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, August 20, 2008


Food on a holiday in the Balkans, and Turkey and the Black Sea and Greece to, to an extent is very meat orientated. In fact, if you want to eat anything slightly local, you will end up tasting meat in one form or another and sometimes it is just that, you get served. In certain places it appears that salad is reserved for rabbits.

Still a year ago or so I was a vegetarian. Well, slowly converting to carnivore but still I would not touch red meat. Now, it would be hard to believe.

Over ten years ago, when some people died their hair blue, others became socialists, some started smoking, few wanted to drop out of school I became a vegetarian. I am sure, that my well-informed mind of a 14 year old had excellent reasons for not eating meat, but frankly the time passed has erased those out of my memory. I was never much of an animal person so my reasoning was not in the line of those who protected animal rights and attacked fur farms. And it was not the taste of it either. I used to like meat. Who knows?

We took a photo of me eating a kebab. My first one ever. Rightly in Istanbul. And a sausage in Sofia. And beef in Kosovo. And lamb in Serbia. And loving it all.

My friends laughed. “Catching up for the lost decade, you?”

So there I am now – a full-fledged carnivore.

Would you ever have believed that?

holiday...or a bit of it

I went on a long awaited holiday. The morning after my birthday, after a sleepless night, the plane took us over to Belgrade. When you look at the first photo of the whole trip (out of the 904 photos taken altogether) you see me with a map.

And we all know what will follow from that.

After a week or so of travelling we had ended up in Thessaloniki.  We had, originally, thought that Athens would be a good continuation to Sofia, the Black Sea, Istanbul, but unfortunately this would have required us to spend 23hours on a bus, non-stop and the same again in return so we gave up the original plan.

Instead, we went to Kosovo.

I have a friend, working in this new nation to the world map and he, after a minute of hesitation, said that we could come and stay with him. It was not that he was worried about us going to Kosovo, he might have been slightly worried about his own sanity, but more so, he wanted to me on the safe side, so that we would not miss our return flight home.

At the boarder, between Macedonia and Kosovo the boarder official kindly asked us if we were working in Kosovo. “No Sir, just going to visit.” He looked at us all. He looked at us all individually. He looked us all together again. “Visiting?” Yes Sir. He took our passports and returned a moment later, with a “Republica Kosova” stamp in them. Excellent.

Our presence in the country caused a lot of abashment and puzzlement. “So which mission are you in?” Was the usual question. And the response: ”Oh, we are just visiting here, not on any mission.” And from the facial expressions we gathered that the other party found us slightly mad.

A conclusion that I do not understand.

The country was and is amazing. We were taken, by our host, on a long drive down the Rugova valley and up in the mountains. The direction I took during my morning runs. The peace. The quiet. The beauty.

Drinking coffee in a mountain top restaurant, looking down the valley, free of advertisement signs, endless resorts and numerous tourists made me feel like I had ended up in paradise. This is what holiday should feel like. No telephone reception. No radio coverage.

In the mountains it is possible to rent a cabin, for a weekend for example. Quel bonheur? Though I, personally would rather pack my back bag, add a tent to the top of the load and go hiking for few days, a week, or longer.

Just before we had to hop on a bus that would take us over the boarder once again, this time to Montenegro, my friend took me on a bike ride. A perfect end to an excellent holiday.

Well fed and happy we started our return home. Thinking…when can we go back?

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Few days ago, I got a fine.

I had left home in a rush, without taking a shower, thinking I would be out only few minutes. While away I got a call asking if I could work lunch.

Rushing home on a Velib, I got a ticket. I waited, almost patiently, for the light to turn red for the pedestrians but did not stick around for the light for the car to turn green. And this is when the police got me. Great. Just perfect.

I got home, in a greater rush than I had been before. I had exactly 6minutes to shower, get dressed, get my things and go. And I had to write a cheque for the fine.

In France you have three days to pay a traffic ticket and you do it by sending a cheque to the police.

I wrote the cheque, put it in an envelope and on my way out dropped into the mailbox. As the envelope had slipped out of my hand I realised that the stamp was still in my wallet. Perfect. Just perfect.

What could I do?

