Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cabin Trip Feb 2012

FINALLY I had the full weekend off from work and we could go to the cabin in Kelujärvi. The only problem was that it had been snowing a lot in the beginning of the week, so I was wondering how tough it'd be to reach the cabin. FYI, the cabin was a few hundred metres away from the house and now that the house was empty, there was nobody clearing the path towards the cabin anymore.

We arrived there on Friday after work at around 4 pm and the temperature was -18'C.

See how thick the snow is if it's not cleared up?

Even before we started the journey there, R2 had trouble already getting some firewood for the cabin (mind you, there's no electricity in the cabin nor an indoor toilet). Look at the pile of snow covering the pile of firewood!

The sled in the above pic was used to carry our stuff with us. It was REALLY heavy 'coz we had to bring drinking water with us (there is no running tap in the cabin).

OK, now here we were starting our tough walk in the snow...notice the deep impressions of our footsteps in the snow.

In some parts, my leg went as deep as my knee. Granted, I'm only 145 cm, but it was really tough work to walk towards the cabin 'coz we had to really pull up our leg high to make each step.

Standing on top of the frozen lake...

ALMOST THERE!!! It went a bit uphill from there, so R2 had to rest a bit 'coz he had the tougher work with all the burden on his back plus he had to drag the sled. Notice that in the pic below, he was standing on top of a more frozen snow so that his feet didn't sink too deeply into the snow.

Anyway, the sky was GORGEOUS when we got there...lucky enough we could be there before sundown, so we could enjoy the glorious sky...

Another battle we had to win was to try to get water from the frozen lake. There was at least 30 cm of snow on top of the icy lake surface and then R2 had to try to make a hole. The ice itself was at least 30 cm thick, so it took a LONG time before we could get some water to heat up the sauna in the cabin (the sauna uses firewood). He almost gave up 'coz he had run out of strength (mind you he hadn't eaten anything yet at that time and it was already close to 5 pm). He shouted out, "HALLELUJAH!" when we finally got water HA HA HA HA HA...

After that we could finally eat and then went to sauna, listened to the radio, and went to sleep. On Saturday it was snowing lightly. It was -10'C but grainy weather. Lucky that we got to see the gorgeous sky on Friday!!!

Here's a pic of me posing in front of the cabin. The view behind me was the frozen lake. Notice how grainy and grey it is compared to the photos on Friday!

See what I mean? It was still quite a sight, though, to see the sun like that he he...

I also saw lots of hare's paw prints's a comparison between my boot and the hare's paw prints. My boot size is 39 (My original shoe size is actually 36, but for boots I always buy bigger sizes so that I can wear three pairs of socks in the depth of winter and still feel comfy wearing them).

All in all, it was a well-deserved, relaxing cabin trip. Would love to do it again later on! :-D

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1a. Looking at my own reflection on hubby's eye (I told him not to blink for a while when I enjoyed looking at it HA HA....;-D

1b. Forgot to write this: On Sunday when I was about to go to work, after I put on my winter shoes and jacket, R2 knelt down, squeezed me, and playfully said, "Don't goooooooo!!!!" LOL LOL!!!!

2. Having a farewell Japanese dinner with hubby and my Japanese and UK friend. It was FUN FUN FUN. :-D

3. The sweet little girl came to the store with the daddy and she ran towards me and gave me a hug again. :-D

4. Making weird faces and making hubby laugh.

5. SO THANKFUL that our house isn't that far away from downtown, so I can walk to and from work easily (yesterday it snowed so much that biking to work was just impossible with all the thick snow everywhere).

6. Laskiaispulla on a discount. YEAH!!!!

7. Making a stupid mistake at work, but the customers forgave me and I didn't beat myself too much after it happened.

8. Not beating myself too much about my own mistakes is a HUGE progress. In the past I could continue doing so for days or even weeks! Learning from my own mistakes isn't the same as beating myself about it.

9. Reading a very heartwarming love story/manga between a normal person and a deaf person that gives me more insights towards the life of a deaf person (the kind of insights that didn't even cross my mind).

10. Buying a pair of cheap sports shoes for work purposes (the current pair I'm wearing is starting to get worn out).

11. Finding two cheap, sturdy second-handed bags online that I need he he he...Two for only €10!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Interracial Facial Recognition

In one episode of The Good Wife series, a crime witness is asked to identify the perpetrator (they are of different races) and the witness managed to pick up the wrong one. In the end of course they find out the right perpetrator, but an investigator for the law firm finds out about interracial facial recognition or cross-race effect.

