Sunday, September 2, 2012

Still alive

Sorry, no German translation of this post.... I'm too tired to think in German right now x__x

Yep, I'm still alive an breathing Finnish air!

The fligth was okay, especially from Vienna to Helsinki, as the seat next to me as free so the man and I sitting in that row basically were flying Business class :D
The connection flight to Turku was.... well.... weird, to say the least. The plane was super small and it was a model with propellers o_O I was sitting at the very front right next to the exit row. I was second row, but the first row was actually facing the back side of the the plane, so a girl who had her seat there was facing me *lol* And when I got off the plane I saw that they don't store the luggage in the "belly" of the plane but instead there's a kind of room between the passenger cabin and the pilot's cabin, where all the luggage was stored. But well, the flight ltook only 25 minutes (shortest flight I ever took!) and Turku Airport is rather small, so no wonder they had only a small plane.

My companion ♥

Bought this at Helsinki Airport, almost already finished it yesterday night D:

Super small airport.... yet they had free WiFi and THIS. What a surprising welcome o.o

I arrived yesterday evening and had my tutor pick me up at the airport. I actually felt really awkward meeting her in person. I'm always so scared I won't recognize people when I meet them for the first time and only saw them on photos before.

So, she took me to my new room in the student village where I'll be living for the next 6 months.
When I entered, I really had to conceal my shock at the first sight. The room was very clean, to a point it was almost sterile. It had white walls, white furniture and one lamp. The bathroom has a shower in the corner and a shower curtain to separate the corner from the rest of the room. Still, when I shower I'm scared of flooding the tiny 4m² bath. There is only one tap for both shower and sink, no cupboards in the bathroom, nothing.
I know this probably does not sound that bad but the problem I'm facing right now is that I can think of a lot of items that I'd like to buy that would make my room more cozy and enjoyable, but.... I wonder if I should really buy anything, since I have to take it back with me to Austria in February anyway .__. And I don't know how I'll manage that.
Also, it's quite cold already (15°C outside) and it seems like the heating has not yet been turned on. I really hope they'll turn it on soon!
And the kitchen is just next to my room, which is kinda nice on one hand, but really bad on the other because my nice co-habitants do not keep the door closed like they should so all the various smells when they cook creep in under my door <__<

View from my room. It's actually not that bad if it weren't ground floor and to the north (but actually I already got used to that) and the windows weren't that weird so I can't open them properly. But in a few weeks time I won't want to open them anymore anyway and I#ll probably work from dusk till dawn so I won't see that mush sunlight anyway.

I have so many thoughts going around in my head I really just don't know where to start.

Today I spent the whole day walking around in the city. Fortunately there was nice weather and I was able to get a pretty good overview of what is where (an nice blisters on my feet thanks to my new shoes -_-). Tomorrow I have to make my way through the city alone. I'm not looking forward to it, I'm really scared of missing the appointment...

 I went to the library today to get a card, and though my tutor talked to the guy in Finnish he then switched over to English to explain everything to me. I don't know if it's just the people I've met so far, but generally it seems to me that most people in Finland talk really quietly (sounds weird, but anyway). So I already had a little bit of difficulties understanding him, because he apparently felt a bit uncomfortable about talking English because he was even quieter then. He asked for an ID and I showed him my driving license (which should be valid in the whole EU by the way...) and also my student ID from home if that wouldn't satisfy him. He looked at me, then at the two cards, then back at me, and he had such an expression on his face... like he was really really scared of me or something *lol*
So he then proceeded to explain to me how the card and borrowing a book works. But he still talked rather weirdly! In Finnish, there's no intonation, so even when you ask a question you're voice stays rather low. So I was really surprised to hear him talk, because he just went up very high with his voice at the end of each sentence. I thought he was asking me a question, since he also looked at me expectantly, and I had no idea what to answer XD Then I realized he was not actually asking a question and just replied... "Ooookay...." and the then proceeded to explain, with his intonation :'D
But actually, he was pretty nice. I think he was just uncomfortable talking in English. Pretty brave though to do it anway, because he could have also just talked to my tutor and let her translate.

