Thursday, March 29, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. Reading this sweet post-it note that hubby left on the inside part of our front door:  

2. Just realized it the other day that I'm already halfway down till my retirement age. :-D

3. Having been diligent enough to force myself to keep on translating the Finnish book no matter how hard it is. This story I'm currently translating is definitely tougher than the previous ones!

4. Knowing that my friends and family members are safe despite the demonstrations going on in different cities in Indo due to the fact that the government will raise the prices of gasoline.

5. MIL came for a visit and we had a nice, long talk about many things, including funny stories about her cows. :-D

6. She could even explain to me one particular word that nobody else knew (I had asked around to other Finnish people in Facebook) hat I found in the book I had to translate. YEAHHHH!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Temple Grandin: Movie Recommendation

Last night I finally got the chance to watch "Temple Grandin". Had been dying to watch it ever since I accidentally saw it in imdb a while back he he...

I HIGHLY recommend the movie. It's now officially one of my fave movies of all time. Claire Danes did a BRILLIANT job on becoming Temple Grandin. I hardly recognized her at all. Even Temple Grandin herself had stated that she was very pleased with Claire Danes' portrayal of herself. 

The movie is brilliant in many ways, especially in taking me to view the world through a highly functional autistic woman's eyes. Here's a quote from the movie:

I know I was different, but NOT less!

Anyway, here's the trailer:

And if you're interested in watching this long video clip of the real Temple Grandin (the speech starts at 6:20 if you want to skip the introduction), here goes:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Finnish-English Translation Update

During the week when I was not feeling very well, I got lazy and I didn't do any translation at all, but now I've started focusing on it again. I must say that it's a really challenging task. There are just some things that sound natural in Finnish and the English translation of it would sound a bit weird. Plus in Finnish you can write such a loooooonnnngggg sentence that just can't be translated into English without my chopping them up into at least two sentences. 

I haven't been translating long texts in a LONG time, so my translation brain is kinda rusty. Oftentimes I get stuck because I have the image of the word in my head, but I can't bring myself to remember the word. It feels frustrating to be able to view the image in your mind without being able to voice it.

Another challenge for me is the vocabulary (obviously). The main character goes fishing and some fishing gears are mentioned along with names of fishes or animals that I don't know 'coz they don't exist in Indonesia. THANK GOD there's Google and free online dictionaries. Otherwise I wouldn't have survived (so far I've only translated 3 stories). *GRIN*

The writer also has a certain style of writing that I'm not familiar with. After all, most of the time I've been reading translated novels (English to Finnish), so I haven't got too much experience reading novels written by Finnish writers (I did start reading Puhdistus by Sofi Oksanen, but then as usual*** I switched book in the middle - my bad!!! But I shall get back to that book someday he he...).

*** Confession: I'm not really a "good reader". I do LOVE collecting books, but I switch books A LOT while reading them. There are only a few novels (among all the novels I've read in my lifetime) that I read without switching and stopping in between. And yeah, that meant that lots of time I had to reread the books I had left behind from the beginning again ha ha ha ha ha...

P.S. I'd love to recommend Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal". It's VERY FUNNY and I LOVE all the characters. For some reason I enjoy this one better than Pratchett's Colour of Magic. Here's the trailer:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Language Mix-Up: Plum

Usually in our household, the one making pancakes is hubby but this time I wanted to do it by myself. I started doing it while hubby was having dinner, but when he saw what I was about to do, he said I was doing it the wrong way. 

I asked him why there should be any specific order? Would it make a difference at all?

He said, "If you're doing it in the wrong order, the pancakes will get plum."

I was really confused, so I asked again, "Did you just say plum?"

He said, "Yeah, they'll get plum."

I asked back, "Plum? Luumu?" (Luumu is the Finnish word for plum)

Then he realized his mistake and he said, "Lumpyyyyy!!!"

