Thursday, October 31, 2002
Tiramisu Party
last night we had a nice tiramisu party. Mara, Sara and Rosanna taught us how to make Tiramisu. hmm there should be no one who has no idea about this famous delicious italian dessert, right? (to my friends in taiwan: don't envy me too much!! :P)

Tuesday, October 29, 2002
birthday songs...
got these videos from david. (heey thanks!!) :-)


thanks to the time difference between finland and taiwan, my italian friends were worried that singing that before my birthday would bring me bad luck. don't worry, girls!! ;-)

found this word from dictionary today (i must have been too bored that i would read something as dictionary...) and thought of the hostage accident in moscow and the bomb explosion in helsinki. it's an insane world, nowhere is definitely safe. we never know when we would meet some unexpected trouble and even become the next victim .. it's sad to think of this, but have to accept that. learn to be tough. tell myself everything will be alright. if something is doomed to happen, it's useless to worry about. what one can do would be just trying to enjoy life. i wonder whether it's kind of hedonism?

ps. it seems some helpless, incorrigible part of myself, that i always think of some other things too much before the deadline of assignment or exams...

love and the city
maybe stacy is right. although i don't have much homesick feelings, in the deep of my subconscious, i still inevitably miss something there... i always dreamed of my family or friends in taiwan. when i woke up, i felt confused and after a while did i realise that now i'm in finland.

this evening i happened to listen Rene Liu's "love and the city." suddenly images of taipei streets came to me, one by one and so vividly, as motion pictures... they've impressed on my mind over 20 years. nearly ineffaceable. although i always wanted to leave there as flying away from a cage...

Monday, October 28, 2002
spring is her favourite season
when the breeze blows thru her hair
she doesn't really care the mess and noisy of the world around her
but just thinks about the change of her life
she just turned to be 22 on the 6th of June of the lunar calendar
threw the textbooks away and left home to see the world
however figured that there are many things she has to face to
sometimes we would walk into an unfamiliar road in our life
as a map without any indicator
don't let them say that you should be contented
only yourself know what is your happiness
i'm no longer 21 since today. listeing to David Tao's "17-yr-old" from his 1997 debut and "twenty-two" from his 2002 new album, thinking about the past five years and even further of my life, and trying to recall those birthdays i've had...

last night i had a nice b-day party. we made chinese dumpling. we didn't expect that we could make it so successful. none of us were sure how to make the dumpling, as we had to do everything by ourselves here, from the skin to the filling. and seems everyone has hiw own perception of how a dumpling should be. we argued something like whether people would put ginger or carrot into the minced meat, or how to dehydrate the cabbage with salt. i seemed to find my talent in making pastry, as they're so surprised that i should know how to make the dough and roll the skin in the traditional way: hold one tip of the dough, flatten it with rolling pin only on the fringe by the right hand and turn the dough around counterclockwise by the other hand, and thus will make the centre thicker than the fringe. :P

i also invited some foreign friends to come. it's always fun to teach them how to fold the skin, and they did amazingly good!! (not only coz they did much better than me...) it's also interesting to hear different version of happy birthday song, and to know that japanese, korean and german don't have their own language version. so they just sing in english (heey how about cantonese and dutch??)

anyway i was very happy, and have to say that i'm really lucky and blessed to meet so many nice people here... thanks a lot, my dear Angels. :-)

Saturday, October 26, 2002
weekend plan
"They're watching us from the trees."
"what of it? Tokyo people are complicated. They live in such noise and confusion that their feelings are broken to little bits."
"Everything is broken to little bits."
"Even life, before long...."
So do i have the same problem with Shimamura, the protagonist in Yasunari Kawabata's "Snow Country," and which has also made me unable to concentrate my attention... Next tuesday i have to hand in a short assignment based on some reading materials. frankly spekaing, it's not a difficult task for me, i only have to write two pages about what makes putonghua (standard Chinese) and simplified characters political issues, based on some required reading. but i can hardly fix my mind on the three essays either to make some outline for my short paper. my silly brains are always haunted by some other foolish thoughts or high-flown daydreams: from the schedule for this weekend to the plan for christmas or what!!