I actually did look pretty scary. I guess.

One very good thing about the city or Finland in general is that shops are open on Sundays too ! (Well I guess not all, but most). So I could buy the missing network cable today and now I have working internet in my room. It was actually a pretty nice experience, because my tutor and I hung around the shelf with the cables and weren't 100% sure which one to pick, when suddenly a guy next to us addresses us and asks us what we need. I explain to him I need a network cable and that I live in the student village, to which he replies, "Ohhh I know, I've been living there to once! Here, you just need this one, or that one, the difference is only...." and started to tell us about all the cables and helped us pick one :D So nice!
Also, my tutor bought some stuff at the market place today and the guy at the market stand gave each of us a small gift, even though I didn't buy anything, just my tutor did. That really made me happy. These two people kinda made my day.

There was also this very nice lady at the Subway where we had lunch, she served my tutor and me simultaneously and once she didn't switch back to Finnish but instead gave her the bag with the food and said "Here you go!" in English, then she laughed an apologized. I thought it was really cute. It's what happens to me all the time too, when I'm talking half-German half-Englisch to a group of people. Also, she really made me feel like it's okay that I'm awkwardly ordering in English but had to use e.g. the Finnish name of the bread because I didn't know the name in English. Generally, she made me lose a bit of my fear of talking to people in English, knowing that when I come they expect me to talk Finnish.

Also took some passport photos today for the shitload of applications and documents I still have to deal with. They cost me 8€ and are actually to big for almost everything I need them for, lol

We also went to a telephone shop because I got a SIM card as a gift from school, but it didn't work. So we found out that apparently, several of the cards they gave to the school have the same issue, but since it's Sunday the guy at the shop couldn't call the service station to sort it all out so I have to come back tomorrow.
I didn't buy much food yet, also I was too shy to enter the kitchen on my floor. The whole floor (around 15 people) share the kitchen, I only entered it once very briefly and saw that the person who lived here before me left some food in "my" designated shelf. So gross! >__<
I really don't know how I should handle eating here anyway.... I plan to have lunch at restaurants where they have a discount for students so I don't have to eat at home that much. I really wish I could muster the courage to just go to the kitchen and say hi to others, but I can't.

Apart from all that happened to day, like the nice people at the shops... I still feel like I had a bad day.
Basically I'm just sitting around right now, sulking a bit, because I miss home and I'm so scared of the weeks and moths to come.

The language barrier really kills me right now.
I feel totally lost, even though I understand a tiny bit of the stuff that people talk about from time to time, I also tried to dig my self a bit further into studying it but I feel rather hopeless. Since it's so totally different from my mother tongue or any other language I know, I don't even know where to start. The book I got is no great help either, it has a vocabulary section, one for grammar and one for basic communication, but I feel like when I pass the first few exercises it already gets pretty much too hard to continue. When I switch to a different section it's the same. It's difficult to get the right "pace", and I think this would be so much easier if I had a real Finnish course with a teacher. I really hope I can get into one, I at least want to understand the language before I leave.
But at the moment, I feel a bit hopeless about that topic....

I really hope you don't mind me writing in English only today.
After the results of the poll several weeks ago, I thought it's probably not a good idea, and I actually wanted to do my blog bilingually, with German and English. But I'm not sure if I'll really be able to, talking in English the whole day makes it really hard to put together nice-sounding, written German sentence.
It's easier when I'm talking tho. I spent some time online this afternoon with my boyfriend and friends from Germany, so I did use my German as well. It's just that when it comes to describing my feelings and what happened today and stuff like that, I feel more comfortable with English. It's just easier for me right now, I hope you understand that.

