantai 5. marraskuuta 2016

Lots of birthdays and nervousness

This week has been full of birthdays and nervousness. My brother & his daughter + 2 of my friends had their birthdays this week and there are many more to come during this month including my own! None of them had any special celebrations expect my niece will have a small birthday celebration on Sunday. I'll probably hang out with my friends next weekend and celebrate my own birthday and 2 of my friends'. Since I'm only turning 22, I don't think it's really important to celebrate it in a big way. I would just like to have a few friends over (since my mum is conveniently not home next weekend) and have a movie night and play some Just Dance games. So nothing fancy but that's enough for me :) For my niece's birthday party I'm quite excited to go because I couldn't attend last year and I even have a fun present picked out for her. 

In addition to all the birthday wishes and happiness, I have been really nervous this week. Firstly I had a job interview on Tuesday which wasn't that bad actually and I think I'll get the job. It's not a big job but I would still be very happy to get it so I could get more experience and also some pocket money. But on Thursday came the day I had not been waited for at all. The reason was a dentist appointment. I went to a dentist already in September and it was only a check up (but I still almost shitted my pants then too) but this time they filled out some holes and I had been so scared this whole time as I waited for that day. I thought of many other unpleasant things that I would have accepted to do rather than go to the dentist. I think if I hadn't have so bad experiences about the local anesthesias, I wouldn't have been so afraid about the dentist appointment. Luckily I managed to drag myself to the dentist and after suffering to some extent at first, I was able to get out of there without pissing my pants. So once again I was really afraid for no reason but at least I got some more confidence for my next dentist appointment which is already in 2 weeks (!). I'm just glad I got it over with and now I can be at peace at least for a little while (+ now my teeth are much better). Unfortunately the next day full of nervousness and wanting to escape is already on Monday... Then I'm going to another job interview which is for a job that I have been dreaming of for soooo many years. More about that later (maybe)... 

xoxo, Elina

tiistai 1. marraskuuta 2016

A weekend in Helsinki

I spent the previous weekend in Helsinki visiting a friend who I got to know during my exchange study in Bangkok. During the time we spent together in Bangkok, we became very good friends and I missed hanging out with her during the spring when I was still in Thailand. When I came back to Finland, I was supposed to go to Helsinki to meet her as soon as possible but I had always something else to do. But finally I manage to reserve a weekend for that trip! 

Even though I'm a Finn and I have always lived about 2 hours from Helsinki, I haven't properly visited there. I know it's kind of stupid especially because it's the capitol... I have just went there to visit an embassy or gone to the zoo and that's it. So it's still quite unfamiliar city for me. That's why I was excited to go there and have my friend as a guide. Luckily she knows Helsinki very well and she lives there at the moment so I could stay at her place and she knew a few very good places. I had only 2 plans for the weekend: to visit a store and buy a few things for my mum and take a picture at the Senate Square. We did those plus many other fun things. I got to eat really good food (twice Asian food), buy a lot of souvenirs which I'll take to Japan and experience 2 new vehicles in Finland: metro and tram. I had a great time with my friend and I really hope I manage to go visit her again soon. I'd love to do that since we still have many places to visit in Helsinki :)

Thai food as our first dinner, OF COURSE :D

A must-take tourist picture in Helsinki!
Luckily you can't really see the renovation
that's going on from this picture. 

Didn't even know about this event but I'm really glad we went there!
I got to buy lots of liquorice snacks etc. 
I was so happy to see my friend after about 10 months :)
xoxo, Elina

sunnuntai 30. lokakuuta 2016

Fall news!

A lot has happened during these past 2 months and that's maybe the reason why I feel like the time has gone really fast. I started my school last month and since then I have been travelling to Rauma almost every week. I thought long and hard about getting a new apartment from there but I ended up deciding to just use the bus and not attending all of my classes. Luckily I have a friend in Rauma who has accommodated me whenever I had to stay there overnight. Thank you Johanna! I think it has been really great to stay with her because that way we have been able to spend more time together and really catch up. So far I haven't had that many classes because my 2 courses in the 1st period didn't have many obligatory classes but starting from next week I'll probably have them much more with a couple of new courses. I just hope my friend doesn't get tired seeing me at her home :D I also just want to get these few last courses over with so I can graduate next year. But there's something else too that I need to do first.....and that's my thesis. My biggest problem at the moment is that I don't have a subject and I don't even really have a clue what could/would/should write. Today I got a couple of ideas so hopefully I can figure it out very soon because then I could start writing it. I would really want to finish it by next June so I could graduate then and after that travel to the US with my friend as a celebration for both of us graduating. But all of that depends on when I manage to decide my subject...

