Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anniversary Post

P.S. It's still Jun 11 in Helsinki Time! I did not adjust

The Bike Commute

Part I. Haaga
START: Ida Aalbergin tie 1C
1. Ida Aalbergin tie: scoot down to Näyttelijäntie, turn left
2. Näyttelijäntie: turn left to Aino Acktén tie (short way), reach North Haaga Circus
3. North Haaga Circus: turn right to Eliel Saarisen tie (through which bus 550 passes)
4. Eliel Saarisen tie: pass by Huopalahti train station (quite interesting), reach South Haaga Circus.
5. South Haaga Circus: Take next road on the left -- Vihdintie leading away from Vihti

Part II. Lillhoplax
6. Vihdintie: turn right into neighbourhood at Korppanmäentie
7. Korppanmäentie: follow route, turn right to dust path at the bridge.
8. There is a small stream to the left. It leads into the inlet called Pikku Huopalahti, but Lillhoplax is easier to remember. Stay to the right of the inlet. Reach Paciuksenkatu.
9. Paciuksenkatu is a busy road leading from the city. Cross road and reach Ramsayranta.

Part III. Laajalahti
10. The route through Ramsayranta, Kuusisaari and Lehtisaari is quite straightforward and very pretty. The stretch is populated with embassies. Cross the road as dictated by bike route conditions. Turn right into Otaniementie after crossing the city border.
11. Turn right at Otakaari after the Library and main buildings.
END: Konetalo

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Stupid mistakes

Stupid mistakes I have made while in the country:
1. Left apartment room with keys inside. Draught closed the door, which then locked automatically. Every room locks automatically in the apartment.
2. Went out for sightseeing on Pentecost, a public holiday in Finland. Finns are serious about holidays.
3. Boarded bus 280e thinking it would lead to Espoo central, but ended up in the countryside in Kirkkonummi. Return trip cost €7.20. I was lucky to have a return trip at all.
4. Tried drawing money from debit card when I had disabled drawing money overseas.
5. Walked into Greenbike with not enough cash.
6. Bought skimmed milk, taking it to be normal milk.
7. Poured 3-month overdue milk into coffee.
8. Put four electrons into the same quantum state.
9. Sat next to American tourists on bus.

Monday, June 04, 2012

About the Finns

 A postcard of Finn guy

I do not know how many of the people I see on the streets are Finns, but I tend to assume that if a person in Helsinki wrap themselves up for cold weather, he or she is probably not a Finn. This is because the national stereotype is being tough as nails and cold-resistance is a particularly salient specialty. Now I know that the average Finn at this 8°C summer does not dress up too lightly, probably three or four thin layers like I do, though occasionally outliers appear who come decked out in nothing more than a t-shirt for tops. Such reckless attire earns my nod of approval and respect.

The other stereotype is Finnish humour. Finnish humour is delivered solemnly but unceremoniously. Jokes told within a group of Finns are smart comments that are inserted in a timing as off-coloured as possible. Awkward, fertile spans of silence happen instead of laughter. Awkward silences also occur when one or two of the group are the only ones at the table that have not yet finished their meals. After a precisely-measured time interval after the last bite, everyone stands up in one coordinated move and lines up for tray-return. It is amazing.

Recommending the movie called The Man Without a Past, which is awesome because of Finns.
I should be sleeping

Saturday, June 02, 2012

I have moved into North Haaga

Flerov and Livermore
Two new chemical elements have been named: 114 Flerovium and 116 Livermorium. This warrants a mention before all the boring personal recounts that are to follow.

Size of Singapore for scale comparison
New place: upper red icon. Stadion: lower red icon. School: green
North Haaga
I have moved into the apartment in North Haaga. This is a different place than Stadion.
I am staying here alone. It's a shared apartment. No one is sharing my apartment.
Not much to do here other than blog. Admittedly though the personal space is bigger and certain things are more convenient (like going for a shower).
While mopping the place over, I got locked out of the room once. An hour later the lady came to open the door, but meanwhile I experienced some existential terror of being in a foreign land with no one nearby to help. The opening cost twenty euros.

If I take a world map and coloured in the countries of origin for every person I met during the week I stayed there, it turns out to look like this: