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, September 30, 2007

packing...for a change

I have been piling up my belongings since yesterday. I have no idea what I need to take to go to Africa for 5months. Really, what do I need?

I collected my clothes on to my bed. Electronics from work on to the dining room table. Medications were at the other end. Beauty products on a chair. And the rest somewhere else.

My mum is convinced that I will miss my flight because my things are all over and nothing seems to be moving closer to the huge, new and green rug sack lying in the corner. Well the thing is that I don’t really like packing. I like travelling, moving and everything that requires packing but packing itself I find extremely boring. And as said I am not quite sure what I should have with me.

To calm the atmosphere I took my bags and collected everything into them. At least almost everything. No I am sitting here and fiddling with my thumbs not quite sure what I should be doing.

Maybe I should turn this computer off and pack it too. And passport. Must find passport.

I am off to the airport in a bit and from there my access to internet is going to be extremely limited or nonexistent for the next 5months. So, if there are no updates, news, stories and other random rambling that is not because I have abandoned this blog or because I have fallen off the face of the earth. I am just checking out far corners of it….

Monday, September 24, 2007

forced cleaning

On Saturday night some drunken idiot poured a whole pint of beer all over my new jacket and my Marimekko bag. Excellent. I was so annoyed, not only because I had nothing to wear to go home but also because I had not thought about doing any laundry over the weekend.

So, yesterday morning I poured the insights of my bag onto the living room table (obviously the most sensible and logical place) and chucked the bag and the coat and and and into the washing machine.

This morning I repacked my bag. The amount of stuff that instead of the bag ended up in the bin was colossal. Somehow I had managed to store a collection of old notes, receipts and other random stuff into my bag, and all that was now on that table. I also noticed that my bag now looks a lot nicer as it no longer looks like it has been swimming in mud due to being placed into my bike basket on a rainy day.

Ok, the jacket is now a bit creased and I know it will take several months or at least weeks before it is ironed (I avoid this chore like I avoid the plague) and it didn’t need a wash anyways.
So, at the end, another good thing came out of that night in a bar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This morning I decided to boil eggs for my lunch box. I was convinced that sandwich with eggs and cheese and what else I could find from the fridge (in between the five million yoghurts and other random stuff I had managed to fill it up with – I think I am a lingonberry addict). My brother, who was woken up by all the noise I was making looked at what I was doing and asked me to boil one 5min egg for his breakfast. Sure. I took out three eggs from the fridge, placed the first one into the boiling water.

With the second one I hesitated – “how will I know which one of these is the 5min one?”

Ps. Isä – kun olet siinä koneella niin lukisitko sähköpostisi samalla? kiitos :p

Monday, September 17, 2007

no pain no gain

I have, due to some temporary moment of insanity, restarted gym training. I have a bad habit of slacking, faffing about, chatting and changing the music on my ipod instead of training and hence I usually sign up for a class.

Yesterday I went to a fit-ball class, you know where you play around with a big ball and then I went to yoga/chiball, where you then stretch and breath and move with a smaller ball and today I am in pain. And all I did was some breathing and stretching and throwing a ball around – and it is supposed to be relaxing a good for me.

At any rate, over the weekend I also went to my usual pump class. There we stand in line and move dumbbells up and down with some music. It is always good and rather efficient and simple enough for me to follow. Well in fact it is not too simple if you don’t know the techniques but apparently I do – I even got complimented on it. Woohoo, the highlight of my day.

At any rate that was not my point either but I the instructor was. He had the best ever way of encouraging us – smile, it hurts! Now, this one is torture – enjoy! Oh, don’t you just love how it burns – you can almost see your muscles grow in front your eyes! No, no, no, more weights – I don’t want you to be able to move tomorrow. Slower, slower, slower, you have to feel it – any one of you is up before me and he will do an extra 5min.

The more it hurts the better it is supposed to feel and the happier I am supposed to be. Well, no pain, no gain I suppose. And he does make you work.

