Friday, August 30, 2013

Bulgarian Trip #1

Going back to work after holiday is never easy. This time was especially tough 'coz I started working again by doing something completely new, something that I had received some training prior my holiday but never really got any chance to have some real practice yet. I was a bit worried about it, but thankfully my coworkers helped me, so I wasn't completely lost. Still the first day was tough and my body was very sore after the first shift was over ha ha...The second day went better and I'm thankful that today was a free day 'coz I have two weekend shifts. :-D

Anyway, let me share a few photos of our Bulgarian trip. As I had stated before, we were pretty lazy travellers this time, so we didn't really roam too much. Here are some of the things I bought:

1. A fleece jacket.
2. A pair of jeans at around €20 (at least I don't have to shorten them - in Finland I can get them cheap on a discount as well, but more often than not I have to shorten them and shortening a pair of jeans the last time around cost €10/pair).
3. A pair of relaxing pants.
4. A few types of body butter that cost double in Finland. I LOVE body butter!!!
5. A pair of polarized sunglasses at €18. 
6. Half a dozen bottles of chili sauce (local and Indonesian brand LOL!!!), emperor's rice AKA ketan hitam, Indomie (Indonesian instant noodles), and chocolate. 

We had a full-body massage twice at the hotel we stayed in (it's called Relax Holiday Complex & Spa). It was GREAT. :-D The bad thing was that there was only one masseuse, so we couldn't have the treatment side-by-side, but it's still cheap compared to the same kind of treatment in Finland (in Finland it can cost double). It cost around €30/person/hour.

I also tried billiard for the first time in my life (it cost around €2/game) he he...they had a pool table and a gym and sauna and Turkish bath in the basement floor, but we only tried billiard a few times. I laughed so much the first time I tried billiard 'coz I often miss hitting the white ball ROFL ROFL ROFL...but it was fun anyway!

Here are some pics:

Arttu's first taste of local beer on the beach nearest our hotel. We decided not to stay in a hotel directly across the beach, so in order to reach the beach (esp. the central part of Sunny Beach), we had to walk a few kilometres. I ordered a glass of fresh orange juice in the bar below that cost only €1. :-D VERY cheap!!!

Below is a sneak peek of one of the 5-star hotel along the main part of Sunny Beach. If you wonder why the photo angle is strange, it's because I didn't dare get inside the area 'coz there was a guard standing in front of the gate, so I only took pictures from above the bushes on top of the gate surrounding the hotel.

Me trying billiard for the first time in my life. Yep, that pillar next to me was quite annoying indeed he he he...

This car was parked in the yard of the nearest Zora supermarket. :-D

Found this butterfly while walking towards the beach area...

Posing in front of this Buddha statue in front of the Chinese resto. We tried eating there once and the food was quite good, but rather pricy. No wonder the place never looked full! However, the service was VERY VERY quick!!! We ordered two dishes and in about 5 minutes we could start eating already (even though I did hear the cook prepare the dishes in the kitchen). The fastest service ever in our entire time in Bulgaria!

I just thought the colours looked nice 'coz it's rare to find buildings with this colour in Finland he he...

While walking towards the beach from our hotel, look what happened below!!! We ran out of sidewalk!!! But just keep on walking...the first time around I felt a bit giddy walking there 'coz I was a bit afraid a car might hit me or something he he he...

A half moon and a full moon. The first beach photo was taken in the middle of the centre of Sunny Beach, whereas the second one was taken nearer our hotel at the end of Sunny Beach (actually closer to Sveti Vlas area).

We also went to an Indian restaurant once, which was again very empty. Why? I suppose it was quite expensive, as well. In my opinion, the food was OK, even though R2 thought it was great, but I think I've had better Indian food. I can't stop remembering the lovely Indian food we had in Vienna or in a small resto in Helsinki he he...

R2 swimming...the water was cool! :-D

OK, I think this is enough for now. I'll continue sharing some more photos later on. Have a blessed and relaxing weekend, people! I'll have a busy weekend at work ha ha ha...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lazy Travellers

Hola! We're finally back home from our holiday to Bulgaria. I was planning on blogging during our stay there, but unfortunately the wifi in the hotel wasn't too good, so it was hard to do so when the connection wasn't that great. That's why I've been MIA in the blogosphere he was a much needed break, anyway. I did manage to check some messages and emails, but it was hard to write long replies using my mobile phone. 

This time we didn't really feel like having a busy holiday, so we spent 2 weeks lazing around and just relaxing. It was also due to the hot weather that we didn't really feel like roaming around too much LOL!!! It was so hot during the day that I was too lazy to take many pics. I did take some pics and videos, but not as many as I used to take. 

