Monday, April 30, 2012


Welcomeeee drink!
A couple of weeks back my housemates and me celebrated our house warming.
B-themed party. As in dress up as something that starts with a B.
We had Black Swan, baker, Barcelona player, Bernhoft, baby and erm...such like Brad Pitt and bartender. (as in laaaame you didn't dress up at all!)
Tine, Tina and me were dressed up as B-gjengen.

The Ragge&Linda photoshoot:

To spice up the party we had a few games.
Every guest was given one or more pieces of paper with tasks written on them.
Tasks varied from talking about horses all night to being the tourette's syndrome guy/girl.
The game was quite a success. At least to what I experienced!
We had someone give a speech, someone held an exercise session with push-ups and abs at 1am, someone was shouting 'p*nis' all night while someone was trying to constantly calm people down, someone introduced everyone as 'this is my best friend...what was your name again?'...etc.

What made it so funny was also the fact that people didn't really know each other. We had guests invited by all of us 3 housemates. Hopefully the game didn't ruin anyone's reputation. ;-)

Prizes were given to the Black Swan and Baby for best costumes.

Our bartender, Julian, won prize for doing the best job in the task game.
'Talk about calories all night'.
Even I had forgotten that task and oh my how I was starting to think 'who on earth is this guy trying to be talking to me about calories all the time', you got me there. Me, the one that wrote the note. hhah.

It wasn't only me and Ragge who had fun with the camera. Eivind had a photoshoot, too it seems. :-)

We had an awesome time and I think everyone got a new friend or two as we were such a mixed bunch.
Parties with themes and games are coooool. I hope others were as excited as I was. :-)
Time went so fast that we also forgot to go out.

Fun times, fun times!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Summer's here

After 3 weeks of rain summer's in Oslo.
So are Jonas, Lauri, Riikka and Hilla.
Last year around this time we celebrated Queensday in Holland. Now we're gathered up in Oslo, enjoying lovely weather, enjoying lovely people and soon eating lovely food.



Monday, April 16, 2012

Tarvitsetko töitä?

The following in Finnish as this is WORK information, yes a job, for Finnish speaking people!

Tunnetko Helsingin/pääkaupunkiseudun? Oletko luova ja hauska kirjoittaja? Tarvitsetko töitä? I juust might have something exciting for you. Jätä sähköpostiosoitteesi tai mailaa jos kiinnostuit ja haluat lisää informaatiota. :-)


Sunday, April 15, 2012


I haven't really told much about my Oslo life yet.
Last Tuesday I started my new job at Music Export Norway.
I've been spending quite a bit of quality time with my housemates, who are umm...awesomeThough, I can't wait to buy a gym card (tomorrow?) as my body is trying to hint that all these movies and Ben&Jerry's aren't for the best. I want to get a better rhythm on my daily life again - nutrition and exercise wise.

Nothing super special has been happening. Work, rain, movies, friends and enjoying the Oslo -life.
I like it here.

anyway, this weekend:

Saturday kicked off with 'vippe extension' maintenance. Eyelash extensions that is.
Had searched for good (price+quality) places on the Internet. Searching from blogs was a total fail but once I found the right keywords 'vippe extension Oslo', right beauty salons came my way.
I ended up reserving a time at Karl Johan Hud & Kroppspleie, which was located a one minute walk from my work.

Very lovely staff. Very satisfying job by a lovely lady. Price, well...depends on time used on lashes. Starting price from 400NOK. I liked the place and staff so much that maybe I'll continue to use their services unless something cheaper and good comes my way. At least I know that at Karl Johan H&K they know their job and the result is what I wanted.

After a rainy and grey week the weather was finally great!
My fake leather jacket was hot to wear as I strolled down Karl Johan to Slottsparken and then to Bogstadveien where there was a car-free market day.

Bogstadveien is one of the main shopping streets in Oslo. Nearly all the shops had discounts on their products, as well as some crazy sales (e.g. buy 5 pieces of clothes for 200NOK). Most shops had market tables outside their stores, and many extra salesmen were there too selling food, clothes, gym memberships, etc for good prices.
A few shops had in-store discounts aswell, like Gina Tricot had all store products -20% and Bikbok -30%. Outside on their market tables they had reduced prices of products all the way to 20, 40 and 60 NOK. Nice!

I just might have found something myself, for example a pair of Gina Tricot leather look-a-like pants that I've been drooling for a year now.
Nearly joined Sats- and nearly Elixia gyms but then decided to go with neither. I'll get a better deal from elsewhere.

