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

Monday, January 29, 2007


I used to like doing groceries but now it has become something I do when I no longer can avoid going to the shops. This is usually at the point where I ran out of coffee and milk which then happens days after everything else has disappeared from the fridge.

Today, after school I stopped at my daily monoprix. It is a small version of the big supermarket and stays open till midnight. There was an older gentleman standing behind me on the line and he wanted to know why a young girl like me does shopping for one person. Before I managed to comment something nasty, he added that this was evident, because 1. I would not be at the shop after ten at night, if there was someone else who could occasionally do the shopping and 2. I wasn’t buying any proper food and thus there can’t be a man in my house. I turned red, mumbled something incomprehensible and looked down into my basket. And realised he was telling the truth.

Cooking for one person is possibly even worse than shopping for one person and thus I hardly ever do it. I try to eat at school or at work and when this is not possible I tend to live on porridge, fruit and yoghurt. I think during the past months the most complicated thing I have made for myself is a toasted sandwich. I don’t even have a freezer so I can’t make a big portion and save the rest for later. So the end result is that I just don’t cook.

Not only do I not make proper meals but I also eat them in front of my computer. I have a proper table as well, in my kitchen/dining room/library/hall i.e. in the other part of my flat, but that only get used when I have visitors. The idea of sitting alone on the other side and staring into the wall while eating is just too depressing. I don’t have a tv and more often than not my bed stays in its night state and doesn’t return into a sofa, so that is out as well. Hence I am left with my entertainment centre – my laptop.

…it is a good thing that I will never get bored with porridge…

Sunday, January 28, 2007

i can hear choco cake calling...

Everybody should have a friend who knows how to bake and likes to bake and has an oven (unlike me who doesn’t even have a microwave). If these capabilities are attached to a comfortable sofa and a good personality it is even better. Though I somehow feel the personality goes along with the term “friend”, but just to be clear.

Yesterday I had myself locked into my little ivory tower most of the day. As the night got closer my efficiency levels were decreasing rapidly, whereas frustration measures were shooting through the roof. I was sitting in front of my laptop and staring the screen in wane. And so was my friend on his side of the canal. But unlike me, he has chocolate cake – baked that afternoon.

It didn’t take much persuading to get me out of my chair and onto my bike (which was clean and shining and yellow). In few minutes I had crossed the canal and climbed up to his third floor flat, where the chocolate cake was waiting.

Almost five hours and as many pieces of cake later I decided it was time for me to go home and to bed. After all I had been feeling a bit ill and sleepy the whole day. But at the same time, a cold, empty flat did not call for me as loudly as good company and goodies had earlier.

Luckily it was a lovely night and down hill all the way back.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I realised last night that my bike is starting to look a bit scruffy. This is no wonder after being hit by a car twice (and the second time I wasn’t on it, protecting it), being taken out no matter what the weather, being attached to lampposts, bins, fences, trees, and everything else imaginable.

So, I decided it was time to give it a bath. I am not like all those car owners who spend their Sundays polishing their dear friends, but I do like to look after my good servant. I filled an almost empty washing up liquid bottle with hot water, took a sponge and went out. Obviously, unlike all those car owners I don’t have a nice backyard, but had to take my bike on to the road to have a wash.

The image of someone, wearing a red jacket and a beanie washing a yellow bike on a sidewalk of a busy road in the middle of Paris must have been quite amusing. Well I am always happy to bring joy and laughter to people’s lives. Besides to one little person it was also a good learning experience: “Dad, what is that funny lady doing?”

And now, my little yellow bike is shining and clean, and ready to take me to my next adventure.

But before that, I must go for a run.

Monday, January 22, 2007

ultimate frustration

This morning was THE moment of shock and horror and ultimate frustration – inscriptions for courses for next term. The online system was supposed to become available at 10am. And by 10h01 it had crashed. As could be expected.

After an hour of useless waiting and trying (and numerous annoyed messages to people who were on msn doing the same as me) I could finally get into the system. And funnily enough all the courses I wanted to take were already full. Not only could I not sign up for the courses I wanted to take but also those that I didn’t want were either full or just not available. The only thing I managed to get was an English course (decided to take English as my second foreign language) with a title “Devil's Wine A Sampler”.

The worse thing is that this happens every time during the inscription period. Every time. It just makes you wonder about the system here. Maybe it is a tradition here not to fix things that just simply don’t work or then it is the utter ineptness of the people running my school that prevents them from finding alternative solutions to a malfunctioning system that leaves everybody angry and unhappy.