Pic source:

Basically speaking, normally people of a one race have trouble identifying faces of people from a different race (unless they've spent much time with the people of that certain different race). It has happened to me and R2 as well.

When we were watching Ip Man, R2 stated, "I really like watching Asian martial arts movies, but my problem is that they all look the same and it's hard for me to remember which is which." Yep, I can understand his problem, especially during fast action scenes when many people are fighting one another and there are many people involved in the fight/war/battle. And in some Asian action movies, the pace of the movie is very fast, so it's kinda hard to distinguish which is which if you're not used to Asian faces.

When I first started helping out at the daycare, I also had the same problem in remembering the kids. Mind you that there were only about max. 15 kids in the class per day (normally between 10-12 kids at once), but some days some kids didn't come or they came earlier than the others and vice versa. Thankfully they had put the pictures of each kid in the hall along with their names below it, so I took a pic of that with my mobile phone and at home I tried memorizing the faces and the names so that I wouldn't mix them up. After all, some kids had certain needs and if I didn't remember which was which, there would be trouble.

My Japanese friend has also told me a similar problem. She's volunteering in schools in this area and she's been to many different schools and she's met so many different teachers, but the problem is that she doesn't remember which is which anymore - except perhaps the ones that she's met the most.

That's also my problem when I started working in my current workplace. Let's just say that approximately on a 6-hour shift as the main cashier, there are at least 200 transactions (during high season the number can even be over 300 transactions). In the beginning everything just whizzed by, but after some months I started remembering the regular customers' faces.

At my workplace, every now and then, a certain customer wants us (the cashiers) to hold a certain product for him/her to pay later during the day or even the next day. Many times over I can't even remember the person who's booked that certain product, but fortunately normally I'd ask them to write their names down and then they do come back and let me know in detail about what they want.

Another type of problem that I encounter sometimes at work: I remember one day a grandpa came by and said, "Remember me? I came here yesterday." Errrrrrrr...that's a really tricky question. Unless something remarkable or weird or crazy happened when he was there and unless he was a regular customer, I would probably forget about him...but then again it made me feel kinda sad that he was hopeful about my remembering his face he oh lifeeee...Now I'm rambling...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Technology: Then and Now

In this modern age where kids start using computers at such a young age, it seems that my childhood was like a "caveman period" for the new generation of kids. The other day in Facebook someone posted somebody else's picture that made me laugh so much.

It was a picture of a cassette and a pencil next to it. Below it is written: Kids These Days Wouldn't Know The Link Between These Two Objects.

It took me a split second to realize what it meant, then I started laughing. I remember the first time I had ever bought my own cassette. It was a NKOTB (New Kids on The Block) cassette which my cousin and I played over and over again on the tape recorder. One time it was jammed and the roll of tape got entangled inside the tape recorder (see the pic below). I had to stop it and take it out manually and then roll it back neatly using the help of the pencil. However, the second time it happened, I had to actually open the case of the cassette and roll it into place by hand VERY VERY slowlyyyyy so that it wouldn't slip 'coz then I'd have to do it all over again...

Today I've also been talking to another hometown girl who's just married a Finnish guy and has just moved to Finland two months ago. They also met online, but I realized how different it was back then when I started getting to know Arttu and the time she spent online with him.

She told me that they spent a lot of time sending messages via Facebook because it was cheaper than sending SMSes. When I first got to know Arttu better in 2000, mobile phone providers had just started their SMS services. Back then I still had my 56 Kbps modem to connect to the internet (yeah, so very slow!), so for me it was much cheaper to send SMSes compared to being online all the time. These days in Indonesia there are so many internet providers with faster connections and cheaper prices, so it's natural that it's getting cheaper to connect with people via Facebook or Blackberries compared to sending SMSes.

Talking to the younger generation makes me feel like I came from a distant age and time ha ha ha ha...It doesn't necessarily mean I feel old, though, but it's such a huge contrast that happened in just a few years (I was still using the 56Kbps when I left Indo in 2007 and nowadays the internet connection can be as fast as 1Mbps or even faster than that - depending on what kind of services you subscribe to).

When I look back to my childhood, I remember so many wonderful traditional children's games that we had with my friends and neighbours. Kids these days don't know those wonderful games anymore 'coz they grow up with Wii and stuff like that. These are some of the wonderful games that we played in the olden days:


Bola Bekel (explanation can be found in the middle of the page)

There are also some running/jumping games, but I don't really remember the rules anymore nor could I find any info in English. All I knew was that we had so much fun!!! :-D

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. Hubby picking up some dirt from my face tenderly.

