Sunday, September 29, 2013

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” *

This week has been extraordinary, very different from the normal work, gym, cooking, dvd-cycle which I happen to like very much, but it's good to shake up things sometimes. :P First of all I only had two days of work, and after Wednesday's office I got to start my long-time-waited mini-holiday. The reason for the holiday was that I had the pleasure of welcoming my very dear friend, my maid of honor for a visit. Last time we met was in March, quite exactly half a year ago. And oh gosh, there was a lot to talk about ! I really would have wanted her to stay I was almost planning to call her work and tell that she is on sick leave or something, but unfortunetaly after two wonderful days I had to let her go for now. (I hope that my newest acquaintance Whatsapp will help us to keep in touch more often. I have given up with the never-ending flood of new social networking apps and web sites, but this seems pretty useful. :))

Let's say, I've been very satisfied in the life situation that I have now, I might say that I'm actually happier than ever, but having a good friend over reminded me about the importance of having friends and keeping in touch with them. (Because who am I kidding, I have not tried my best lately). Nothing can compare to a friend who knows where you are coming from, who knows all the darkest secrets which I of course don't have, and to whom you can tell things that the boyfriend does not want to hear :P It's so refreshing to get other perpective on things that are going on in your life.

I know I'm not the best in keeping friends, and especially now when I'm living far away from them, it's very challenging. Even we have all the possibilities with internet to form friendships even without ever meeting. Still it seems somehow difficult with the friends you used to meet face to face. Luckily, with good friends it always feels like we met just last week, even it was six months ago.

And I guess it is normal that friendships come and go, but there is some I wish would stay forever.


I guess I am kind of unsocial person, I like to be with me and myself and I've never had huge group of friends. But now that I'm so used to being with another person feeling of loneliness hits harder than it did before. We, me and Wolfi have been together very tightly since I moved here, but today he left for training in Berlin. Now I realize how much I would want a friend whose door I could just knock anytime. I guess tomorrow I should start making some... ;)

Our Sunday breakfast

I was trying to figure out things that I like to do and cannot do with my boyfriend. Now I would finally have time for those things. But after two days of thinking zero things came to my mind. I guess we are just one of those yuckily sweet couples who loves to do everything together. ;)

Ok well, I can do two things: I can watch TV-series with Finnish subtitles (or of course Finnish TV-series, but no thanks :D I know, I'm so unpatriotic) and I can eat Turkin Pippuri as much as I want without anyone complaining how my kisses taste bad.

*Quote: A. A. Milne

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Woman cries before the wedding and man after.*"

Like said earlier, this week we've been searching venue for our wedding. We got invitation to check special wedding Sunday organized in one of the hotels we visited earlier. This was first time they organized such event, and I have to say that it is brilliant idea. They've prepared the room with all the decorations, they had tasting free lunch, yei!, few exhibitors and some dance shows. Even the burleski was not exactly what we want to have in our wedding, I think in general this was very nice event, and will for sure have influence in the decision of many couples. 

We also had tour around the hotel, and got to see the wedding suite (which is included to the price). They have pretty nice roof terrace too, that could be available for our use. 

After some negotiation between me and the much more generous fiance, I feel a bit less terrified about the prices. After all wedding is once-in-a-lifetime-thing. And anyways, I want it to be a nice party with good food and smooth service, so I guess I have to be ready to pay for that. Only thing that we did not agree quite yet, is the alcohol....or more like the price of it "Who will know that we bought the cheapest Polish vodka?!". I guess there is some Finnish stinginess in me. Maybe we balance each other just perfectly. :P

Despite the salty price, we both were more than happy with Qubus-hotel's service, and also the menu sounds (and tastes) quite delicious. I'm even starting to warm up for the idea of having huuuuge amount of food, like proper Polish wedding should. So dear guests, one thing is sure, you will not be hungry! :D

It is not 100% certain yet, but it looks like we might have found our place! :))

*Polish proverb...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's all about the money...

First of all I want to explode one stereotype about Poland - it is not cheap.

At least what comes to weddings. Seems like here weddings are a big business, or at least it is a good business. Maybe I could have expected that, seeing all the wedding dress shops that are in every corner (at least my dress was not too expensive..). But I did not. I thought we will have luxurious wedding with third of the price that would be in Finland apparently I think I'm in Romania :P

After the small setback we've been comparing possible wedding venues and their prices. Huhhuh, I say! And I hölmö thought that food is cheaper here. Or at least service. Well, that's not how it looks like. Or maybe they smelled that we are foreigners, we have money, and made special offers for us. :P

So what is this outrageous price then? For the menu the normal price per person seems to be something between 40 and 50 euros. It includes service, plates and utensils, non-alcoholic drinks + toast, ridiculous amount of food and sometimes wedding cake. I checked few examples for catering prices in Helsinki, just to compare, after I heard from several people that these prices are too high. And it looks like you can get the same package in Helsinki with the same price. That couldn't be true right?

