A good reason not to learn the Finish language 
Thursday, 23 .February, 2006, 09:19 - English Entries, Finland, Thoughts

"Why do you not learn the Finish language?"

Up till now I only had excuses, when somebody asked this question. My answers sounded like: "I am too often away from Finland, I cannot attend a regular course" or "In my old age it is terrible hard to learn a new language" or "Finns anyhow talk English to you when they hear that your Finish is not perfect - because they are friendly". But let's admit it: if I would put some effort into it, I might at one day learn it. I am just too lazy (surprise surprise).

But then - when you live in Finland, you come across these words that you have no idea what they mean and they just sound great. They sound even - I dare to say it - poetic. Once you speak a language you forget the sound of the words (or can you tell me a well-sounding word in English without first thinking half an hour about it? See!). So the only way to preserve the poetry of a language is to NOT learn it.

Once you arrive in Helsinki, you will hear people talking abuot "Lentoasema" and "Rautatietori" and (one of my favourites) "Elielinaukio". English speakers, I am sorry for you, you cannot pronounce that right from reading it. Germans can, as Finns and Germans pronounce the letters in the same way (with few exceptions).

Nowadays I know what the before mentioned words mean. But there are constantly new ones. Last time I was in Finland I read this on the bus and I could just get wild about its sound - without having a clue what it means: "Valipalapatukka". I assume it is not an isult, as it was part of an advertisement. But even if it would be - I would be glad to be insulted in this well-sounding way.

Valipalapatukka - wow! Who wants to know what this is? You just listen to it, for several hours, again and again. That's for sure much more healthy than yoga!

As a disputed person once said: "It is not necessary to understand. It is enough to adore."


view entry ( 290 views )   |  permalink   |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 2.9 / 1571 )
Helsinki Winter Impressions 
Sunday, 08 .January, 2006, 03:42 - English Entries, Helsinki, Finland, Photographs
Here are some Pictures I took during a walk through Helsinki in late November 2005, right after the first snow had fallen.



Around Kiasma


Finlandia Hall



Hesperian Pouisto



On the way


view entry ( 250 views )   |  permalink   |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 1232 )
Lake Espoo and Espoonlahti - or: the Elk Trip 
Monday, 20 .June, 2005, 19:41 - English Entries, Helsinki, Finland, Cycling

I did some smallar cycling trips during the last days, but today I wanted to see more of Espoo, so I started West. You can see the trip from the map below.


The Elk trip

It took me quite long to go through Läppävaara, Kilo and Kauniainen. The map that I use is very good for that region, but there are too many streets and so I had to stop every few minutes and find out which way to go. Still it was beautiful to go there, especially as long parts of the journey went through wood and green.

Close to Bemböle is a big street crossing - it must be a festival for highways. There is also a Kahvila (Cafe) close to the crossing, but somehow it manages that to give you a quiet atmosphere, even when sitting outside, eating a sandwich and drinking a beer, as I did.

After that break I went around Lake Espoo, which I did not see too much of. The road went through the woods and gave me the joy of hills nearly all the way - which was really fun. Besides trees there are also golf courses in that area. Most likely they breed them there and lots of people with "handicaps" too. That is not an insult! A handicap means something different in Golf-language, but don't ask me what. I know some golfers, they are good people and I always wonder how they could end up with that sport.


Lake Espoo

There is a little beach at Oittaa and they also have a Kahvila there, which I can very much recommend. I took half a liter of water, coffee and a chees cake and did not believe the lady when she said "Kolme E-uro" (that's three Euro). It was really true. Ok, the chees cake was not too big, but it was good. Besides that the beach is small and there are only normal people and children - nobody tries to show off. I sat on a wooden terrass in the sun and planned the next moves.

Down to Espoon Keskus where I lost my way, as the merciless map shows. But only for a few minutes, then back on track to the Southern part of Espoo. Shortly after Espoon Keskus is a large park area that is worth seeing. Most of it is wood, there are some lakes and meadows with violet flowers, of which I do not know the name (did not even make a picture ... stupid me).


Smaller Lakes on the way

I followed the indications to Espoonlahti, which I should not have done. They lead me to the town center of Espoonlahti and not to the sea. Also this is obvious from the map, as I drove one part twice from West to East (see lower left corner). But I finally made it to the shore. The whole are there reminded me of Tegernsee, a place close to my home town. A lot of not-so-poor people seem to live there, which one can see from the houses and the ships. If you go there, you will understand them - it is again beautiful.

