Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pre-Christmas Party

Venue: Pizza Paikka Ala Riesto, 6-9 pm

Cast of Characters:

1. Me!!!
2. MC = my Brit friend who's the organizer of the party
3. NA = my Russian friend who just gave birth early December
4. SU = another Brit friend who's due to give birth today
5. IN = another Russian friend who's 7 months' pregnant
6. HL = our Finnish class teacher

MC, the organizer of the party, told each of us to bring a little gift (not more than €5) and each of us had to write a name of an animal on top of the gift. Turned out that she had created fun games for us HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...She also brought some Christmas decorations for our table (as you can see later in the pics) and some Christmas crackers (cardboard cylinders covered with decorative papers and pop when the ends are pulled) imported from England.

Anyway, when I came to the restaurant, HL (our teacher) was there and SU and NA had just arrived. We started talking to each other and not long after that, MC (our organizer) came. Then I took this picture (I have written down their initials there) ---> MC is the one on the left, then NA (who had a baby early Dec) sitting next to her, and SU (who's due to give birth today) sitting next to her, and on the right is our teacher.

As you can see, it's not a fancy restaurant, but the thing I like about this village is that you don't have to queue and there aren't any crowded places anywhere ha ha ha ha ha ha...No need to book, thank you very much hi hi hi hi...

Since IN still hadn't showed up and we were getting hungry, we ordered food first. IN finally came over at around 7 pm. Here's a pic of me with IN (7 months pregnant) and the Santa decoration that MC brought to make our table more festive HE HE HE HE HE...

Anyway, we started eating right away and then we stopped for a while to play our first game. MC had prepared a text to read. We were told to hold our own gifts in hand and we had to be ready to pass it along to the left or right according to the text she read. If we heard "left" on the text, we had to pass it along to the left. If we heard "right", we had to pass it to the right. It was FUN he he he he he...

I got MC's gift and SU got my gift. Funny thing is that I wrapped my gift in a box of Kebab frozen package and SU didn't open it even though everybody else was busy opening their gifts right away. I got two fridge magnets from MC and the others got different stuff. At first I thought that SU wanted to save the best for later, but then I got suspicious that she probably thought I had given her some KEBAB meat for real!!!! I even got more worried since MC said to SU, "Hey, shouldn't you put it in the fridge?" LOL LOL!!!

I tried to give a hint to SU by saying, "Please don't bang the package, SU!" (since there was a fragile angel decoration inside the package though I had wrapped it safely). Before the end of the party, I was thinking to myself, "Uhhhh...what if she really thinks it's kebab meat and then she puts it in the fridge for future use and then when she decides she wants to cook kebab, she opens it and gets the surprise of her life? No can do! I have to tell her now!"

So I finally said, "By the way, SU, you didn't think it was kebab inside, did you?" To be honest, I actually saw her face looking a bit disappointed when she opened my gift wrapper and found the kebab meat package inside HI HI HI HI HI HI HI...She was stunned when she heard me say that and then she took out the package from her bag. She said, "I thought it was REALLY kebab inside. I just thought that in Indonesia maybe Father Christmas gave food as gifts." MC couldn't help laughing like crazy since she also thought that it was kebab. LOL LOL LOL!!! She was laughing really hard for a few minutes HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...

SU opened the gift and she was happy to find the angel decoration. I think she was happy to get the decoration since she also bought a different angel decoration as a gift (our teacher HL got it) HE HE HE HE HE...Then she gave me a hug HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...MC said, "Oh, Amel, that was brilliant!" Well, I didn't actually plan to mislead anyone by putting my gift inside the kebab box. It didn't even cross my mind that someone might think that I actually gave frozen kebab meat as a X-mas gift hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi...but SU said while opening it, "It was packed really neatly as if the box had never been opened yet!" HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

OK, enough laughing hi hi hi...anyway, unfortunately our teacher HL couldn't stay longer 'coz her hubby had picked her up at 8 pm, but the rest of us stayed there until it was close to 9 pm.

These are some things I found out through our conversation:

1. Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 6th.
2. Nobody can give birth in Sodankylä's health centre, so if I need to give birth later on, my hubby has to drive me to Rovaniemi (1.5 hours away from here). YIKES!!! However, I also found out from NA who just gave birth in Rovaniemi that the service there was EXCELLENT! YES!!! At least I'll be in good care there he he he he...
3. In England these days they try to "kick" women out of the hospital as fast as they can once they give birth (as long as they're healthy and there's no problem after the delivery then they go home in 6 hours or just one day), whereas in Finland for the first born, usually they keep the mother in the hospital for 4 days.
4. Moscow is like a different country, separated from other parts of Russia. Even the people there are different and everything's different. Moscow people are colder and they look down on people from other countries or even different areas of Russia.
5. Christmas Eve is a really big tradition for Finnish (gather with their family and open gifts, eat pork ham and stuff). This is my first Christmas Eve here, so I'll report on the food later on he he he he he...

Anyway, back to the party. Then we pulled our Christmas crackers and we found crowns inside, so we put it on our heads HA HA HA HA HA HA...We were officially queens then HE HE HE HE HE...

First pic: MC and NA. And yes, we all ordered pizza HA HA HA HA HA...We couldn't eat the whole portion ourselves, so we brought the rest home. YAAAAAYYYY!!!! ;-D

Next pic: SU is holding the rest of the Christmas cracker he he he he...

