Almost ready to move again...

Trip Start May 02, 2005
Trip End Jun 27, 2005

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Hi everyone,

This will probably be my last entry from here in Jyvaskyla. Kris and I are mentally preparing to leave this Saturday and begin our next two-week travel adventure. We know it究 time to move on as we禿e settling in here too comfortably and the number of humerous situations has rapidly decreased. Time for more adventure, for sure! You may recall that our original plan was to travel through Russia, primarily to St. Petersburg and Moscow, however I unfortunately have to report that we found it far to complex and difficult to obtain Russian visas and therefore had to make the hard decision not to visit Russia during this trip...

However, the alternative isn系 exactly too shabby itself. This Saturday we fly off to Ryga, the capital city of Latvia. It究 supposed to be an absolutely beautiful place - and CHEAP! A nice change from the life we肖e been living for the past 5 weeks! From Ryga we travel up to Estonia to visit a friend we met here, and then down to Lithuania. For those who are familiar with your geography you will know that we甸l have to travel through Ryga numerous times to get to both places. On the 16th we fly out of Ryga to Berlin! We禿e extremely excited. We have four days there and then move on again back to Copenhagen. This time we will have a tour guide and host though so we shouldn系 get lost. Our friend Stinne, who we live with here, is flying back at the same time and is gracious enough to take us in when we禿e there. It should be a lot of fun - and again, economical! After that Kris and I will have to separate (which will be very difficult) and I fly to London to visit my new baby cousin for four days. After that it究 back to Vancouver on the 28th!

As for updates here from the little while....

Last week I had a class that could only come true in every student究 nightmare. To make a long story short, I wound up in a course with only 2 other students in a relatively large lecture hall. The topic was on organizing different sport cultures, however it seemed the much of the course didn系 exactly centre on that theme... One of our professors began the first class by stating 沉 have to be honest with you - I don系 enjoy teaching... Great! Thanks for letting us know! It could be because she was honestly horrible at lecturing. As I said, there were only three of us in the class and she NEVER made eye contact with any of us. She would look anywhere BUT at our eyes: the ceiling, the back of the room, the floor, our shoulders, and oh heck, why not the space directly beside our heads as well...? And to make matters worse, when we had our 牡iscussions she would proceed by saying: 沉 have a question for you. Can you tell me why (insert question here). I will tell you why... and she would proceed to provide us with the answer. So, in short, we sat and listened (or day dreamed) for 7 hours each day.... Our other professor had some infatuation with me and Canada and would only look and address me during the entire class. It was exhausted as I 玖ad to actually pay attention the entire time and look interested. Try that for 6 hours! LOL She would ask me some really intense questions and seem relatively surprised when I had no idea what the history of sports were in Canada...

All of us students here were a bit disappointed last week as we now have to pay full price for our meals =( We managed to inadvertently scam the system for three weeks though. Students who study at the University here receive their meals for 2.35 (but they pay student fees to offset the cost). We are only temporary students and don系 have to pay the fee. Instead we just get a little piece of paper stating our temp student status. So, the staff originally thought we were included in the discount (we knew we weren系, but didn系 tell anyone). Each day a new cafeteria would catch on so we kept moving from cafe to cafe each day. However, last week the final one caught on and we now have to fork over 5.50! So, I肖e been packing Wasa crackers, a banana, and orange for lunch each day now! It究 not exotic, but it究 cheap and does the trick.

The other day I was shopping in the grocery store and was attacked by an individual who clearly had a mental disability. He approached me, out of no where, and began screaming about Canada. I have no idea how he knew I was from there - maybe I inadvertently had said 牠h! So I positioned my shopping basket in-between him and me as he continued to scream (literally) about hamburgers, Montreal, and about how he wasn系 sure if Canada is a republic or a kingdom... combine all that with drool and mucous and it was a great event. I felt sorry for the guy, but quite creeped out afterwards. I皂 hesitant before walking in there again as it was pretty scary.

Last week we went to another Sauna and had a great time. We actually tried a smoke sauna (they fill the sauna with smoke from a fire for at least 2 hours, air it out a bit for about an hour to get rid of - so they say - the toxins, and then you go in and get to inhale the wonderful ash particles floating around in the air. Lets just say it was a bit difficult to breathe and afterwards I was coughing for a good day! But there was a beautiful lake there and we had a BBQ as well. It was great fun. Tonight we禿e going back for our final sauna - kinda sad, actually...

Last weekend we partook in the Jazz festival here in the city centre. We went to four clubs for 5 euro and saw all types of jazz. Some of the clubs are actually really nice here. The funniest part of the evening was when we had to leave one club as our friend, who is 26 had forgotten his id and wasn系 allowed in - ironic since he was the oldest in the group!

You甸l notice that I managed to post some of my photos in my other entries - there究 not many but I甸l be sending a link to Kris website where she is able to host more photos. She究 working on it now and it should be functioning in the next day or so.

So, I suppose I shall say moi moi from Jyvaskyla and expect to send another update from Ryga. I hope you禿e all doing well!


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