Today, Sunday, I went to join Ingar and his work+classmates play tennis. Bad weather forced us to go indoors and turn tennis into gymnastics, tag games, learning how to do somersaults again and playing some sort of indoor wall-tennis.
I just had my second Oslo sushi (remember this post?). Yummy.

Now movie time, again.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Sixth Day pt2 - The Cuba Diary

Day Six: Goodbye Santiago

Cuba wasn't just a holiday for me. I was doing some studying for my thesis. This is why we visited music venues, talked with musicians and tried to capture all kinds of cultural happenings on camera. Well, must say - I would most likely have done the same even if Cuban music culture weren't the subject of my graduation project.

Anyway, that's why all these music related pictures. ;-)

As written in earlier posts - Santiago is the center of music in Cuba.

The sixth day of our trip was our last day in Santiago.
My phone had switched itself to Summer time two weeks before due time so we woke up an hour too early for breakfast.
After a bit more sleep and having breakky we headed off to walk around Santiago.
Again, we were an attraction. People stopped and stared. Thought they were moving but going nowhere. Onerepublic. Two guys wanted a picture with us again. After 15min they came running back with roses. awwwww. (says a girl who is not into flowers)

The rose event was followed by not that nice a happening. A man came to ask us for water. Didn't really feel like sharing from our bottles, sorry. The man wasn't pleased. He didn't understand to leave. We started to get annoyed by his behavior and decided it was best to just leave. Well, that made him go even more loco and so he began to throw coins at us. Later he changed from coins to stones! Other Cubans around us were embarrassed and horrified but came to calm us by saying: 'Don't worry. It's normal from him. He is crazy.' But wow...war zone material!

Whilst our walk around the city we bumped into a music instrument factory.
We went in and asked if we could look around. For the price of 3CUC the guys there promised to give us a tour. In reality tours weren't probably even possible, neither did visiting probably even cost. Who knows.
As it was Sunday, there was nobody working. A pity as it would have been interesting for my thesis to get pictures of such an environment at its' busiest. Anyway it was a fun random visit. AND we got a pair of hand made music instrument factory maracas each as a present!

On our way home we saw these lovely little fellas again. Ander came to greet us with kisses. Felt sad to tell them we were leaving in a few hours. They promised to come and wave us bye.

Right next to our Casa de la particular there was a viewing place. Didn't cost to visit but if you wanted to take pictures you had to pay 1CUC. That's nothing, but as our 'home' was right next door and even a slight bit higher than the viewing point, we decided to take pictures for free - at home.

It was time to leave to the bus station. We had a car pick us up. Probably a friend or family member of our host mothers. Our little buddies came to wave byeee. For the first time I saw their faces turn from smiles to sadness. I felt the same.

We had a couple of hours before the bus to Trinidad was to leave. Went to hang out in a park and got new friends again.
But ey, can someone tell me what my camera has done to my legs again? What kind of bodybuilder photographing mode did I have on?!?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sixth Day pt1 - The Cuba Diary

Day Six: The morning experience

The previous day I had promised a family I'd go through my clothes to see if I had anything I could give them. I had also visited the house of where the family lived (in the picture above). The house was small. Two children, one teenager and the parents shared one room as the mother's ill mother was laying on her deathbed in the room next to them. In addition to these two rooms there was the kitchen that can also be seen in the photo above. I was invited to greet the ill grandmother of the house. My body didn't want to meet her but the inner me said I should.

I entered the room. Never had I experienced anything so strongly via my nose. The smell. The smell - I still feel weak by just thinking about it. It was the smell of death. The death of a dying old lady with only skin and bones left, and hardly even that.
I was asked to greet the grandmother, by a kiss on the cheek of course. Politely I performed what I felt was my duty. 75% of my body was telling me to leave, that the experience had been enough. The house would have probably had a room or two more, I don't know, but I said we should go back to the others who were taking pictures outside. It wasn't only the old lady but the whole house. The smell. Felt like the whole house was dying. And by also the looks of it, it was.

As we were walking out of the house the lady heard sounds from my pockets and I was asked if I had a bit of money to spare. I gave the lady my coins, those three CUCs didn't mean anything to me. They meant a weeks food for her.

Sanni and I had taken a bag of small soaps, toothpastes and pens with us from Finland to give to children as they really appreciate these small goods. Plus soaps and stuff are expensive for locals to buy so they are warmly welcomed. Looking clean is very important for Cubans.

Back to the story - clothes for the family. Unfortunately we were traveling with just backpacks and had left most of our clothes back at the hotel in Havana. Therefore I didn't have that much to choose from. I decided to give the family clothes from an outfit I had been wearing a few days back (in this post): shorts and a t-shirt (with more soap and toothpaste as extra).

