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

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

extreme absurdity

This morning, after finishing my first two cups of coffee I decided to be efficient and fill up two job applications. After all I am only days away from graduation and there seems to be now job prospects in the near future.  I was half way through the first one, when my computer froze and then, refused to turn itself on again. I flipped. I only got a new laptop few months ago so it could not broke. I rushed to the nearest macstore, after having cursed my bad luck and miserable existence.

When I got to the store, an extremely annoying computer geek told me that the system had crashed and everything on my computer would have to be reinstalled and I would most likely lose all my files. But all I would have to do is to use the recovery disks I should have. Great. Firstly, all the disks were at my friend’s place because she had needed one programme and not to have things in different places I had given her the whole box. Stupid me. And she would be at work until late.

I came back home, devastated and while trying to figure out if I had my notes for my final exam saved anywhere but on my laptop, my mother phoned to find out if I had desert spoons. Like really. She has, at some stage bought me a nice set of cutlery but no, no desert spoons. But quite honestly, I didn’t really care. In no time I would not only be homeless and hence also kitchenless because I have no job and now had also no ways of applying for one, so whether I have desert spoons was not of utmost importance. And I told her this in a rather rude manner.

So while my mother was shopping for spoons, that will undoubtedly end up in the same box as all my other the other things, which I am supposed to need if I ever turn into a proper, decent and responsible human being, but which are currently residing in my parent’s garage, I got a velib to the other side of Paris. Or almost. As I was going around Republic my phone rang. A Finnish number. To find out if I would be interested in working for one of the MPs. In Finland. Puzzled by this out-of-the-blue enquiry I said “yes, possibly” but that it was not really a good time to talk about this as I was about to be crashed into by cars coming from different directions. They promised to send me the person’s phone number. Excellent.

I got to work in a rather confused state. Whilst sitting down, enjoying my dinner, my phone rang again. A UK number. I picked the phone up. I was asked to go to London in two weeks for a job interview. For a job I had applied for because it sounded like something I would like to do in the far future. But they had shortlisted me now. Right. I said I would be there. The lady on the other end of the line expected me to be taking the Eurostar that morning and hence proposed the 14h slot. I think I said yes. And yes, I think I must take the Eurostar in the morning, because as she pointed out I do live in Paris. Right.

Finally, my disks arrived. Progress. I gave the whole pile with my laptop to the guy at the end of the bar. He had been warned already earlier about my little crisis and was prepared to attack the trouble with a glass of red wine. Throughout my shift I kept looking at his direction, too scared to go over and see what was going on. Until he called me. He did it. He fixed my laptop and made it like new again. And not only did it now work but our summer cottage was looking at me from the screen again and so were my files. The disaster had been avoided.

So it looks like I might need those desert spoons after all.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

night of the nightless night

It is midsummer weekend. The citizens of the north have abandoned the hot tar-roads of the city and moved towards the waters, bonfires and forests. Shops are closed, newspapers don’t publish new news and public transport has ceased to exist.

There is magic in the air. Now it is the time when maidens collect seven flowers to put under their pillow to dream about their future fiancée, count the cuckooing of a cuckoo bird and swim naked in the lake. And the sun watched over the festivities.

There was no magic in the air in Paris. I left work past midnight but the dark streets of the city were still filled with people coming out and going in. It was warm. The lights of the Eiffel tower were reflected from the ripples of the Seine. But there was no summer magic in the air.

I came home. My street was quiet except for the lonely homeless, looking for an empty corridor or an unlocked door. I climbed upstairs and opened the door. There was a light breeze coming through the open window and a distant sound of music. The night was calm and dark. The sun had gone to bed long before me.

There was no magic in the Parisian night. I wondered if I should put on a left sock, the wrong way round before going to bed. Just in case. Just in case. I didn’t. There was no summer magic in the dark night.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

i want

The other day I tried to explain to a friend of mine, what I want when I graduate. Or from my post student life.

I want a flat with an oven. Not a microwave but a real oven. One in which I can bake bread rolls and maybe pancake. And makaroonilaatikko and maksalaatikko. And homemade pizza on a Sunday night. That’s what I want.

I also want a washing machine. My own washing machine. A small one so that I don’t have to try to make it to the laundry mat and always have so much laundry that the big industrial machine is at least half full.

Those are the two things I want. All I want.

Though a sofa would be nice. So that could curl up in the corner of it with a blanket and a piece of that homemade pizza to watch a film (in my home you will be allowed to occasionally eat in the living room, except if you are messy).

It would be nice to have a place for my bike so that I could get a new one and not have it stolen right away again.

And a table big enough for a sewing machine. That would be nice. Maybe I would have time for sewing as well. I don’t want a garden so that wouldn’t take up any of my time.

And a job that doesn’t take me away from home on Sunday night when I am supposed to eat homemade pizza and watch a film.

But first and foremost I want an oven. And maybe a proper bed. Or at least a madras on the floor so that don’t have to feel bad for being too lazy in the morning to fold up my bed out of the way.

I don’t think I want a tv. It would be nice but I wouldn’t know what to buy and then would have to get a dvd player and I don’t even know how to use them and then it would all be too complicated.

And not too much space because then I would have to have time to do cleaning. But a big table.

And an oven.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


When I first moved abroad, nobody ever mentioned Finland. Though I once saw an article in the Guardian titled “Thin like a Finn”, talking about the system of school lunches and obviously there was the odd footballer or a Formula 1 driver, who made the papers.