But I do want to cater to the people who don't understand English as well, so I hope in the future I'll be able to write a translation as well. But as for today, I'm just too tired. Sorry.

It's my second night tonight and since I'm dead tired I'm probably gonna sleep as well as last night. Tomorrow I have a meeting with the supervisor of my internship, and have to do stuff like handing registration forms, signing my contract for the room, getting my phone fixed... So I should really go to bed now.

Good night everyone!


  1. Huhu!
    Erstmal schön zu hören,dass du heile angekommen bist!
    (ich bin da son Schisser,traue mich auch nich in ein Flugzeug zu steigen,massive Höhenangst und so^^)
    Verfolge deinen Twitteraccount jetzt in einem eigenen Tab :'D
    Ich bin ebenfalls irgendwie aufgeregt,quasi für dich mit und drück dir die Daumen,dass du dich gut einlebst!
    Das die ersten Tage nich so prickelnd sind ist denke ich okay,das brauch bestimmt etwas Zeit!

    Ich freue mich aufjedenfall drauf mehr von dir zu hören und up to date zu sein!

    Drücl auch die Daumen,dass es mit der Sprache besser hinhaut,da gibts bestimmt Leute,die dir helfen können und wollen!

    Gaaanz liebe Grüße aus Deutschland zu dir nach Turku :D!

  2. Schön zu wissen, dass du gut angekommen bist! Habe mich übrigens schon gewundert, wie du in 30 min von Wien nach Turku gekommen bist, aber jetzt ist ja alles klar! XD
    Jedenfalls hoffe und wünsche ich, dass du dich schnell einlebst und auch die Sprache lernst....wenigstens können dort die meisten Englisch...aber natürlich ist Finninsch nochmal was anderes (und es ist riiichtig schwer, ich habs ja selber schonmal versucht!) Aber das schaffst du, wenn du von der Sprache umgeben bist, da bin ich mir ganz sicher!
    Und wegen der Küche, packe deinen ganzen Mut zusammen und geh einfach rein. Es kann ja genauso sein, dass die Leute nett sind .. zumindest einige...können ja schlecht ganze 15 blöd sein! Und selbst wenn, dann könntest du sie immer noch meiden. Du hast nichts zu verlieren!!!!
    Ich find es übrigens voll okay, wenn du in Englisch schreibst, ich kanns genauso gut verstehen. Ich denke, ich werde auch billingual bloggen, ich hoff auch, dass ichs schaffe. Wobei ich ja schon ein wenig Bedenken habe, wenn ich sehe, wie gut du Englisch schreibst und sogar du machst es ja nicht billingual. Allerdings gibts auch Menschen, die in Englisch bloggen und deren Englisch noch wesentlich schlechter ist, als meins.
    Nunja, halt durch und leb dich ein und lass dich die nächsten Tage nicht so vom Papierkram stressen und lass von dir hören :)

  3. Huhu!

    Schön zu hören, dass du gut angekommen bist.
    Ich beneide immer die Menschen, die sich trauen für eine Weile ganz alleine ins Ausland zu gehen. Für mich wäre das nichts, aber ich beneide jeden um die tollen neuen Erfahrungen.
    Was den Kontakt mit den anderen Mitbewohnern angeht: Lass dir einfach ein bisschen Zeit. Wahrscheinlich brauchst du noch eine Weile, bis du dich wohler fühlst und dann fällt es meist auch leichter auf neue Menschen zuzugehen.
    Englische Blogposts finde ich auch nicht schlimm, verstehe sie aber Dank Englisch-LK im Abi auch ganz gut ;)

  4. Freut mich das du auch immer öfter englisch postest , wobei ich längere einträge weiterhin auf deutsch verfasse und kürzere immer englisch schreibe (zu faul längere englische texte zu schreiben :p) sofern es nicht mit Fremdwörter zugeballert ist, lese ich englische einträge auch gerne :) und habe mir auch schon überlegt Hunger games auf englisch zu kaufen, da das englisch nicht so schwer sein soll :)