Ok, I have to say that the amount of food that seems to be the norm in here is huge. And probably there is more staff included in the price also than in Finland. But still. I'm wondering how can average Polish couple afford any of this. If food for the wedding is already half of the yearly salary? Do they get some government money for weddings, or what?

Other thing that has caused us me some grey hair is the food:

  • Does it need to be so Polish? Don't get me wrong, I like Polish food, but it's not very festive for me, it's like makaronilaatikko and karjalanpaisti in wedding (ok these are probably traditional Finnish wedding dishes :P)
  • Can somebody seriously eat so much? Apparently wedding is the new Christmas in Poland.
First they serve three or four course dinner, then opens the buffet (Swedish table as the call it here) and after that the dessert buffet. Yes, dessert buffet! Not only wedding cake, nooo, but like 10 other cakes too. Crazy. And so that we would not starve after this humble amount of food there will also be night food. And night-night food.

One thing is for sure, alcohol is cheaper here. (I shouldn't say for sure. Maybe there will be some special tax for wedding wodka.) Not very surprisingly wedding in Poland means that everyone gets wasted for some people in Finland too, so of course it is natural to have never ending wodka service for the guests. However, we decided not to have open bar, and this seems to be shocking for Polish. :D

So if I did not have a culture shock before, then no worries here it comes! ;)

This post might include slight overreacting.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The relationship between me and couchsurfing.

Yesterday we got guests, which does not happen very often. Last time was probably over a month ago when Wolfi's sister and her friend visited us. These latest guests were not friends or family, but couchsurfers. Now, very short briefing to people who do not know what is a couchsurfer is there even people like that anymore?. Couchsurfer is a person who sleeps on other people's couches, mattresses, sometimes even beds while travelling. The point is that the host won't ask any money for this. The compensation is the joy of meeting new people, possibly from different countries and cultures. If you get lucky you might get a souvenier or the guest might even cook for you. And you might get a new friend. There is several internet pages that help the guests and hosts to find each other. These web pages also try to make it safe in different ways.

When I first heard about this idea I thought that it is brilliant - for other people but maybe not for me. :P I thought I cannot trust strangers so much that I would let them to my home. And I thought I'm not adventurous enough to sleep on other peoples couches, because let's face it, you never know what you're gonna get. And you cannot really complain. Because after all, someone is giving you a free place to sleep. I'm more like 3-star-hotel kind of type. :P

Then I met my fiance, and I got to know that he was very much into this couchsurfing thing. And I thought that he would probably think that I'm cool, if I also would support it. (Like I also prentend to be a "a little bit" more interested about Finland's ice hockey league than I really am. And like I also wanted to hide my age from Facebook, so that he wouldn't think I'm too young and then noticed that he can see it in the couchsurfing profile. I'm sorry, honey, if your first crush was based on lies, but I think you know the real me already. ;) ) So I gathered all my courage, made my profile and some time after that I had my first surfer.

After this first surfer I had a quite long break; the Romanian guy who stayed two night was very nice and polite, but also did not have any plans, so he was following me the whole weekend. And that was a bit, hmmm, disturbing. Some months later I forced myself to try again sounds like I really hate hosting :D and answered "yes" to one American-Russian girl's request. Again the experience was alright. Nothing bad, but also nothing fabulous...

Then I moved here. We've had few couchsurfers, and all of them have been nice. Especially these last ones, who left this morning. Turkish-German couple about the same age as we. We had a lot to talk about, and they cooked very nice dinner for us. We also had a very tempting invitation to Cyprus where the guy lives. I have to say that this was so far the most pleasant couchsurfing experince that I've had. :) 

It was nice to have guests, but I don't mind having some break again. I'm maybe weird, but having guests, especially strangers, takes so much energy of this antisocial little human being. So I'm still not convinced that couchsurfing is for me. Actually I'm not sure if meeting new people in general is my thing, but every now and then I make my self to go out and face the world, because after all we are gregarious animals. ;) Maybe someday I will change into social butterfly or just accept myself as I am. :P

Funny story: I tried to hide my intentions behind couchsurfing on the first time I was here. I asked Wolfi if his couch is free for me as he is couchsurfer and all, because I wanted to visit Wroclaw. Well, to be honest, I was never very interested about the city and I had no intention to sleep on the couch.... ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

"Treasure, that is what you are. Honey, you're my golden star."

You remember when I told about the photoshooting? We got the pictures almost two weeks ago, but I was just too busy to put them here. But now I will, because I want to show all of you how cute we are no, modesty is not one of my strenghts ;).  