Today I am going to retry stretching…and breathing. What a waste I say – seriously the air goes in and out of me all the time and every day so I don’ quite see why I need to go to the gym to breath. But then again it does hurt afterwards so maybe there is some gain from it as well…or then only pain.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

work work and work people

With my second job I have met some interesting people. The benefit of not having a real job but one that moves from place to place, sometimes stays in one place for a bit longer and then throws you elsewhere again is that you never get used to anything, not to a place, to the people or the work. This is especially good if you don’t like the people you work with but especially bad if you really like the people you work with. I usually like all the people I work with so at the end, I don’t mind.

We often say that at the bottom of the social hierarchy there are thieves, prostitutes, waitresses, drug addicts, chefs and other scum. But like into any set of parasites, there are a variety of characters in this class as well.

There is the crazy cat lady. She now only has three cats, as she figured that having 23 in a small apartment in the centre of Helsinki is a bit too much. She talks about her cats as if they were her children (she is also known as the spinster, but I did not tell you that), always by their names and if you ever make the mistake of talking about any of them as “it” you might just consider yourself dead. She only works day shifts (never after 20h) because the little ones are afraid of dark and can’t be left home alone at night.

The is our vatitaitoinen (dish skilled) - a waiter who has been in the business for years, well decades and is one of the rare ones who knows how to properly transfer food from a big serving dish to a customers plate, drunk and without making a mess. You know him as he usually stands in the corner of the restaurant stirring his coffee, and blowing to cool it down. It is a funny thing that, as I have never ever seen any coffee in that cup and as far as I know, vodka and coke does not burn your mouth. He will also taste every bottle to verify their quality. Except obviously when the old “viinuri” (and old Finnish word for a waiter) is around – then the wine is his territory.

And the “Käläkälä” (blaablaablaablaa). Her mouth moves constantly and I mean constantly. This lady never ever stops talking. She has something to say about everything, she knows everything, she has an opinion on everything and if there is nothing to say she will explain what she is doing and why. Who cares? But she cleans well – which is excellent, except when there are a hundred million more urgent things to do and she decides to take the crumbs of the table where we cut the bread. Surprisingly enough she is usually the one who is sent to polish classes (into the other room) or to prepare the great hall for the following night. I wonder if she talks to the plates and cloths as well…? I think I need to investigate this.

The man with the dog. This one is not as bad as the crazy cat lady but not far off. He has a dog, whose name I don’t know and who is really and extremely fuzzy. I mean this dog is not just picky and difficult but extremely demanding and fuzzy. Hence, every time there is some lamb, smokes salmon, chateau briand, left on a plate the waiter carefully picks the food into a small piece of tinfoil to take it home, for the dog. Apparently this is the only way to avoid bankruptcy. Fair enough.

And the ADHD (ADD or what ever acronym you know for overly active people). He never stops but he never finishes either. He is nice, funny and everything else you could ask from someone working in the service industry but he has 0 patience and his ability to concentrate is that of a butterfly. But the good thing is that because he is so busy with all his little projects he is doing at once, he is out of the way and we can do our job, and his as well.

And the sweet one. She is nice. She has been in the same job for over 40 years and still is not quite sure how the espresso machine works. She will need help if there are more than two tables of four but her customers always leave the place happy. She is doing the same English course in the folk high school for the fifth year in a row, but is too scared to try her language skills in practice (I am sure she speaks just fine, it just the confidence she lacks). But she loves her job…something I rarely see in what I do.

I think I could go on and on and on…

I don’t really like my job. Well I do but I don’t. I like that part of being with people and I like the atmosphere (sometimes) but at the same time I hate it and I wish I never had to throw plates around or make another GT in my life.

And I wonder how the others would describe me…

counting steps

I have been convinced that I am an active person, I walk a lot and I bike everywhere, I hardly ever take the elevator, the bus or the tram.

To reassure myself I borrowed a pedometer and attached it to my waist. On Tuesday, by lunchtime I had taken 400 steps and the meter stopped. That’s ridiculous – surely I had walked more than that. Obviously not. I found out that after having been still for a long period of time I have to take 6steps for the counter to start counting again. Hmmm, it had cheated…I had walked a bit more. And besides I only put the meter on after my gym class in the morning, before work. But still, it was pretty pathetic.

