Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cultural Damage?

On Monday morning we left to Rovaniemi to spend a night there. It was on a whim that we decided to spend a night there, so there weren't many options left to find a hotel room within our budget. We stayed a night at Lapland Sky Hotel Ounasvaara (you can google it to find out where it is). It's a simple hotel with no frills, but we got a room with a sauna and the price we paid (142 Euros for the both of us) included breakfast. The other hostels in the city were fully booked and the other hotels in the city were so expensive, so we chose this one.

I feel that I've been "culturally damaged" by having lived in this small village called Sodankylä. What are the damages involved?

1. Now I'm really noise sensitive when it comes to bedtime. In Indo we lived in a small alley where there were always plenty of noise around us and then I could sleep so well even with all the noise. Now after having lived here for 4 years, I find that it's getting harder and harder to sleep when it's noisy outside (except perhaps when I'm DEAD tired).

You see, when we were about to sleep in the hotel at around midnight, some guests just started coming back and the hallway was really noisy. Our next door neighbour just came back with the whole family and they were so loud. It was hard for us to sleep and I got frustrated 'coz in the past when I still lived in Indo I could go to bed so easily even with all the noise around me.

2. Here in Sodankylä I find that my personal space is SO WIDE due to the small number of inhabitants. Wherever I go, I've never found too many people around me so I can move freely everywhere. When we went to Rovaniemi the other day, there were so many people in the mall due to tourist season and the fact that they're having big post-Christmas discounts everywhere. I've found myself feeling like wanting to shout, "Stay away from me! You're in my personal space!!!"

This is not the first time I felt something like this. I also felt it when I went to Singapore and Indonesia two years ago and last year. Too many people disturb me so easily now that I've lived here in Sodankylä. I think the longer I stay here, the harder it is for me to feel at home anywhere else - of course if I HAVE to stay somewhere else where there are many people and where it's noisy, I can always adjust to it again, but all I'm saying is that it's hard to get used to all those things after you've enjoyed the beauty of plenty of space and lack of noise around you. For me it's MUCH easier to get used to plenty of space and lack of noise after you've been surrounded by lack of space and too much noise around you.

OK, enough rambling...even though we had to pay for the hotel, I felt that it was worth it 'coz we got lovely pictures from around the hotel area. Let me share some here first and I'll continue sharing more pictures in a later post...

1st pic: Taken at around 4 pm right after we checked into the hotel. We went up the roof/deck of the hotel (there were frozen benches and tables up there - I guess they used it to eat during summer to enjoy the view). It was on a 3-storey floor. Behind me down there there was a ski lift (maybe it's not clear but you can see it in another pic which I'll post in another post).

2nd pic: Yep, the sky was really dark orange. I was amazed when I looked at the sky when we arrived at the hotel (the hotel is located a little bit up on a hill) and yes, they put some green lamps around the area and I found it weird to look at green trees he he...

3rd pic: Another shot of the sunset.

4th pic: I took this pic after we had our breakfast, at around 10.00 am. The sun was just about rise. I went up to the deck again and I was amazed when I looked around me. I'll upload some videos later on, as well.

5th pic: Another shot from up the deck. You can see the ski lift operating room down there.

6th pic: I went down again and found a path leading away from the hotel and I took pictures from there.

7th pic: The actual sky didn't have purplish hue, but I LOVE this pic anyway. It was more blue and white, though the orangey/pinkish hue in the previous photo was real. I feel like the trees are "sighing due to the weight of the snow" he he he...

OK, I have to go to work soon, so to be continued. Not sure when I'll post again 'coz I have an evening shift today and tomorrow a morning shift and I may go straight to my MIL's place to celebrate New Year there together, but I'll be back (if God still gives me breath HA HA HA HA HA...). Take care, people, and have a BLESSED New Year!!! Hopefully next year is better than this year! :-D


  1. I think Rovaniemi is like Amsterdam or Rotterdam in here. And your city like my small city too :D

    Really lovey winter shots, Amel. Happy New Year

  2. Well, I live in the downtown here and I get used to the traffic noise, though it isn't as noisy as the traffic in Indo. The thing is, no matter how tired I was, I woke up every 5 a.m because there was a small mosque (langgar) in that area (700m from the house) and that's the time when the muslims have their morning prayers. When I was with my parents, I would never be disturbed by the sound of muslim morning prayers from the mosque at all. So, I can somehow relate with you, Mel.

    As for the pics, they are all lovely as usual and I love them! :)

  3. You know that I totally understand this Amel! :D It's a very weird thing to know that few other places on the planet can give you this feeling! Unless you have lived it, you almost cannot understand it.. eh?

    I have a feeling that Rovaniemi often gets this type of atmospheric colouration....I am not sure if it is the location, exactly on the arctic circle, or what.. but I have taken a picture with this orangey colour, when at Rovaniemi airport...but have not seen it elsewhere!

    Curious... but very pretty!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Haha... I could also feel those trees were sighing. ;-D

    Maybe in my situation is slightly different, but I could understand your feeling about your space and peacefulness being invaded by others.

    Anyway, cheers to you, buddy! :-)

  5. Jul: In Rovaniemi there are about 50,000 inhabitants he in Sodankylä area there are only about 5,000 inhabitants.

    Henny: Ternyata sama juga toh. THANKS for sharing! :-D

    Mrs. Rainbow: Yeah, I know you'd understand. Really? I didn't really know about the orangey colour, but one friend says to me in FB, "Hey, the orangey colour reminds me of the sunset in Indo." And you're right that over here I see mostly pink coloured skies instead of orangey ones.

    CMG: Yeah, it's not a nice feeling when you feel that way, eh?

  6. Got your link from Blurting's. Just wanted to say hi. I spent a Finnish summer with friends and it was glorious. Looking at these pics, perhaps I should consider a Finnish winter as well! Happy New Year!

  7. In a way, you're so lucky to live in such a peaceful environment cos it suits your personality. I get so stressed when I am in crowded places like the malls here and in Hong Kong. I can't imagine how you could live here now.