On August I found a really great thing and that was information about 2 Korean language courses that would be held in my hometown. I had been waiting for that for soooo many years and finally I could attend Korean courses! The other one was a basic course which was only about the alphabet and the other was a follow-up course with grammar structure and various dialog/vocabulary practises. I decided to take both of the courses so I could rehearse the alphabet and make my knowledge about them stronger and at the same time I could learn a lot of words and phrases on the other course. The basic course ended already a couple of weeks ago but I still have the other one until the beginning of December. I have really enjoyed the classes and it has been very useful even though they are only once a week. 

On the 8th of September came the day I had been waiting for! My brother and his wife had their second child. Their first boy had also clearly waited to be born because he decided to come early to the world. He was very little but since they got home, he has been eating A LOT so no worries. I'm sure he'll become a charming boy :) 

He's still waiting for a name but he'll probably get it very soon :)

Another thing that I had been waiting for excitedly: ICE-HOCKEY! I obviously missed the whole last season except some games that I managed watch online. I was really disappointed last spring because finally my team won the Finnish Championship and I couldn't attend the final games. Even though I watched them online, it's not the same thing. Therefore I had decided that I'll attend as many games as possible this season. So I started with the first game of the season where they also lifted the championship banner to the ceiling. It was very cool to see that live for the first time. My team, Tappara, won their first game and have been actually winning almost all of their games this far. They're on the 1st spot and have been playing very well so maybe I'll get to see them playing in the finals next spring :) 

So proud ♥
Since my nephew was born, he and his sister has been with me and my mum quite often. My brother had a fire at his house in June so they have been living in an apartment owned by the insurance company so they have been really busy getting their house fixed and moving their things there. We have been happy to help with the children even though sometimes I have almost lost my mind with the older one :D and sometimes I have wished my mum would have said no when my brother asked for help because we have had our own things to do too. But then again they will be little only for a while so we should enjoy this time. 

Last but not least I bough myself some flight tickets! I'm heading to Osaka in the beginning of December. Since some time in the spring I have been planning to go there to attend EXO's concert and meet my Japanese exchange friends. I had already somewhat given up on that idea because of money but my friend in Japan sent me a message about EXO's concert tickets... She was able to get us tickets for one of the EXO's concerts in Osaka and she promised me a place to sleep from her house. In addition Finnair had very cheap tickets to Osaka so I decided to buy them and spend a week in Osaka. I'm really excited to go there and meet my friends after a long time! This time I also have much more time to go sight-seeing which is great. I might also be able to meet my American friend who I got to know during my previous Osaka trip. I hope we manage to meet even though this time she's not attending EXO's concert in Osaka. 

5.-11.12.2016 Osaka, Japan
It's going to be an amazing trip for sure! 

xoxo, Elina

lauantai 22. lokakuuta 2016

The Summer of 2016

Summer has been over a long time (at least here in Finland) and I'm already fed up with this dark and cold weather. So I have been thinking about last summer a lot and here's a recap of what happened then :) 

One of the first things I did when I got back to Finland last summer, was of course meeting my friends! We went out to eat and just hang out in the city center. It was great to finally catch up face-to-face and because I missed my friends a lot during my year abroad, it felt a bit unreal seeing them at first. 

My friends weren't the only people I wanted to finally meet face-to-face. I also wanted to meet my whole family so we arranged to meet at my sister's place. It was nice to see my brother and sister's families after a long time. I also got to eat proper Finnish barbecue food which tasted like heaven!

Me and my mum made the dessert which was also really delicious! 
Next big event was my friend's wedding! I was really looking forward to it because I hadn't seen that friend yet because we live in different cities and this was only my second time attending a wedding. I was supposed to go there alone and just hang out with a friend who I got to know in my university with the bride but... In the end I decided to bring one of my friends as my avec which turned out to be a really strange (+ annoying) thing for some people. I thought it wasn't wrong or strange because in my opinion avec doesn't have to be a girl/boyfriend. My decision turned out to be a good choice because I had fun with my friend and she also enjoyed the wedding. The ceremony was very nice and the "party" after it was fun even though we couldn't stay there long. Food was really delicious and I got to hear some great speeches. I was also glad to see my two friends from the university. 

Found this dress from Bangkok &
fell in love with it straight away.
My lovely friend avec :)

Another big event that I had been waiting anxiously for months, took place during the summer. I rented the same cottage where I spent my farewell with friends last summer. This time I wanted to spend more time there so I rented it for a week. The plan was to spend a weekend there with friends and other days with my mum. In the end we had to change the dates but luckily we managed to keep the same plan. I really enjoyed staying there for a few days just with my mum and my dog and the weekend with my friends. That was absolutely my favorite time during this summer. After being in Thailand for a year, it felt great to spend a week in the middle of nowhere and just enjoy the nature and the company of my mum and friends. I was also really happy to see my dog enjoy himself a lot there. Can't wait to do something like this again next summer!

You wanna marshmallow?