Apparently you should take 10000 steps a day to stay healthy and 12000-15000 to get fitter. Fine, I will reach that.

After work I went to work work. Surely this would give me the steps I needed. But I was told it would be a quiet night. But still, surely, it must. By the time we started cleaning up I was at 12500 steps and when I got home at 16005 steps. If you add those 400 from the morning it makes 16405 steps. Pretty good I though.

Yesterday I decided to redo my little measuring activity. After all, it would be a walking day and then a busy night at work work. By lunchtime I had take 2500 steps. Excellent. This was more like it. But it was all downhill from there. At the end of the day I had only taken 13700 steps, which is something like 8km. That nothing more than a short run. Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

I was depressed. I had been convinced I am an active person and never has to worry about not moving and exercising enough. But in reality, if I don’t do my sports I don’t move that much. In fact I only move enough to stay healthy and reasonably fit.

Oh and I no longer bike that much either, as I live so close to my work.

How depressing.

Today I left the stupid pedometer into my drawer.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

scary thoughts

When biking home way past midnight last night I stopped at the petrol station to get a bar of chocolate. It had been a strange night and I felt like having something sweet.

Two guys were having a smoke in front of the main entrance. I had a look at them. They could not have been more than 14, if even. I found myself thinking “what are they doing here at this time of the night when there is school in the morning???” Surely at that age you should be in bed and not wondering around the dark streets. When I was that age I was not out past midnight during the week – and probably not during the weekend either. Shocking. How do their parents allow them?

I got my 30c chocolate, took my bike and went home and to bed.

Under the duvet I started laughing at my self…”there is school in the morning!!!!” How old am I really? Seriously? What is happening to me?

But then again, it is over a decade since I was being angry with my parents who were being stupid and not letting me stay out until late. (not that I haven’t taken that loss back when a bit older)


If I’m ever a mum I think I’ll be a true nazi.

a journey back in time

Last night, at work took me for a journey into the past. In fact it took me to times I have not been here to see, but I know from movies and stories.

I got changed and sneaked into the restaurant. The shades in the windows gave the room a hazy touch and had there been a circle of smoke in the air, it would have been a perfect scene from a Tauno Palo film. It was still early but there were people already dining. Shots of vodka were taken to a table where there were four older gentlemen, in suits. With my minds eyes I could see them talk business over their meal – I could hear the whispering voices discuss the shade of grey to be chosen for the next cloth line produced for the USSR markets.

A couple walked into the restaurant. I was asked to escort these “foreigners” to a table. In fact I had to look after them the whole night, as I happened to be the only person among the staff who know how to speak English. Russian would not have posed any problems but “London” was something too alien to any of my co-workers.

Rye bread. Steak with garlic potatoes. Irish coffee. And of course vodka. I remember when I was little I used to think that creamy garlic potatoes were the most delicious dish there was. My grandma used to make them for special occasions.

I think I now know what happens when time stops.

But what will happen when the ladies with their fur coats no longer come? Or when the gentleman who had his first business dinner ever (with some fine gentlemen who knew the President – who was Kekkonen at the time) in that same table no longer holds meetings?

When I woke up this morning I felt like I had been a part of the film “Das Leben der Anderen“ (The Lives of Others...which is an amazing film by the way). It was just too absurd. Surely, nothing like that no longer exists. Or does it?

I have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Last night I helped my brother to move into his new flat in Helsinki – well in fact into his first own flat really. It was already fairly late and dark when he finally reversed the car into the courtyard. It didn’t take us too long to transfer the little furniture and boxes he had, into the ground floor apartment.

First task – beer into the fridge. I couldn’t help laughing – it is good that the boy had priorities. After that his friend took over and organised the rest of the kitchen and this time the cupboards started to fill up with real food and real cutlery.

My friend, who lives next door, came over to check up the place and to keep us company. Her boyfriend helped with the TV. The place started to look like something.