anyway, today the David in middle Finland came to visit us. i'm really happy to see him again. (heey thanks a lot for the lovely candlestick!!) tomorrow i may take him to visit the finnish national museum, then (thanks to Stacy's friend) go to a chinese fondue party. on Sunday morning (thanks to the David who's working in nokia) we're going to nokia sports centre. then (thanks to Mai offering her flat) we'll have a (probably) dumpling party for my upcoming 22th birthday!!

well, well, well, maybe i can write the assignment on monday. should be not so hard, since i've been trained for 4 years to squeeze write something as short essays on the exam paper within 2 hours!! :P

(then why should i still sit here mumbling but not join them to the disco?? -_-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Tuesday, October 22, 2002
back from russia
with lots of postcards from
the Hermitage, but failed to buy one stamp to send a postcard to selmin! my french flatmate is going to st.petersburg this thursday, maybe i can ask her to help me send from russia... (so selmin, the postcard you'll get has to stay at finland for some days. if you prefer a finnish stamp, i can also send it from helsinki :P)

also bought a poster of Albert Marquet's painting from Hermitage. the price is incredibly low with quite good quality! (i should have bought some more posters, like of Degas, Gauguin, Matisse... ps. the Hermitage has the largest Matisse colletion in the world.) the Hermitage has one of the world's finest collectons of impressionists and post-impressionists. however, how shall i forget to see the Modonnas by Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt's the return of the prodigal son and flora...

anyway, the Hermitage itself is magnificent and marvellous enough. it's really a perplexing puzzle that on such a frozen and tough land, the russians could have created so much amazing cultural works and powerful political regime. on the other hands, however, it's an ironically contrast that with such splendid historical heritage, the life of russian people has been always so difficult. no matter it's ture or not that tough environments built tough people, most of the russian people look unhappy. somehow, it's another kind of unhappiness compared to finnish people. (err...) i was so impressed and shocked that when taking the elevator to the metro, almost everyone of the people on the other side (from the underground) looked serious with hostility, uncomfortably and unfriendly stare with cold glance. an astonishing and nearly scaring, unreal scene.

well, Yin is right. i visited st. petersburg too early. but it's not bad to witness how they prepared for its tricentenary, with the tremendous snow! i can't believe it's said only -2 degree in st. petersburg, while it's -10 degree in helsinki now with such sunny weather and no snow... just after i posted the previous entry from Hermitage, the whole st. petersburg was suddenly turned to a white world by the amazing blizzard!! it's indeed very very different from the finnish snow!!

the russian food is also fantastic. well, at first those europeans of my group had kind of phobias for the food and water in russia. it's really funny that they even ate the sandwich they made by themselves with those expensive bread and ham bought at helsinki, spent lots of time to find a restaurant but just order a glass of coke (while i think the russians still wash the glass with the notorious local water but not mineral water...) anyway, maybe the stomach of those mediterranean people are not so strong as our taiwanese, i enjoyed quite a lot: solianka, a traditional russian soup with meat, potato, tomoto, sour cream, etc., blihschiki (pancake, amazingly delicious), shashlik (Georgian barbicue). ohh don't forget to order hot chocolate at the internet cafe in the Hermitage!!

pencake solianka and shashlik

about the postcard robbery, it's nothing fresh new that just ordinary street beggars asked you for money, kept following you then robbed you. i really didnt expect that they would try to rob my bag, anyway i guess my screaming and kicking scared them out. thanks got i put my wallet in the inner pocket of my jacket, and there is nothing really important in my bag (tissue, lip balm, mirror, map...) later i rushed into a shoe's shop and found that one of my postcard pocket was gone! i felt so angry yet funny of imagining the scene when those gypsies found what they got was not wallet but postcards!! i wonder what would they do with that. anyway it's still so scaring and horrible. at first Mai and i were so happy that we didnt need to follow those people of our group and we had some quite nice walking along the Nevsky prospekt to the Moscow station (actually i really planned to take the night coach to take the picture of red square and kremlin, well, it's not so hard or impossible!) but sooner then on our way back i met the robbery, i was so scared and just wanna go back to our hostel asap, (and even wanna leave russia... it's just our 2nd day there!!)

now i still feel confused and even dunno whether i like russia the country or not... anyway, Yin, if you plan to visit there next spring, please tell me, i think visitng russia with a reliable uncle big brother would be a good idea. :P

Sunday, October 20, 2002
from st. petersburg
now i'm in hermitage. actually i've been here yesterday. i came again to buy postcards, coz they were robbed by gypsi on the main street yesterday!!

ps. the snow yesterday was amazingly and unbelievably big!!

