Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First day & Stiels

School started today! Cool. I'm taking a minor called "International Music Publishing". Some of the things I've learnt before but there's also some new parts. Everything is taught via the Dutch publishers and collecting societies and all - so I learn about them, too. For example in Finland the royalty collecting organization of performance rights is called TEOSTO and in the Netherlands it is BUMA(/STEMRA). Our teacher seemed really interesting and she has her own company in the field that I'm really interested in, music supervising. You can read more about her company from here: http://www.solidasarock.eu/?language=english.

My classmates from Finland, Hanna and Roosa, told me to get to know some people they got to know during their exchange here in Haarlem. After a lot of Facebook communication with Hanna's and Roosa's friends, we finally had a face-to-face meet-up today! We went to a jazz(ish) bar called Stiels with Irma and my roommate Daniel to hear some INHolland students perform. At Stiels we bumped into Chris and ESN-Roger. Unfortunately had to leave the good-atmosphered venue early enough to get a good nights sleep.

School again at 8.30 so now off to bed!



Good evening/night, folks.

Yesterdays trip to Amsterdam was really nice despite the Dutch weather. I think it has actually been raining every single day of my stay. The weather changes so randomly, it can be sunny and warm and suddenly start raining even though the sun is still shining. You can't really forecast the weather at all. In A'dam we had the most hilarious guide ever, Julian. He told the most boring things in the most interesting way. We went to see the red light district of which I unfortunately have no pictures of. It's prohibited to take pictures there (at least of the girls). The district wasn't such a shock to me. Expected for something way more shocking. Must be because of our daytime visit, though. Maybe it's a bit more exciting and shocking during night. But yeah, you could see people of all kind, all interest and style exploring the streets of red light. Anyways, it mostly being a tourist attraction.
Interesting shop before turning to the red light district
On Dam Sqaure

After the tour I felt freezing cold so I decided to head back to Haarlem with a few of the ESN -people and three other exchangies. I went to have Sunday Dinner (which was our tradition with some exchangies and locals in Jyväskylä) with Yana, Alex, Ally, Puto, Petteri, Heikki and Pekka. It was great to finally have some time to sit down and hang out with them and hear about how they were.

Sunday Dinner dessert
Today I did some shopping with my Brit -friends. We went to search for all kinds of stuff from Ikea furniture to internet cables (ooh, and some clothes, too). After all the shopping Ally, Puto, Pekka, Petteri and Heikki came over to see my apartment and have a little chittychatty (and Ikea cake!). Ally and Puto are leaving for Breda tomorrow so it'll be October when I see them next. Will miss my sis 'n' bro (no matter how much Puto likes teasing me with picking his eye and with his "boo" -shouts).

Tomorrow I start school with the international music publishing course. Thankfully there are Heikki, Petteri, Ida and Nina on the same course so I'm not totally lost with everything!:-)

Good night y'all!


PS: When A, P, P, P and H were leaving my place they found a little friend outside the door. Thankfully Scott came to the rescue!
New pet

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Off to explore A'dam

Today we leave for Amsterdam with the ESN -group. Hopefully we come back in good time for me to still go meet my lovely tutor from Finland, Ally, and classmate, Puto, who are on an interrail trip and have been spending the weekend in Haarlem! Just haven't seen them too muchos due to schedule difficulties.

I have to say these songs are the hit of the week for me.


PS: Oh yea, yesterday we went to have Dutch pancakes with a few exchangies and after ESN arranged us Salsa lessons haha! And after that me and Eve went off to Murphy's Law for a drink and saw our new local friends who we met the night before.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Homeless nomore

Aaah, it's Saturday and life is good. I already started to feel depressed and fed up with live but yesterday changed it all hahah!