Actually we were so happy with the photos that we asked the photographer to take the wedding pictures! Even she lives in London. We will see if this plan will become true, or if we'll come to our senses and hire someone who is already here. :D

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Picture by Ewa Slusarek

Please do not copy the pictures without permission.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bumps in the road.

Yesterday we had a "little" setback conserning our wedding.
The place where we were supposed to have the whole party, my fiace's workplace, is not possible after all. Apparently there is some administrative issues...

So, now we would need to find a new place before everything will be booked for next summer. I was already so into this garden party thing, that it's a bit hard for me to change my mind. But we'll see...

Easiest would be to have the wedding in some hotel here in Wroclaw: we wouldn't need to move people too far and we could still have the ceremony in the garden (for this we apparently have permission). Also organizing would probably be very smooth, when the hotel could provide catering etc.

But the garden.... :'(

We will meet with some of the event organizers in the hotels near by to see what they can offer. I hope it'll all turn out just fine...

As I'm a big time worrier about existing and non-existing problems I wanted to remind myself:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Oh, Berlin!

As I wrote before, my wonderful fiance got us tickets to Berlin Festival, and there it was, perfect reason to spemd another weekend in Berlin. It seems now that it might have been the last summer weekend for this year - and what a delightful weekend was it!

First of all the weather was P-E-R-F-E-C-T, could not have been better for some city touring and festival.
On Friday I finally got to see the Berlin everyone seems to be fussing about. My personal Berlin guide decided to show me something different this time, so we took the S-Bahn to Warschauer Straße. And there it was the noisy, graffiti covered party animal heaven with the crowd looking so weird it must be trendy. Oh, I wish someone would have showed me this when I was in my party phase. :P Bars after bars looking all so interesting you just couldn't stop staring. Something for every flavor.

We, as a people who prefer to get up when these crazies are still partying, skipped this time and just had a nice dinner observing others. Maybe next time some more party party.

On Saturday, as we were up so early at 7.30am :D thanks to taking it easy the night before, we wanted to do something before breakfast. So we were walking around, towards Alexanderplatz when Wolfi revealed that he never visited the most important tourist attraction no.2 in Berlin after Brandenburg Tor, the TV-tower! As I'm afraid of heights I was never too excited to get up there, but I agreed that if it's not too expensive we can go. At 9 in the morning the line was not too long and the price was affordable (with the 48-hours public transportation ticket we received some discount and paid ~10 euros per person). The view was worth it, so I do recommed to do this once when visiting Berlin. You can really see from the style of the buildings where the former East and West were. They also have interesting stories how each district has been developing. After the breathtaking views we took the elevator down and had already tradition-like breakfast in Alex. Later we went for some shopping aaaah German cosmentic shops!! and then we headed back to our apartment for a nap before the festival.

The Berlin Festival was very pleasant experience. In addition to interesting artists they had all kinds of food very important! : American hot dogs, noodles, burger, vege hot dogs, dampfschwein (pulled pork), ice cream, waffles, smoothies... Juuust a little bit different than the food section in the other festival we were this summer: Silesia in Love offered kielbasa and kielbasa with bread. :P

The area of the festival was of course extraordinary. It's an old airport terminal building, used last time in 2008. I had kind of a spooky feeling entering to unused airport; all the check-in counters and signs are still there, just the staff, stressed people with their suitcases and the planes are missing. Some might know that I love that kind of spookiness :D

They also had some art projects going on in the festival and one corner was reserved for this. All kinds of strange and stranger things could be seen and bought. It's cool that they have thought of something else than "just" music.

 And what about the music? Well, after the beginning with some technical problems Ellie Goulding was perfect. Ah I love that voice. Maybe it was the time of the day (afternoon) or I don't know what but the crowd did not seem super-exited though... We found some new stuff too: Dillon's Tip Tapping is still in my head and I also wanted to listen more of S O H N and German hip-hop miracle Casper. We of course also listened a bit of White Lies, My Bloody Valentine and ever-so-freaky Björk, but those were not really my cup of tea. Suprisingly however the finale of Fritz Kalkbrenner was. He made a superb party ending for the day. I'm afraid that the techno brainwash is working...

On Sunday we headed back to Simon-Dach-Straße in Friedrichshain to have breakfast. After Saturday's enourmous buffet-breakfast we unlike usually wanted something small... I never would have guessed that I would have an issue of finding a place that does NOT offer brunch buffet! The street is brunch lovers heaven! And after passing at least six restaurants offering all kinds of things you could possibly imagine having for breakfast we gave up and sat down to the terrace of Habana. And had the huuuge breakfast we were so not supposed to have. :D well, at least I know where I'm gonna go next time when I'm in Berlin: I wanna try them all! Maybe some magazine would pay me making reviews of every brunch.....