Friday, October 18, 2002
Definition of Globalisation
Here's a good one:

How to define globalization?

Princess Diana's death.

How come?

An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes
in a French tunnel,
driving a German car with a Dutch engine,
driven by a Belgian who was pissed on Scottish whisky,
followed closely by an Italian Paparazzi,
on Japanese motorcycles,
treated by an American doctor,
using Brazilian medicines!

And this is sent to you by an Israeli,
forwarded by a Chinese,
using Bill Gates' technology which
he stole from the Taiwanese!

(got this from a friend. off to russia, see you all next week!)

Thursday, October 17, 2002
six hours in stockholm
yes, i'm already back in helsinki now. yes, we spent about 30 hours for the ferry voyages, but just stayed at stockholm for 6 hours!! it's raining, it's cold, it's gloomy, but stockholm is still such a lively and lovely city.

i got a strong strange impact when taking the bus from habour terminal to city centre. michiko said she had this kind of this feeling too. we can't help comparing what we're seeing with our dear helsinki... the buildings are more 'european,' the streets are also more like a big city as capital! everything seems so vividly. although i feel swedish people look arrogant, i didn't see any drunk people-- in helsinki, you can see such people whenever and wherever!!

stockholm is indeed a place of contrasts: i enjoyed walking both in the narrow streets of middle ages and the busy modern yet still very 'european' boulevards. there are so many awesome cathedrals and other modern high buildings...

before i left taiwan, one of my best friends who has been to the five nordic countries told me that she thought stockholm is too clean, copenhagen is too dirty. compared with them, she thought helsinki is more like a place for peopel to live and she prefered here. i think that's why i've always thought stockholm is a boring place... now i feel a bit regret that why i had not chosen stockholm for exchange. but well, i can't afford living there without scholarship...

well, anyway, when i got back in helsinki, i was so surprised that everything was covered with snow and it's turned to be a white world. it's amazing that travelling can bring so much to you: when you're in some other places, you'll become more sensitive to think about your own place (well, in this case, taipei is too far from me now...) and when you get back, you seem to be able to view or discover it with another vision of eye and mind. it's as some kind of refreshment that helps us get out of the backwater of daily monotony.

so, don't be surprised that i'm going to St. Petersburg this friday!! ;-)

Monday, October 14, 2002
the bliss of solitude
listening to Candy Lo's "
zi-lyun-jing-jyun" [chinese] and thinking i missed some party last night for welcoming my italian flatemate Rosanna's back from italy.

yesterday i went to Suomenlinna with Michiko and her new flatmate. i'd been there once, and i was having a headache coz i didn't sleep well the last night. but i still went there with them. when i got home, i made some ginger soup for myself, and it made me fall sleep soon. for some time i seemed to hear Juliette knock my door and call me. but i was so tired and as paralysed on bed that i couldnt get up to answer her. i heard some other people talking and laughing outside. but soon later i lost my consciousness and fell deeply in my sleep...

actually yesterday was not a good day for visiting there. Suomenlinna, a rocky small island south of helsinki centre 10 minute by ferry, is for picnicking on a warm sunny day. it's so windy and cold. the bleak scenery gave me a desolate feeling. from time to time i felt as walking in the middle of nowhere and thought of this ancient chinese poem...
Where, before me, are the ages that have gone?
And where, behind me, are the coming generations?
I think of heaven and earth, without limit, without end,
And I am all alone and my tears fall down.
having no idea where i am, where i am going to. just the wind, blowing you to nowhere...

i'm going to stockholm this evening. we're taking the night ferry and will arrive there tomorrow morning. i can't wait to see the lovely, lively capital of sweden now!!

last night i took a new friend who also comes from taiwan to a pizza restaurant for dinner and had some nice talking. later i told him that for a while i had some illusion that i were still in taiwan. he said he just wanted to tell me that too. indeed actually i don't have strong awareness that i'm in north europe, which is so far away from my place. when my flight stopped at bangkok, seeing those different people from different countries, i got a strong feeling that i'm flying to a total different world. but i seemed to get used to helsinki very soon, the buildings, people, the weather, the redish and golden autumn leaves... maybe the freezing wind makes my head numb too.