My bae 
Before summer was over it was time to celebrate the birthday of one of my sister's children. In addition I did my aunt duties which I couldn't do the past year. I got to babysit my brother's daughter which I had actually been waiting for. She's just so cute and I love that she has parents with 2 nationalities. Can't wait to see what she'll be when so grows up. 

She's Thai-Finnish and still gives her aunt a hard time sometimes
just like my sister's children when they were little :D 
So my summer consisted a lot of things that I had been waiting for when I was in Thailand and things that I couldn't do there. Even though I was happy experiencing all of those things, I was quite sad to be here and I missed many activities in Thailand. But at least I realised that it was really good that I came back during the summer and not earlier or later... This year's summer in Finland was quite cold but the weather what we're experiencing at the moment would have been much worse to experience when I came back from Thailand. During almost every day the past few weeks, I have been thinking about how much I would love to be in the melting hot weather in Thailand. I just wish winter was here already even though it mean even colder temperature. But at least we could have SNOW! Luckily there's a chance of getting first snow where I live next week :D I hope that comes true because I really miss snow. Oh you just wait a few months and you get to read my ranting about how TOO MUCH snow we have... In the mean time I'm just going to enjoy my summer pictures :) 

xoxo, Elina

keskiviikko 14. syyskuuta 2016

Back again!

After a (too) long break, I'm back! My apologies for not writing anything for the past 2 months but I decided to take a break and focus on getting used to being back in Finland. Plus I have been super busy from time to time. 

Before telling what I have been doing lately, let's look back at my last days in Bangkok. My last days at work were really easy and I didn't have much to do. In a way I hoped I had more tasks so I wouldn't had been so bored but at least I had time to plan my last days and get used to the idea that my time in Thailand is almost over. On my second last work day, I went to enjoy a farewell dinner with the whole logistics team and a few other employees I got to know very well. I had a great time during that dinner and even though I felt happy, I still felt so sad because everyone was very nice and friendly to me the whole 6 months. The feelings I had were nothing compared to what I felt the next day when I finished working and it was time to leave for the last time... Firstly I had to say goodbye to every employee which was quite horrible especially when two Finnish employees wanted to properly sit down and talk for the last time. Just before I left, we took pictures with some of the employees and my mentor walked me to the car. Outside the office I said final goodbyes to her and another employee and even though I tried really hard not to cry, I couldn't help it when my mentor burst out crying. At that moment I felt awful to leave but I just had to suck it up. After picking up my luggage, leaving my key card and getting my deposit, I headed to Bangkok. Luckily I didn't have to arrange a taxi etc. but my manager asked the person who drove me to the office and back everyday, to take me to Bangkok. 

On the next day I started to get some last things done. I had two days time which was barely enough. I went to buy a few things, get my nails done and a haircut and spent time with friends. On the last evening I went to Baiyoke Sky for a buffet with two friends. It was my last time hanging out with them before leaving and not seeing them for a long time so it was really sad. In the end my Thai friend came to see me at the airport too which was great because I had so many bags that I couldn't handle them myself. After check-in and saying goodbye, it was time to head out to my gate and to Finland. 

I even got a present and everyone said some last words to me :)
Best co-workers ever! Couldn't be any happier to have had these people
with me during my internship. 

Shiho & Koh (+ my new hair!) ♥
Great friends as were my other friends during my year in Thailand.
So I arrived in Finland on 3rd of July and at first I felt really weird and had mixed feelings. Some of the things I experienced right away after I got back felt strange and I thought I wouldn't get used to them (at least not quickly). For example the amount of cars and people everywhere was super small compared to what I had gotten used to during the past year. I kept asking my mum where's everyone, has something happened but no... It was totally normal here and now I'm quite used to it. But still sometimes I kinda miss having a lot of people around me when I for example go to the store and when I used the bus here for the first time, I was totally shocked that 1. there was room in the bus, 2. there were empty seats available and 3. it was easy to get out of the bus not like in the skytrains in Bangkok that I used a lot. In addition the fact that I can now use Finnish all the time (except when I text with my foreign friends) feels weird but really nice. At first I almost started speaking English with everyone and all of my thoughts kept coming in English but luckily my brain has switched to Finnish. There's one thing that I missed a lot and I'm now happy to have: Finnish food especially what my mum makes. After a year abroad eating mainly Asian food, Finnish food tastes extra good. With all of the changes, these past 2 months have been interesting and different. 

Still sometimes I miss Thailand and I wish I was still there. But in some way it gives me motivation to pass my last courses and get my thesis ready because I know when I do those, I'm one step closer to moving somewhere abroad. I would be happy to live abroad even though it wasn't in Thailand. Now first I just need to finish my studies... Luckily I can travel in the mean time :) 

It took a long time to finish this post but I finally made it! Now you know what went on during my last days and how has it been when I got back to Finland. Stay tuned for a post about my activities during the summer! 

xoxo, Elina