I couldn't help laughing out loud HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...OK, now I should start cooking the chocolate pancakes slice by slice! :-D

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Somewhere I Belong

The other day I was feeling really disturbed by several things (not work-related). It's got everything to do with my inner world. It's funny how loud the mind can be when one is warring with oneself. One of the things that disturbed me was the realization that I was disturbed by those things. And it made me even more disturbed. Why did I let myself be disturbed by those things? That was all I could think of at the end of the reflection.

Last night I wrote a very honest and raw post about my feelings and after saving the post, I felt more relieved, though I'm not going to publish the post due to its nature. Prior to writing the post, I just felt this huge ball of pent-up feelings about to explode and because there were several triggers, they became tangled up and I had to sort each of them out in order to figure out the whys and the wherefores. Additional note: Blogging is THE BEST kind of FREE therapy ever!!!! :-D

I'm gonna share some things that I felt (in a more logical tone of voice instead of a jumbling mess of curses and hot-headed emotions) here:

1. When we were busy with our TTC (trying to conceive) program and especially after a year went by without any result (after we joined the ranks of the infertile), I yearned so much to join the motherhood gang. Motherhood was at the top of my mind and I was envious to other people who were able to join it. There was nothing I'd love more than to be able to share the joys and pains of motherhood. It's like daydreaming about going to the moon, so to speak. 

After we decided to live "Childless Not By Choice" (CNBC), I began to search for blogs that have the same topic 'coz I don't feel like I can relate much to those people who're still trying to have babies by any means. However, there's this little voice inside me saying that CNBCers probably deem that I'm still "young enough to breed" (going on 34 this year). I was fine with that for some time, but the other day it just hit me that now I'm craving so much to be able to join this CNBC gang. Now that I've stopped yearning about motherhood, I'm yearning to belong in this CNBC gang. But now it feels like I'm waiting for my retirement period - or at least waiting for my eggs to be too old to produce an offspring. 

I wanted to scream 'coz I felt so tired. Tired of finding a place to belong. Last night I was listening to Linkin Park's "Somewhere I Belong" and I kept on listening to angsty, dark songs that I felt perfect for my mood. And last night before bed, with still some thoughts warring inside my mind, I prayed to God for healing

I woke up refreshed and I feel much lighter now, though I had two troublesome dreams that I'd forgotten. I woke up earlier this morning to pee and at that time I remembered those two dreams and I was thinking to myself that they were really symbolic of my warring thoughts. I remember dreaming about my mother burning something - probably a symbol of the road to motherhood that was burnt down.

2. The other day an Indo friend wrote this in Facebook:

"It never ends, does it? When are you gonna get married? Done. When are you going to have a baby? Done. When are you going to give your firstborn a sibling? Done. Aren't you going to try to have another one? ARRRRRGGGHHHH"

Another friend commented: "Yeah, and then it continues: When are you going to have a son-/daughter-in-law? When are you going to have grandkids?"

I was really sick and tired of those kind of questions. Although I'm safe here in Finland and although my Indo family and relatives know about "our problem" and they never said anything much except "We'll be praying for you", the few times I went back to Indo after our marriage, neighbours would ask me about this baby topic. This FB wall post had poked my scars and I was shocked at how upset I felt. I was upset not just for my sake, but for the sake of all those people there who "don't fit the mold" and yet they have to endure such questions so much.

You see, the wall post reminded me of a certain exchange with my neighbour a few years ago. He (yes, he) asked me about when we'd have babies (at the time we were still TTC) and he then asked, "Is your period regular or not? If it's regular then it's good." At that time I was in a good mood (holiday mood), so I wasn't upset (I'd after all, prepared myself months before the trip for nosy questions like this). However, when I read my friend's wall post, I became upset when remembering his question. It's just so out of line. Maybe nowadays I'm getting more and more "westernized" in mind or something. Dunno.

And then I remember another encounter happening last year with a different neighbour. She said, "When are you gonna have kids?"

I said to her, "Well, it doesn't matter now. It's fine even if it's just the two of us."