Somehow I feel like I have to apologize for only seeing and talking about beautiful things. Please wait until Winter, then you will read other content here.


In Tapiola

The way back was easy after some food ("Mega Dog" - the Fin-Esso version of a hot dog, don't forget to stress the first syllable of Mega - it is not Meeeega it is _Me_ga) and ice tea it was just like rolling home.

Before I took the bike out of the cellar I was not aware how green Helsinki and Espoo are, although I lived in Espoo for a while and was aware that it is more a collection of settlements with forests and meadows inbetween than a real city. As there are so many recreation areas there are never too many people at one place. It is quite easy to find a smaller lake where you can sit alone for a while. After that while it seems strange that only several hundred meters away are the two biggest cities of Finland.

Now look a the outline of the trip. It looks like an elk or a reindeer. That was not my intention, but somehow my subconcious must have take part in that.


Anybody interested in cycling there together?

One more thing on the mega dog. The guy who gave it to me asked "do you want also the spicy sauce" and usually I say no, but this time I tried it. Daring. The he asked if I want the normal or the spicy sausage and I went for the spicy one as well. Very Daring. The effect was zero. The Finish version of Spicy not only leaves your stomach lining intact (German: Magenschleimhaut), it also does not jump on your tongue. It is the silent (spicy) way of this country.


view entry ( 425 views )   |  permalink   |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 1245 )
Vacation Started 
Friday, 17 .June, 2005, 19:39 - English Entries, Finland, Travel, Thoughts

This evening at 18:00 I left the office and went by bike from Pitajamäki to Töölö, where I live. During that ride my holidays started. Two weeks in Finland, no plans, no too big tasks, besides reworking my part of this for the second edition.

On Wednesday I was in Bonn. It was my first visit there and as it was work related I did not see too much. I arrived there already Tuesday evening, but the hotel was too far from city center to go for a walk.


Is this a sunset over Bonn or a power plant blowing up?

During Wednesday lunch break we took a walk along the Rhine, the sun was up and 30 degress Celcius were hanging around in the park. I saw the bulding in which the members of parliament once worked (Abgeordnetenhaus - der lange Lulatsch) and also the exciting tower of Deutsche Bundespost - both on the other side of the river.

At least I made it at some point in my life to the capital of the country that I have lived in 20 years.

In Helsinki the summer has settled to stay for a while. The whole week was sunny, temperatures up to 20 degrees Celcius and the forecast looks similar. Soon it will be midsummer, the longest day. Now it is 22:22 (10:22 pm) and over the roof of the neighbour building hangs a light blue sky with a growing moon on it.


Finlandiatalo from across Töölönlahti
Picutre taken at 03:30 in the morning

My neighbours have to listen to the song "Deiche" of Kettcar - a powerful rock song with good German lyrics. The right thing to start vacation.


view entry ( 269 views )   |  permalink   |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 1409 )
Concert in Kaivopuisto 
Sunday, 12 .June, 2005, 19:35 - English Entries, Helsinki, Finland, Music

Today was Helsinki Day and besides lots of other events a concert took place in Kaivopuisto, admission was free.

It took me quite a while today to get myself together, so I managed to come rather late to the concert, sometime around 17:00 and I only saw the last three acts, which were Maija Vilkkumaa, 69 Eyes and Fun like you (not sure if I got that name right - he was hip hop anyhow).

The sky was overclouded, but temperatures were still around the 16 degress (Celcius, for those of you who calculate in other strange measures - and plus degrees, for those of you from Lapland, who leave away the minus, but never the plus when it comes to degrees). It was an ok day for being outside without a jacket.

I have been to Kaivopuisto several times now. It is the biggest park in Helsinki, all grean meadow, hills and trees. Lots of space and inbetween that more space. And today it was full. Already entering the park by bike was not possible - there were everywhere people. And when I reached the concert place there was the whole population of Europe (and as it seemed also half of Asia) already there and singing and jumping with Maija to her rock songs.


They all danced

The singer of 69 eyes ended his gig with a sentence worth remembering: "Helsinki! The Rock-capital of the world" - some people laughed, but most agreed wildly, including me.


view entry ( 262 views )   |  permalink   |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 1091 )

<<First <Back | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Next> Last>>