Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Walking Home

Lots of snow was falling slowly. Slow enough for me to almost be able to distinguish the forms of the snowflakes falling from the sky. The roads and sidewalk were almost empty that Sunday evening. The rather chilly temperature didn't dampen my spirit, because I was on my way home from work and the scene was just too beautiful to describe. When the snow fell down slowly like that, it felt as though life were moving forward in a slow motion. I felt reminded to cherish each moment in time and not to rush forward. To focus on the moment.

I took out my mobile phone and plugged the earphones to my ears. Then I chose a song from my list and chuckled when I realized that a pair of snowflakes that had attached themselves to each other fell on my mobile phone's screen. Oh, how I wish I could have taken a picture of that pair of snowflakes! All around me the snow kept on falling steadily, gently, slowly.


While listening to one of my favourite songs on the list, I sang along out loud on the sidewalk. Bliss! Where else can I do that without bothering anyone except here? The world seemed so hushed.  No need to hurry. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the song. Sing your heart out to your delight!

I took out my mobile again after the song had finished to choose another song after that one was finished because I didn't want to listen to the next one on the list. My mobile had no capacity to do a random play of the songs on my list. Soon after my thumb hit on another song title, my ears welcomed the song with a smile (if they can smile, they were definitely smiling widely). And I couldn't resist the temptation to sing out loud again.

I felt free. I felt at peace. I felt as though the world was big enough for everyone of us. And my heart almost exploded with joy when I arrived home and I was welcomed with bear hugs and kisses. Oh, the simple joys of life!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Junior High School Memory: Manga

Manga (Japanese comics) started booming in Indo when I was in Junior High School. A big publisher had just started translating manga back then and I was one of the fans. The first manga I had ever owned was Candy Candy. I had actually watched some episodes of the manga in the form of anime*** (VHS tapes) when I was much younger, but at that time there was no continuation yet, so I bought the manga also because I wanted to know the end of the story. If I remember correctly, at that time a new manga was published mostly every month, so we had to be patient, especially because at that time there weren't too many other manga books to read in between the wait. 

Of course as time went by and the popularity of manga increased drastically, the publisher hired more translators so that they could publish more manga books in a month. So I started collecting some manga that I liked and the collection grew bigger and bigger. As I had a limited amount of pocket money, I couldn't buy all the manga I wanted, so usually we'd switch reading them with other people who bought different ones. And there were also some friends who just wanted to borrow them.

Unfortunately, bringing manga to school was forbidden in Junior High School, so sometimes there would be unexpected raids. One time I had some manga books and comics that some friends had returned when I heard a friend saying that there would be a raid that day. I panicked while trying to find a place to hide them. Finally someone suggested hiding them underneath the teacher's desk. You see, the teacher's desk was put on a kind of "pedestal" (hollow platform in a shape of an upside down box), so I hurriedly shoved all the books there.

Fortunately, there was actually no raid, so it was a false alarm. But at least all my precious books were safe (albeit a little dusty). Ahem! :-D 

P.S. I sold almost all of the manga and comics that I had collected years back because there was simply no more space for them. I sold them to a place that rents comics and manga books.

 ***Before translated manga came to Indo, I had already been influenced by Japanese anime ever since I was young through VHS tapes that we used to watch with my cousins. These were some of the anime tapes that we watched when we were younger (there are more but I'm gonna share five):

1. Candy Candy (it's dubbed in Finnish):

2. Mazinger Z

3. Megaloman

4. Minky Momo

5. Goggle Five

When I posted links about old anime movies in FB, a cousin of mine said that we used to play together pretending to be them. I remember that, but I don't remember who I "chose to become". He said that I used to be Goggle Yellow, my bro used to be Goggle Red. My male cousin used to be Goggle Red, whereas his sister used to be Goggle Pink. We were laughing hysterically while remembering those days ROFL ROFL ROFL!!! OK, enough reminiscing hi hi...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

3BT: Random Days

1. Watching the sky gradually turn pink at work. First there was some baby blue colour at the bottom and then it went to soft pink and more pink at the top...the pink colour slowly spread out until the baby blue colour at the bottom was covered by it. And then the sun came out and many people commented on how great it felt to be able to see the sun again. After the sun set again, the sky turned baby blue once more. Ahhhh...so beautiful!

P.S: These two pics I put here were taken a few days ago. Not the best angles, but I just didn't feel like going farther away to take better pics ha ha...