Immediately she said with a shocked face, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! DON'T SAY THAT!!! I'm gonna pray for you to have kids."

I thanked her and smiled, but deep inside I felt, "You can pray as many times as you want, but if God says no, then it's no. There's no in between."

And remembering that exchange made me wonder if it would have been easier if we had decided not to have kids since the beginning or not, because two relatives that I met last year visited my parents' place on our holiday and they whispered to me, "I'm gonna pray for you both to have kids." Sighhhhhhh...

OK, I'm gonna leave all these negative emotions here in the blogosphere. I don't want to keep carrying them around anymore in my mind...These two aren't the only things bothering my mind, but the post is getting too long already he he...

Friday, March 23, 2012


A friend of mine has been asking me about what kind of card game we usually play at MIL's place. It's called 500 because the goal is to reach at least 500 scores. Let me try to explain the game to you. It's a little bit complicated if you're not used to the rules yet, but it's really fun 'coz winning depends on your luck as well as your strategy. OK, here goes...

What you need: A deck of cards with 3 jokers. 
Number of players: 2-6 (best played when there are 4-5 people, though) 

For starters, all the small numbers (1-9) will each worth 5 points.
10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings each worth 10 points EXCEPT The Queen of Spades.
The Queen of Spades: if you're left with this card when someone else ends the game, then it's worth -200.
However, if you manage to get The Queen of Spades on your table, then it's worth 50
Aces each worth 25 points.
 Jokers can be anything and each of them is worth 15 points

The point of the game is to collect threes (or fours if you're lucky enough to get them), for example: 3 of Spades, 4 of Spades, 5 of Spades (same group of cards in numerical order)
3 of Spades, 3 of Hearts, 3 of Diamonds (the same number/picture card of different groups)
OR if you're lucky enough to get 2 Aces and 2 jokers in hand, you can turn them into
Four Aces ---> Now someone else who has the other aces can take your jokers in return (remember that a joker can be anything)
Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds (the same number/picture card of different groups)
9 of Hearts, 10 of Hearts, Jack of Hearts (same group of cards in numerical order)

Rules of the game:

1. First of all the card dealer shuffles the card, then let the other player on the right side cut the deck, then he/she deals the pack starting with the player on the left. Each is given 6 cards except the card dealer. The card dealer gets 7 cards.

2. The card dealer then has to throw away a card. The card dealer CANNOT put any threes on the table even if he/she has them already because it's forbidden for the first person to start the game to do any move except throw a card on the table. 

So there are two stacks of cards in the middle: the closed stack of cards and the open stack of cards thrown away by the players ---> nobody can peek at the open stack of cards 'coz they just have to memorize what they are. If one wishes to take the open stack of cards, one has to take every single card that's there.

3. Now that the card dealer has started the game, the other players can start building threes on the table. The person next to the card dealer can either choose to take one card from the closed deck or the card that the card dealer has thrown away next to the closed deck. HOWEVER, if one takes away the card(s) thrown away by other players, one MUST create a three. If one fails to do so, then one gets -50 as a penalty.
4. Once each player has a three on the table, then they can start continuing what the others have built. Let me break it down for you...Let's just say there are three players.

Player A has put 2 Aces and 1 joker on the table (the joker is to be another Ace).
Player B has put 7 Hearts, 9 Hearts, and 10 Hearts on the table.
Player C has put 3 Diamonds, 4 Diamonds, 5 Diamonds.

Player A takes a card from the deck and gets Jack of Hearts. He can put the card on the table because it means he's continuing Player B's set of three. Then he throws away a card.

Player B has one Ace, takes a card from the deck (another Ace), and he decides to switch one Ace with Player A's joker. With the joker, he builds a set of three like this: Ace of Hearts, 2 of Hearts, Joker (as 3 of Hearts). Then he throws away a card.

