Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Cold

So it seems what they say about summer colds is true. They say it's harder to get over it than winter cold/flu. I still have some cough and phlegm/snot, but at least I can sleep through the night again. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!! I love my sleep! A coworker of mine also had some cough for 3 weeks. 

It doesn't feel like summer is here (it's about 10'C at the moment and it's already midday). In fact, it feels like autumn already. I'm glad I didn't plant any other plants outside because they may not make it. My sunflower was already starting to show signs of being dead, so I took it to the compost bin instead. The other plants around the house haven't even started blooming yet and I doubt if they're going to bloom at all. Usually by this time around the rose bushes have already produced lots of flowers. Oh well, can't control the weather, but to remind myself of the lovely fragrant roses, here's a pic of the rose bush in July 2010:

And here are a few more pics of the raindrops that I haven't published yet. In the pic below you can see the garden decoration made of stone, painted to look like a giant ladybird.

Oh, and some cat photos I took last month. Not ours, but our nephew's he he...Ginger cats always remind me of my cat back in Indo. RIP my cat!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Writing Challenge: Elaborate Lie About Myself

Warning: This post contains violence and is PURE FICTION! Read at your own discomfort. This post was written because of a writing challenge in which I had to write an elaborate lie about myself. This was what I came up with. I'm going to give some space between this warning and my post.

Okay, ready?

I've killed someone.

There. I've said it. I had never had my blood boiling like that before. Such rage surged from within me. Oh, the injustice of it all! My father was innocent. He had always been an honest man - too honest perhaps. He would never have done what that man thought he had done.

I will never forget the day my dad came home with teary eyes, holding his cheek. Apparently that man had punched him, but I think what made him hurt the most was the fact that he was accused of being dishonest. He was dismissed from work just like that and become unemployed even though he did nothing wrong.

I couldn't forgive that man. I wanted to crush him and his whole family, but taking out his whole family would probably be too difficult for a teenager like me and in my twisted mind, taking his life would probably be enough to satisfy my revengeful spirit. After that incident, my dad became morose and depressed. He would stare at the walls for hours on end and talked to his own shadow. Nothing we did could coax him out of his shell. My mom had to work twice as hard to earn enough money for the family and my elder brother had to quit school to work so that my mom and he could pay for my education. My heart broke into pieces. I couldn't forgive that man for having ruined my family, so I took matters into my own hand.

It took me many months before I finally found a crooked man who would teach me a ninjutsu assassin's technique on how to blow a poisonous dart. My chance appeared when a cousin held a wedding party about a year later. Just in time for me to execute my plan. After all, I had been practising with frogs for a whole year and as long as the target was in a close range, I knew I'd be able to hit it without fail.

In the party venue I spotted that man laughing and talking with another guest, having the time of his life. He had been living such an easy life even after what he had done to my dad. I was seething inside, but I managed to calm myself down in order to wait for the perfect opportunity. I didn't want to fail. He had to get what he deserved!

The perfect timing finally came when he was walking towards the toilet. I had been watching him all the time from the corner of my eyes, so I quickly followed him. Alas, he managed to get inside before I could take out my poisonous dart that I had hidden carefully in my purse. So I waited until he came out, hoping that nobody else was in the vicinity when the moment came.

The few minutes felt like forever. My hands were slightly trembling, but I had been taught how to control my thoughts by that crooked man. What a great guru he was!

Luckily for me, nobody was around when he came out. The women's toilet was located further away to the back of the party venue, so when he came out to walk back towards where the guests were, he had his back on me. He didn't see it coming! I took a long breath and then blew the dart. Off it went, landing straight on the backside of his neck. He must've felt the sting because he ran one hand to the back of his neck, but before his hand could reach it, his legs gave out and he collapsed. His body convulsed, his eyes were wide with fear, and then nothing. I quickly came close to check whether or not he was still breathing, pulled the dart out, then dashed back to the party venue with a victorious smile on my face.

I've killed a man and I've gotten away with it. Karma's a bitch. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wet Midsummer Eve

I survived the tough work week without having to go to the doc, even though I had to ask to switch a shift with another friend because I was scheduled to work close to food and I still had a runny nose and an annoying cough. Thankfully Thursday night I managed to sleep non-stop because I really needed the rest, so on Friday everything went OK.

Went to Kelujärvi right after work. It was raining and R2 was adamant in grilling some food outside ha ha ha was about 3'C. It kept on raining and raining and raining, but at some point it turned into very light rain, so R2 went out to light the grill ha ha ha the time the food was done, it rained even more. 