A lot has happened and I don't know where to start. Since my last post is from Wednesday, maybe I'll start off with Thursday. Basically nothing interesting happened. Just went to pick up Pakke, Pekka (Petteri's friend), from the airport. He will also study in Holland for half a year. In school we had a mini Dutch course and now I feel pretty pro. Not. The language is so hard with all of its' "rrrhh" -sounds. I'll just stick with saying "hoi and hallo". I do want to learn a bit, though, since I'm here!

On Friday morning we woke up eeeearly. Off we went for an excursion to Flora Holland. It's a flower auction place. The way the auction works was interesting to see but in total the trip didn't really fascinate me that muchos. I'm not a real big fan of flowers. After the trip, still homeless, I decided to just take a student housing apartment. Even though I thought it was the one and only thing I was never going to do. (boycotting the ridiculous price of rent and just not wanting to be in a student house with nopeacewhatsoever) But. I did it. After loooads of application problems, payment problems, paperwork problems and false number problems I finally got the apartment. Had to drive to an other city to get the keys but I couldn't have been happier - getting an apartment in just one day, pure luxury.

Loving how it took me 40min to drive a few kilometers.
Holland and its' rush hours. <3

Anywhoooo, problems didn't end there. I was ever so happy to finally get to my new apartment, I had planned to take a shower, maybe sleep a little and all but...no. My luck, no. I had been given the wrong keys! I tried and tried to open the door to my room but it wouldn't open. The key said 58E but under that there was an old pencil written text 58B. I went to knock on the B-door but nobody answered. Then I tried opening it and tadaaa - sesame opened. It was already passed 5pm so all the DUWO -offices were closed and I didn't know what to do. Thankfully a Finnish girl I've got to know here, Hilla, passed by. She had some numbers to where I could call. The only one who could help was from the "SOS" -number. They said they would have to come and break the lock to get me in and then replace it with a new one. In one hour I got into my room and am now a pro at breaking locks just by looking at Mr. Sos do it. What an educational day I had.

ESN, (student organization taking care of exchangies) arranged the exchange students a put crawl in the evening which I attended. I joined the others a bit later after first going to IKEA to buy some stuff for the apartment. The pub crawl was really nice and I finally got to know some of the exchange students. I've felt a bit outsiderish because we haven't really attended any things the others have done before. All the people seem really nice. Already during the flower auction I got to know two really lovely Norwegian girls who study MMM, just like me and in addition to them I've also gotten to know 2 Brittish buys and a Brazilian guy who all three live in the same apartment as me. We have a shared kitchen slash livingroom but our own rooms and toilets. Then there are two Finnish girls Hilla and Eveliina who are really nice! Not forgetting the funny ESN members! Haha.

Hilla, James, Eveliina
My apartment mates Scott, James, Daniel
ESN Peter and Norwegian friends

I'm really starting to love Holland and can't wait what this year will bring! Feelin'. Good.

Enjoy life.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Off to school excitement

Mummy, feels like the first day at school! Oh wait, IT IS!

Don't the boys look excited:

Everyone starting school today - yayy, have a nice first day!
Everyone going for their second or who knows hundred and thirty-fourth day - yea have fun too, I guess.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Haarlem Holland, not NY

Safe and sound in Haarlem we are! Our former student Yana and exchange student Alex are kind enough to host us since we haven't found an apartment yet.

You can read about the 2nd and last day in Hamburg from Petteri's blog. Heikki took some fine pics that can be found from the blog posts: 
http://flyinghighinholland.blogspot.com/ (just to praise myself a bit - I made up the name of Petteri's blog haha and I'm proud of it)

But yesss. Yesterday night we arrived in Haarlem. With a little bit of navigation problems, nothing too major - just a stop at the local police office, we made it to Yana's & Alex's. Don't get me wrong, the stop at the police was only for asking the way, not because of anything criminal. Petteri and Heikki got a nice inflatable mattress to sleep on but in the morning I found H sleeping on a flat mattress and P sleeping on the sofa. Hahah great. Today we went to get the guys new mattresses from Alex's friend.