Player C takes a card (3 of Hearts) and he has in his hand 4 of Hearts, 2 of Diamonds, 6 of Diamonds, 7 of Diamonds, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts. Now this player can end the game already because he can continue other players' cards and he still has one card to throw away. ****

So if I were player C, I'd switch 3 of Hearts with Player B's joker (because a joker on my side of the table is worth 15 points), then put Queen of Hearts and King of Hearts as a continuation of what have been on other players' sides. Then I'd put 6 of Diamonds, 7 of Diamonds and the joker as 8 of Diamonds on the table and throw away 2 of Diamonds to end the game.

5. **** After a player has a set of three on the table, he can only take as many cards from the closed deck until the number of the cards on his hand is 6 cards max. However, if he wishes to take the cards from the open stack of cards (the cards that have been piling up from what the players have thrown away), then even if there are 20 cards there, it's fine. However, remember rule #3 about the penalty.

HOWEVER, if a player doesn't have any set of threes yet on the table, then the number of cards on his hand must be 7 cards ---> that is unless he wishes to take the cards from the stack next to the closed desk. 

6. An Ace can be built as such: Queen, King, Ace or Ace, 2, 3.

7. Once someone ends the game (remember he has to throw away the last card to close the game - that is why it's important to have only a max. of 6 cards on hand if one prefers to take the card from the closed stack to make it harder to do this), the points are calculated as such:

The number of points of cards on the table - the number of points of cards in hand = The number of points calculated.

8. At the end of the game when it becomes so hard to make a three or to do anything much (even to continue other people's sets), if you end up with 3 Jokers, you can just put them down on the table like that without having to determine what they are. 

Normally it takes several round of games before someone reaches 500 points. If there are more than 3 players, it takes more than 3-4 rounds before someone reaches 500 points (from experience, the most points one can get per round if one is very lucky is 270-290 pts, but it's very rare that it happens). If there are only two players, there's a better chance that the game winner can be found in just 2 rounds.

One time we were playing with MIL, BIL, and SIL and MIL got so unlucky that at the end of the game, she had gone down to MINUS 600. Yep...she kept on being stuck with the Queen of Spades in her hand when someone else ended the game. We call the Queen of Spades "paha akka" (or The Evil Queen) he he he...

I hope I'm not forgetting any rules here he he he he...feel free to ask me any questions if you want...I hope I'm not making anyone confused ha ha ha...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. The other day at work a grandma gave me a bar of chocolate!!! :-D For no reason whatsoever! BLESS YOU, mummo!

2. Another grandma said to me, "You don't need to dye your hair at all 'coz you've got a really nice natural colour already."

3. Starting over a new blog to help me discipline myself in practising written Finnish 'coz I'm getting really rusty in that area. And R2 has promised to help me edit my texts. :-D

4. Slices of reindeer meat beef hanging in one corner of the house - which will then turn into yummy kuivaliha (dried reindeer meat). Can't wait to eat it!!! :-D

A customer thanking me on how I handled an incident that had happened in the past involving her and me - I had forgotten about her already, but she remembered me.

6. Spending a few blissful days at home together with hubby (he'd done lots of overtime, so he took some time off).

7. Delicious pizza that hubby bought on his birthday. Plus I didn't need to cook ha ha ha...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Embracing The Experience

The other day at work when it was rather quiet, a woman (who seemed belligerent - dunno why but I got that kind of aura from her) came by and asked me about a certain product. She wanted something cheap that had the most quantity (don't we all?), so I gave her some input and let her decide. At that time there was nobody at the cashier, so I had time to tend to her needs.

Then while paying, she started babbling about many things, including how boring it was now that she'd retired at the age of 70 y.o. She then told me about where she worked before and all that. And again she stated how boring it was to be retired.

She started babbling about how nice it was to go out and just talk to other people and again how boring it was to just do nothing. Then she asked, "I'm not bothering you by talking to you, eh?" I said no, even though I actually had other things to do, but I wasn't in a hurry. I listened to her and tried to give her the best responses I could think of. I could feel her reluctance to leave, though after the next customer got closer to where I was standing, she said to him, "I suppose I should get my ass going now, eh?"

