Monday, March 31, 2003
33 and 22
Went to two b-day parties last weekend. On Friday evening it's Michiko's bf Jean's 33th b-day party. I met quite a lot friends there, after not seeing them for a while. I was (said to be) drunk. Well, I still managed to keep my mind, but they said I became very talkative, which was a bit abnormal. Anyway I seldom get drunk. Last time (according to my memory) should be in Istanbul in December.

Yesterday we made a small party for Jane, another Taiwanese girl who is studying in Swedish Business School. I made the strawberry cake I had learnt from Michiko. Fortunately it's not too bad. We also cooked some dishes which were not so special but very nice. The photo session was also fun and made it a day.

We lost one hour last weekend. Now the time difference between Taiwan and Finland is 5 hours.

This morning it's snowing, with the strong chilly wind. When walking on the bridge across from West to East Pasila, the world in front of me was just like a surreal dream. Dense cloud, misty air, whirling leaves on the ground, sunshine, snow, the wind that's so strong that made me stumble and so cold that made me frozen... I thought of Kurosawa, and his dream of the wedding of the fox.

Friday, March 28, 2003
lost and found
I seemd to lose the ability to speak even just some tiny trivial words here. I want to tell you all how the weather has influenced and changed the people here, how dazzling and warm the sunshine we got today, how delicious the dinner I have every night, how fun I made the cake with Michiko, how I appreciate what God has given me, and how nice my guy is. :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2003
i'm back...
Sorry for my disappearance of the past week. How to say... anyway just want to let you know that I'm still alive and doing fine and even happier than ever of my life. (oh Ayda your card is right!! I take a bow to them. Serefe!!) :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2003
the Hours
I feel certain that I am going mad again:
I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can't fight it any longer, I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will, I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read.
What I want to say is that I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that-everybody knows it. If anyone could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer.
I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been.
Friday morning, I was obsseseed by her last words. I wanted to find the books. I wanted to see the movies. I wanted... But my schedule was so tight that I scarcely had extra time till next Tuesday.

Anyway I did have some great time this weekend. Peggy came to Finland again. So I took her and Stacy to join the bus excursion held by the course "Finnish Architecture." They drove us around the southern seaside of Helsinki (Eira and Kaivopuisto), along the road I would pass by every day (Hakaniemi,Vallila, and my Pasila) to see the wooden Kapyla, a lovely garden town. We went furthur north to Vikki, where hosts the faculty of Science and features modern buildings. After having lunch break at Malmi terminal, we drove west to Vantaa and saw Juha Leiviska's impressive modern church in Myyrmaki. Then we passed by the suburb residencial area of Espoo, visited a very impressive modern chapel in Tapiola and the Helsinki University of Techonology in Otaniemi... In the evening we had a dinner party at David's flat and watched a very weird finnish movie...

Yesterday we went to
Lahti Ski Games to see ski jumping. Another magnificent day. Gotta off to Stockholm now. So later to be continued...

Friday, March 14, 2003

Wednesday, March 12, 2003
  • walking tour: around central historical Helsinki, by the course "Finnish Architecture." We started from Senaatintori (Senate Square) and Tuomiokirrko (the white church) then walked to the University main building, library (which is really a masterpiece. The professor said when he was studying in university, whenever he felt anxious, he would come here, standing in the hall, which under the beautifully-decorated dome, feeling the harmony of the building, then he would felt calm down. I should spend some more time here...) and Faculty of Arts, from where we can see Holy Trinity, Helsinki's oldest Orthodox church. At last we walked to the quarter of Bank of Finland, the State Archives and saw the splendid interior of the magnificent House of Estates. Thanks to this tour, I also got the chance to see the vaulted crypt of the Cathedral, which is now a cafe and open only from early June to mid August.

    [photo resource: Maria Haanpé³µ on Photo Web]
    (there are also lots of other photos with illustration about Helsinki. It's interesting to see a city where you're living from pictures...)

  • cheesecake: after the walking tour, I went to Michiko's place and made NY cheese cake [japanese] with the recipe she found from internet. There seems some bug in the recipe, or at least it didn't say clear enough. We added half more of filling but it's still not enough to fill the 18cm-diameter pan it requires on the recipe. And it's more difficult than we thought, especially the crust part, and it took us almost 3,5 hours to make it! (including the baking time) But when we tasted it (we're supposed to wait it cool down, but...) all our spent time and work deserved. I think it's the accomplishment and satisfaction that makes us addicted to cooking, not merely just for the sake of eating itself.