If only the tuition was superior to administration…if only…

chocolate smile

Last night at work somebody asked me to describe our chocolate cake – is a bit squeeze or dry or what? I ran through my usual speech and ended it by saying that the cake really is 150% chocolate. “Oh, is it good?” And then it came – my chocolate smile. I tried not to let my lips start their run towards my ears but I couldn’t help it. And with that I sold 6chocolate cakes.

Later on, when asking for the bill this particular customer started to wonder what it is with women and chocolate? When you open a box of these beauties, we apparently fall silent and sit up straight. And as had been proved, I am no exception. In fact, I have been told I have a special “chocolate smile” that will never ever be seen in any other context. Apparently (I obviously deny it all)this special smile shines off my face and makes it seem like at that very moment everything is perfect and well and I could not be happier.

Oh and btw – that chocolate cake – it is divine.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Today, after the last class with evil prof, we had a reason to celebrate. Eventually, after a long period of aimless wandering, we decided to get food from the supermarket and go for a picnic in the Jardin de Luxembourg. This obviously is the most normal thing to do on a cloudy day in the middle of January.

By the time we got to the park, everybody was starving. We noticed that the amount of bread, we had picked up, would feed an army. It also turned into nice “sandwich a la moutard” which then turned people’s faces reasonably red. But apparently you can judge a person’s character on the basis of the type of mustard they eat. Luckily these culinary experiments could be rinsed down with wine, drank straight from the bottle. Oh, and as a reminded – a corkscrew helps when you want to open the bottle.

Our little party started to feel rather thirsty soon. After all there were so many things that should be done that even the thought makes one tired. Thus the next mission was to find a café. Somehow, on our little exploration we ended into a middle of a manifestation. In fact it was not such a bad thing as manifestations generally provide a good atmosphere and loud music. Unfortunately the novelty of this particular one faded away rather soon and just before the rain started pouring down we found ourselves sitting in a nice café.

How hard it is indeed this – life of a student

leaving...or staying

Years ago I wrote into my little red book of sayings and poems a line saying « there is a thin line between love and hate ». Tonight I realised it perfectly describes my relationship with Paris.

More than once I have felt like packing my bags and going as far away as possible from this horrible city. I have been convinced that the so called city of romance has brought nothing but tears and misery into my life. Thus, the sooner I get out of here, the better. Besides, everybody knows that the Parisians are rude, the traffic is dangerous, the air is bad and the wine expensive.

Then there are times, like tonight, when I listen to good music, while biking past the beautiful scenery, on my way back home after a long night at work. I climb up to my 6th floor apartment and make myself a cup of camomile tea. Then I feel like I never want to leave Paris.

Though, I know I eventually will.

Friday, January 19, 2007


This morning our evil professor started the lesson by listing all the people, who have not yet participated enough in class. Obviously my name was on that list. So now, during the second last lecture it would be my chance to shine and show that I actually have something going on in my little head.

Even if “you don’t dare” or “you don’t have enough courage” are good ways of getting me to do all sorts of stupid things, pointing me out in class for not talking will make me shut up for sure. This provided slightly difficult but I managed to get away by mumbling something about how everything I could consider saying had already been said. He was not too impressed with my overly intelligent contribution.

After school I retuned home and started doing the reading for the final class – my final moment in the spotlight. This will be tomorrow morning. I am having serious difficulties in concentrating and the only thing I can think of is another useless comment for tomorrow.

Evil prof: “Riikka, would you like to add something to this?”
Me: “I prefer not to”

Works but is a bit used.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

it's a funny thing that...

I have a silly habit of checking my horoscope in the morning, while drinking coffee and reading the news. I don’t really believe in it, except when it promises me lots of money and love. Obviously, by the end of the evening I have retuned to my usual, cynical self. Except today.

After school I had serious difficulties in getting my fencing gear and going to training. I was tired and it was raining and I was sure that it would not be a good session anyways. Somehow, I still managed to drag myself out.

After warming up, I was talking with one of the guys, who is kinda nice and suddenly I realised that he asked me out. Unless “if you have nothing else planned for tonight, I would like to take you out for dinner” has a new meaning, I am not aware of.

Training was amazing. Not only did I manage, in our little team competition, to get from a point of 11-5 for the opponent into 16-15 for me, in 2min (this was against the guy who had just asked me out) but also there were numerous experience, non-student fencers who provided a good challenge so that after two and a half hours I was battered but happy.