When she kept on repeating how boring it was to be retired, I remembered the days when I had nothing much to do, when I spent more time cooped up inside the apartment with no one else to talk to. I realized that I could probably relate to her in some ways due to what I had experienced.

I remember that one time after moving to Finland, when I had nothing to do (probably in between training sessions) and I didn't feel like going out much except to do my groceries, I began to be afraid of interacting with other people. I had cold sweat and butterflies in my stomach when I actually had to go out and talk to other people, even for a short exchange with a cashier or an employment officer. It was really strange 'coz I had never experienced that before. Only then did I start getting a glimpse of what life could be like for those people who got panic attacks when they had to go out of the house and interact with other people.

It's like through all the "downs" (instead of ups) that I've experienced in Finland, I've been given a chance to put on a different pair of glasses and see the world through a different perspective. And for that, I'm REALLY THANKFUL. Embracing an experience that may not be pleasant is something that has been an eye-opener for me.

P.S. For those of you who know my love story with R2, one of the reasons why I chose R2 was also 'coz I had seen him unemployed for a long time and he didn't become "belligerent" so to speak. I told myself, "I could live with someone like that in our old age."

You see, at that time my Dad had started going on the road to retirement and he became so angry at other people (lashing out esp. to my Mom for no real reason whatsoever). Post power syndrome at its worst. But anyway, my Dad's in a much better place now - it's just that meeting that woman made me remember this topic. :-D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

MIL's Birthday

Yesterday after work went straight to MIL's house (R2 picked me up, so I walked to work with my spikes 'coz it's been getting slippery here in Sodankylä). MIL's friends had just left the place when we arrived. I wanted to go buy flowers, but alas the florist was already closed by the time I finished work. Doh!

But anyway, we did bring her a gift he he he's a suitcase! She doesn't have any good, big enough suitcase and she's planning to travel with some friends later in autumn, so we decided to buy her a suitcase (I couldn't think of anything else that she may need). She was shocked to see the big cardboard box that we brought to her place ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...but she was happy to get it. I hope the trip won't be cancelled - she's booked a trip for next month with her friends, but it's cancelled 'coz of lack of participants.

Anyway, MIL had received plenty of flowers was nice to see so many flowers in her apartment he he...we had lunch then she made coffee and took out a cake. Yum are some pictures I took.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Under The Weather

Been feeling under the weather for some time (esp. after my trip to my friend's wedding), but this week it got worse. Finally went to the doc and got signed off for 3 days. I'm tired of feeling weird on the head - it's like a light-headedness/light headache that comes and goes as it pleases. However, tomorrow I have work but fortunately I can rest after that 'coz the next time I have work again is on Monday. If this light-headedness continues, though, I'm gonna go to the doc again.

At least I've stopped feeling cold (no fever, though - I haven't had a fever for the past 4 years no matter how unwell I feel). For a few days I had been feeling cold most of the time even though indoor temperature is never cold. I had to put on a few sweaters and three pairs of socks even. Last night I kicked another blanket that had kept me warm the previous nights.

Woke up with a very sore throat and R2's been infected, as well. Oh well...hopefully the bugs will soon go away and that R2 won't feel worse 'coz soon it'll be his birthday (next week). It'll suck if he gets sick on his birthday, esp. after he managed to get a day off that day!

While riding my bike back from the clinic, though, I ran into my neighbour - the gentleman (an old guy) smiled, took off his hat, and greeted me while kicking his kicksled. That was SO sweet! :-)))

Speaking of birthday, I had either chickenpox or mumps when I turned 8 and I had to rest in bed for over a week (or was it close to two weeks?). Anyway, I was really bored and I felt crappy 'coz I had to be sick on my birthday. At that time my uncle (Dad's youngest brother) came for a visit and he brought a gift for me. I was SO surprised and touched that I cried my eyes out, you know? My uncle was totally confused he he he he...