It also rained for hours on end today until the sky finally cleared up at around 6 pm and then the sun started shining. The temperature at the moment is around 10'C (under the sun probably around 12'C). 

The good thing about all the rain was that I got lots of shots of beautiful raindrops on plants. :-D Enjoy the photos! :-D I'm still recuperating from the runny nose and the cough (it's amazing how much mucus and phlegm a single body can produce, I tell ya!) and yesterday for some reason my stomach was acting up (had to go to the toilet 7 times that day), but thankfully today is a better day. Take care, people! 

P.S. Any fave photo(s)?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Writing Challenge: What I Want To Say To My 14-year-old Self

Warning to myself: If you ever travel to the future and manage to find this post, DO NOT read it. I don't want you to change anything in your life and reading this post will ruin so many surprises. The same goes for my blogs. DO NOT read them, either!

Ahem...okay, now that the most important thing is done, let's start...First of all, look at that hair! And yes, back then there was no digital camera (nor did you have your own camera), so you haven't learnt how to take a selfie with a smile LOL! I remember you hated the fact that you couldn't smile naturally in front of a studio photographer like your other friend who was so photogenic. It wasn't that you were jealous of her, but you admired her for being able to do that.

Secondly, holy smokes, don't you just look so innocent? ;-D Actually I'm just here to say that many things in your life that you haven't really planned have happened - mostly good though. And I'm pleased to say that you've learnt to be kinder to yourself in ways that you could never even begin to understand (because you were just so hard on yourself sometimes). Some of your dreams have come true and at least one will never come true, but you'll survive through it and you'll grow so much throughout that journey (which I suspect will last until your last breath).

And those kids that befriended you back then at school? They're still your friends. In the future you'll become much more open with people and you'll have a blast (unintentionally) fooling people with your "cover". At uni some friends would describe their first impressions of you as "the fridge" (looking so cool and a bit unapproachable) or "the rock" (for being so quiet) LOL! But they admitted that after getting to know you better, their first impressions were wrong.

And the job that you thought would be ideal for you? Turned out it was the worst ever. Seven weeks only and you walked out of the door already, feeling sure you'd never ever come back to that kind of place. You'll then have other jobs that never even crossed your mind. Ha! Life is full of surprises. :-)

You'll marry your second boyfriend and move halfway across the world and that would be the biggest adventure of your life, oh, you who always played it safe all her life! And only after you move halfway across the world at the age of 28 will you then start learning to laugh at your mistakes. The most frequent lesson you're going to learn is letting go: of people, expectations, dreams, plans, anger, etc. etc. etc.

Almost forgot...remember that dream you had where you stood in front of a huge window overlooking a winter scenery in a village? It felt so real and it was stuck in your mind like a movie scene. That actually came true. Well, the scene isn't exactly the same, but at least the winter scenery and the huge windows are pretty much similar. Isn't that cool? :-D

P.S. Enjoy having those cute guys to crush on from afar in Junior High School! :-D

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sleet in June!

Welcome to Lapland, where even sleet can happen in June. Today's temperature was around 2'C and they came chucking down at great speed. *aaatttcchhhooooo*

Yes, I've been under the weather since last weekend. It started with a sudden sore throat on Friday, then a runny nose (almost non-stop), then sneezing like crazy. Saturday was the worst day ever because I didn't have any strength to do anything much and couldn't even concentrate on anything much. My head felt foggy, no fever but still didn't feel quite right. 

After some hot days a few weeks ago, the temperature has dropped down tremendously (it can even be as cold as 2-3'C during the night). Right now my head has cleared up more, but my nose is still stuffy and my cough is worse. It feels like there's a furry thing growing inside my throat, making it itchy. It's been bothering my sleep. At least during the weekend I could still sleep non-stop, but last night I had to move to the other bedroom in order not to bother R2 with my cough. I kept on waking up because of the itchy throat that forced me to cough. Grrrrrr...

Anyhow, here are a few photos I took today when the sleet was at its full force. It's died down by now and the streets are wet.

Some older photos (the flowers I planted out in our yard, though the sunflower has suffered because there hasn't been any sun yet - I wonder if it's going to last or not): 

The last photo makes it look like there's some kind of bird convention or something ha ha ha ha...

