You don't get what you deserve.
You get what you take.


Thursday, 23 October 2014

I would stand in line for this.

It's been a bit over a month now since I returned Finland and it has been one of the biggest culture shocks that I have ever had. And still is. I'm now gathering some of the things that I've noticed, as well as some photos of what I've been up to.

Like baking.

And building a tiny snowman to guard our door.

I know Britons think that they love to queue, but I found it so hilarious when I went to see a film screening in Kerubi that during the intermission, people queued to the bar in pairs. Not like in UK, when the whole counter is full of people, but that the only people at the counter were the two people getting served and everyone else were in a nice queue behind these people. Luckily I realised how the social norm works here now, otherwise I would have just parked to the counter without realising that the people in queue were first.

I was not happy when the Finnish class I teach had no students one Monday afternoon.
But today my class had 9 people and it was a great day anyway with the beautiful weather!

I've always thought of myself somewhat less social person than average, depending on the company of course (the only people who think that I'm quiet are the ones who never allow me to say anything or listen when I do say something, so I've stopped wasting my energy on them). Now that I'm back home, I find myself a bit too social to the Finnish standards. Apparently small talk has grown on me, and I find it more difficult to engage with some people in here than in Scotland. Likewise, when I think that I'm saying something really funny, I only get a blank stare (this could also mean that I'm not as funny as I think I am...). I still need to learn how to be social in Finland (though being drunk works always but I can't afford to do it here!), because after spending so much time inside, I'm getting desperate for some human contacts!

I wore heels that I thought I had lost and realised when looking down that I do actually have ridiculously tiny feet compared to my height. Like paws (NOT hooves, Rob!)

I love the Finnish autumn. I have yet to felt miserable because of the weather, and that was a weekly thing in Scotland. The weather is getting cold but it's absolutely gorgeous in here! I love ruska, and now that the thin veil of snow and ice have arrived, it doesn't turn into grey, dirty slush instantly. This morning it was -13'C when I went to town, and I was perfectly comfortable, because the air was dry and there was no humid chill wind trying to reach my bones. As my friend posted on fb today, Finnish -10'C feels warmer than Scottish +10'C. I think it has a lot to do with the housing as well. For the first week back in Finland I couldn't even sleep with my duvet on because it was too hot! After living 4 years in flats that average room temperature was +16'C, coming to a house where the temperature rarely drops below +21'C was a bit of a shock. A positive one, though!

I realised that I needed new winter shoes and went to explore the options. I was quite tempted to get these!

However, I'm still disappointed of the lack of proper tea cup in Finland. Seriously, everyone who's lived with me that I need litres of tea daily and it's frustrating to drink it from those tiny coffee cups that are enough for a one sip! In addition, who thought that a 0.33 l is acceptable size for a pint?! Especially when I still have to pay for it as much as I would have paid for a pint in UK?! I went for few drinks with some friends to go see our old regular places (this time it actually was just few) and since I've been broke for the rest of the month.

I broke my phone and proved that even new Nokias can last (I glued it back together and it still works)

I went to the doctor here to continue the examinations with my heart (which are not fatal so good news!), and the doctor was so much more down to earth and I have to say that I liked the fact that she was instantly saying that it was probably nothing that required much action, to the doctor in the UK that was needing me for all tests despite telling me its nothing absolutely serious.

I'm sure there are other things as well, but I can't think of them at the moment...
I've also been as lazy as Otto (the doggy I borrow sometimes) here.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Noora 2.0

I think it's time for a new introduction with the "new" leaf on my blog. Or at least recap who's the person behind all this. As I'm feeling very lazy and I don't have enough readers to ask questions about me, I found this silly questionnaire from the depths of internet, so let's use it.

What is your earliest memory? I'm throwing a tantrum as I'm leaving the Honkalampi ice pit as I couldn't ice skate properly. I was maybe 4 at the time.

What did you enjoy about school? Which school? I have to say I never really enjoyed elementary or secondary school. The latter a bit more though. University I did enjoy.

Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid. Being naive.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I must admit, at one point I wanted to be a model :D Then the reality hit me and I realised that not with this face or body :D Then I wanted to become a lawyer but luckily I got a reality check with that one too.

What was your favorite childhood injury? I've never "properly" hurt myself, 
but I was quite proud of myself when I hit my leg with an axe (only a scratch, it hardly even bled). I was always very proud of my tiny scars after I had scratched myself on  something minor. Might explain why I'm still so accident prone and don't really mind.

Worst roommate you have ever had? I've never had absolutely horrible roommates, just once me and my roommate were very different people who didn't enjoy the mutual living situation.

What is your worst dating experience? I've been to maybe five dates ever on my life, so hard to say. However, the other one was just incredibly awkward as I had promised to meet someone after a party where I ended up talking to the host and he seemed to interpret my politeness as flirting. This happens quite often actually, I just think it's polite to keep up the conversation but this gets me into trouble ever so often.