The day was pretty much a get to know Haarlem kind. Haarlem is amazingly pretty, looks like a miniature town or like some scene of a movie. All the canals and all...bjuuutiful! The only thing is that every street looks the same - this makes my averagely good in-head navigating system go crrraaazzy and ever so mixed up. Meaning...yes, we did take a few false turns today. But - here we are, safe and sound at our Haarlem hosts' apartment.

The highlights of the day were visiting school and getting this information package (school starts tomorrow at 10am), getting a Dutch sim and phone, going to IKEA (! I've had such an Ikea week !) for lunch and killing time and laying on the sofas and and and what best...

1) I got the most random call from Finland: "Hi, this is X from the Swedish radio. Could we interview you about why there are so many Christian Democrats in Varkaus?" I was ever so confused, why on earth did they call me. Anyhow, I just said that hey I'm sorry but I'm in Holland so this is not the most cheapest phonecall you are making. Then the guy just laughed and said he should contact someone else instead. I was pretty proud of myself since the whole phonecall discussion was held in Swedish. Whoop!

2) We found about 4 real estate companies out of which we got one to search apartments for us. Apartments in Haarlem, and Holland in general, are not cheap at all. Plus you have to pay all kinds of extra costs like the agency for all the work they do and rent security deposits and all. We're gonna be broke! Also we had the best luck ever when walking in town. There was a sign on the windows and door of an office space in the city center saying "huur" which means "for rent". The door was open and we saw stairs going up so we decided to go and ask whether they had something to offer students. I wasn't expecting anything else than finding a real estate officer and hoping to ask him for possibilities of apartments but nooo... we found a big apartment upstairs the office which was being renovated. We found the landlady who was extremely surprised how come we came to the apartment. She said the renting signs were only for the office downstairs and not for her apartments. We came to the conclusion that it must have been destiny we came to visit. She showed us around the LUXURY apartment and told us to call her on Friday when she could give us prices and more information about possible renting. I have a really bad feeling that we will not afford that apartment at all - it was too good to be true. Let's hope I'm wrong! ...so apartment hunting still continues. Tomorrow we should hear more from two real estate peeps.

Now off to bed, can't wait for tomorrow's first day of orientation!

Oh, and we found the local "big" grocery store called Albert Heijn today after like...an half an hours search (you can't find food stores anywhere here!). It had been compared to a Finnish Prisma or Citymarket but oh no - it so is not! Albert Heijn is the size of a Finnish Siwa which could almost be called a corner shop. I'm a bit scared about how my "eat healthy and organic" diet shall work out since the selections in the shops aren't that huge nor healty-looking. Today I even tasted the traditional Dutch "kroket" which I couldn't eat till the end. Not my kind of food! Need to get my blender working so that the supersmoothie -times can start again.

But, good night, sleep tight, and all,

Monday, August 23, 2010

I love apartment searching

Hamburger hello's,

Today we are continuing our journey towards Amsterdam+Haarlem. Our friends in Haarlem have promised to host us for a few days before we get our own apartment. At the moment our apartment searching looks like this:

Dear Mrs. Lundberg,

Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately these apartments will only be rented out for a maximum of two people who work for an international company.

Good luck with finding a suitable place.

Dear miss Lundberg,

Thank you for your email.
We would like to help you finding a suitable place for you and your student friends, but unfortunately we don’t have apartments fittable for students.

So, not too good, hhu?

Now we need to leave the hotel rooooom so I gotta stop writing.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

On the road


On the evening of the 20th we left with Heikki and Petteri from Hansaterminaali, Helsinki, to Rostock, Germany. We were sure that first of all we wouldn't fit all our luggages with and secondly that we'd miss the ferry. Anyhow, we were wrong in both cases. The ferry trip took 26hours but it went fast. All we did was eat, sleep and enjoy the free wireless (ah, thank god for that). When arriving to Rostock it was already late and dark. We had decided to drive to Hamburg for the night but we had no accommodation. After refilling the gas tank and our tummies (at Burger King which Petteri ever so loves and I ever so don't) our journey towards Hamburg began.