Saturday, October 12, 2002
recently i found that not only me have suffered from some kind of depression here, some korean and japanese girls also have the same feelings or problems too. when talking with them, somehow i remembered Yin's entry about miserable and Dave's words about thinking of bliss. i think both are right, but refering to different aspects. my conclusion is as the old chinese saying, that we should have mercy to others, while being critical to ourselves. indeed when we feel miserable, the best way for getting over this feeling would be that compared to some other people, our situation is not so bad. however, as Yin said,
when somebody feels miserable, the worse thing you can say is, "there are lots of people who are in much worse situation, comparing to them, you shouldn't feel miserable!" All miseries, however big or small, are evenly real & painful.
thanks to Yin and dave, now i'd know how to listen and comfort others, "well, you have your reasons to be miserable, but as your friend, I'd rather see you happy, or at least, less depressed." while i should be really thankful that things are not so bad. cheer up and live life seriously and vividly!!

ps. some of you may heard the bad news about helsinki. thanks for your concern, i'm ok. don't worry...

Thursday, October 10, 2002
would you rather choose a small soft suitcase or a big travelbag for travelling and visiting friends in europe??

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
hysteria of helsinki?
"Day after day you watch the sun rise in the east, pass across the sky, then sink in the west, and something breaks inside you and dies. You throw your plough aside and, your head completely empty of thought, you begin walking toward the west. Heading toward a land that lies west of the sun. Like someone possessed, you walk on, day after day, not eating or drinking, until you collapse on the ground and die. That's hysteria siberiana."
well, i think this is just an illness made up by Murakami in his novel. (if you try to search something about this illness online...) but i wonder there could be some nervous disorder happens to you when in helsinki, which was said the whole city is as a mental asylum!! i spent the whole morning trying to order everything in my flat, even those (clean) plastic bags for garbbage, i folded each one neatly then put them well together in a shoe-box. i washed everything. but i still cannot order the disorder and wash away those anxiety and ilusive thoughts in my head. what's inside my head, anyway? well, i dunno...

ps. i'm just mumbling. don't take this entry too seriously! :P

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Saturday, October 05, 2002
ohh my god............

it's SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i can't believe my eyes. oh ohh ohhh i'm so excited now!!! i cant help staring outside the window and gazing at the flying snowflake. at first i thought it's rain, but later i thought it's flying too wildly and there's no sound!!! i wondered it could be snow, and then i noticed some of the ground and building roof are white. and then i met my friend David on msn, asked him whether it's snow or rain. oh yes, yes it's snow!!!!

what a silent world it is.

finally before i turn to be 22, i saw snow for the very first time in my life.

btw, happy birthdat to dave. you're so lucky, have first snow on your birthday. :-)

real name
my european friends always feel confused and ask why i have a western name in addition to my real name. hmm i always tell them it's coz we chinese name is difficult for foreigners to call, so we often have another western name. what a thoughtful consideration? :P but i think it's rather coz we're lazy to teach people to pronounce our name correctly, or we're influenced by western (or rather say american) culture too much? as some other east-asian people, like japanese, korean, or the chinese in china, they don't have such another western name.

Friday, October 04, 2002
the amazing fruit
in chinese (at least in Taiwan) kiwi fruit is translated as such name. finally i bought myself some fruits which is not banana. i mistook the tangerine as orange. hopefully it's ok. not too good nor too bad. but the kiwi was a surprise to me! it's just like the one i used to eat in taiwan!! suddenly i was immersed in a fantastic sweet-and-sour world and recalled the sweltering summer in taiwan... i hope i could eat a kiwi every night, although it's a bit expensive...

Tuesday, October 01, 2002
another new beginning
the blue sky always gives me nice feeling and brings my smile back for a new day. September was a nightmare. i ate a lot. i spent a lot. somehow i lost strength to smile and enjoy life... anyway just let them go. dunno why, suddenly i could get rid of those madness. maybe i was bored of being like this. it'd be good for me, always get bored of things easily. i can always survive...

btw, last weekend i tried to follow selmin's way to read Angela Carter's "the Passion of New Eve" for a class. this novel is too difficult for me. 5 pages would take me 1 hour... but i seemed to enjoy reading it more now. (hey thanks, selmin!)

wordsworth's garden
for oft when on my couch I lie
in vacant or in pensive mood,
they flash upon that inward eye
which is the bliss of solitude;
and then my heart with pleasure fills,
and dances with the daffodils.

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