The stamp was the last one in a set of many, so there was a tiny bit of sticky surface. I went to the tabac opposite the mailbox and asked for a piece of white paper. Reluctantly the lady gave me a corner of an ark.

“Madame/Mister Postman, could you please please please attach this stamp to the envelope going to the police? Please. Thank you so very much.” My name and my address.

That was my note.

I attached the stamp on to the note and used the rest of the extra sticky bit to glue the note inside the mailbox, such under the little hole, through which you drop your letters into it.

By this point I was already late for work.

Would the postman notice my message? Would he care? Would the police get my cheque?

Yesterday I got my bank statement. The cheque had been cashed. Within the three-day period.

I was saved.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Years ago, when I had just started high school my dad drew me a tree.

I had decided, against the advice of everybody to try my luck in the international baccalaureate programme. However, at the time, my English simply was not good enough to actually study in that language, so that I could actually understand what I was learning.

So one afternoon I came home, devastated. The evil coordinator of the programme had convinced me into believing that I was simply going to fail.  I would not pass my first year and would then never be allowed into the international programme. Never.

I could not stop crying. My life was ruined. I would never get what I want but would be doomed to pass bad schools and do menial tasks for the rest of my life, dying unhappy.

My dad drew me a tree. We were sitting in our kitchen. I was crying and he drew.

My three had thick trunk and lots of leafy branches, all going high up. He told me that there were different ways to get to the top. I could, legitimately, just use the main trunk, the fast lane.

Or I could use the branches. And maybe occasionally return to the main trunk to save some time. Obviously the benefit of using the smaller branches was, that they always too some more time and with time they brought more experience, which more often than not was not only fun but also useful.

I returned to the main trunk a year later, after having spent some time in South Africa, improving my English. That year on the other side of the world was the best year of my life by the way. Just if you are wondering.

And I never failed.

Now, I was devastated. I had a job. I graduated with a job offer in my hand so legitimately I should be a happy bunny but no, I was miserable. I got a job, yes, but I did not get THE job.

I was convinced I would be doomed to do menial tasks for the rest of my life and dye unhappy, thinking my life had been ok but never anything too amazing.

My friend told me to think about my dad’s tree.

I think I have caught hold of the next branch.

And it is far higher than the one I am standing on.

father christmas

My brother phoned.

“Guess who is just met?”

Well, how am I supposed to know whom he could possibly have met in the middle of the summer in Helsinki?

He had gone to his neighbourhood grocery shop to ask for a cardboard box. They had none. But as he was leaving, disappointed, one of the customers said that he might have some in his office, just around the corner. Excellent. Typical for my brother – good luck that is.

As they walked towards this office the bearded man, being good mannered, introduced himself. “Father Christmas”

My brother shook his hand, and I can only imagine what had gone through his head.

But this man was indeed the only, true, real and official all-year-round Father Christmas. It being July he was still on holiday but apparently off to Japan only few days later. What he went to Japan for I did not quite understand – maybe to learn some new technical tricks for this years high-tech Christmas presents or something along that line.

So there you go.

You never know whom you might end up meeting.

Oh and my brother did get his cardboard box. And some string. To tie it. From Father Christmas. In July.


I went to see my osteopath yesterday.

I count days and minutes long before my appointment. This is not only because by the time to booking is made I am in such excruciating pain that I am willing to go through anything to have my back cracked but also because my osteopath is extremely attractive.

My osteopath is young, good looking, intelligent, witty and excellent in what he does. And married. Of course. He thinks I am totally and absolutely impossible and does not quite understand what I do to get my self in to such a state always. This time, he was confused by the pain in my leg – it was just too bizarre. But when I left the appointment I felt much better. And more relaxed. As usual.

My sister thinks I should meet her osteopath. Apparently he is extremely attractive – young, good looking, intelligent, witty and excellent in what he does. And not married. Yet.

She can’t wait for her next appointment, not only because she too seems to be hit by at least a truck on a regular basis and is, hence the need to see an osteopath.

What can we deduct from this? Our global survey shows that osteopaths generally are good looking, intelligent, witty and excellent in what they do and hence extremely attractive.

Maybe I should marry one.