Obviously I had not planned on going out afterwards so was wearing my little blue hoody and sport pants etc but oh well. Despite my rather unflattering outfit the dinner was great. We went to a small restaurant not too far away and…it was just really nice. And he wants to see me again.

It’s funny how good things happen when you least expect…

Monday, January 15, 2007

weird dreams...

I had a really weird dream last night. Normally I never ever remember my dreams in the morning, in fact I am not even sure I usually have dreams, but I did last night.

In my dream one of my professors told us in class that he had bought an antique chair that need to be restored. I jumped of excitement and promised to do this. Afterwards I had this huge problem of missing space because unlike in Finland where I always had a huge backyard as my atelier, here I have a 1m2 balcony. But I think the chair turned out quite nicely. A bit misty on that point.

Then I hitchhiked across the US. Or actually I was picked up by an Aston Martin that was going across the country. But it did it in one day. And also, half way the driver’s son joined us and suddenly there was lots of space in the car. And then, at the end I was staying in this enormous and very posh apartment, which had my little balcony from Paris and my laundry hanging there just like it does here right now.

And the weird thing is that I woke up in the middle of the night and when I fell back to sleep I got back into the same dream. Creepy. And something else happened as well but I can’t remember exactly what it was. I think it had something to do with my sister – she came to visit or something.

I wonder what all that means…

Sunday, January 14, 2007

sales...and some achievements

In Paris the after Christmas sales are totally insane. Every single street and shop is so packed that it is almost impossible to move. Yet, I decided that it is time for me to join the crowd in search for a new hoodie. Not that there is anything really wrong with my one that I have been wearing for the past 3years except the fact that I have been wearing it for the past three years.

After the first 15min I had had enough. But I decided not to give up and my determination was rewarded. Firstly someone asked me to help them to get a shirt from the upper shelf because she could not reach it herself. I felt so proud. As I am, pretty much on a daily basis, called a midget I felt quite good and important when able to help someone to get something from somewhere high up.

Then I found it. A red puma top. Ok, it was from the kids section and all but it was really cool. And red. And I bought it. But it didn’t have a hood, so mission was only partly completed. (i.e. I had managed to spend money on something I really don’t need)

When working hard one gets pretty hungry. So while I was close by I decided to go by a sport nutrition store and while buying other stuff took a protein bar as well to avoid the temptation of snacking on chocolate. The owner was talking to his about 2m and 150kg friend when I proceeded to the check out. They somehow got into talking whether this specific bar I had chosen was really the best one for me. “As you run you don’t really want to built up too much muscle” (I think I have been to that shop too many times)”But you don’t really want to look too much like a women either”, said his giant friend and turned bright red as he said that….”I mean, it is not to say that you are not pretty and everything but it is just because you do lots of sport and…I mean, what I meant was that you sort want…I mean….” And yes, I knew exactly what he meant, but it was still quite amusing. Oh and just to let you know I didn’t even give him an evil look or anything.

Oh and I also did find a hoodie at the end. So a pretty productive day I would say…

Thursday, January 11, 2007

old habits die hard...or not at all

When I went to uni in England, whenever I had a problem with school I would ask my housemate. Not only was he the best housemate I have ever had but he was also by far more on track with technical bits than I ever will be. However, his room was upstairs, pretty much on the attic and I was on the ground floor. So, at the end most of our communication was via msn. Now I am battling with my econometrics project and what is my first solution – msn and my housemate. He is now in Singapore, and far away from the academic world but still it just seems so normal to ask him because obviously he just must now the answer. Some things just never change.


Sales started yesterday and so did my mission for finding new roller blades. In fact, since I left Finland which is already by far over 4years ago I haven’t had my own blades – so now it was time. What helped in making this decision was my mum telling me that they would be my Christmas present, even if coming a bit late.

So, after school I went to the store where I had seen something I could think about buying. To be quite honest I still don’t understand why all the blades for women are pink and purple and something else pretty yucky. Also, there was not a single pair for girls that didn’t have breaks but for guys, there were plenty. A bit stupid really.

Anyways, after an hour or so of trying things and looking and thinking I finally made up my mind and left the store as the owner of a cool new pair of blades. And then it started raining. By the time I got home I was soaked. Yet, this little setback was not going to put me down and I started my little mission of removing breaks – which in fact was by far easier than the guy at the shop told me it would be – I didn’t even have to phone some strong friend to come and help me…though….shoot…not thinking there girl!

