dream hunter

You wonder if you should take a step to the unknown. She leaped. You wonder if you knew how. She taught you. You wonder if you could. She did. A friend who's always there. A source of inspiration and admiration. Courageous, beautiful and full of amazing thoughts. She's someone so annoyingly perfect you'd want to hate her. But you can't help but love her. by iiris

Sunday, December 31, 2006

in finland...

I spent my Christmas holiday, 100+ km north of the Arctic Circle and I no longer wonder, why certain people (like all Swedes and Russians) think that this northern nation is strange and better left on its own. Firstly, in how many places do you see men, drunk on milk (which they drink mixed with pisang ambon, vodka, kahlua etc) or possibly jägermeister and battery, singing “daa-dirlan-dirlan-daa” in karaoke when others dance “letkajenkka”? And secondly…well let me see.

In the Las Vegas of Finland everything and anything is allowed. And thus it is no surprise that after my relaxing break, I am sleep deprived and every single muscle in my body is hurting. In other words – it was excellent. Already on the first day I decided to forget about snowboarding and concentrate on other things, like trying to do 150km on country cross skis (yes, I know I am weird but I love it) and spending too much money on petrol and snowmobiles (I still firmly believe that the smell of two-stoke oil is the best in the world). And obviously on going out.

The line of live performances was pretty appalling. I didn’t know any one of them, surprisingly but luckily ear plugs were available from the DJ booth. Otherwise the music was, well, broad ranging – from Haddaway to Rammstein. Luckily people seemed to be dancing or swinging to the music playing in their heads rather than that coming from the speakers. Also, when they say that Finnish men don’t talk – it is true. I think the most exciting pick up line I heard was “are you taken?” at the end of one night (here they play one or two slow songs at the end, just before closing). “Well, I think…yes, I am. And, my car is calling for me, bye”.

My brother, though he is THE best, is in many ways a typical example of the Finnish male. He and his friend started their night at the bar. This does not mean getting a drink but rather leaning on the bar, thinking what they should be drinking and drinking thinking drinks while thinking. 6 hours later they were still pondering, and howling drunk, and going strong.

At first I was slightly sceptical about spending 14h in a car to go to the middle of nowhere but as, due to the strangest of the current weather, that was required just to see snow, I am now quite happy we did it. I am still not quite sure whether it is the overdose of fresh air, snow, sauna and good food or a random error in the gene pool that has created this taciturn nation, but one thing is for sure – the hardness in us is nothing but a mask.


I was going to write about my holiday in the north and Finnish guys who get drunk on milk but something made me change my mind – maybe I write about that tomorrow.

I got an email today, with a song. I was told to listen to this song carefully – to pay attention to every single word. I did, and I cried. And I still am crying.

8 years ago, when we were 16 and on top of it all, one of our friends died. One morning she just didn’t wake up. She had just started in a new school, made it into a new skating team – she was getting there, chasing her dreams and almost catching them. And then, suddenly, for no reason, she was gone. And this song is about that, about her, and the injustice of it all.

I don’t think we’ve ever talked about it. It was so big of a shock to everybody and just too much to handle. I saved the newspaper article, published just after her death and other little things, but they are locked away and I never have a look at them. Never. I have never gone back to her grave and I know I am not the only one.

Then, tonight, I was listening to the guys rapping, and every word hit like a knife. What they say is so true – there is no better way of explaining the time, the feelings, the frustration – everything.

There are things that stay with you, no matter how hard you try to forget. And usually those things, at least for me, are the ones I just can’t handle, something I can’t deal with because it is too difficult to understand and too painful.

I never though I would have any more tears left for her, but it I do. And they keep running. And I am playing the song on repeat.

(Hetkessä – Elastinen & Timo Pieni Huijaus (feat.Illi))

Friday, December 22, 2006

lost and lazy

This morning, at about 3am my flight landed and I returned to the winter wonderland. And since then I have been completely lost.

I woke up to the sound of my sister’s sewing machine. She was finishing the last one of her Christmas present. Argh, the sight made me frown. I moved myself to the kitchen to get some coffee and what I found from the fridge, alongside the milk I was looking for, were homemade chocolates. As if the pile of Christmas cookies and cakes. “Don’t worry, there is more in the attic” she said and smiled. Riiiight.

Then I was sent to town to make some last minute shopping. Great, this is my speciality. “You have to take the shopping bag if you want to get milk and stuff.” Well, obviously – I had completely forgotten that plastic grocery bags are pretty much comparable to the original sin in this country. So I took the bag and left. I didn’t get lost on the way but it took me a while to realise that to get across the road I will need to press a button because otherwise the lights won’t change for me.

Only on my way back did I realise what had seemed so weird – it was lunch time but nobody had a sandwich or something in their hands. Here you just do not eat on the street. And I didn’t see a single person living in some random box or begging. And kids had hats and mittens. And the front door to the building was open. Apparently the door only gets closed for the night and even still everybody had a little Christmas decoration on their door and the stairs were clean.