2. After letting him choose which of the two slices he wanted, hubby let me eat the best slice of the blueberry pie that MIL made (the one that had the most blueberries on it). :-D

3. Being able to match our free days (R2 took a few days off 'coz he'd accumulated plenty of overtime) and being able to enjoy those days blissfully together. :-D

picture source:

4. Playing hide-and-seek a little when I got back from my evening shift and I ran around the house when hubby tried to greet me and give me a hug. It was really EXHILARATING to to be chased HA HA HA HA HA...

5. The mug I ordered online for someone turned out to be perfect (this is the first time I had ever ordered a mug online). Now can't wait to give it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D

6. Banged my head accidentally to a kitchen cabinet and hubby rubbed the place where it hurt and blew my pain away. :-D (Yeah, I'm spoiled!!!)

7. Giggling uncontrollably while remembering this old incident: Hubby tried a nose clip that was advertised to help reduce snoring, but during the night he had a dream that he was eating something and he was chewing the nose clip that he probably took out in his sleep. He woke up after he felt something weird in his mouth and took it out. ROFL ROFL ROFL...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Moon Pictures...

R2 took a few days off to match my days off with his. We were planning to go to the cabin but 'coz the temperature has been so cold and the cabin is without electricity or heater or indoor toilet, it wouldn't be too nice to spend a night there 'coz R2 will have to burn firewood over and over again during our stay there (including during the night when we sleep), so we've been spending quality time at home.

Because I have work this weekend, we went to my MIL's place today already and over there I took a few pics. Here they are...temperature was around -27'C, photos taken at around 2 pm.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Wrong Relationship

Yesterday one foreign customer complimented my beauty. He himself is an expat who has lived in Finland for 20 years. He said he had always been attracted to eyes like mine - he called them special. I thanked him for his compliment and this incident reminded me of my past.

Back in Indo, ever since I was young, I never felt especially beautiful. I never felt ugly, either, but I knew what people considered "beautiful" - those who have bigger eyes, not a girl like me (case in point: in many Asian countries, those people who have slanted eyes try to make their eyes look BIGGER when they put on make-up. If you still don't believe me, just try googling Japanese manga series and you'll see that the idealized female person there has big eyes instead of slanted Japanese eyes. Want more proof? Try googling double eyelid surgery in Korea. So many people there have been getting the surgery to make their eyes look bigger.)

Anyway, when I was 19 going on 20, I met this guy online who made me feel especially beautiful. I knew he was a bad boy, but he was the first one ever who made me feel that I "shone among the others" (so to speak). He also taught me how to be open and by being open to him and still being accepted as who I was, I was drawn to him. He was the total opposite of me.

I knew our relationship was doomed from the start, but I did one of the most cliched mistakes a girl could ever make. I thought I could be the one who turned the bad boy into a good boy. Yep. Silly little me. We broke up not long after we met in real life. I realized even more after we met that we were just too different and there was no way I could ever change him. After all, we can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped, right?

There were times when I wished I could erase that part of my life, but now that I think about making that mistake, I have learnt so much. First of all, I've learnt how to be open to people. Secondly, by having that short relationship, I learn how to set boundaries and thirdly I figured out what kind of qualities I was looking for in a guy.

When I had that brief relationship, I had been emailing with R2 as well, though we weren't too close yet. After I broke up with my first boyfriend and I got to know R2 even more and more, I realized that he was the one I was looking for all along. We're more in tune with each other and there are some similarities that make it easier for us to understand each other. R2 makes me feel safe because he's a steady person and he really tries his best to bridge the gap between us. Most of all, he's always brought up the best in me - and even more so in real life.

However, if I hadn't had the wrong relationship, I may have not been ready to be open with R2 and everything might have ended up differently. Because I could be open with R2 and I allowed myself to be vulnerable, he also felt more at ease to show me his vulnerability. That created so much closeness between us. And because at that time I knew already what type of qualities I looked for in a guy, I recognized them easily when R2 and I began to get to know each other better.

Anyway, back to the topic of beauty. Beauty is really tricky, don't you think? I think as time goes by, I've begun to appreciate more and more the individual beauty of people, including myself. While back in my past, I craved for other people's appreciation of my outer beauty, nowadays I hope I've learnt even better how to view people through God's eyes - that He's woven each one of us in a mother's womb...that each one of us is His beloved.