Friday, June 13, 2014

3BT: Random Days

1. Having a BBQ party at a coworker's place. It was so much fun. I laughed until my cheeks got sore LOL!!! And it was the perfect timing for the BBQ because the weather was good (the weather went downhill the next day until now). 

2. My homemade pork satay (on the left side of the photo below) was a hit at the BBQ party. :-D Photo courtesy of my coworker HL:

3. I had a couple of guests coming today and we had fun, too. I cooked some rice, chicken panini and popped in some spring rolls and chicken nuggets in the oven and prepared some salad. It was enough for everybody (there's only a little leftover).

4. Surviving tough shifts at work this week. My body felt very sore after coming back home because of the pace and everything (summer busy weeks have started and a coworker has been sick for a while, so we're all swamped).

5. Playing hide the doll and hide-and-seek with my friend's daughter. :-D I managed to accidentally spook her once by hiding in a dark toilet ha ha...

6. The cheap huggable pillow I bought from our trip to Haparanda. It's been very useful to hug during the nights. In Finland the product will cost more than that (I was too used to sleeping with a bolster in Indo).

7. A coworker told me a funny story. Upon seeing me from the back at work, her 4-year-old asked her, "Mommy, mommy, is there a child working here?" ROFL ROFL ROFL...Yes, I was thought of as a child because I'm short ha ha ha ha ha ha...very funny! :-D :-D :-D

8. These words from the movie "Frozen" (yeah, we just saw it last night because we waited until the 3D disc came out): "Some people are just worth melting for." I thought it was such a brilliant line because it also showed how Olaf started to melt! :-D

9. Cheap new panties bought from Haparanda. Very comfy! :-D And hubby loves the tiny blings on them ha ha ha...

10. Coming home to hubby's homemade pizza. Yum! And I didn't even have to do a thing! :-D 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Do You Miss Your Hometown?

I've been talking to some expats around the globe about this topic. I've been asked this question many times by random people and my answer these days is "no". I remember one day a customer showed a confused face after I gave that answer. But I meant what I said. No kidding. This is my home now.

Maybe some people who have so many attachments with their home country do get homesick, but I can't say that I do feel homesick these days. Don't get me wrong! In the beginning I did miss my home country, especially my family and I most definitely missed the food (at that time Finnish food felt so bland). I also missed the comfort of being in a familiar place, of having a clear safety net, of having a set of friends, of having a job. Things like that. 

As time goes by, however, life in this small village has changed me. What I find "normal" has changed. Case in point: I still remember very clearly when I came back to Indo and got frustrated because they couldn't queue properly in public toilets. In Indonesian public toilets, one just needs to stand outside whichever toilet booth one wants to, so it doesn't follow any queueing order whatsoever. So tough luck if you're standing in front of the toilet booth where the person inside is taking a long dump. I was really shocked at that time by the amount of frustration I felt. I am getting too used to life here that what I found normal when I still lived in Indonesia feels abnormal and can even feel annoying.

Another case in point: people here sometimes ask me if I have children, but they rarely ask follow-up questions. In Indonesia, even strangers you just meet won't hesitate giving their opinions concerning stuff like that. I have a friend who has decided with her husband to only have one child and one of her yoga students (an older mother) scolded her for that particular decision, saying that it was bad to only have one child bla bla bla bla bla...This person isn't even a close friend of my friend, mind you!

These days I can't even get used to the crowds anymore. Being in a crowd in very small doses is tolerable, but not in big doses. I have grown to love having so much space between myself and other people. There's a kind of stillness that doesn't exist in the big cities, the kind of relaxed attitude that is just dear to me. No traffic jams, thank you very much. I've also talked to some people who were born in small villages. They've also told me that they can't stand being in big cities because they're so used to this kind of pace and space. Their senses get overwhelmed with the noise and the crowd and the traffic jam.

Other than that, my taste buds have changed, so the only thing I can possibly miss is my family and friends. Nothing else. I've been wondering why it feels easy for me to unattach myself from my parents. I get along much better with my mom, but I can't say that I had a difficult relationship with my dad, either (it could get a bit rocky sometimes but not all the time). My mom helped smooth out our relationship by being the bridge between us hard-headed people and I can even say that I have a better relationship with my mom compared to many other people with their moms, but I have no problem leaving her and my dad and my brother (my brother and I have a good relationship) behind. But anyway, it sure makes my life here easier. I think if I'm too attached with my home country (the people or food or whatever it is), it will make it harder for me to live here.

If you're an expat (or even someone who's living outside of your birth city), how much do you miss your hometown?