The boys opened beers and we got a glass of bubbly to celebrate. Then the invitation to sauna on Sunday nights was thrown in. Men.

“By the way, any chance I could borrow a long TV cable for tonight? If you happen to have a spare one.” Apparently one could be found…it is good to know your neighbours.

My brother started to unpack – he opened a box, emptied it and threw the rubbish into a corner. “Ha, if mum had seen that, she would not be pleased”. The joy of living on your own I suppose.

As we drove the car out of the yard we heard the cable arrive and shout “I’ll just take one more beer as rent, ok?” I think my brother will be just fine.

When my job was done I started my journey back through the dark city. I took a short cut, across the railway tracks – a little rabbit ran in front of me. Funny.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


We went to Valtteri today. It is a huge second hand market in Helsinki. I had agreed to meet someone I haven’t really seen for years and years and we had a lot to catch up. However, it would be so unlike her to just meet up for a cup of coffee or lunch – that would be too normal, too dull, too mundane.

So, we decided to go exploring. I had a look at a top and the seller announced happily that because it was so broken and in horrible condition she would only ask 20c for it. Right. Why would I buy something that was awful and full of holes? Duh.

We went on and talked on the way. “Oh that shirt reminds me…but hey what about this one?”

I got a top – 50c. She bought a nice cardigan for her daughter. “I remember when you…”

A pile of books attracted her like honey draws bees.

I found a woollen shirt. Like a really nice black one in really good condition. 1€50 saved me from the starting cold and rainy autumn.

Lunch would be in order. It was getting too crowded there. And I was tired. Really really tired.

We thought that Weeruska would be good. Homely, good, not at all pricy and close.

We had lunch and continued talking. And we talked and talked and talked.

She dropped me off.

I put my new findings into the washing machine. Mhmmm

Productive day and yet…So relaxing.


Last night I went to work thinking it was going to be another easy day/night. By midnight I would be in bed. Besides I started work just after lunch so surely early hours in the morning should be spent elsewhere.

There was a wedding. It wasn’t the first one for me this summer so I was a bit sceptical. Usually weddings are pretty boring because there is a lot of waiting around and waiting around.

Tables were set in good time, table cloths running in the right direction (if only they knew how much time and effort went into just those table cloths), flowers where they should, little name stones (a good idea that one) in order and bottles of bubbly lined up.

The guests started to arrive and with them they brought the rain. Legend. Instead of greetings and congratulations outside, everybody tried to squeeze themselves into the boarders of a tiny dance floor. I performed my acrobatic spectacle with those champagne glasses rather well, despite the flying elbows and undecided feet that turned and twisted people around.

How amusing. Before the wine was served the programme had gone out of the window – that could almost be considered a record. The started buffet looked pretty good. I was hoping people were not too hungry.

Main course = starters upstairs and a first round feast for us. Not too bad those trout eggs.

But the main course smoked salmon with false morels was even better, absolutely divine.

By the time the cake arrived people had had their fair share of alcohol and were rather talkative and tipsy and lining up at the bar. I had to chase them away and towards the cake and coffee table. I obviously mentioned the cognac that would accompany the coffee…I saw them take steps that closely resembled running.

The cake was so good. I was sitting next to where all the dishes are done, on the table, with a big spoon. Marengue. White chocolate I think. And something I can’t put my finger on to. Maybe another piece will help in that. Very nice. Very nice indeed.

Way past any sensible bedtime people finally started to gather around and move towards the pier and the boat. I moved towards the pile of trays. Somebody had left their wedding sweets behind. Quite a few people had in fact abandoned their chocolates. Surely it would be horrible waste to throw them away, surely. Besides they were good chocolate. We divided the left over chocolates equally (I got 2 when the boys got 1… and they had at least 6) and used them as cleaning fuel…to give us energy while cleaning.

After the boat had come to pick us up I wondered who I would choose to be my made of honour. Someone a bit organised then the one with the job this time. I wouldn’t like to stress as much as the bride. Then again I think it was her normal state of being – Who knows.

They did have some good ideas though…in fact some really nice ones. Must not forget those.

It is a funny thing that…those weddings