On our last morning of our Santiago day we went to the family's house after breakfast. I had warned Sanni about the smell and what kind of environment we were entering. I couldn't help but to smile and forget all the nastiness around me when little Mercedes ran and jumped into my lap like I were her big sister coming home after being away for a year. At least I felt like the feeling could be comparable. Maybe?
I gave away my clothes thinking oh how I wish I would have taken more. In Havana I had so many shoes that were waiting to be thrown away. This family would have cherished them like Europeans would Gucci or Prada.

Of course the family wanted to get pictures taken of themselves, again. Cubans love to be photographed.

We made the stay short. The mother of the house started to get greedy. Getting money and all the goods wasn't enough anymore. She wanted more and more and more. Not only here and now but to be sent, too. I decided it was enough, enough with all the begging. 'I might have more than you but I ain't no millionaire', I thought to myself.

As we walked away from the house I noticed dried blood spots on my arms.
I felt bad but relieved to think 'thankfully I had no wounds'...

Overall I was left with a feeling of happiness, feeling that maybe I helped someone. I didn't mean to be rude by thinking with words like 'smell' and 'relief of no wounds'.
Anyhow there's always the feeling when you wish you could help more than you can.
And the feeling when you also know that... you could have simply just helped more instead of wishing to doing it.


ps. please share your thoughts. any. any that arise. thanks!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fifth Day - The Cuba Diary

Day Five: American ride, dolphins and the celeb feel again

The same guy who had arranged accommodation for us in Santiago had hooked us up with a personal taxi driver for the day. After breakfast we found our ride, a black American old car with a driver, waiting for us outside.

Off we went, for an adventure out of Santiago.

One hour drive took us to our first destination:

The aquarium of Baconao.
First we got to see a dolphin and sea lion show. The sun was shining from the clear sky and we were sure to get burnt!

The fun was just starting as after the show we got to experience what was in Sanni's words: "The only thing I want from our Cuba trip!" THIS:

After the audience had left we got the opportunity to swim with the dolphins by paying a little extra. The dolphins kissed us, danced with us, sang for us and gave us a flying ride.
Sanni and I felt just like a little boy who asked his daddy: "Dad, can we do this every day, pleaaase?"

The journey continued to Siboney beach which was full of locals and locals only. We were an attraction being the only white ones. People gathered around us, secretly took pictures and stared. A few had the guts to come and speak and ask to take a picture with us.
Some massage men tried to sell their services to us. Unfortunately the information came too late as we had agreed upon a lunch date and didn't have the time for a massage before.
The only thing I regret not doing on this trip is getting a massage - at this beach.
Seriously, 6CUC for 45min? Heaaaveeeen.

Had lunch at a friend of our driver's. Gosh I miss this food. Who says Cuban food is bad? If you eat at a hotel, well then yes. But go eat with Cuban families and you're bound to fall in love with the crunchy food banana and self caught fish in oil. Yum-my!

It was time to head back to the city. Santiago.

After freshening up we headed off to the city again to seek for more musical experiences. Santiago is known as the most cultural city of Cuba with its broad live music scene, large range of street musicians and multicultural environment. Reggae, rock, salsa, pop, heavy metal, jazz, rumba, trova, guaguancó name it. Lovers for everything can be found!

Popped by the Casa de la Trova, a local music house where both locals and tourists come to mix up, sip a few Cuba libres, listen to traditional Cuban sounds, get wiggly and shake the bumbum. Just like in Casa de la Tradiciones, you will never be left alone. Dance once, dance all night long.

We even bumped into my boyfriend from the previous evening. Should have guessed he'd be around. <3

On the way home to eat we met some of our lovelies again. Neighbor kids. Had a photoshoot sesh, taught them how cameras are used and everybody got the chance to pose. It was so amazing to see how the kids found such great joy out of our moments together. They always greeted us with hugs and kisses, and never forgot to smile. It was as if the only facial expressions the people had were joy.
We learnt from them as they learnt from us. I can't help but to smile as I write, as I think about our experiences.

After eating we headed back off to the city with the guidance of two rastafaris. The guys weren't really building up trust by being socially awkward and replying to questions in very weird ways. We felt uncomfortable and slowly ditched the guys as we discretely separated to go our own way.

The day had been long. Our mood wasn't energetic enough to wiggle up to any more salsa or sip the first and last mojito of the night so we simply headed back home, to our Santiago home.


pictures by me, sanni, yuri, ander and mercedes.