2. R2 was playing some computer game and then I fed him some salmiakki candies and asked, "Do you feel like a king now?"

He said, "Well, now I could use a drink."

I laughed, saying, "Don't you think you're asking too much?"

He shook his head and said no.

I went to get some drink for him and he said thank you, then I asked again, "Now do you feel like a king?"

He said, "Yep, and you're my queen." LOL!!!

3. Had some salted peanuts while watching TV. When we were going to bed, I farted and it smelled like peanuts. Ewwwwww...grossly fun! :-D

4. The moment when someone else laughs/giggles so much until he/she cries and even though you think that the cause of the outburst is not funny, you still want to laugh along simply because the sight of seeing someone laugh that much is so contagious!

5. After freezing days, the temperature went up drastically and I got sweaty just by riding my bike to work. It's always a nice surprise to feel that way!

6.  I saw a very cute animal pic on FB and I was aww-ing over it while telling R2. R2 had no reaction whatsoever. So I asked him, "Okaaaayyy, then what do you consider cute?"

He pointed at me right away. :-D

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tag: Liebster Award

Flying Pink Elephant has shared this award with me along with some questions that I need to answer. However, before answering her questions, I also have to write down 11 random facts about myself. Actually I once wrote 20 things about myself, so I'm just going to link to that post instead. Here goes: 20 Things About Myself.

And here are her questions for me:

If you could bring any law into society what would it be?
Plastic surgery is forbidden unless it's strictly for medical purposes. (Actually my first thought had to do with bullying, but it's REALLY tough to find out what kind of law it'd be no matter how hard I tried to think 'coz there are too many different ways of bullying. And another thought that came up was about harsher punishment for rapists.)

If you were invisible for the day what would you do?

Walk around the place without worrying about greeting anyone I may know (some days I want to be a hermit and I don't want to greet anyone, but because I've met so many customers through work and I live in a small village, it's practically impossible to go downtown without saying hi to a few people I've met through work and due to my work I don't want to be rude by not smiling and saying hi to my customers whenever I go downtown). Oh, and maybe I'll go to my workplace to eavesdrop, too LOL!!! 

Name your favourite biscuit.

Marie biscuit. :-) Because it's not too sweet. :-) But I also like the kind of biscuits that have chocolate filling in the middle (not Oreo, can't remember the brand but the biscuits are similar to Marie) - as long as it's not too sweet!

If the Queen of England came to your house for tea, what would you cook her?

Reindeer meat!!! :-D

Would you rather have one arm or one leg?

One leg. :-D I want to be able to use my fingers more.

If you found £50 what would you do with it?

Buy food, I suppose. OR if my conscience bothers me so much, I'd share the food with other people instead of taking them home (like with my coworkers).

If you could make your own cheese, what would you call it?

Cheez-o-saurus. Because it's gonna be shaped into dinosaurs HA HA HA HA HA... 

If you had a time machine, where would you go? 

My wedding day. I'd love to relieve that day all over again and be sentimental. :-D

If you met the president of the United States of America, what would you say to him?

"My, you sure look taller in person!" --->Doh, who wouldn't look taller in person compared to my 145 cm height? Sorry, Nikki, I can't think of anything else ha ha ha...

If you could blast 3 things into a black hole, what would they be? 

Bitterness, self-pity, and materialism.

If you were a packet of crisps which one would you be and why?  

A packet that has a mixture of spices, like sour-cream and chilli. Bottom line is that it has some chili taste in it. Why? Because I'm Asian and for me, chili is like coffee for the Finns. :-D

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if anyone wants to play, I think Nikki's questions are loads of fun to answer! :-D

Thursday, January 17, 2013

RIP My Friend

I'd like to light a virtual candle for a friend of mine who passed a way due to asthma a few days ago. She was a close friend of mine in elementary school, though after that we went our separate ways. It was really shocking to hear about her passing because I never knew she had asthma. Another friend in FB wrote about her passing and I was really shocked because it all happened so quickly. And I heard that she'd been preparing for her wedding this year. Can't imagine how the groom-to-be must feel...ugh...


I remember that she and I used to write letters to each other when we got separated into different classrooms in fourth grade. Her aunt and my Mom used to pick us up from school, so we would ask them to give the letters back and forth. I don't remember anymore what we "talked about" in the letters, but I don't think this practice lasted very long.

