söndag 29 november 2009

Turku Christmas market day

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Yesterday, me and Micke went to the restaurant Kerttu to have a piece of the famous "hamburger buffé". Yum! Micke ate four (!) hamburgers while I ate some goat cheese salad. What, no hamburgers for me? No, sadly no burgers for me, as my stomach has this thing against paprika (among a whole lot of other things....). So, sadly, no hamburgers for me :/


On our walk to Kerttu, we took a detour via the newly opened Christmas market. No snow, but the feeling of good-will was everywhere. The Christmas market is going to be held from this weekend every Saturday and Sunday, until Christmas. People were selling crafts, arts, snacks and other things.





I even took a video of the Christmas market, the part held at "Gamla Stortorget".


After eating at Kerttu, we arrived back to the market just in time to hear them declare the traditional "Christmas peace" and light the great tree in front of the cathedral. They had a short Christmas play on the stage, and as the lights were lit, a choir sang a psalm . They sang the first stof in finnish, then two in sweadish. It was so nice, and the good-will of the people gathered in the square was really tangible :)

tisdag 24 november 2009

Just a little Christmas-crazy

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Ever since my Mom "killed Santa" (sorry, old family story there, will bore you with it another time), I've really enjoyed Christmas. Or perhaps it would be more truthful if I say that I 'like' the things that are done because of Christmas.

Anyway, when we last visited Ostrobothnia, Micke's paternal grandmother Laimi kindly donated to us three small tablecloths made of lace. Now, I soooo wanted to use one of them to create a Christmas tablecloth for our sofa table, I finally got out that red cloth I got cheaply from IKEA and started getting creative.

I used the sewing machine to sew the tablecloth, and then sew the lace on the cloth. Perhaps it looks a little plain, but for now I'm happy with it. Later, maybe I'll visit an arts&crafts-store and by some ribbons for the edges.
Since I DON'T consider myself able to create or arrange nice interior design objects (...), I'll just point out that the candlestick-holder was one I found cheaply at a flea market last week :) Been looking AGES for one able to hold tealights!

lördag 14 november 2009

The not so traditional fruits found in Finland

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Okay, I have many weaknesses, but one of them is fresh fruit and vegetables. And it's a-m-a-z-i-n-g how many weird fruits you can find in the Finnish supermarkets these days. Thank the goddess for globalization.... The specimens under are just a few I've come across:

Cherimoya/Annona
Cherimoya (or annona) has a skin that weirdly enough smells like pine cones. The smell sticks to your fingers, and the skin is surprisingly hard to cut into. The fruit itself tastes sweet though, like . I read, that the seeds contain an neurotoxin, so no eating them!
You can read more about annona here

Cactus fruit/Prickly pear (and a strawberry...)
Cacti retain a LOT of water, so it should come as no surprise then that their fruit does too. Not too sweet, but really "crunchy" in texture, it tastes real good.
You can read more about prickly pear here.

Papaya
Overtly ripe papaya is said to smell like vomit, because of it's high concentration of pepsin. Does wonders for your BM's, I suppose, but I personally find that those that are merely ripe taste kinda slimy and kinda sweet. The only thing that creeps you out are the seeds, because they look a little too much like bird-poo. You can read more about papaya here.

måndag 9 november 2009

Svenska veckan, among other things

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I'm going to summarize last weeks happenings, as well as upload some photos I've taken. Last week was the "Swedish week", as 6.11 is Gustav Adolf's Day. In the shopping house Hansa they had put up yellow signs with the Swedish names for things (see the pictures), and me and Mimi walked around and smiled at the signs. With president Tarja Halonen being THE spokes person for people speaking Finnish Swedish, the new "campaign" with the "Päivää Gudaa!" dragon for a mascot is getting more and more notice. The dragon is a little silly, but he/she/it is supposed to symbolize the courage to speak Swedish in public - even if your knowledge of Swedish as a language is not that good. (Hence the "Gudaa" instead of "God dag").