Anyway, I'm gonna go rest some more. My brain still can't cope with anything too heavy, though I do have plenty of other topics to talk about, but they shall wait. Have a healthy, safe, and wonderful weekend, people!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why I Blog #2: Self-Worth

Writing the previous post took me back to the past. Actually, the full-time Finnish course started 10 months after I moved to Finland. There was an evening Finnish course in autumn that year, but it wasn't that effective 'coz there were only 20-25 hours of lessons in the course of 3 months. It did help a little, esp. in making me meet other expats living in Sodankylä, but it was not enough for our (all the expats) needs.

Anyhow, I remember during that period I was struggling with my self-worth. The world's voices became SO jarringly loud in my inner ears that I was shaken to the core. I felt "useless" as a human being. I knew I had to start life all over again from zero, but because I'm an adult and not a child, the transition was tough. I had to rely on R2 for many things 'coz in many government offices here (like KELA and employment office), most of them didn't speak English that well (or maybe they're just too shy to do so or they're mostly passive speakers).

I remember on one occasion before I learnt enough Finnish, I went to the employment office alone, told them in English very slowly what I wanted, but the woman sitting in front of me was at a loss on what to say to me. She did understand what I wanted, but she didn't know how to reply me. She grabbed a small Finnish-English dictionary and frantically tried to find the words she needed. I don't remember anymore if another woman helped us or not (vaguely I remember a woman from the next booth leaning in to help) - but in the end in very broken English she told me what she thought.

Anyhow, so I felt "crippled" in many ways at that time. I felt "useless" because this world puts so much emphasis on achievements. What are you? Who are you? What do you do? What is your profession? What is your contribution to the world? How many kids do you have? Where do you live? Do you have this and that and this and that?

I was "only" a wife. We had no kids. I had plenty of time to kill. My self-worth took a huge dip. I had to learn to use different kinds of tools which I had never seen in my entire life. I had to learn to adjust to life in a cold country. I was determined to enjoy every single moment and I did enjoy many moments and my life with R2 (no traffic jam, fresh air, etc. etc. etc.), but my self-worth was still shaken.

R2 has been tremendous support for me 'coz he's NEVER EVER made me feel stupid, even when I do make stupid mistakes. And thankfully my parents-in-law have been such WONDERFUL help in making my life easier (especially MIL). This in itself is a GREAT blessing 'coz we meet once a week.

However, I had to struggle with my own broken self-worth. I had to remember over and over again that in God's eyes, I'm precious just the way I am. In His eye, each creation is precious. It was so hard to believe that when the world is screaming, "You're nothing when you don't accomplish anything."

During this time I remembered a relative of mine who'd been bedridden for many years (over a dozen years and now perhaps it's almost two decades already). In the beginning his memory was still active, but unfortunately lately it's dwindled a lot (I know this 'coz we visited him a few times over the past decade). I thought of him and pondered, "In God's eyes, he's still as precious as I am. He still loves him as much as He loves me, even though the world thinks he's nothing 'coz he can't work anymore nor can he eat or do other things on his own."

It was really tough to drown out the voices of the world, but over time it got better and better - or at least easier to take a step back and soak in God's love instead of believing what the world says.

Blogging has helped me with my self-worth, as well. After finding friends and being able to interact with them more, I felt more "useful". Even though I may not be able to do anything much, the least I could do was to support someone who needed it and gave encouragement. But still the underlying lesson I learnt during that period was that: In God's eye, each one of us is precious. Period.

Life has plenty of surprises, though...infertility shook my core and my self-worth again. In the beginning, thinking that I wouldn't be able to be a mother made me wonder about my self-worth. Who am I if I can't become a mother then? Motherhood has been hailed as one of the greatest achievements on earth. I was in a daze in the beginning of our infertility journey and again I had to cling on God's sight when it comes to self-worth.

Yeah, I thought I had learnt the lesson already, but it seemed I still have a LONG way to go. Now that we've surrendered to life without kids, my self-worth has been going steadier compared to the days when we were still actively TTC (trying to conceive). But it was really a long and winding journey. I suppose you can learn the same/similar life lessons in different angles, depth, height, and breadth over the course of a lifetime.