Which is the most funniest prank played on you or played by you? My friends aren't really pranksters, nor am I. I can't think of any that happened to me, but I remember having a sleepover at my friends house when it was her birthday and her brother woke her and me up by throwing a bucket of water on us.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done? With the same friend, deciding on Gothenburg train station to jump off the train to Oslo and take the train to Paris via Copenhagen and Cologne instead. The biggest adrenaline rush I've ever had. I need to do it again, I haven't had a proper adventure in ages!

Do you have any hidden talents? I think some people are surprised by the fact that I'm actually quite funny (at least I make myself laugh, and that's something!).

Name one thing that not many people know about you. I do more stupid stuff than people think/expect. 
These situations usually get me into trouble.

You wouldn’t be caught dead, where? Solarium.
Was there ever a time when you were frightened for your life? In an amusement park in Budapest. The vehicle had had huge gaps in it and as it went upside down I had to hold with all my strength to stay in and not fall through on my head to the pavement. Horrifying.

What outdoor activities do you like to do?
I haven't had a chance to do many outdoor things in a long time because of lack of time and money, but I love swimming in lakes in summer. I do enjoy hiking as well (to extent). I think I would enjoy climbing as well.

Where is your most favorite place on this earth?
Norway. I love the scenery so much. Though of all the places I've been to, there's something I love in all of them.

Why do you like living in this area?
To be honest, I don't. I've never really liked my area nor my city. But being back here should be a short term situation.

What do you consider the most important event of your life so far? I think it was when I first moved abroad. The ability to independence on a new country was just a feeling you can't beat.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think overall proving to myself that I can live successfully in several different countries is an achievement I am very proud of.

What is the one thing for which you would most like to be remembered after your death?
What an awesome person I was.

Do you have any phobias?
Tons! I'm actually very worrisome and anxious person.

Do you feel you have a purpose or calling in life? Kind of. I don't think it's anything coming from above, but I know what I want to do with my life. If only employers would understand it and hire me to the work I want to do.

Name three exotic countries you would like to visit.
Peru, Cuba and Vietnam. But what I really want it to travel through the whole world.

If your house was on fire and you could grab only 3 things before leaving, what would they be?
I hope my cat will be able to walk out himself so he won't be included. Besides my family everything is replaceable. I don't know! Stupid question.

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?
Yes. It would be a huge surprise if the Earth was the only one to develop life in any form.

Do you believe in ghosts?
Not really, but I'm not very happy about the noises our old wood house makes during the night.

What do you value most in life?
Knowledge or freedom.

If you were one of two people left on this earth, and the other was the same sex as you; would you go gay? Yes. This is incredibly stupid and biased question. I need cuddles even in the apocalypse despite the gender.

What do you think the greatest invention is in your lifetime and why?
I feel really boring saying this but probably the internet. It's just amazing how it has changed the world in such a short period of time.

What do you think the secret to a good life is?
Enjoy and make your life happen. Don't expect anyone else to do it for you.

What would be your dream job? The King/Queen of the Universe. And it will happen. Watch me.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
London, Paris or New York. I have a feeling I would be happy in one of these cities. I've been to all of them and loved them, so it's not any overly romanticised "hunch" I have from movies.

What is important to you right now?
Creating my future and finding employment from my field.

What is your goal in life? Do you think you will achieve it?
I want to make an impact. I want to be known and respected, but behind the curtains.

If you knew you were going to die in 24 hours, name three things you would do in the time you had left. I don't want to do this one. I'm incredibly sensitive and even thinking of this kind of question can make me weep.

What crazy activities do you dream of trying someday? I want to bag my rucksack and leave for a road trip/adventure for an unknown period of time. I want to see the world and try the crazy activities it has to offer.

If you could go on a road trip with any person (dead or alive), who would you choose and where would you go?
Would Jack Kerouac be too cliche? Then maybe I'd finally make the road trip to the Arctic Sea happen with my Minna.

Monday, 6 October 2014


Not the least because I'm back home to Finland, unemployed and need to fill my days with something else but the endless conversations with my cat. I'm sure I've been greatly missed here.

A lot has happened since my last post as Alba Gu Bráth, and I will write a catch up post sometime soon. But the current situation is this:

I moved back home about 3 weeks ago. I'm looking for a job (anyone wanting to hire me?). I'm having a bit of a culture shock here at home, and I'll be writing a lot on this. For example, WHY DOES NO ONE SERVE FULL CUPS OF TEA? Seriously, I forgot that Finland serves tea from coffee cups, which here are about the size of my shot glass. And even then you're lucky if you get 3/4 filled up. Where are my tea mugs the size of a pint?! This is seriously a problem for me. But Finland has flea markets, yay! Two days back in and I already found myself a leather jacket in mint condition for 6€.

Rocking my new jacket.
I feel extremely depressed for having missed a great summer now two years in a row (damn you Aberdonian summer!), but I got back home just in time to see ruska take over the country. There's no word (that I know of) for ruska in English, but it means the process of leaves changing their colour.

I have quite a few plans for my future, but I'll get to them more when they get more current (or when someone realises how awesome hire I am).

This post is an announcement that Alba Gu Bráth is now buried (as is Scottish independence pursuits) and it's time to see how I'm coping while touching the void.

Ruska in action <3 br="">