 
Heh, clearly the use of "finlandisms" have also been taken into account :)




 Well, the week wasn't all just fun and games, as the funeral for Gerda (Micke's maternal grandmother) was held on Saturday in Purmo. 16 people attended, all close relatives. I ended up being the only girl wearing a long black dress, and I had the "ho" boots on. *sigh* But another girl had white pumps on, so I didn't feel to bad about the shoes after all. It snowed the whole night before the funeral, so the church and the cemetery was covered beautifully in snow.
The ceremony in the small church in Purmo was nice, if you can describe a funeral as "nice". We cried, as in "I used up most of our tissue papers". The priest held the sermon about how life and death are part of a whole, and how Gerda now is with God and how we shouldn't worry about her anymore.


It was cold when we held the ceremony at the cemetery, both me and Micke's sister Tina got our feet pretty much frozen solid. We sang "Härlig är jorden", which was quite fitting, even though it's a psalm mostly sung at Christmas. Micke and the other coffin-bearers did their job well, although they were all pretty upset. For me, it was the first time ever that I've walked with people to the cemetery and actually buried the person! I've only attended funerals where the coffin is left in the church, to get cremated. It felt... weird... I guess, to do it this "original" way instead.

Well, I learned a thing or two this weekend, and I still feel like I know too little about "how thing are done" up in Ostrobothnia, but I'm learning. I think I learned the most from speaking with Micke's paternal grandmother Laimi on Saturday evening. She's really wonderful, and she makes me miss my own granny so very much.
Oh well, now I've definitely written enough, I guess I'll better get back to work.

tisdag 3 november 2009

Preparing for the funeral, and running errands

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Today I had lunch at GreenZ (Salad and Coffee bar) which is quite close to the library and Kino Julia. The interior can only be described as "perky green" :P
Today's special was chicken salad, which I had with some balsamico. It was really good, and the price for it was okay too (8,90€). First time in long time I've had lunch while going for errands in the city center.



Night time by the river Aura


We have to travel up to Ostrobothnia on Friday, because Micke's grandmother Gerda sadly passed away on Sunday night. (I'm sorry if the next thing I write sounds too materialistic, but)I have to figure out if I need some new shoes for the funeral. I only have black shoes and sandals, and the boots will be too "ho" and the sandals might be to cold. I don't think Gerda would terribly mind if I came in either boots or sandals, but I think the rest of Micke's relatives will... and I don't want them thinking that Micke is living with a girl with noooo dress sense whatsoever.

måndag 2 november 2009

Food and eating

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h man, I just HAVE to tell you how unlucky we were on Saturday! After celebrating the very non-typical Halloween at a great student-party on Friday, we didn't have any *cough* extra energy to spend on making dinner on Saturday. So, we went out. And decided that Italian-type food would be nice. Close to the market square is the restaurant Frank Benelli's, which serves Italian-American food. So far so good.

We ordered starters (bruschetta) and main course (pizza + chicken) and then proceeded to wait for ONE AND A HALF HOURS (!) until we got them.

As compensation, offered with not-quite-so-sincere apologies from the kitchen, we got free dessert. Nice! So I ordered Sweet Lime Cheesecake, and Micke ordered a sort of haute couture ice-cream creation. And the kitchen still managed to GET THAT ORDER WRONG, so Micke got another type of ice-cream thingy.


What should have taken a max. of 1 h instead took 3, and on top of it all we missed the movie we wanted to go and see, and I got sick from eating my food. I sat and contemplated my queasy stomach in the ladies room for what seemed like half the night (but was probably just 10 min). We managed to get home, and there, I kinda just fell to bed and lay comatose until I fell asleep.

Lessons learned (again):
1. Frank Benelli's (along with Pizzeria Dennis and Rosso) is not to be visited again. Ever.
2. I will never eat mashed potatoes at a restaurant ever again.
3. I actually should order the food Micke thinks I would like, instead of the food I think I might want to try out....

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