Thursday, December 30

That was 2010, and it was GREAT!

This year has been so rich in experience, I don't think I ever done as much in 1 year before. The most important thing was probably my first job abroad at Nokia Siemens Network which will be over in 5 days now. Was "chillaxing" and nice for 10 months but it's time to take onto new challenges. The 6.1 is my last day at the office and after that I have 33 days off before my new job starts in Shanghai. On those 33 days I have at least 2 trips booked, one to Xi'an and one to Vietnam and then of course moving all my stuff to Shanghai.

If I stay in 1 city for longer than 2 months I get restless, that's why the travels for this year were the following Finland x2, Estonia x2, Sweden, Japan, Singapore x2, Hong Kong x3, Chengde (In China travels)

Winter's in Beijing, it freezing cold and damn windy everyday. Was about to freeze my ears off this morning, but the weather is clean and even fresh now. Not much of that summer pollution for the moment.

Wednesday, December 29

How traffic accidents look in China

If you bump into someone in the traffic and make even the slightest mark on the other ones car you have to stop in the middle of the road no matter where it is. Why? Because the police has to come and see the angle of the accident no matter how many other cars will have to wait because of the blocked traffic (insurance company policy here).
Today when I had dinner one of the busiest intersections had an small accident, barely visible bump in the side of the taxi. The buses could not pass it and everyone was stuck. But NO, you cannot move the car, have to wait for the police to arrive...I wonder how long it took the police to come and sort this one out. One thing is for sure, you can wish it wasn't you who will have to wait 45 minutes before being able to move.

Tuesday, December 28

Jet-lagged and a lost scooter

Feeling kinda Jet-lagged, yesterday I didn't get any sleep in the plane and after coming to Beijing I only had about 1 hour time to take a nap before I went to work. When I came home from work I was totally wrecked, was a challenge to brush my teeth...

Just woke up 5am and started cleaning the apartment. Went out to pick up the battery for the scooter so I could recharge it before the gym. But surprise!! No scooter there! Must have been stolen while being on a trip....Farwell trustworthy partner. Luckily it happens just before moving away!

Monday, December 27

Back in Beijing

The trip back went surprisingly smooth! The plane was only 15 minutes too late because they had to add some extra anti-ice stuff on the wings before takeoff. Food was good and no screaming kids, it only takes just over 7 hours on a straight flight from Helsinki to Beijing. Just before the landing the plane went into a turbulence that felt like roller-coaster and people started screaming, was fun :)

Sunday, December 26

Cancelled flight...again

I was suppose to go back home to Beijing today but the flight from Finland to Moscow was cancelled because they have some hail storm there and all the water that comes down immediately freezes on anything it lands. I read that the power was cut of from the airport and 1600 people are stranded there ATM. Well TOO bad I'm home in my own bed tonight and not there like I was last year...Finnair also changed my transfer ticket into a straight flight tomorrow at 18.00 from Helsinki to Beijing which is awesome. No transfers, hazels and hopefully lost bags because on my way to Finland they forgot my bag in Moscow and I got it back 24h late.

I had the same flight with a friend and we checked our bags in first but when we got to know the flight was cancelled we went to get them back...I got my bag back but he didn't, the airport personnel had LOST the bag he checked in!!! What's the odds of that...The airport was kinda messy, bags everywhere.
Finland is the first country in the world who has taken "self passport checks" into use. If you have a biometric passport like I do you just put the passport into a scanner and look into the camera, it scans ur face a couple of seconds and let you pass, totally automatic without any people doing it.

Drumsö Bridge

The bridge that connect Helsinki with Espoo...I live on the island in the middle of it which belongs to Helsinki. The day was just damn beautiful so I had to stop the car and give it a couple of click clicks.
Drumsö hamn

Central Railway Station - Pullman

Met up with Petteri for the first time in over 2 years now and we went out to the Central Railway Stations bar called PULLMAN. It's a really cozy place on the second floor where you can see all the people running to their trains or just stand there waiting because this day was -20 so nobody wanted to go out. I've never seen this train station so full...although it's half empty if you compare to one in China.

The Central Railway Station
The bar was pretty dark, much darker on the photo, nice mood.
They had some special Xmas beers and this week it was Insanely Bad Elf which was 11,2% stong so after 4 pints one was already pretty tipsy. Damn good beer and the place is nice! If you ever pass Finland with a train or miss one, then this is the place to come.

Insanely bad elf 11,2%, Available 17.12 to 23.12
Awesomely good imperial ale. Dark reddish beer which has been spiced up with some fruit and sweet caramel so you barely notice the taste of alcohol in it. The sweetness has been balanced out with Boadicea? (i dunno what this is) - Drunkness. To be enjoyed carefully although common sense is usually over rated and the mental institution straitjackets are always in fashion.

Snowy HELLsinki

I took a walk around town before going back home because it has seriously NOT snowed as much as this since 1915 in Helsinki. But it's not really as cold as it looks. The last few days have been about -10 and today is only -4.

a LOT of snow....
The president's "palace"
Walk around the harbor park
The heart of downtown, FORUM

Christmas Eve

Christmas is the time for being together. This year we had my grandma, moms brother, sister and their families over. We kicked off with some wine tasting so you could fine the "proper" wine for the dinner. After that is was time for the dinner which lasted for hours followed by present opening and "dessert" drinks like whiskeys and the stuff.

Wine tasting
Mom fixing the presents under the Xmas tree (almost 6 meters tall)

Ham, fish, meatballs, turkey, more fish, salad etc etc, the works
The Nummelin brothers were all dressed up :)
By far the snowiest winter in Helsinki since 1915...

Thursday, December 23

Helsinki @ Daytime in Xmas

The streets here are all made into Xmas style. There are a lot of extra lights and all stores have commercials in the windows to lure more customers in.

The core downtown in Helsinki is here, where Stockmann and the 3 blacksmiths are. Usually when meeting up with friends, people tend to meet under the Stockmann sign because when the year 2000 was on its way there was a 5 year countdown clock before the actual Y2K came.
So people used to say "Hey, let's meet under the clock" and it's still like that. My friend wanted to meet under the "watch", nothing changes back home....

Alexandersgatan, also known as the Xmas Street in December
The 3 blacksmiths (3 Seppää)
Stockmann (The downtown of the downtown)
Espa, the park which is full of drinking teenagers in the summer...Including me 10+ years ago :P

Sibelius Monument

The guy who wrote our national anthem Jean Sibelus was an artist in many ways. He wrote many songs and did some famous art, specially the Sibelius Monumet which we have in downtown. This place is a real toursit attraction by daytime...

Just gotta love Helsinki at nights in the winter....

Tuesday, December 21

Ulappatori is going down

This is where I grew up from 7-12 years, my old elementary school. It's called Mårtensbro which means "The gooses bridge"....Actually never thought about that, sounds silly. It has not changed a bit since I went here..thats 14 years ago now.

The mall next the the school was called Ulappatori and was under construction when I started the school. Before the mall it was only some cliffs and forrest...Now in 2013 there are gonna be new houses. I also heard that the school will be demolished and replaced within a few years...

Laakso, look at this! The Kletu has been taken away, how many quality hours didn't we spend in it??
Lippulaiva, the newer mall next to the school....So nostalgic to go back to places where you grew up and haven't been for a long time!

Monday, December 20

Manifestum i Esbo Domkyrka

My uncle sings in a choir and they usually have a Christmas concert every year. This time it was held in the Espoo Doom Church. One of the oldest churches we have in Finland. The massive amount of snow and lights in the night makes it look very beautiful and almost from some movie scene...

Lucia also stopped by for a song