Friday, 31 July 2009

I'm connected!!

I've got Internet in my studio!!! It's such a relief! I really am an Internet addict. I need my google, youtube, Live messenger, mail, facebook, online newspapers and dictionary. To be at home without internet can easily feel a bit isolated, especially now that my family and many of my friends are so far away and it's too expensive to call.

I should have had internet from the beginning but there was some problem with the lines and I just couldn't get it to work. I've talked to so many people at the ISP (all very kind and they kept calling me ma'm) and listened to many great songs while waiting. (Yes, they actually had REAL music , not that elevator pling pling kind that only makes you angry.) And now, suddenly, it's working. I was so happy I got all teary eyed when I saw the little globe in the corner. What a sight!

So, this was just a spontaneous burst of joy. Don't mind me. :) And sorry everyone who had to hear me whine.

Two weeks!

Wow, I can't belive I've been here for two weeks already. On the other hand, the flight feels like ages ago. So much has happend since then.
This week has been mostly school and coffee with friends. I haven't had time to do much sightseeing but I'll try to better myself during the weekend. Only problem is that I have a five hour class in sports journalism tomorrow so that dampens the weekend spirit a bit. But I'm also looking forward to the course so it's not that bad.

Anyway, just some random observations I've made these past two weeks:
  1. Cars actually stop when you want to cross the road. They stop even before you've given any sign that you might cross the road. For me, that's amazing.
  2. There are birds here that sound like crying babies. Scary when they wake you up in the middle of the night.
  3. Timtams (a sort of chocolate cookies) are good, but not as good as everyone say. Not even with tea.
  4. It's warm outside and cold inside. Now where's the logic in that?
  5. Madicken is a hard name to pronounce and remember. But why should they know it here when they don't even know it in Finland? (And I'm personally so bad with names that I can't really complain.)

I'll list some more later when I have time to sort out all my thoughts. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

First day

I had my first class today, Investigative Journalism. After hearing about seminars with hundreds of students, this one felt very intimate. We were ca 17 people in total and about 5 of the students belong to some Erasmus program so they'll leave the course after 7 weeks. The class itself was enjoyable, the assignments we're going to do, not so much. I don't think I'm cut out to be an investigative journalist. I don't like to bother people. Actually, that makes me a bad journalist period.
I guess I have to find my work-mode again. Back then I didn't mind bothering people if it got the job done. It's just scary to take on people and institutions who clearly don't want to talk to you and might even try to hide information from you. How do you do that?
I know it's very important that there are journalists who devote their time to digging out injustices and making sneaky people answer difficult questions. I'm just wondering if those journalists are born with that passion and drive or if it's something that comes with time and confidence? Can I become an investigative journalist or is there maybe a more suitable niche for me? I guess we'll see during the next couple of months.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Setting sail!

Yesterday I went sailing with some friends. We took the UTS Union sailing boat which is 30 feet long and set out for the harbour (with an experienced captain). It was great! The sun was shining and we saw all the famous sights from the boat and actually sailed under the Harbour Bridge and close to the Opera House. After that we set out for the open ocean. It would have been really fun if I didn't get a bit seasick. Hmpf. But I did get to stear the boat for a while and didn't kill anyone so that was a plus.
Here's some pictures from the trip. (I would like to show them all but there's so many!)

Our boat:


Heading for the bridge:

The team:
Me, Ravil, Anke, Babette and Andrew.

And an close up of me and Babette:
And then after some smooth sailing we aimed for choppier water before heading back to Double Bay:
It doesn't look so bad but it did go up and down a bit. Next time I'll take a motion sickness pill before heading out. :)

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Hello!

Just a quick update. I've mostly been running around campus these past few days trying to find different seminars and information sessions. Luckily there's alot of nice people here asigned just to help us newcomers.
The university has really advanced service and support systems for the students. I've never experienced anything like it. But I guess you can do more when there's more funding and most students pay for their tuition. And they really want you to feel connected to the university and form different kinds of relationships with the other students.
I've met some nice people so far and hopefully I'll meet more with time. Maybe I'll join some clubs too.
So, that's what's happening right now. More sightseeing pics etc coming up at the weekend.
Take care!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Cute sightseer

Did a bit of sightseeing today. I walked to the Royal Botanical Garden and then basicly stumbled upon the Sydney opera house and "The Bridge". It was all very nice since the sun was shining and people were having picnics and enjoying the weather as much as I did.
The Garden was huge and I didn't see all of it, but I did see the bats. There were loads of them.

The opera house was nice, although it was hard to understand that this is actuallty the thing I have seen so many times on tv. I'm really here!

Me and the opera house. (I need longer arms!)


