Nautimme aurinkoa kuopiossa:)
The Downsides of Spring and Nalle Puh
Ok so right now I am facing two little problems as this year keeps crawling forward into Spring. The first problem is pretty trivial, the second one not as much (even though there is nothing I can do about it).
Problem number one is that my definition of “Spring” has been altered in a way this year that I really can’t say I am a fan of. Spring used to mean sunshine and warm weather, with a few light showers sprinkled here and there. Now Spring means that there is just barely plus degrees and the snow is appearing less than it did in Winter. It’s been sunny these past few weeks, but now that I have seen the sun I am expecting warmth and I am extremely disappointed most of the time that it is just not here. And the only “warm” days (around 7 degrees celcius), are just awful as I bike up the hills to my house sweating and disgusting in my massive coat. And if I take off that coat I am freezing, so it’s basically a lose lose. Summer, if you’re reading this—I beg you—please come faster!!
The second bad part about Spring is that it’s Spring. Which means that I’m left with less than 1/4 of my exchange. That’s scary:( Every day here gets better and better, even if i am not doing anything particularly special. I absolutely love my friends, my school, my teachers, my family, and my gym. I find myself thinking about going home and feeling so sad. I know that there is nothing I can do about it but try to have the best next 3.5 months I can have, but it doesn’t make it any less difficult. I don’t want my exchange to end!! (And I also reeeeally don’t want to go back to the reality of actually having to do homework..ew).
Besides those two little issues, these past few weeks have been really nice. The weekend after I last wrote, my host parents took a trip to Austria, so I stayed at Viivi and Lotta’s dad’s house for a few days. On Saturday, I went to Kotka with Fernanda to visit our Mexican friend Manuel. We walked around and ate lunch at the same Mediterranean place Jemima, Makyla and I went to for our birthdays. It was a really fun day! And that night, Viivi and I went to our friend Ruut’s house. I love all of Viivi’s friends—they’re so nice and outgoing and even though they are scared to make mistakes with their English, they always try so hard to make me feel included and I really appreciate that. On Sunday, I went over to Makyla’s house and spent the day with her and our Belgian friend, Nathan, who was here in Kouvola visiting. We made stuffed peppers that were super good!! And on Monday, coming back from school, I got super lost. How is it even possible to get lost as much as I do on a regular basis, in this small of a town? I never fail to surprise myself! But I don’t really mind it anymore. It’s not like I have such a hectic schedule to keep up with, and I’m used to it now. I even kind of like it in a way, and I always manage to find where I need to be so there really isn’t any harm.
Last weekend, my family and I took a short trip up to Kuopio, a really nice town about three hours away from Kouvola. Kuopio is one of the prettiest towns I have seen in Finland. I think it kind of reminds me of Lake Tahoe a bit (except 10000 times smaller and not as great, because very few things come close to Lake Tahoe). The city is surrounded by a lake and it has of course lots of trees and a few hills which makes for really lovely views. We arrived on Saturday afternoon, and went to my host Mummo’s (grandma’s) house to have lunch. She made us such a great Finnish meal with salmon, mushroom spread, rye bread, pesto sauce, salad, broccoli, and of course potatoes. Normally I am not a big fan of Finnish food but grandmas usually have this special way of making everything taste good. After some time spent in her apartment, we went to my great grandma’s 90th birthday party. It was a little weird for me, just because I didn’t know any of the family or anything and they were very Finnish (not so much talking, and of the talking they did do, it was all in Finnish). I did however, love spending time with my sisters. I always enjoy being with them—we are always laughing and having fun together. After the party, we explored the town and went out to dinner at a crappy “Italian” (Turkish) restaurant. I don’t understand how Finns can go to big cities and eat at such bad places for the same prices as the good ones. It’s frustrating because food is sacred!!!! But oh well, I am used to that by now too. That night, Viivi, Lotta and I “worked out” at the hotel gym (not really), and then sauna’d. We actually accidentally went into the men’s sauna at first. Lotta, who was in the lead, was subject to a pretty awful view which Viivi and I found really funny—but her, not so much. The next morning, after way too much food in the continental breakfast, we started back home to Kouvola. On our way, we stopped at a big mall and shopped around. I complained for the first few minutes, but then I found a real live smoothie shop (they are severely lacking in Finland), which shut me up for a hefty price of 5 euros. Worth it.
The rest of the way home, I studied for my Finnish Winnie the Pooh exam! For my test, which was today actually, I had to read Nalle Puh, Hyvät Tavat, Hyvä Mieli,(Winnie the Pooh, Good Manners, Good Mind), summarize it in Finnish and then do some other questions. I have to say, although I still think Finnish is the devil, I am getting much better at it! Although afterwords, my teacher asked me to read Nalle Puh in front of the entire school at a morning assembly…I don’t know how ok with that I am.
I love Koeviikko (exam week), because it usually means I have almost no school. This week has been packed with lots of sleep, netflix, biking and gym. :-) Yesterday I went to school though to take care of some forms I need for my trip to Russia. I ended up just hanging out in the OPK room for a while with my friends, and then I biked home with my friend Eero who lives close to me. Literally the minute we started biking home we were pelted with hail which later turned into snow. Finnish “Spring” ladies and gentlemen. Pray for me.
Anyways, that’s all for now. Moi moi kaikille!
PS. ole kiltti, muista että hyvillä tavoilla ovat asioita joita me teemme tai sanomme, jotka kertovat muille, että me välitämme heista ;-) —Wise words of Risto Reippas (Christopher Robin).
Wanhat risteily! Wanhat cruise with my best friends :)
Getting lost in Sweden..I don’t even think we were even on a walking road
Minun äiti suomessa! My mom in Finland :)