Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend Snaps

I haven't been doing anything much in the blogosphere lately, 'coz I've spent more time reading Finnish at home. I'm close to finishing one children's book and I still have TONS of Finnish books to read. YIIIPPPPPPIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!

Anyway, yesterday I had some luck with a hare...but before I showed you the pics of the hare, I've promised Blur Ting that I'll take some pics of my MIL's flower plants being prepared inside the house before being taken out later on when the weather is warm enough. It's been around 8-10'C when it's sunny outside these days, but at nights it can still be 0'C.
I'm afraid I don't know the names of these flower plants, but I'll take more pics when the flowers bloom, OK? HI HI HI...

Look at how wet it is outside when all the snow around the yard starts to melt!!!

Yesterday in-laws also needed help with some wood, so R2 was the one who had to be "Sodankylä's Chainsaw Killer" HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

Last but not least, here are two pics of the hare. I've also taken a short video clip of it, but haven't converted it and uploaded it yet, so maybe I'll show it to you people later, OK?

Notice that it's changing its colour to prepare itself for summer. It'll be brown in summer and pure white in winter so that it won't be easy to track it. A few weeks ago when my MIL showed me two hares playing about outside in the neighbour's yard, I almost couldn't see them, especially if they weren't moving. Since that day I'd been HOPING that I could take some good pics of just one of them and my hope came true yesterday HUE HE HE HE HE...

Wish you've had a FAB weekend, friends! I have a slight headache, so I'm going to blog-hop only later. Tomorrow evening we'll have our study group, so I should prepare to find some topics to talk about in Finnish. Last Friday I tried this kind of study group with only one friend and we also talked about what we could do. It was good practise anyway! :-D

And earlier today I went to a free lunch for foreigners, so I didn't have much time to do any blog-hopping today. Unfortunately not all my friends could make it, but the local priest came to our table to eat and talk to us, so it was good practise for me too he he he...The food was great, too!!! And we got some ice-cream as dessert HO HO HO HO HO HO...;-D

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

3BT: Random Days

1. The concerned look on the postman's face as he gave me the big package. He was worried that I might not be able to carry it all the way to the library (or maybe he thought I was going to take it home). Such a thoughtful postman!!!

2. I decided to get the daily Helsinki newspaper from the PO by bike and it was an ABSOLUTELY GREAT decision as I had to bring that big package with me. I'm GLAD I bought two ropes for my bike, so I could just put the package behind me safely with the ropes.

3. I groaned to hubby, "Honnneeeeyyyy...I want some pancakes, but I'm too lazy to make them." A few hours later after our naps, he went to the kitchen to make them HO HO HO HO...I'm a LUCKY SPOILED GIRL!!!

4. There's a gathering for foreigners and their families in Sodankylä this Sunday in one of the churches and they offer free lunch. The idea is to make the foreigners feel at home here and also to make them meet the locals. I've called the woman in charge to book my place already. We'll see how it goes!!! This is the first time I've ever known such a gathering. WOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!

5. I'm halfway done a children's novel (Finnish novel) that I bought in Rovaniemi. 

6. I fell off my bike the other day because I went too fast (with gear 3) on a snowy stretch of road, but I didn't hurt myself badly. Phew!!! And nobody saw me HI HI HI HI HI I was saved from any embarrassment!!! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hypocrisy: Where's The Line?

One friend made me think of this topic when we were talking about a scenario. In this scenario, the mother-in-law is criticising a woman 'coz she's chosen a good private school for her child (which proves to be rather expensive). The mother-in-law wants her to send the child to a much cheaper school, but the woman is determined to give the child the best education she can give him, even though it means she has to take out her own savings to do so.

So, when the mother-in-laws keeps on giving suggestions, the woman just nods and says "yes, yes, yes, that sounds good indeed", but behind her, she just does whatever she wants for the sake of her child.

One friend said that she can't do what this woman does, 'coz she feels that it means she's being a hypocrite. I guess if she were in this woman's position, she'd fight with all her might to explain it to the MIL even though it means there might be a verbal fight between them.

What do you think of this scenario? What's your POV? Where's the line between being a hypocrite and being "a peacemaker" (at least in this scenario the woman can be called that, I suppose)?

IMO, I think the woman is clever enough to balance things out. She respects the MIL's suggestions and accepts her criticisms, but she still does what she believes to be the best for the sake of her own child. After all, it's HER money and HER child, not the MIL's money and child.