In sixth grade we were finally in the same class again and we used to join in with another girl if there were any group tasks we had to do. Unfortunately we went to different schools after that, so we kinda lost contact with each other. We met again somewhere along the line, though the last time was probably a few years before I moved to Finland (so already a decade ago or so). A few years ago when I visited my hometown and organized a small gathering with my ex elementary school friends, she couldn't come because the date coincided with her brother's wedding and she had to help out, so she couldn't come. Just a few days prior to hearing about her passing, I was determined that the next time I visited Indo again, I just HAD to meet her. Well...not a chance now, unless after God calls me back home, too. 

But anyway, rest in peace, dear Devianne...may the Lord comfort all the bereaved... 

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. - Psalm 34:18 

Monday, January 14, 2013

High School Memory: Religion Teachers

When I was in the first year of High School, we had this super cool and fun and funny religion teacher. He was a big, tall, dark-skinned man with glasses. He had HUGE hands (he could hold a basketball with one hand) and yes, he loved basketball so much. His body did look like the body of an NBA player. He used to throw lots of jokes and each session was fun, so all the students loved this cool and laid-back teacher. Each teaching session was just as laid-back and relaxing and fun as the teacher himself.

He resigned when I was in my second year of High School for some reason (I can't remember anymore), though he did start teaching us first. In my second year of High School, I was in a notorious class. There were around 40 students altogether in a class and there were 7 other classes. This religious teacher was replaced with an older, serious guy who was rather "rigid" in teaching the class (Who wouldn't if they were compared with the first teacher?). 

He started off the first day of teaching by citing some rules and I could feel the whole classroom's spirit went down drastically. He was a systematic teacher, so he wanted us to write down systematic notes as well (if I remember correctly, the notes would also be a part of his grade system for us). He'd write plenty of notes on the blackboard (yep, back then we still used chalks and blackboards) and he also expected us to write down a weekly Sunday sermon report in our own respective churches and he wanted us to add the church's stamp on the side of each report. We had to give him this report each month or so for him to check. And of course this weekly report was also a part of his grade system. 

I remember that one day one close friend (let's call her P) who was in another classroom had forgotten to write down one Sunday's report, so frantically she asked for help. Fortunately for her, one classmate was active at her own church, so she had the church's stamp with her at that time. So P copied that classmate's Sunday report and added the stamp. Problem solved! So she thought at that time. After all, there was no guilty conscience because she DID go to her own church that Sunday. It's just that she had forgotten to write down the report that week.

After the teacher took all the reports and returned them, he asked P to come and meet him and he gave her a punishment (I can't remember anymore what it was, but it must've been related to writing more reports or something like that). Apparently the Sunday sermon report that she had copied was the sermon that had happened in the teacher's own church and he knew that P wasn't a member of the church. Doh!!!

Anyway, back to the teacher and our class...after being taught by this second teacher for a while, my classmates became more and more restless. They were unsatisfied and they wanted the first fun teacher to come back to teach us. One day out of nowhere a classmate gave me a slip of paper filled with my classmates' signatures. On top of the paper somebody had written: "We, the students of class 2-8, want to protest about our current religion teacher. We want the first teacher to come back to teach us bla bla bla bla bla..."


I felt pressured. Even though I liked the first teacher better myself, but it was a tough call to finally sign the paper. I didn't want to be the odd one out, you know? I didn't want them to think that I was rooting for this second teacher (which wasn't true), but I did respect him as a teacher and human being...but anyway, in the end I signed it anyway. Apparently after all our signatures were there, someone took it to the headmaster he he he he...

And yep, not long after that the headmaster asked us all to come to his office separately (his office couldn't possibly hold all 40 of us at once, so first he called all the boys and then the girls). Diplomatically he reasoned with us about why the first teacher couldn't be brought back and that we should give the second teacher a chance. I don't remember anymore what he had told us, but he managed to appease us all anyway. I gotta hand it to the headmaster, though, who was able to be the peacemaker only in one sitting and it even took less than half an hour 'coz I don't remember being in the office for a long time. Actually, it was the first time ever that I had ever been in the headmaster's office ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

3BT: Random Days

1. My SIL's baby's heartbeats have been confirmed to be stable. So hopefully there will be a healthy baby in August or September this year. Another grandchild for my Mom! :-D

2. After being told that he'd be a big brother, 4 y.o. Ken told his Mom, "You know, I'd love to have a big sister, too." LOL LOL!!! GOOD LUCK with that!!! :-D

3. Seeing perfectly lovely ice flakes forming around my bike saddle. Here are a few pics that I took. 

I took the first pic with an anti-shake mode and the result was blurry, so I took the second one with a regular mode and a flash. The third one is the cropped-up pic of the second one. 

