Archive for March, 2009

Helsinki

March 7, 2009 3:49 pm

Hello world,

I am still alive and well.  I am in Helsinki, Finland.  Today I met up wtih Ulla and Arttu and we went out to lunch.  Later we went to the Eero Sarineen house, where he had a studio and was raised.  It was beautiful.  Afterwards we went by the Polytechnic University where their oldest daughter studies.  I saw the student center which has thousands of different sized windows and no two are the same.  It was a nice building, and was very studentcenterish.  I guess its not all that different from back at Rutgers.

I went to a hockey game here in Helsinki tonight.  So far I am 2 for 2 with hockey towns.  I really want to try to catch a game everywhere I go.  Although it is a bit expensive. I have gotten some of the required gifts for friends back home, so if I like you, you’ll be getting something… Otherwise, well uhh….. Nevermind!  The Helsinki team IFK lost 3-1 to the Tampere team.  I forget their name, but they’re the team that isn’t the Ilves.  I took some pictures, and a little video.  It was a great game!

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Tampere Day 2.5

March 5, 2009 2:53 am

Yesterday, Hanne and Aartu had work so I was on my own.  I went downtown at around 9am, and wandered around until about 3pm.  First I went to the mall, where nothing was open at 9:30.  Here, nothing was open until 10.  I also learned that most places are closed on sundays, or workers have to get double pay.  After the mall opened, I shopped around looking for a watch.  I didnt find anything that was at a price I wanted to pay, so I left and went outside.  I walked around the waterfront for a while and checked out all 3 hydroelectric dams.  I saw a man fishing, and he landed a Salmonoid.  As I was passing him, he shouted something in Finnish, and I sortof gave him a dumbfounded look, since I didnt know what was going on.  He then handed me the net, and I helped him land the fish.  It was a big one, and this was certainly the highlight of my day so far.  I took a bunch of pictures of downtown Tampere, and it was nice to see that I can do alright on my own not speaking the native language.  (I didnt get any food, but I did grab a beer!)

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Ilves Game

2:33 am

I finally made it to a Finnish hockey game!  We saw the Ilves get smoked by JYP 7 to 2 lastnight, but I didnt care.  I knew someone on the team that I used to play against, Matt Nickerson, and he was tossed out in the 2nd period.  Apparently over here there is no fighting, he got tossed for just trying to start a fight.  We had amazing seats, 2nd row behind the net in the corner.  There was a guy sitting in front of us who was hilarious.  He was reaming the refs about everything possible, and although I didnt understand a word of it, I was laughing a few seconds later when Hanne translated it.  Another nice thing about the game was even if I dont speak Finnish, I do speak hockey.

Before the game, I met Hanne’s mother, and had coffee at her house.  She was very nice, and baked cinnamon rolls (which were delicious).  While there, we talked about how the wellfare system works here, and why there is so little crime.  It is crazy to see bicycles just sitting outside of stores not locked up…  Then we left for the hockey game with Jaarko, Hanne’s brother.

Tampere, Finland

March 3, 2009 2:12 am

I made it to Tampere.  I flew in yesterday around 6pm local time.  The flight from Newark, NJ was not too bad, I tried to sleep for as much of it as I could, but sadly that wasnt much.  A husband and wife seemed to be getting divorced in front of me and then decided to start yelling at the people behind them and the entire flight crew…  Not exactly a quiet flight.  Other than them, however, the flight was great.  SAS has great planes and the inflight entertainment centers were nice.  The food was actually really good (for airplane food).  I had fish for dinner, which was good.  The breakfast, not so much.  The bread was good though, so I stuck to that.

I landed in Copenhagan, Denmark for a 5 hour layover.  We were forced to go through security again, and they arent as strict as in the USA.  I got to keep my shoes on, however they made sure I didnt have any drinks with me.  The airport there is really nice.  There are a ton of shops and there was a new Ferarri and Porsche on display and for 35dkk, I could enter to win one of them.  I decided the odds were agaisnt me and I should probably spend my money on some food.  After wandering around for a while, I decided to get some noodles and pork from a vendor in the airport.  There was nobody else there but me, so I stuck up a conversation with the guy and he was from Poland here for 6 months.  We talked about the US economy, which he had been following very closely, and I was shocked to hear him talk about Ben Bernanke and the credit crisis.  After that I stumbled into OLeareys sports bar.  There is an irish pub with a ton of Boston sports memorabilia in the Copenhagan airport.  Since it was about 10am, I didnt do any drinking, just got a Coke, and watched a football (soccer) match.  I dont remember who was playing, but it was a decent game.  Afterwards I left to get on my plane.  When I got there, the plane wasnt there yet, and it was delayed for 1hr 20 minutes.  I met a family from Estonia who were also waiting for the plane, and learned the finnish word ‘kiitos’, or thank you.  That and ‘ei’ (no) are all I remember at the moment.  Dad was right, Finnish and Estonian are pretty similar.

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