I believe in honesty, but I don't believe that brutal honesty helps out in many scenarios (even though some people may think it's a kind of hypocrite act).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

3BT: Random Days

1. After accidentally banging my head to a cabinet in the kitchen, I ran to hubby and told him what happened and he kissed and rubbed the pain away HO HO HO HO...Yeah, I CAN be a spoilt girl!!! *cheeky grin*

2. The look on my MIL's face when she told me the story of how she met my FIL (yeah, still the look of a woman in love). They met 49 years ago and have been married for over 47 years now.

3. Practising my Finnish as I told my MIL so many stories. Go, Amel, go!!!

4. Progress. Looking back on the past and comparing them with the present gives me a boost of encouragement. 1,5 years ago after I started learning Finnish on my own for a while, I tried reading very easy children's books (with more pictures than texts) but the progress was VERY VERY slow (it took an hour just to understand fully the text on one page).

These days if I really spend time to read regular children's books (with more texts than pictures), I can move forward MUCH faster (esp. if the story interests me, then I can read more pages each day - but of course I still need to use my dictionary).

5. Now that most of the snow has melted away from many parts of downtown, I can try strengthening my legs by using gear 2, 3 or even 4 when riding my bike. WOOOHOOO!!!

6. Buying more flower seeds for my MIL and seeing some of them being grown inside the house (it's not safe to put them outside yet) makes me feel EXCITED!!! Gonna take LOTS of pics of her flowers again later on!!!

7. Last night hubby didn't play any computer games with his friends after we went back home from my in-laws. Instead he watched a movie with me. :-D

8. Telling hubby that I'm such a LUCKY girl to have him in my life. :-D

Friday, April 17, 2009

Oddity + A Meme

I had a talk with an ex-school friend earlier today and it made me have some ideas on what to write here in my blog. We were talking about one particular ex-elementary school friend who was considered "odd". He used to be teased a lot back then.

So this friend and I talked about this "odd" friend and when we last saw him. Funny thing is that we couldn't really pinpoint what was truly "un-mainstream" about him that made him feel "different" than the rest. However, I have to note that now he's become more "mainstream", so he's no longer "odd".

This short conversation made me think of what we consider "normal" and what we consider "odd". Don't we all have our own oddities? Don't we want to be unique as a person? Yet in spite of wishing to be unique, we don't want to be "odd" enough that we'll be considered so "un-mainstream" that people will think we're losing some screws in our brains.

People are interesting beings, don't you think so??? Yeah, I know this topic has no real conclusion, because I've just started thinking about it...but if any of you has any real conclusion, bring it on! :-D

Now it's time for me to go read some Finnish. I'll blog-hop tomorrow, OK? I'm still in my "lazy" mode here he he he...

P.S. Bad news: I (and some other friends who aren't really students at the school) can't participate in the rest of the Finnish classes anymore 'coz the government body has run out of money to support us. If we want to continue going there, we have to pay for it ourselves, but 'coz it's rather expensive, I decided not to pay. Instead, I'll just wait for the evening course in autumn and in the meantime I'll do my best to continue studying Finnish on my own.

Dawn tagged me with this meme. Let's see what it's about...

1. What are your current obsessions? Collecting Finnish novels and trying to make myself pregnant WA HA HA HA HA...

2. Which items from your closet are you wearing most often? Underwear of course.

3. Last thing you bought? Grocery from the supermarket. I bought salmon, mince meat, milk, salad, and vitamin C.

4. What's for dinner? It was what I made yesterday: pork steak and potatoes.

5. Say something to the person who tagged you. She's a brave person who's fighting with some past issues in her life. She loves her family so much. :-))))

6. Favorite vacation spot? Definitely my hometown, Bandung, since I MISS my family and friends and ALL THE FOOD!!!!!! UUUGGGHHHH now I'm drooling...

7. When was the last time you told your Mom you love her?'s not a custom for us to say "I love you" to each unfortunately I've never said it, though I once wrote down a long thank you/appreciation email in which I wrote to her "I love you".

8. 3 things to do before you die. Hard to say, 'coz I don't know when it's going to happen...gee...I can't think of anything right now. It's like my brain's stuck to the present and it doesn't want to think too far ahead. So no answer for this one, sorry...except perhaps have my own kids hi hi...

9. Reading right now. Several Finnish books which I read randomly depending on my mood.

10. What's the last movie you saw and enjoyed, rate out of 5 stars. Bolt. It's 4.7 stars out of 5. WE LOVED IT! :-D

11. Guilty pleasure. Potato chips...ohhhh, I feel so wickeddddd whenever I eat potato chips hi hi hi...

12. Name the last blog you visited and left a comment on before this one? ( link and info please)
Hans and Shinta vid Neyst.