Weirdly we seem to have three great navigators, since we made it to the center of Hamburg without any problems - nor maps. We had searched for hotels from the Internet but everything had said to be full. Of course we couldn't believe it could be so and drove straight to the Etap hotel situated right next to the, hmm what adjective should I use, "interesting" Reberbahn. Our luck was that all hotels really were fully booked. Etap hotel thankfully had the kindest receptionist who gave us a discount ticket for a parking hall. He said it wouldn't be safe to leave our belongings in the car but we had no choice.

After leaving our car to a parking hall that looked fairly safe (full of expensive cars) we left for a visit to the exciting streets of St. Paul, Hamburg.

I won't start describing what the first thing we saw was when we entered near Reberbahn but you can probably guess what it has to do with. Mum and dad, no need to be worried, we are safe and the trauma's we got aren't anything we couldn't handle. The second thing we saw was a fight. Blood fight. Didn't look too good and won't start describing that too much either. I had been to Reberbahn before on a Sunday in 2007 (?) but the sight was nothing compared to what it was yesterday, a Saturday night. Yes, we saw those famous girls with the tightest and smallest clothes and fanny packs on their waist, the druggie punks, crying girls, fights, sex shops times 128479153 but also the streets were full of normal german youth going out. Those roads, though, wouldn't be the places I'd go party.

After a lot of travelling (despite all the sleep on the ferry) we were very tired so we went to sleep. As you may remember, we couldn't get a hotel room. I think I've written enough, and as is said "a picture says more than a thousand words", first night on exchange:


Friday, August 20, 2010

Last supper

On Wednesday I went to Petra's after work for my au revoir, and to bring her some ORGANIC and SUPER food. She's so lost with all the food I left her, haha. Petra already planned she'd arrange an organic housewarming party serving aloe vera shots, bread, porridge, MSM-shots and what not - all organic of course. Wish I could be there tooooo! Also we were planning of starting a bar at Petra's apartment called "Somi säkissä". Where the name comes from, that's something way too hard and long to explain but Somi is Petra's soft pig toy. I was too tired to go back to Ellu's where I've been staying for the whole summer, so I stayed at Petra's. Then it was byebye Pheet, my towel!

Thursday - my last whole day in Finland. We went to have breakfast with Ellu to Ikea. Had been dreaming of Ikea food for the whole summer and finally we went. To our surprise Ikea had gone ORGANIC. Organic pancakes, muffins, macaroni and pasta, ice-cream, jam, coffee... Wow - me likey! After that I went to work from 11am to 7pm after which we tried to hurry to eat at Virgin Oil. Well, at first we went to pick up Ossi and Petri but that took us ages because Ossi had got customers and was selling some frkn' shoes. Anywhooo, after half an hour of waiting we got on our way towards the center. Virgin Oil had an hours queue so we decided to go to Zetor. Hadn't eaten there before but the food was super. The menus were funny and the place had a granny kinda vibe. Was nice. After the last supperrr we went to Mbar for a few drinks. The word of the evening was "jokes". For all people understanding Finnish, here the joke of the day:

"Mies meni baaritiskille ja tilasi rommin.
Baarimikko kysyi: Tuleeko kolalla?
Mies vastasi: Tuo vaikka lapiolla, kunhan tuot nopeasti."
-Joke provided by Ellu-

Yes, that was the best joke told. Säälittävää, pathetic. We had some great bonding with the people at the table next to us, though. Whether they were laughing at us or our jokes is something unknown.

Now we are on our way to Rostock. We have Internet on the boat WHOOP! Luxury. The Internet is so slow it won't upload pictures. This means I'll add them later.


PS. I hate how this blog looks but I haven't had the knowledge nor time to do anything about it. Apologizes.

New pictures