Settled in (for now!)
Trip Start May 02, 2005
12Trip End Jun 27, 2005
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Sorry it took me so long to actually sit down and type out a few of our adventures. Sorry, but this is going to be another lengthy one! ItĘs been a very busy time for us, but one that has been very... interesting! We arrived here in Jyvaskyla on May 15 after a five hour bus ride through the ĘcountrysideĘ... itĘs quite impressive just how much green there actually is around here (not to mention lakes!). The nickname here is ĘLakelandĘ. Right now weĘre situated about 300km north of Helsinki in central Finland.
ĘWe met our greeters at the bus station after we arrived an hour early (we got on the wrong bus!) but at least we made it here safe and sound and not lost!). They walked us to our places, which are about a 40 minute walk from the city centre
Also, our rooms came ĘfurnishedĘwith a bed and a desk. I wish I could show you pictures (IĘm having technical problems right now) as the rooms are unfortunately huge and white so it was very uninviting. However, in these buildings when students move out they stick all their unwanted furniture in the hallways and if you see it you can have it. So, I now have a very comfortable bachelor pad! I managed to scrounge up a nightstand, table, make-shift couch, lamps, a carpet, and even a stereo system and TV (it only has one channel, which is in Finnish, so I just turn on the picture to keep me company!)... but itĘs great and super comfortable too! People laugh because when I had to move apartments it took three of us three trips to move everything. As one girl commented, Ęyou came with one backpack, so how on earth did you collect so much stuff in one week!!!Ę
Kris and I just completed our second week-long course here yesterday
During our first week Kris and I decided to rent a computer from the student union. They allow students to place a 50 euro deposit and return 30 euro when you return the computer. We get free internet here and as a result we figured it was worth it. So, here comes the good part... Kris and I simply thought we would physically pick up the computer, walk it to the bus stop, and then to her room from the bus stop. Well, someone failed to tell us that the nearest bus stop was 1km away, and up hill
Kris and I have been eating almost tooooooo well lately! ItĘs a nice change to say that though! We manage to eat a huge lunch, including SALAD and bread, for only 2.35 euro a day. It actually will be enough to fill us up for both lunch and dinner - so we get good food and save money in the end (well, hypothetically!)... so donĘt worry, IĘm getting my vegetables now.
We also bought used bikes during our first week here. EVERYONE rides bikes and there are very few cars on the roads
I also had my first authentic Sauna experience!!! It was actually a very different experience as they sauna naked in these parts.... But it was totally comfortable as all the guys were naked and so it didnĘt feel weird as it appeared to be the normal thing to do. I must admit I was a bit nervous at first, not too sure what the expect, but in the end it was a lot of fun as we would sit there until it reached about 100 Celsius and then would run outside (in our trunks) and jump into the freezing cold lake. It was invigorating! You canĘt describe it until you try it! And itĘs HUGE here... everyone saunaĘs all the time... itĘs like their past time. I must admit though that the heat can get quite intensive, especially when your skin feels like itĘs burning... but apparently itĘs all in the experience!
Life in Jyvaskyla has been school, a bit of sleep, and LOTS of partying! We seem to have parties almost every single night. IĘve hosted two at my place (the first of which I had 20 people crammed into my room) and then another last night with about 12. We have so much fun together and have forged some pretty cool friendships. A bunch of the Spanish girls who were here for two weeks left today so we had a going away party for them last night (although they came for 30 minutes as they had to leave early this morning...), so the rest of us went out downtown afterwards to one of the clubs. And itĘs SO bizarre. When we bike home at 3:30am itĘs BRIGHT outside! This morning it was as though it were 7:30am! All I have to say is that itĘs really strange when you go into the club at midnight and itĘs dusk, and then you come out three hours later and itĘs daytime... During my party last monday I had bought juice for people to mix their drinks with. Kris found some strawberry juice so we bought it. Unfortunately when we began pouring it out though we realized something was wrong... it was incredibly thick - almost like syrup! So we asked people why their juice is so strange and they said that it was actually SOUP! They put Ęstrawberry soupĘover their porridge here! Go figure... so lets just say those drinks were not as appetizing as we were hoping.
It was also a huge challenge to go shopping for the first time as NOTHING is in English! We had to guess by looking at pictures and the shapes of cartons. And no, you canĘt even try and decipher the language as it has absolutely no relation to English. So I came home and went to make a bean salad, only to find that my can of chick peas was actually a can of whole mushrooms! But since then itĘs been okay. We stick to what we know!
WeĘve also made a great Canadian friend! Her name is Katie and sheĘs from Winnipeg. WeĘre hanging out a lot and itĘs fun to chat about Canada from time to time and compare things to here to back home.
Well, I think that about covers the basics. I donĘt want to bore you all with the mundane details, so hopefully these stories will be a bit interesting for you. I do have constant email access for the next two weeks, so feel free to drop me a line.
Take care and IĘll update with pictures as soon as I can figure out the bugs...
Moi moi! (pronounced moy, moy - slang for bye)
P.S. Remember the Red Bull girl I wrote about in my last posting that we met in Helsinki... well, itĘs a small world as I was in the limbo line last night at the club and I felt someone tap my shoulder... sure enough it was her!