13. What season is your favorite? I try to enjoy every season as best as I can, so my fave season is whichever season is happening at the present. :-))))

14. What are you watching on TV right now? Lots of series, such as Heroes, Lost, Pushing Daisies, CSI, Fringe.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lazy Blogger

I've been a lazy blogger lately. I haven't been blogging nor bloghopping much. I just don't feel like it. Anyway, yesterday we had Wii game night with R2's brother. His girlfriend couldn't come due to something, so it was just the three of us, 'coz R2's cousin wasn't feeling well, so he cancelled coming here.

It was SO MUCH FUN!!! However, I must PROTEST 'coz when we played tennis, I had to be ALONE (playing two characters at once), whereas R2 and his brother could play in pair. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...Of course I lost in the end, but it wasn't too embarrassing 'coz I won 2 games out of 5 he he he...

Then we played Rayman Raving Rabbids and we tried 3 dance games there. It was SO funny when we tried to follow the directions on screen HUI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI...

We spent 5 hours playing Tiger Woods golf game as we decided to play 18 holes he he he...I came second and R2 lost. Poor R2 he he he he he he...

On Friday we went to the cabin to spend a lovely night there. The sun was shining so brightly when we got up. It was hard to get back to sleep since the windows had no dark curtains. I made a short video clip to show you the "road" from the cabin to my in-laws' place just so you know how close it is. Here goes:

If you watch the video clip, you'll notice piles of snow on both sides of the "road" from the cabin towards the house. R2's second brother had to clear up the "road" a few days before so that we could go to the cabin by car, because otherwise we couldn't have gone to the cabin.

This week is my last week in the Finnish classes as they have run out of budget to support me and my friends who aren't really students in the school. So starting next week I've got no more homework. :-(((( But my friends and I MAY organize some kind of study group on our own. We'll see about that.

Meanwhile, it's been pretty warm these days. Saturday it was around 5'C, so I decided to make a snowman albeit without face and arms ha ha ha ha...Here's a pic of my snowman. Can you believe making a snowman in APRIL?!?!?!?! It can only happen here in northern Finland hi hi hi hi hi hi...Anyway, if you wonder about my outfit, it's because I just came out of sauna, so I was feeling SO hot. I didn't need any jacket he he he...

And here is a pic that I took at around 8.10 pm on Saturday. Look how bright it is!!! Midnight Sun is coming SOON he he he he...

And when I looked at this, I felt GLAD I had my camera with me, so I took it out as quickly as possible HUE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...

OK, so there goes my weekend. Now I need to read my grammar book for tomorrow. I've got some homework!!!! :-D I'll blog-hop later today.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Web

What web am I talking about here? A country's systemic web. A country's system is like an intricate spider web with many fine threads here and there to support the whole thing. If a country's system is to be changed, then there will be SO MANY threads to change. Otherwise, the change won't work.

This is what came into my mind when I compare Indo versus Finnish system. Not to mention the differences in mentality and customs/tradition also play a huge part in creating these webs. Take for example queueing in the toilets. Here EVERYBODY knows already that it's "the custom", but in Indo, even until now it's not a custom yet. And how are you going to change that? EVERYBODY needs to change, too. It's not going to work if you're doing it all alone.

A friend mentioned to me that she felt "more at home" in Holland since in her opinion, Indo people (esp. the Chinese) hold on to this so much: "
You are what you have, you are what you achieve."

Another friend who lives in Indo told me something that is related to the above statement. Her hubby decided to stop working for a company and started selling noodles in a kiosk. However, turned out my friend's family considered that profession to be an embarrassment to them (an ugly stain for the whole family). I can't believe that they feel that way!!! Unbelievable ego!!!

But then again, the problem in Indo is that...because the social system isn't as advanced as in Finland (for example), to gain financial security is really something that (in a way) will make your life easier. And since the salary standard in Indo is SOOOOOOOO unpredictable (unlike in Finland), people will tend to want to get the best salary/job of all.

Take this for my fave beauty salon in Indo, I only have to pay around €5 for a haircut (and wash). Here in Finland, if I want to have a haircut and wash, I have to pay at least €25. And I know here in Finland that the hourly wage for a cleaner is around €7-9, but what about in Indo? I bet the standard salary for a cleaner is only around €50 per month (not sure but it's my rough estimation).

Here in Finland since the salary range is standardized and there are many benefits here and there, even if you work as a cleaner, you can still enjoy life. Plus since the tax system is good, even after you retire, you can also live without having to worry too much about money.