Before I forgot...guess what? My brother's second baby was born during our holiday!!! It's another boy indeed and Ken is SO happy to get a baby brother! :-D I'm glad both mom and baby are doing well and the breast milk production is also going well. :-D I haven't had time to ask about the delivery yet, but it seems it took longer than it did with Ken. Can't wait to meet the little fellow next year on our planned Indo trip (hopefully it comes true - first have to save money!!!).

Anyway, here are some sneak peeks of the pics. The first one is one view of the hotel area...

While there, I played around with Paper Artist program in our Samsung Pad and created these pictures he he...

Whaddya think of this spooky version of myself, eh? HE HE HE...

Here are some more pics tweaked with the Paper Artist program. Ninja R2 in action ha ha ha ha ha...

Some more...

OK, now gotta hang the laundry and a few days I have to get back to work and I have some homework to do before then he he...TAKE CARE, people!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Magic in the Air #3

Isn't it ironic that at times or perhaps many times we want to be seen as unique and special but on the other hand we don't want to stand out like a square in a round peg 'coz then we'll be labelled "a freak" or something nasty like that?

Perhaps that's why finding someone or some people who make you feel special just the way you are - warts and all - is like finding a piece of heaven on earth. The longer I live, the more I believe in the power of support groups. Finding those who make you feel normal amidst the chaos you're feeling is so blissful because they help you embrace all the things you may have a hard time accepting or dealing with. They may even be able to give you survival tips and give you hope of a better tomorrow despite the darkness you feel around you.

There are also those who are able to bring out your crazy sides and laugh along with you and that is what I call magic. :D

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Broken Hearts

Some friends and I have been talking about our relationship histories. Some people get married to their first boyfriends, whereas some go through so many relationships before they settle down, whereas some more are on and off with the same person so many times before they settle down with that same person. I remember one friend used to tell me years ago that she was actually wishing to have experienced a few relationships with different guys before she settled down. However, she ended up marrying her first boyfriend he he he...

Speaking of broken hearts, sometimes you break up with someone and you don't feel a thing anymore 'coz your heart is already cold towards that person. That means that in that case, you're breaking the other person's heart. Sometimes you both break up when there's no love anymore and that means no heart is probably broken (the only broken thing is the relationship). Sometimes during the break up, both parties experienced heartbreak.

When I was younger, I used to be attracted to the polar opposite of myself. Usually they were the boys that were active at school or some kind of organization (church or whatever) and they'd be funny and they would have tons of friends. Basically speaking, my melancholic side was attracted to the sanguine type of boys. I knew that meant that there would be a huge gap between the both of us and that it'd probably be hard for me to catch up with those types of boys if I should have a chance to be their girlfriend. Anyway, I had my share of crushes in the past but then none of them became my boyfriend. But you know what? I ended up marrying someone who was more similar to me than my polar opposite he he...

* FYI, I'm mostly melancholic with a little phlegmatic on the side. My phlegmatic side has grown since I've married R2. R2 is more phlegmatic with a little bit of melancholic on the side. 

One close friend commented that the important thing about a break-up is closure. If one party feels that the reason for the break-up is not clear, then it's harder for that person to move on after experiencing a broken heart. I agree with her. I've known at least two people who had a hard time to move on after their relationship break-ups 'coz of this.

How about you? Do you think closure is important in a break-up? Do you feel it's important to know the reason of the break-up in order to move on? If you're in a relationship/is married, did you end up choosing your polar opposite or someone who has more similarities with you?

Friday, August 09, 2013

Training Trip

The other day my coworkers and I were sent to a city to have some training. It was two day training, so we had to stay overnight in a hotel. My first trip with my coworkers that included an overnight stay in a hotel. The first day was an evening shift whereas the second day was a morning shift. One funny thing happened on the second day. I was walking ahead of my coworkers towards the front door of the store where we had the training the day before and the girl who was standing behind the door looked confused to see us. I had a big backpack 'coz we had checked out of the hotel already and she probably thought I was a crazy tourist or something LOL!!!

She waved one hand to show that the store wasn't open yet, then she opened the door when I kept on walking towards her and she said in Finnish, "We're not open yet."

I explained to her why we were there and she smiled apologetically. She wasn't there the day before, though, so it was only normal that she had no idea that we were coming there that day HA HA HA HA...

After the training, I had a chance to meet my friend at her new place, so it was all good. She cooked a great dinner for me and then she drove me to the bus stop. It was already around 8 pm by then but the sun was shining low on the sky and it was shining right at us. VERY warm and nice! I was glad it wasn't raining 'coz the weather report said it would rain when I checked it a few days beforehand. 

Anyway, the trainer was excellent, but I wasn't sure how well I was doing considering it was all done in Finnish and there were just LOADS and LOADS of new pieces of information to absorb and remember. While waiting for my friend to pick me up, I managed to write down a list of the most important things to remember so that I had something to hold on to before the real practice day came. We also had some practice during training and I felt a bit all over the place to be honest.

However, today I went to work just to buy some stuff and then my boss was there and he told me that the trainer was pleased with my effort during the training. I was really surprised and TOUCHED!!! (I remembered to thank him). I was surprised 'coz I didn't even ask how I was doing, but it was nice of him to let me know verbally anyway.

You see, being the only foreigner in the group, I do rely perhaps more heavily on other people's feedback to figure out whether I've performed well enough in my tasks, esp. when I'm doing something I never did before in the past (because I want to make sure I understand fully what I'm supposed to do and what they're expecting from me). I'm VERY thankful that my coworkers and boss don't treat me differently and they treat me as well as the other coworkers. I'm also VERY thankful to hear any type of feedback so that I know whether what I'm doing is right or wrong.

Anyway, I hope you'll all have a blessed weekend ahead! I surely will enjoy mine fully! :-D

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Gorgeous Weekend with Family

Last weekend was gorgeous weather. It was around 25-26'C during the day, though on Sunday there was strong wind, but it was still HOT HOT HOT. Had BBQ party at BIL's place on Saturday and we all laughed so much while the brothers and one of their cousins reminisced of the "naughty" things they did in the past - some of which MIL had had no idea about LOL!!! 

Then on Sunday we went to the woods and had fun again. I'm amazed at the amount of blueberries growing in the woods as well as the amount of blackcurrants and redcurrants growing in MIL's garden in Kelujärvi. Here are some redcurrant pics I took in Kelujärvi. 

This is the forest area, the same place where we went miniskiing some years ago. The difference between winter and summer scene is just amazing, don't you think? (click on the link to compare)

Took this pic as I was lying on the grass (well, I used a big piece of paper as a cover 'coz the grass was a bit damp) and listening to the songs in my mobile phone while watching the clouds roll by (enjoying the cool breeze in the shade). :-D Pure bliss!!!

Can you see the "face" in this pic below? 

Friday, August 02, 2013

Pain Triggers

*cross-posted with my other blog - edited for this blog*

A wise blogger friend of mine gently reminded me that everybody has pain triggers while we were talking about some things via email. This topic brought me back to the conversation I once had with my ex-Junior High School classmate. We got to know each other better over time and then one day, long after we first met she confided to me that she used to be envious of the fact that I had my own bedroom. Mind you, I used to sleep in a bunk bed with my brother for years until I finally moved to a makeshift room at the other side of the house (don't remember when I moved there - must've been when I was around 15 or so). Mom just put on a rail of curtains to separate it with the rest of the room. After my grandma died, I moved to her bedroom and that was when I got my own room that had an actual door (it was when I was in High School - when I was around 17).

Anyway, back to the story...I was totally surprised when I heard her say that. I mean, I never boasted about the fact that I got my own bedroom and I never really felt that it was anything too special, but for her at that time it must've been something pretty important and something she could only daydream about (FYI she had to share a room with a cousin for years). After all, it IS nice to be able to have your own space and be able to have your own privacy. And her words reminded me to be thankful about having my own bedroom and not to take it for granted.

So, even though sometimes we don't say anything that may spark someone else's pain trigger, somebody else may feel the pain just because it's something out of reach that they've daydreamed about. Sometimes when other people state their thankfulness over something, it may also spark our pain triggers when the thing that they're thankful for is something that we don't have (either yet or can't have).

I think it's just normal to feel that way, but when I try to think of this in a HUGE scale for every human being I meet online or offline, it feels like I start seeing landmines everywhere. There's NO WAY you'll be able to escape from inadvertently stepping on those landmines in your daily life, especially nowadays when it's easier to communicate with one another through the internet (read: share photos etc.) and there's no way you can avoid having your landmines stepped on, either. The only thing I want to do is recognize that place of pain and then embrace it, soothe it, love it, hug it until I feel better.

To be honest, the first time we realized we were IFers, I think I must've thought IF was a kind of insolent uninvited stranger barging into our life (additional side note: actually maybe at first I felt the stranger was bringing a curse or a punishment for us). After a while, I started to think of it as my enemy. An enemy who tried to ransack my relationships with other people as well as hubby and then mockingly laughed at our wrecked state. I battled it with all my might, trying my best not to lose (my sanity, control over my emotions, etc.). But alas, it was WAY too strong for me. I wept buckets, bled inside, and cursed it, but after a while I surrendered and that was when I started healing. And I think after I started recognizing it as a kind of guru instead of an enemy, I've been walking further along this path of healing even more as time goes by (it's like I'm experiencing a different shift in this path of healing).

Anyway, let me end this post with some quotes.
Lord, help us to accept the pains and conflicts that come to us each day as opportunities to grow as people and become more like you.
- Mother Teresa, A Gift for God
Adversity introduces one to oneself. - Unknown
"I walked a mile with Pleasure
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me."

- Robert Browning Hamilton

Quotes taken from here and here