As soon as the rain had stopped and the roads had dried up a little I took off. And these things are a dream. It was like flying. And it wasn’t even cold and we are in January – I can’t wait till it is summer again because then it will be even better. Though next time I go for a little tour of Paris by night I want some company – I wonder – on a bike even…hmmm….

When I finally got home I realised that to enter into my flat I need to climb over 2pairs of running shoes, fencing gear and now a pair of blades – bike stays downstairs. No wonder I have no time.

Friday, January 05, 2007

some thinking...and decisions

Every year, in January you are pretty much expected to start a new, better life. I asked my brother if he was going to make any new year’s resolutions and he told me that by becoming a better person he would make himself a god so he does not really see the point. After all, even if being a god could be rather interesting, it would give him an unfair advantage in – well everything. As my self-esteem is far behind that of my brother’s I made several and they have all (except the one about my next marathon) been broken by now.

This morning my horoscope (it is a thing I read online and believe in when it promises me lots of love and money, which then doesn’t appear but still, makes me feel hopeful) told me that it is time to put my life in order. This is after I had realised that I still haven’t contacted my bank, even if I was supposed to do that before the holidays, that there is a pile of important papers I should go through on the table next to the front door, that I have an essay and presentation and another essay that should be done or should have been done and that I haven’t paid my rent and can’t find the account number to safe my life. So, I started to think that maybe my horoscope had a slight hint of truth to it today – just a slight.

The problem is that now when I realised how many things I have put off I got so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start from. So I thought I’ll write a list. But then, if I write it I will most likely lose it, as my flat looks like it was hit by a hurricane and if I have it on my screen I will do my best to avoid my computer and thus will not be able to do the school work I am supposed to be doing.

As a result, I decided to revise my resolutions. The first one is definitely not to make promises I know I won’t keep. Secondly, there is no point in promising I keep on doing lots of sports. Sure, that is an easy one to keep, but really defeats the purpose of this resolution thing. As does “I will eat less chocolate”. In fact the second one posed some problems. Finally I decided that I will not let my life get into such a mess ever again, at least not this year, not only because it will take me at least a year to sort this one out and also because, it is just extremely frustrating to end up in the same situation again and again and again. AND if I manage to stick to this one, I won’t have to make any more resolutions again, because it would be really boring to be the only (ok, second) perfect person in the world.

And yes, I must go to the bank but I think I need to go for a run first.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

lost...yet again

I never thought that after my holiday I would be looking forward to going back to work. I was sure that I would have more energy and enthusiasm for school and work would be the obligation and something that takes up a bit too much of my time. However, the case is quite the opposite.

My job is nothing too glamorous – I waitress in a small restaurant in a touristy area of Paris. Every night the place is fully booked and a second service is waiting at the bar, taking up so much space that it is hard for us to get to the tables. Thus on a normal night, we – the girls – run around like headless chicken trying to ensure that every single person leaves the place thinking how soon they can come back (and obviously while they are thinking they leave a nice note on the table).

At work I know I am good at what I do. This is something I honestly can’t say about school. And though we are always busy and have to work hard and at the end of it you are, at least physically, completely exhausted, most nights we have lots of fun. And when you know you have done a good job, you can enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the night. And the thing is that you do know and you can see right away why you put in all that energy into it. This is not something I can see about school. It is becoming more and more difficult for me to see the point of it. Ok, once I managed to tell one customer at work the current price of an oil barrel, because we had talked about that at school the very same day, but that is a one off exception. And on top of it all, school follows you were ever you go. There is not one second in a day when I don’t feel like I should be doing school work, rather than watching a dvd or doing something else overly unproductive but yet so relaxing and enjoyable.

Somehow it is so rewarding to see someone leave happy, and even if I know that part of the “thank you” and compliments we get is just good manners without a deeper meaning it is still by far better than a random number in a corner of an essay. It makes me wonder if I really have made the right choices when it comes to school and careers. I could never imagine being a waitress for the rest of my life but at the same time I can’t see myself in an office, talking to a computer the whole day. I love meeting new, interesting people and I enjoy talking and exchanging ideas. Also, I like that my work is valued and I am liked. I would never imagine a professor making me a cup of tea when I have a cold but my boss, and the owner of the restaurant does that on a regular basis. What is even better is to have people asking you to be there waitress – it is like someone at school would specially want to sit next to me, which obviously doesn’t really happen.

What to do?

I think I better go for a run before starting work.