But in Indo, even after you no longer have the energy to work, you either have to have enough savings to support yourself for the rest of your life or you have to depend on your kids to live or you've got to have your own running company whose manager is now one of your kids - and only then you can enjoy life without worrying about money.

So it's all connected to one another - this intricate web. To change the view of a nation means changing these intricate threads, but it's not so easy, because there are so many tiny tiny threads that make up this web. I think it'd take a few generations to change this web. What do you think?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Is Silence Golden?

I've been lazy in doing anything much for the past few days (other than the fact that I've been feeling tired so easily). Nothing much to say in this blog, either. That doesn't mean to say that I haven't got many things on my mind, because I do.

OK, so this post will be a rambling one. I've found myself becoming more Finnish in a way (I THINK). In what way? I'm becoming more and more used to SILENCE. Even at work when there are gaps in conversations, I don't feel like saying anything. Am I becoming more and more of a hermit? silence really golden? Not when you're trying to learn a new language, but still I find that silence is comforting.

By the way, I bought an ovulation test pack the other day to try out later this month. Well, basically speaking I know already what my mucus is like when I'm fertile (which is like egg white), BUT I thought, "What the heck! There's no harm done in knowing FOR SURE when I'm ovulating."

The thing is, my menstruation cycle is rather crazy though regular - sometimes it's 32 days, sometimes 35, sometimes 39 days! And I read that sometimes your ovulation days are later or even before the usual since we have 3 more months before the TTC year is over (which means that I have to go to the doctor to check myself up if I'm not pregnant by then), I just want to make the best of that time. If nothing happens yet, then at least I won't say later on, "Dang, I wished I had tried buying that ovulation test pack!"

I've also been thinking about my "choices": what I want to do in the future after this training ends. The options are:

1. Finding a job ---> which won't be too easy.
2. Going back to school ---> which would take at least 3 years.
3. Going on a short course.
4. Going on another training. ---> but this is my last option.

Well, I think after this training ends, I'm going to focus on our holiday first, then I'll try applying for part-time jobs...Wish me luck then!!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

3BT: Random Days

1. Heard from one friend that she's got an office job in Finland (despite the global economic crisis). It's such a NICE break for her, so I'm VERY happy to hear this. It gives me hope, too, that a foreigner can get an office job here, as well.

2. Found an ex-teacher in FB and finally I could write her my long-overdue thank you note. It felt GREAT to be able to tell her how much I appreciated her. :-)))

3. It was so slippery today when I went biking to school and I almost fell down in one part, but glad I didn't! PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. Realizing some of the mistakes I made in my Finnish test today even before the teacher gave the papers back to me HA HA HA HA HA HA...

5. Reminiscing the past with my ex-school friends in FB. It's FUN to be able to contact many more long-lost friends and reminisce all the naughty times we had at school LOL LOL!!!

6. Being healthy again. The other day I felt like a zombie that I didn't go to school.

7. Having a funny hubby. He makes me smile and laugh and cackle!!! :-D

8. I've sent the papers for Indonesian election to the Indo Embassy in Helsinki. Feels good to be able to participate in the election though I'm far away from home! :-D May whoever wins be given the wisdom along with the power that comes!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Birthrate For Young Girls

When I was putting plastic covers for magazines at the library today, I came across this article in Time Magazine concerning birthrate for young girls in developed countries. So I wrote them down on a piece of paper.

Birthrate per 1,000 girls ages 15-19:

US 42.5
UK 26.7
Portugal 16.8
Aussie 16.1
Canada 13.3
Spain 11.5
Greece 11.3
Germany 10.1
Finland 9.4
Norway 8.7
France 7.8
Italy 7.0
Sweden 5.9
Denmark 5.9
Japan 5.1
Switzerland 4.5
Netherlands 3.8

I don't know who conducted the test, but it's clear that the US government is worried about this. I didn't have time to read it thoroughly, so I just browsed the article quickly. It seems that they're trying to enforce that "no sex is the best prevention" and they're wondering what kind of sex education is the best.

One thing I wondered when I read these numbers, though...what are the numbers for Indonesia? At least in Finland if you have a kid, you'll get some motherhood benefit and child benefit, as well, but in Indo...the parents will be burdened by the cost of living and raising the kid and the grandkid.

The second thing I was thinking was, "Hey, for a country where there are red light districts and gay marriages, the Netherlands aren't that bad!"

Oh well...I have nothing to say about this. Just want to share this article. Raising a child is definitely one of the TOUGHEST things on earth!!!

P.S. I've been given another project at work: decorating the children's section's wall. Today I tried to recreate a BIG version of Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh) HE HE HE HE HE...