To seem a bit more active I made lunch. But by the time I had finished with dishes my sister was already frantically cleaning – a flat that to me was pretty much immaculate as it was. Makes me feel bad to think the state in which I left my flat when leaving.

Now she is at work and I keep on doing nothing. Maybe I finish wrapping presents. (Found the tape from a labelled box – a little snapshot of my own little disaster in my little home makes me sick) Or maybe I should go for a run. At least that way I won’t make a mess.

ps. She has ironed sheets. And I still had wet clothes in my suitcase, because only remembered to do laundry yesterday afternoon, just before leaving and packing.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

three nights till christmas...

Yesterday we had last lectures at school and I could finally concentrate on preparing for Christmas. Obviously the three and a half days there were left would not be sufficient (we celebrate on the 24th) especially not when I know that on Saturday I will be stuffed into a car, going from Helsinki to the north. I mean NORTH – to the land where the sun doesn’t rise, reindeers are pets, snow hides you from the view and the Northern lights dance in the sky.

So, yesterday I had a card factory. I came to realise that any attempt to make presents would fail miserably so I decided to just stick to making my Christmas cards. Maybe there, the design phase was fairly short lived but I was quite happy with the result. Hand made, a bit different and arriving late to the recipient – better than nothing, right? However, this little project left my flat covered in sparkling silver dust, but maybe that should be considered as decorations. After all it is a bit like rays of sun hitting the snow.

Today I have to face the mad shopping rush. Luckily I mainly need cool wrapping paper. Still need an idea for the colours though. I don’t want anything too traditional but nothing tacky either. Maybe a run will give me inspiration. And I need company. For shopping that is. When you do late shopping you always must go with someone and then you are no longer rushed and panicking because you in a good company. Oh and I must pack. Must. Must. Must. And have to remember to go to my flight as well. Maybe I will write a list.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

it's a funny thing that...

Today has been the weirdest day for a long time. In fact for a while I was dreading what would happen and hoping that today would never arrive. But at the end it ended up being an amazing day.

Ok, yucky rain and a stupid presentation are not really the best ways to start a day, that I will have to admit. But then, when I thought things could only get worse I found out that in fact they just got better.

In the afternoon I went to a Finnish Christmas fair with someone I haven’t seen for a long while. Ok, the fair was pretty lame but the afternoon, then, turned into a good evening. It is funny when you sometimes need someone else to show you what you have. I think this guy knows me as well as I do, if not even better. Yet, it has been a while we have even talked – for a reason. But then again, time usually does nothing but good.

It is true that my presentation was just plain bad but something like that is easy to fix – at least for me a good mood returns with a long run, as it did again today. But then, what I had to realise was that it is funny how sometimes you need someone else to show you what you really have. I know this sounds really corny but it is true. And I suppose it is also true that I have indeed now got everything I worked for – and I worked for a long time. It doesn’t make school easier or improve my French but still, it is a nice think to realise. And besides, apparently I am prettier when I smile…so I should stick to this new realisation… I think…

Saturday, December 16, 2006

ok, it is done. and I am still alive - just.


I have to do a presentation at school in two hours. I am panicking. I am so scared that I couldn’t even sleep last night. And I really don’t know why. In fact I like presenting and public speaking. And I am pretty well prepared, maybe not as well as I could be but one never is.

I think it is because it is in my Evil Professor's class (rather than in that of the Good Looking one or the Crazy One). Not only is this teacher horrible and vicious but also he has his classes either on Friday and Monday mornings at 8am, or on Saturdays. Firstly Saturday classes should not be allowed, and especially not when they will be followed by an 8am Monday one. Secondly, being taken into little, tiny pieces in front of your class on a Saturday morning, will, at best, ruin your whole weekend.

So as you might have figured out by now – I am stressed. The good thing about this is that later, this afternoon, I can well justify going to a Christmas fair rather than coming back home to my books. But till then, I better get back to that presentation.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

...no, i don't really want a christmas tree either...not even a small one.

Friday, December 08, 2006

day 1

The weekend has arrived – and so did my parents.

My mum really likes my flat. Apparently it looks like me – a small disaster? Cute and homely? Unusual but charming? However, she is now convinced that I need a door mat. I already said not thanks to curtains and a tablecloth and a rug and lots of other things but the latest proposal was not too bad at all.

I sort of wish that my dad had been here with all his experience, when we started the renovation but at the same time he seemed pretty impressed with what we had done. Maybe that’s because he knows where I used to live and was pleased to see that I finally have my own place, who knows?

After the inspection we started our day. There is a whisky store in the 8th that was going to be our first stop. With my infamous knowledge of the fine art of whisky I pointed out all the ones from 1982 – it must have been an excellent year for whisky. There simply cannot be anything wrong with anything that appeared into the world that year.