4. Seeing my friend's VERY cute baby pics (after two miscarriages, finally she could get this healthy baby) and I was among the first to receive the pics via email. :-D

5. Spending time with my friend in Rovaniemi after shopping there for a bit he he he he...

6. An uninterrupted long sleep after having a rough night the other day.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

3BT: Random Days

1. Kissing hubby by sucking both his upper and lower lips (and in the process getting tickled by his grown moustache) LOL!!!

2. To sit on the carpet in front of hubby's couch while he was sitting there, then looking up and being able to see his nostrils very clearly from that angle. What a view! :-D

3. Booking a spring trip to Rome. WOOHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOO!!! Can't wait!!!

4. Hearing a small boy (perhaps around 5 years old) babble about money to his mother, which made me and a couple of elderly smile because he just wouldn't shut up.

5. A customer saying, "I'll arrange everything so that the barcodes of each item I bought was facing you so that you don't have to turn them. I don't want you to suffer from de Quervain syndrome." AWWWWWWWW...it was the VERY first time someone had EVER done that!!! So heart-warming! :-D

6. The smell of Indonesian potato croquettes being baked in the oven and then after they were done, the taste was just SO heavenly.

7. Me: (jokingly) STOP drinking coffee!
Hubby: (without missing a beat) STOP eating chili sauce!
Me: UGH! That was a sucker punch!!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHHH...

7. Watching this video:

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Happy New Year, everybody! Actually this year I didn't really feel anything much. Perhaps one of the reason was 'coz I had a morning shift on NY Eve and it was rather chaotic at work due to the fact that for two days straight prior to NY Eve, the weather was bad, so people opted to stay home. Therefore, they all came to the stores only on Monday. In the past I'd have time to reflect on things, but this time I was so exhausted that I had to take a nap at MIL's right after we had had a late lunch there ha ha ha...

Anyways, during the night we played cards as usual and then during midnight we went out to look at fireworks (MIL stayed inside, though). I didn't see too many fireworks this year, but this time MIL's neighbour lit two fireworks and I managed to take this pic. They were right on top of MIL's roof and they were SO noisy 'coz of the short distance. I took three other pics, but they didn't come out too well ha ha...One of them should've been good if not for the fact that one of the trees blocked 1/3 of it LOL!!!

It snowed a lot on the first day of the year. And the temperature's been very mild (closer to 0'C). Very surprising. I'm really excited 'coz I'm planning to visit my friend in Rovaniemi sometime this month. We haven't met each other in a few months already, so I'm sure we have a lot of things to talk about ha ha...and I'll also do some shopping while I'm there. 

You see, the last time we went to the cabin in Kelujärvi, I accidentally burnt the bottom parts of my good winter jacket sleeves. It was cold outside, so I was warming up my hands on top of the fireplace, but I didn't realize that I was too close to the heat. Doh!!! Yeah, stupid moi! I managed to fix them temporarily by putting on some black cellotape. It wasn't an expensive winter jacket, though. I bought it on sale at €20 (it was a children's jacket, you see LOL!!), but one time the zipper got broken and I had to fix it. Guess how much I had to pay for it? €20!!! (because it was a two-way zipper). But then again paying €40 for a jacket that has been faithful to me for 4 years is a bloody cheap investment, don't you think? HA HA HA HA HA HA...I can still keep this jacket at home, though, so when I need to shovel the snow outside I can just wear this one. :-D

So maybe it is time to buy myself a new winter jacket and I hope there are still good jackets on sale now that Christmas and New Year are behind us. :-D The hunt is on! :-D Oh, and while I'm in Rovaniemi, I'm also planning to have some Chinese lunch buffet HO HO HO HO HO HO...I'm drooling already! :-D

OK, now I still have tons of house chores to do. I'll blog-hop later in the evening. Today I received some good news. My Mom sent me an SMS and said that my SIL had been a few weeks' late, so it seems I'm gonna be an aunt again sometime this year! Let's hope that the pregnancy is going well until the end, shall we? :-D