I think one friend of mine summed it the best in one of her emails:

Our glorious Lord NEVER looks down on us, not once! He knows what we all are from the very start: a lump of dirt that He formed, He chose and decided to create and love anyhow, even when He knew all the chaos and rottenness we mankind would eventually turn into. So there is NOTHING we can do to give ourselves any more value that what we already had from the beginning: the value of piece of dirt. Well that dirt happened to be LOVED, CHERISHED, and DELIGHTED by God. The Mighty Creator delights and rejoices in us, literally jumping in joy because of us, for NO REASON at all, but the fact that He IS LOVE, it's simply His nature."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Why I Blog

Read a post on this topic on some blogs and it reminded me of my own reasons to blog. When I first moved to Finland, before I learnt the language properly, I was lonely. The full-time Finnish course started about 8 or 9 months after I moved to Finland, so before then I had so much time on my own. In the beginning it was okay (I'm not a people person) and I spent time learning to cook and bake and trying out different recipes. After some time had passed, though, I felt like my brain was about to explode!!!

There were SO many things I wanted to discuss and share with other human beings than hubby. I still didn't have enough ability to discuss these things with MIL (bless her!), so I started blogging and tried to find friends. I just wanted to have "normal conversations" with other adults. I wanted to learn from them, I wanted feedback, I wanted them to hear me out and I wanted to give feedback, too. I visited so many blogs and left many comments here and there in the hope that some of them would feel some connection with me and be my blogger friend.

My closest friends were only an email away, but they couldn't cope with the amount of info nor details that I shared with them (just look at how many blog posts I've produced back in 2007 and 2008 and you can imagine how many SUPER LONG emails I wrote them). After all, each of them has so many other things to do in life than read and reply my emails. Thus another big reason to blog.

After some time, though, the blog provided more than just online friends. It is also a good outlet to try to make sense of what I feel. It's also a good diary to jot down what I've been doing and what I want to achieve and what I've learnt along the ways so that if I ever forget, I can just go back and reread the posts. And boy what a journey it's been!!! :-D

Once we both fell into IF (infertile) category, I also started a separate blog, because I don't think that the readers of this blog want to read posts connected to infertility, but I do need that blog mostly for my own personal diary. I need to pour out my feelings - not only to understand what trigger them or why I feel a certain way, but also to let them all out "in the big vast universe" and then leave them be. I hope that by writing them out, I don't have to carry them on my back anymore. I also need that particular blog to know how far I've gone or where I'm standing in my IF journey and hope that whoever finds it would feel what I felt when I found other IFers' blogs - that I'm not crazy with all the chaotic feelings churning inside me.

I've deleted one Finnish blog 'coz I haven't updated it in a LONG LONG time. Although there's another blog that's half-Finnish half-English that I haven't updated in a LONG time, I'm not going to delete it 'coz some people may need it 'coz I've written my experience when taking YKI testi (Finnish National Test), so I'll just let it be.

P.S. I never really felt like I'm that much into details until a close friend pointed it out in an email that I wrote about my Indo friends' visit to our place. A visited B and then they both came to visit me last year. The story that A wrote us (about what activities A had done in B's place) was much more succinct than the story I wrote about their visit to my place. So from then on I realize that I am crazy about details HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

P.P.S. I've tried reducing the amount of words I use in my emails to my closest friends, mind you...and these days whenever I want to write in such great detail about something, I'd rather do it in my blog than bombard them with my long emails. If they want to read the story in details, I'll just send them my blog post link. This is another lovely reason why I blog - I can write as long as I want to without feeling like I'm bombarding someone else's space. :-D

Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Challenging Project

I've just started a challenging project. Actually, I didn't come up on it on my own ha ha...OK, here's the story. About a week ago a customer asked me if I could translate a book to English (from Finnish, obviously). I told him I wouldn't know if I could do it or not, but I'd give it a try.