  • Thai restaurant: Went to Villa Thai with Rosanna, Sara and Laura. I had been there once, and immediately put it on the top of my favourite restaurant list, for its exotic, elegant, genuine interior decoration, delicious dishes and satisfying service. We ordered three I had tried last time (Green Coconut Milk Chicken Curry with Eggplants, Sweet and Sour Seafood and Vegetables, Grilled Duck in Coconut Milk Curry) and a new one (Minced Chicken Fried with Chili and Basil Leaves, which was said very spicy but it's ok and also very nice.) We all enjoyed a lot, and lying back on the comfortable couch after having such a big bite really made it a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Genji Monogatari Uranai [Japanese]
I happened to think of this divination which I have done long before.
Kind of true, if you ask me...
(for Chinese explanation, click here)
(sorry no English version...)

By the way, today the weather was awful fantastic. Snow, rain and ice, all together browing in the stromy wind!! People on the streets looked driven crazy, including me... Just after I got home the snow turned so big, as the one I encountered in St. Petersburg. I was dazed on the chair gazing upon those flakes falling down from nowhere. from time to time I could even see the HUGE white stuff passing by my window. But it didn't last very long. Later it stopped and seemed nothing had happened. Just like an surreal dream...

Monday, March 10, 2003
Unfortunately I got a cold again. Probably due to my underestimate to the weather, my silly belief that if I wore those newly-purchased stockings then I wouldn't feel so cold wearing the skirt, and the crazy idea that I wanted to test if I could just put the dough by the open window instead of putting in the fridge to let it rise overnight. -__-

Anyway I went to two parties on Friday and Saturday, one held by the exchange students of Hanken (Swedish Business School) and the other at Michiko's Togolese friend Kpadja's place. Thanks to them, had the chance to taste some genuine Romanian mushroom stew, Polish cabbage rolls, French-style Lasagne, tapioca dessert, French and Australian red wine, ginger beer which is without alcohol, african music and dance, witness a completely drunk french guy Stephan, whom was said to be very shy normally, attempting to walk cross the dining table, playing some stupid games called "29" (speaking the number from one by turns, but when it's revolved with seven had to say something else instead...) and "shit, shout, lapin" (some word sounds like rabbit in french) and met an amazing french girl Sophie who came to study in Finland for the chance to do research of forestry in China and has been to Mongolia (where she didn't recommend for backpacker, as the transportation connection is awful), Xinjiang and Tibet (I could see how stunning and beautiful the scenery there thru her eyes)...

Today I was planning to go cross-country skiing with some Italian girls, but the weather was too bad with the heavy snow I haven't seen for weeks. And actually I was kind of sick, when I woke up by Stacy's phone call asking me to try some red-bean-rice-cake and green-bean-soup, it's already 3pm... But it's a nice day (except the indecisive annoying guy on MSN kept bugging me to teach him how to make the banana bread but at last said next time!) Thanks to the snow, finally I could rest at home all day with my books, kind of recuperation after those parties. (I am truly an out-and-out

Friday, March 07, 2003
ah, now I would understand why Professor Uchida was so sad when he lost his cat in Akira Kurosawa's final film "Madadayo," which I'm going to give a mini-presentation on the Japanese film class later. I happened to think of the cat in David's flat. Actually it's belonged to his ex-colleague/landlord who moved to Holland last year. Due to some reason, he couldn't take the cat with him, but leave it with David for a while. The cat is kinda old, but still very naughty, active, cunning and funny. Dunno if I can still see the cat after it moves to Holland, or after I go back to Taiwan...? I'm sure I can recognize it somewhere sometime else. Yes it is Bailey.

Thursday, March 06, 2003
to share with others...
This morning I was cleaning my email box and found
this old article [chinese] I had sent to myself long before. It's still one of my biggest problems that I don't know how to share with others. You may say I'm introverted, dissocial or autistic. I wonder I'm just dull or stupid that I have nothing much to share with. :(

Wednesday, March 05, 2003
after half year...
strange, I love this country more and more! I'm so curious about everything of it. Well, it doesn't mean those points that pissed me off fade away. For example, those drunk men on the tram still make me feel scared and uneasy a lot, and I'm so angry why the finnish government let their people abandon themselves and annoy others in public. But then I really have not much to complain about. (ok plus the winter is really cold, long, depressing...)

But I wonder, why many finns would become alcoholic? Why they don't care about the culinary thing? Why they eat so fast and just treat it as a routine that they have to do? Many friends of mine (of course, they're not finns...) often complain about Finland and its people, before I was no exception. But isn't it another example that we usually just see things from our point of view or some stereotypes? And we just see the surface but not try to find the reason behind?

And the most regretful thing I feel about my stay in Finland may be that I didn't learn finnish. I thought it's no much use and I didn't have much interest nor motivation. Now I'm really repentant for that. Anyway I change my mind for next trip plan, that I gonna save money for seeing around Finland during the summer!

Sunday, March 02, 2003
Love Letter for Myself

La la la, console yourself
Carefully remember all happy things
La la la, love yourself
It's a truth I picked up from the ground

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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