From the opera you got a really nice view of the bridge and the CBD skyline:



And finally, the conversation of the day:
I'm buying some emergency chocolate and the guy in the chop asks
"Where are you from?"
"Finland."
"Really? You're so cute."
"Oh, eh, thanks.We're cute in Finland."
Exit scene.

Tomorrow the introduction week for international students starts. Exciting!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

My crib

Just wanted to show you some pictures from my studio. Enjoy! :)

My bed:


The kitchen area:


Bathroom (and me in my new minty green bathrobe. Ugh.):

Friday, 17 July 2009

Fixing stuff

Quick recap of the day so far:

Slept ok but was really tired in the morning. Still, I wanted to get some things done so I forced myself out of bed.
Took the train to Broadway where my uni is. It was a quick and easy ride. Ate lunch in the main building and had a look around. Then I went to a shopping center near by where I activated my bank account, got an Australian phone number and bought a hair dryer and an ugly but cheap dressing gown. I need it since it's pretty cold in my studio. Leaky windows seem to be norm here. Should get better when the weather gets warmer.
That's all for this time. It's stressful to write in a cafe where the clock is ticking so I really hope I get my internet soon. Then I'll show you my dressing gown. :P

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Finn has landed!

I still can't belive that I'm really here. It will take a couple of days to sink in. :)
The trip went well. It was smooth flying and no big delays. It was weird how the time difference affected us. We woke up and got breakfast just before landing in Singapore, still on Frankfurt time, and then an hours later it was suddenly 6pm Singapore time and at 8 we got dinner. In other words, I ate 3 dinners and 2 breakfasts on the planes, but no lunch.
I got vegetarian meals which was great. Only one but: Why do they insist on serving chick peas, cabbage and white beans on a plane?! Talk about biological terror.

Only snafu so far is that the internet connection at my studio isn't working. This is therefore written at a cafe. The owners of the studio are away on a trip so I don't know when the problem will be fixed. Some friends of the owners were very kind and tried to help me but couldn't do more then guess that the modem is broken. Hmpf. Hopefully it will get fixed soon so I can put up some pictures. It is in times like these that I realise just how addicted to the internet I really am.

Tonight I'm taking a hot bath and going to bed early. Need. More. Sleep.
Hope you're having a great day! Miss you!

Monday, 13 July 2009

GAAaaah

I´m leaving tomorrow!!! I´m so nervous I could puke, but in a good way. I think ...
I´m currently in that I DON`T WANT TO GO phase but I´m sure it will change once I´m actually on my way.
Had sushi with some friends this evening to get something else to think about for a while. Now I just hope I can sleep properly tonight. Almost everything is packed so I just need to relax and not worry. (Yeah, right.) :)

My brother got married yesterday! I´ll put up some pictures later on and show you how gorgeous everything was. Even the weather was great! Only downer were my shoes. I have blisters all over my pinkytoes. Oh well, never mind.

Sleep well everybody! Next entry will be written i Sydney! Aaaaaaah!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Flower Power

I just had to write a third update on the urban potatoes. Look at the flower! That means there should be potatoes very soon. Yay!

It´s a pretty little thing:

Friday, 3 July 2009

My baby brother is married!

What a weird thought. :)

Today was the legal part of the wedding, a short but nice ceremony at the local register office. Next Sunday the "real" wedding will take place and friends and family from around Finland and abroad will get together to celebrate my brother´s and his wife´s marriage. I´m so happy for them!


Here´s a little pic from todays ceremony:


After the ceremony we went back to their place and had some nice food and drink. I love watermelon and chocolate! :P When I got home, my dress felt way too tight.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Check ... Check...

With 11 days left before take off I´m beginning to feel the pressure. I really am going! (Knock on wood and salt over shoulder and all that ...)
I keep going through my Sydney to-do lists and there´s actually not that much left do. Figure that!

"A couple" of things that still need to be done though:
  1. Everything that has to do with my brothers wedding (Speach, iiiik!)
  2. PACK! (And before that, wash all the clothes that need to be packed and find at least two pairs of socks that actually match... Sigh.)
  3. Exchange some Euros for Australian dollars.
  4. Get a plastic bag for all the carry-on liquids.
  5. Get all my papers in order. (I´ve been printing half a forest these past few months.)
  6. Clean out the fridge so there´s no nasty surprises when I get back. Ugh.
  7. Redirect my mail to my parents house. (Anyone else want my bills?)
  8. Say goodbye to all the people I love. (That´s the hardest part.)
  9. Change my Facebook password so it doesn´t contain any Å, Ä or Ö.
  10. Realise everything I´ve forgotten despite my meticulous list making.

Can you help me with that last part? Is there anything I might have forgotten? Some obscure detail that´s oh so important if you miss it? (I don´t fancy running out and buying 5 months worth of underwear on my first day in Sydney. :) )