The next stop was Mona Lisa. Somehow, despite their numerous visits to Paris my parents have been quite good at avoiding going to the Louvre, so this time we had a tour – with my dad as our guide. For an hour we admired the window through which Napoleon watched the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower (maybe some confusion with the date there?), paintings that must be important as they appear in school history books and the museum itself. After a while hunger took over cultural interests and we started our quest for finding food. And we did - alongside the canal. I have run past the restaurant several times before but this was the first time I actually went in. It was worth is – definitely have to keep the place in mind. Then again, in Paris you can really quite easily live five to ten years without ever needing to go to the same restaurant twice but still – I like to have something I can forget.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

independence day

Yesterday was Finnish Independence Day. In Finland this is obviously a public holiday, but still we tend to celebrate very calmly and officially. There a lot of military parades and speeches and people might have a candle at the window. THE thing of the day is the President’s reception. Half of the population, even more, will be sitting in front of their tv, drinking glögi and judging outfits and the guest list. It is the biggest fashion show of the year.

For me, it was just another day at school and as I didn’t get a Finnish flag from my advent calendar, I might have even forgotten the whole day. But no.

Everybody wanted to know if I was going to watch the reception on internet. NO. Did I wanna go and see a Finnish film? (by Kaurismäki – I hate him and his films) A definite NO. What about a drink for Finland in a bar. NO. I have to work.

So by the end of the evening I had been judged to be very anti patriotic and a bad Finn.

This morning I got up too early, too early according to my sleeping needs. So I had an extra 2minutes while drinking my morning coffee and eating porridge.(and no, not a little tiny coffee, but a proper mug, well two) I went to the website of one of the Finnish tabloids, which would certainly have photos of the best and worse outfits and comments about the guests and their impressions. And I spent far more than few minutes doing that. Yep – what can you do? Just can’t get away, no matter how hard you try.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


My parents are coming to visit me this weekend. This is not something that happens too often as to get here they need to travel hours through ice and snow to the airport and then catch a flight and a train and then not get lost at Gare du Nord. So, I am really looking forward to this weekend. At the same time it is the biggest source of stress and panic.

I am, at the moment, desperately trying to balance my time between school and work and hoping to get the 8th day to my week and a 25th hour to my day. Nobody has bothered to make these wishes to come true so one would think that scrubbing your apartment from top to bottom, in between all the other things is just silly. But that’s what I am doing at the moment.

I don’t know why parents always cause the same kind of a reaction. I know that they are coming here just to see me and spent a nice weekend. I shouldn’t really worry about whether my dad will like the way I’ve renovated my flat, or agrees with the fact that my green door added to the hole in the roof makes my entryway resemble a rainforest. Which I, personally think is pretty cool. I am also quite sure that whether I have dusted under the book shelf or not is not going to make any difference to my mum’s holiday. But still, the vacuum cleaner has visited that remote corner of my flat too.

Why is it so important to have your parents accepting your home, your friends, your school, your job…your lifestyle? Why is it so difficult to just be happy about them coming to see you? Why do you always have this additional stress?

Oh well, luckily I have a mad professor who is trying to divert my mind and stress levels elsewhere. But I really do hope that my mouse doesn’t come back - not this weekend.

Monday, December 04, 2006

run and rain

This morning I had great difficulties to get out of bed. It was pouring down and cold and yucky. But when I finally had some coffee it looked like the sun was coming out so I change my mind about going for a run. By the time I was down on the road it was raining again, but I sort of thought that I might as well go. This is what usually happens, when it is raining I don’t want to leave my flat but if it starts raining, while I am running I don’t turn back

Running in the rain is not the most pleasant thing in the world, but at the same time it is great. You are forced to keep up a good pace or you start feeling the cold. I can do the same route in a much better time in the rain, just because of that. Though then I end up going a bit further, since I have the time.

Not only does the rain improve your time but it alsThis morning I had great difficulties to get out of bed. It was pouring down and cold and yucky. But when I finally had some coffee it looked like the sun was coming out so I change my mind about going for a run. By the time I was down on the road it was raining again, but I sort of thought that I might as well go. This is what usually happens, when it is raining I don’t want to leave my flat but if it starts raining, while I am running I don’t turn back

Besides, afterwards you can treat yourself with a long, hot shower. And usually by that time, the sun has come out again – this time for real.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

joskus elämä on vaan niin ihanaa...eikö?

Friday, December 01, 2006


Do you know those days, when you wake up and you just know it is going to be an excellent day? Well, that is me today. I slept until way too late. But I needed the sleep and I felt so good afterwards. While having my morning coffee and porridge I checked my email and a friend who I haven’t seen for ages, told me he is in Paris for business and would like to meet up at some point of the day.

It was sunny outside so I decided to go for a run right away. With no problem I managed to hit the pace at which you can just keep going and going. Then when I got back home, my sister sent me a text with good news about our dad. Then on the phone with my dad.

I have so much school work that I don’t know how in earth I am going to get through it all but at the same time I am sure that it will be just fine at the end.

And I got to open the first calendar present and it was a DVD with 7episodes of Scrubs – for my study breaks.

Tonight we are going for drinks because it is my friend’s birthday.

So, a perfect day really…

Ps. If you see someone with a big smile on a yellow bike – that was me