Next pic: Queen Amel and Queen IN HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...My face looks SO oily since I put on lots of lotion and olive oil hi hi hi hi...but I feel good no matter what since I have my crown HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

Oh, almost forgot to tell you the second game. The second game was related to the animals written on our gifts. Since I got MC's gift with "pig" on it, then I had to sound like one. The game is Animal Bingo. Each of us had to write down 5 numbers (any number from 1 to 25), then MC would pick each of the number out of the bag she's prepared (she brought a gift especially for this game) and if the number she mentioned was written on my piece of paper, I had to snort like a pig and cross the number out HE HE HE HE HE...The other animals were cow, cat, dog, sheep, and rooster he he he he he...

In the end, the cat (IN) won the game. The winner had to stand up and make the animal sound three times HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...so she meowed three times while standing up LOL LOL!!!! MC is REALLY creative, isn't she?????

Anyway...I'd LOVE to do this again sometime hi hi hi hi hi...girls' night out is ALWAYS the best, don't you think so? *wink*


  1. Wow...you have a great dinner, Amel hehehe..

  2. Jul: Yes, it was a FUN dinner HE HE HE HE HE...;-D

  3. It looks like a fun party. You look good and happy. IN doesn't look one bit pregnant at all. Still look so good.

  4. Blur Ting: Yeah, I know what you mean. We all didn't know about it 'coz it didn't show even though it was already over 5 months when we first met in the Finnish classes. Now the belly shows already (it doesn't show in the pics) but her face and everything else still looks so good indeed he he he...;-D

    I even told her I'd love to look as good as she is when I get pregnant later he he he he...but it might be tough since I'm small and just adding a few kgs to my small frame would show very much he he he he he...

  5. Hey, Amel! That was FUN especially the 'kebab' thing ha ha ha...
    SU is due to give birth today?! WOW!! She could still join the party. Hmmm...Must learn from the 'moms' out there. ;D

    Your friend, IN, was lucky because she got the easiest animal sound he he he...

  6. Choc Mint Girl: Yeah, it was HILARIOUS!!! I never thought it'd make everybody be misled, you know? HE HE HE HE HE...

    Yeah, I was amazed that SU could still join us. I guess sometimes you can also give birth late, like NA who gave birth 2 weeks after the due date (she had to be induced since it was way too late).

    Well, IN won not because of the animal sound, but yes, she got the easiest one HE HE HE HE...But she was funny 'coz she made such an enthusiastic meow sound. Made me feel she would be a frisky cat HA HA HA HA HA...

  7. It sounds like a fun night out with the girls. I know it was good for you to be able to get out and socialize! Your story about the meat package was really funny!

  8. Kathy: Yeah, it was REALLY fun and you're right...good for me to socialize HE HE HE HE...Glad you enjoyed reading about the meat package he he...;-D

  9. Hey Amelia,

    First I would like to thank you for having called me to read this: it brilliant! I laughed like crazy LOL...
    So, she thought you had offered her frozen Kebab, ey? LOL LOL I can imagine her face *nodding*. Poor thing...now, the angel was a perfect gift :D!

    About the things you learned:
    1. yeah, it is the orthodox Christian church :). Spanish also celebrate Xmas on the 6th of January (that's when kids open their presents, because 6th of Jan is the Sage Men's day; and since they offered gifts to Jesus, Spanish kids open their gifts on this day) :).
    2. those are excellent news; however 1.5 hours driving when you are in labour must be terrible :0!
    3. It is the same here: they keep first time moms for 2 days; and more if there are any complications.
    4. So I heard...
    5. Oh yeah, let us know what they eat there...it would be funny if everybody would tell us, on a post, what their countries eat on that day; wouldn't it? :).

    The pics are great! And the crown looks great on you LOL :). The pregnant queens look gorgeous :D!
    MC knows how to get a party going lol...it is a gift, you know?

    Absolutely! I love girl's night out: it is amazingly fun; and we can have women talk, and gossip a little LOL...love it :).

    This was a great post, Girl :D!!!!!!!!


  10. Max: LOL LOL!!! Yeah...I didn't really notice it back then, but on reflecting back, she did look disappointed when she saw the kebab package HA HA HA HA HA...

    Ahhh...so it's the orthodox Christian church? I never knew such a thing he he he he...

    Yeah, I can't imagine being on the road for 1.5 hours while being in labour, but what else can I say? It's how things are here he he he...

    Yup, I'll take pics on the Christmas dinner later on, OK? ;-D

    Yes, indeed MC knew what to do to make it SUCH FUN!!! That was why our teacher asked her to organize the party HA HA HA HA HA...she knew MC was able to do it grandly! ;-D

    Gossip? LOL LOL LOL!!! ;-D GLAD you enjoyed reading it he he he...

  11. Ha ha...I could imagine how she made the sound. So, you got fridge magnets?? I love collecting them from the places I personally visited, but I haven't got any special place to put them (on the fridge?!! Ha ha ha...)

  12. Choc Mint Girl: Yes, I put them right away on my fridge door he he he he he he...

  13. HEhehehhehe,
    My first Christmas here in US, I gave Twi a shirt but I put it an a cracker box. She put in her kitchen kabinet and she din't open it, until I asked her (a week later) if she liked the shirt I bought her. =D =P

    My baddd!

  14. Zeth: BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...Oh dear!!! You're SO bad indeed!!! ;-D