Then there was Lordi – the heavy metal band that managed to steal the first place in the Eurovision.

And now there is...well now there is nostalgia for the times when Finland was not really even on the map.

I don’t know what has happened to the reputation of my country. But I can ensure you that the development is not to the right direction. Only on Tuesday was the latest mini scandal featured in the Financial Times. I didn’t read the article because avoided all thinking requiring activities on the day to recover from the thesis panic which preceded it, but unfortunately a lot of other people did. And the jokes – oh all the jokes.

But I must admit that corruption does beat adultery, love affairs, mistress, nasty divorces and whatever else has been popping up in the papers, internationally. The grumpy, northern male, who only speaks when he has something real to say and certainly avoids all flowery phrases and other pick-up lines, is long gone. Unfortunately. I used to hate thinking that “hi” can be considered an eloquent start to a conversation and a definite sign for a man’s interest, but accepted this as a necessary harm and fault in the other sex. But at least I could trust the words of a Finn. But now, if the French papers are worth believing in, the cold stone face is rivalling the French president in love scandals. Perfect. Just perfect.

And vodka. All Finns drink vodka. I have been told. And eat salmon. Salmon and vodka, vodka with salmon and after salmon some vodka. And the salmon is obviously smoked. Always. Always smoked. And when Finland was featured in the centre of Paris for a month, this is what I found. Nothing but. Well not much but.

Seriously people. Seriously. I remember there being more to it all.

But until that makes it to the papers, I might have to do my best to look Scandianvian.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

15 minutes of fame

Young girls come to Paris, wishing they will make it as a model. The fashion industry is alluring – glamour, champagne, admiration. Everything a girl could ever want. But what is the likelihood that someone will pick you up from the street? Really?

Yesterday, after class, when my class mates where going home to pull an all nighter (thesis deadline is today) I went to the Pont des Arts with a friend to enjoy the sunny evening – the first in Paris for a long time.

We were planning summer holidays, eating baguette and cheese and cherry tomatoes. I was wearing my new summer dress and black sandals. And sunglasses, obviously. I had my hair tied up and only a hint of make-up as had started to get ready for school in the morning about 20minutes too late.

That is when two people came over to ask me if they could take a photo of me. Puzzled, I said yes. Was told to move over, photos sitting down on the bridge, standing up, leaning on the rail.

Questions. By who is your dress? And your shoes? What do you do?

They liked my look. And they worked for a fashion magazine in Korea.


Still puzzled I sat back down, just in time to steal the last cherry tomato.

Now, with a hint of resentment I am waiting for an email with a copy of the page my photo will be on. And with the other photos.

My fifteen minutes of fame indeed. 

Sunday, June 08, 2008

spa break

I have finished my mémoire/dissertation/master’s thesis/gradu. It is now done, transferred into a pdf format and ready to be printed off.

Last week, well this week really I was still panicking and overly stressed. I was convinced I would never get my tables to stay in the right place, come up with an intelligent sounding conclusion or figure out how the bibliography works in the programme I was using. I was stressed.

So I went to get a pedicure. I really wanted a facial as well, but unfortunately the time was not on my side and I had to go to work, before the brightening treatment had time to do miracles to my tired, stressed and gray looking complexion. So I had to be satisfied with red, well filed toenails and smooth heels.

Before my little spa break, I scrubbed my flat. I really did a through clean, though not so thorough that there wouldn’t be anything left for my post-graduation, pre-move on moments but the end result was that my tiny apartment looked happy and sunny. And dustless.

And the day after, I sat in front of my laptop for 10 solid hours and finished the essay.

I don’t do spa days. I didn’t used to do spa days. Or beauty treatments. Or I did, but very very rarely. Now I think they should become a more common part of my wonderings. Because a true break just works miracles. And when you feel good, you work well.

Maybe my next new thing should be beautiful hands. But only after I finish waitressing.

Did I tell you I finished my thesis?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

mum runs

My mother ran a marathon yesterday.  Throughout the day I kept checking the official marathon website to see how my runners were doing – jealous, oh so very jealous for not being there myself. And why wasn’t I? Because, I had to present at school on the Saturday morning. It is such a shame how studying can distract everything that matters in life.

She kept a steady pace throughout the race, only slowing down a bit for 5kilometres about half way through. Knowing her she panicked because it was all going too well or something else silly like that. But the she obviously got her act back together and speeded up back to the original pace she then kept all the way to the end. So jealous. When have I ever managed to run a steady race?

She didn’t win. She was not even the first one in her category. But I am very proud of her. Very very very proud of her.

My mum is not a runner. She is not one of these crazy people who feel happier in their trainers, on the road, no matter what the weather, than in anything or anywhere else. My mum works. I mean she has a serious job – a career. I am so very used to getting a phone call from the office at 9PM my time, which is, I don’t even want to think how late her time. Email before 7AM is not a rarity either. In fact, try getting hold of her during the day – well that’s not going to happen. Unless you manage to catch her in between two meetings. Or a Sunday, when she might just be in her garden, maybe. But she still, despite only having 24hours in her day, like every other mortal, finds the time to run.

I get emails with good training tips. I get phone calls telling me about an hours long training run in the snow. She replies to my text on the way to the pool where she aqua jogs to make her training more efficient and varied. I don’t know how she does it all but she does. Crazy but true.

So, did I tell you already? My mum ran a marathon yesterday.