FYI, the said customer had once asked me where I came from, what I did prior to moving to Finland, etc. So he knows that I was a book translator in Indo and that I majored in English literature. That was probably one reason why he asked me that question.

Anyway, he then said that he had written a book in Finnish - thus he wanted to know if I could translate it to English. We didn't have time to talk more that day 'coz I had other customers to serve, so we left it at that. The next time I came to work, though, I found a book in an envelope in my locker (the customer had probably given it to my coworker and told her it was for me). He wrote his name, addy, and phone number on the envelope. I was GLAD to know it wasn't a book of poetry!!!! :-D

I didn't have time to read it because of the wedding party I had to go to last week, so I only started this project this week. It IS challenging 'coz I have never translated any book into English - plus the original language is Finnish. But it's gonna be an interesting project for me. It's been years since I last translated a book (5 years ago), so we shall see how it goes. One thing is for sure...I'll use the dictionaries A LOT - including the online English dictionaries ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...Another sure thing to happen is that it's gonna be A SLOW project. :-D

P.S. One thing I love about life in a small village is that even though there aren't many "activities" and "places to go" here (no university, just a handful of foreigners) , life feels considerably simpler here and I get to meet familiar faces a lot (esp. through work). And it's nice to be able to banter with customers whose faces I remember, even though I don't necessarily know their names.

REALLY thankful for this job that allows me to meet and interact with many people...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


I almost shed some tears when the newlyweds had their first dance. They danced along this song:

I had never heard the song before, so I looked it up online and found out that Michael Buble sang it.

That took me back to the past when R2 and I were separated for around 4 months after our wedding and honeymoon due to paperwork. It felt SO hellish. It felt as though my body was in Indo, but my soul was in Finland already. I had never felt that way before in my life. The separation was choking me and Michael Buble's song spoke to me during that time. I felt like screaming along with him "Let me go hooommmeeeeee....I'm just too far from where you areeee...I wanna come hooommeeee..." he he he...

Anyway, enjoy the song!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Wedding Party

I've been so busy lately. Last week I had work from Monday till Thursday, then on Friday I left to Kuopio to attend a wedding party there. Well, the party was scheduled for Saturday, but it took about 8.5 hours by bus and train to go there, so I had to leave early. I came back tired yesterday and I think I have a slight cold now. It's 22'C inside but I still feel cold. Good thing I don't have work today nor tomorrow, so I can rest fully. It was a tiring week, but the party went so well.

When I arrived in Kuopio at around 8 pm, it was already on the plus size and apparently it had rained A LOT the day before, so there was slushy ice everywhere. The next day was again a very sunny and bright day and there was slippery ice everywhere. Thankfully all went well and nobody fell down on ice.

Anyway, here are some pictures that I took. The wedding ceremony and party happened in Koivumäen Kartano, Kuopio. Such a charming manor with great food and wine. :-D

I spotted this lovely painting of the manor inside, so I took a pic of it he he...The manor's second floor is used for the family to live in, so they use the first floor for restaurant/coffee shop.

We were the first group of people to arrive (except the bride and groom and their family members), so I took some pics while it was still empty he he...

The guests sit here in a U-shaped dining table. The whole place and decor just made everything feel different. :-D

This is the dance room and you can see the spot for the band.

This is what you see in the front after you enter the entrance where there's room to hang your jackets.

This photo below is on the left side of the above photo. There is a staircase on the left side of this fireplace.

Two delicacies made by an Indo friend along with the bride: pineapple cookies and lemper.

I REALLY REALLY love this spot below. The door on the left side is the door to the dance floor.

The menu is written in 3 languages: Polish, Indonesian, and Finnish. :-D

The appetizer...yummy...

The main menu:

For dessert there were 3 types of cake: strawberry, a kind of chocolatey Polish cake, and then a kind of Indo cake. The band was great, the guests had fun dancing and I had fun watching them and taking pics and videos ha I should start blog-hopping again. :-D