After the breakfast lunch we waddled around observing all the weird things for all the weird people who live in Berlin please note that by saying weird I don't necessarily mean anything negative. 

Salami pillows for vegetarians who love meat @Berlin's first textile butchery.
I'm already waiting what kind of Berlin we see next time. Who wants to join? ;)

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Maanantai taas saapuu aivan liian aikaisin kai..."

I wanted to try how it feels like to write in Finnish, so I apologize if this causes some inconvenience for someone ;) this post is about a Finnish band called Apulanta, and I thought you will probably not be interested anyways..

En ole ikinä ollut sen suurempi Apulanta-fani, mutta kun kuulin, että bändi on tulossa heittämään keikkaa tänne Puolan maalle asti, niin pitihän sinne päästä. Vaikka 150 kilometrin ajomatka kesti kolme ja puoli tuntia, koska täällä ei ole ollut varaa (?) rakentaa moottoriteitä edes isompien kaupunkien välille. Tosin kyllä Apikselta varmasti löytyy true-fanejakin, jotka ajavat tuhansia kilometrejä bändin perässä...

Apulanta on hassu bändi. Vaikka niiden musiikki ei olekaan ehkä kaikille mieleistä, niin sitä kuulee väkisinkin jos sattuu joskus avaamaan radion. Olen varma, että 98 prosenttia suomalaisista kaksi-viisikymppisistä tietää mikä on Apulanta. Apulannan sanoitukset on välillä aika rajuja ja musiikkikin rankemman puoleista, mutta silti jostain syystä tuntuu, että se on semmonen koko kansan bändi. Kaikilla on mielipide bändistä.

Olen muistaakseni kerran aiemmin ollut Apiksen keikalla; festareilla joskus viitisen vuotta sitten. Muistan, että silloin oli kova meno, yleisö oli ihan huumassa ja kaikki osasivat biisit ulkoa. Minäkin. Huomasin saman viime viikolla, kun kuuntelin muutaman biisin fiiliksen luomiseksi. Osasin monet sanat ulkoa, vaikken ole ikinä omistanut yhtäkään Apulannan cd:tä. Tällä kertaa keikalla ei yllättäen laulettu biisejä yhteen ääneen, mutta jonkunnäkösessä hurmiossa kyllä oltiin alkoholilla ja muilla iloliemillä saattoi olla vaikutusta asiaan. Puolalainen fanikunta oli hieman erilainen kuin mitä kuvittelen fanien Suomessa olevan. Puolassa tämä näyttää olevan jokseenkin erikoisten hevari-punkkari-äijien musiikkia, Suomessa enemmänkin teiniangstityttöjen suosikki. Nämähän ovat sitten ihan omia yleistyksiäni, mitään oikeaa tutkimustietoa mulla ei ole :D Jotenkin luulen, että Apulannan katu-uskottavuus suomalaisten tosi-punkkareiden silmissä on laskenut huomattavasti bändin ensimmäisten elivuosien jälkeen. Ehkä tuolla koko-kansan-bändi-statuksella on jotain tekemistä asian kanssa... Kun taas täällä se on varmasti yksi erikoisimmista bändeistä, jota kukaan voi kuunnella.

Ennen keikkaa huomasin, että bändi on levyttänyt joitakin biisejä myös englanniksi, ja pelkäsinkin heidän esittävän vain englanninkielisiä versioita. Mutta yllätyksekseni koko keikka vedettiin suomeksi! Ja sain laulaa sydämeni kyllyydestä. ;) Oli hauskaa käydä pitkästä aikaa mulle tutun bändin keikalla (tässä viimesen vuoden aikana kun on tullut nähtyä ja koettua vähän vieraampaa musiikkia, lue: teknoa). Fiilis on ihan eri kun tietää biisien sanat tai että niissä biiseissä ylipäänsä on sanat. Wolfikin tykkäs, kuulosti kuulemma hieman Die Toten Hosenilta, joka on yksi herran lempparibändeistä.

Sain sitten sen ensimmäisen Apulanta-levynkin "suurta" cd-kokoelmaani rikastuttamaan. Voitin jonkun kilpailun, ja itse Wirtasen Toni ojensi palkinnon. Oi että. Jotekin aina luulin, että se on kauheen laiha, mutta ilmeisesti keski-ikä alkaa painaa, kun herralla oli ihan kiitettävä vatsakumpu.

Tällä viikolla sitten vähän erilaista, mutta vieläkin mieluisampaa keikkaa tiedossa! Ellie Goulding lauantaina Berlin Festivaleilla. Can't wait! :)

Hmm...Finnish feels good, might be that there will be more of that. Sorry. :P But I promise to still continue in English too. Ps. I have finally revealed name of the fiance, so from here on he will be called Wolfi. Or fiance. Or which ever name I feel like using. :P