  5. Hello,
    ich denke die Sprachbarriere wird sich einfach mit der Zeit geben und der englische Text ist völlig okay, das frischt auf :D auch wenn ich nicht in Englisch antworten kann, da mit einfach das ganze Sprachwissen abhanden gekommen ist.
    Wie ist denn das Wetter bei euch? Ich denke auch, dass du das Küchenproblem noch bewältigen wirst, wenn du nur erstmal ein Weilchen da bist und auch mit jemandem reden kannst.
    Aber zu 15. stelle ich mir doch hart vor.

  6. I hope you don't mind me replying in English either. So don't be scared! Most of the people in here do speak English, some Finns are just too modest to say that they can speak it well. Finns are generally quite quiet as you noticed already and it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't enjoy speaking English. :)

    Just be brave! Say hi to your room mates! If it makes it easier have a drink together, it will certainly lower your excitement and nervousness etc.
    You'll manage. And wow, in 6 months to be able to understand finnish, that's a pretty high goall you set. If you mean reading newspaper etc. I agree. But spoken language is so difficult and often shortened and slang, even after 4 years in here, it's still pretty hard to understand. But don't lose hope, anyway you'll get a Finnish Course. As soon as you started, try to say everything you can in Finnish. The base is to learn vocabulary, read the newspaper to adapt to the way Finns build sentences. This is what is hardest cos it's so different from German.
    I had so much trouble learning finnish cos everybody switches back to english as soon they notice that you have troubles with Finnish. It's nice and polite but it sucks if you really wanna leanr the language :)

    Anyway, there are always Finnish Courses for Exchange Students. :)
    No worries you'll manage. If I can help you with anything here from Tampere, don't hesitate to ask ^__^, I can also send you my phone nr. Don't forget to go to police station to register! :D

    1. Danke für den lieben Kommentar ♥
      Joa ich bin fleißig am Vokabel lernen, hauptsächlich Sachen aus dem täglichen Gebrauch, so "learning by reading" mäßig, und wenn ich etwas sehe lese ich es in Gedanken "laut" um die Aussprache zu üben (vor mich hinplappernd durch die Straßen rennen traue ich mich dann doch nicht ganz XD)
      Und einen Kurs haben wir auch schon gefunden :D Der beginnt dann Ende September ^^

      Bei der Polizei war ich auch schon... darüber muss ich nochmal extra bloggen weil ich mich so schän darüber aufrege was da los war XD
      Vielen Dank für dein Angebot mit der Nummer!
      Am Samstag bin ich in Tampere, allerdings den ganzen Tag über auf der Tracon, aber ich würde wirklich gerne nochmal hin, und dann können wir uns ja vielleicht treffen wenn du magst :D Ich meld mich auch dann nochmal auf deinem Blog. Danke! ^^

    2. Meh, ich las eben gerad erst. Samstag? Vllt sind wir uns begegnet, mir kamen im Koskikeskus eine ganze Horde Leute entgegen, die so aussahen, jetzt weiss ich auch warum XD!

      Falls du mal wieder hier bist, meld dich ruhig. Mal sehen, was wir so machen können ^^

  7. Schön zu hören, dass du gut angekommen bist :)
    Und Kopf hoch - ich glaube es ist normal, sich ein wenig überfordert zu fühlen am Anfang, das legt sich bestimmt, sobald du dich ein wenig eingelebt hast. Es gibt an der Uni doch bestimmt Finnisch- Kurse für Studenten aus dem Ausland, oder? Und es gibt ja auch einfache Möglichkeiten ein Zimmer etwas gemütlicher zu gestalten, ein schönes Poster an der Wand ist ja zB ein ganz guter Anfang, und so was braucht man ja auch nicht wieder mit zurücknehmen.
    Auch wenn es vielleicht einiges an Überwindung kostet, versuch doch einfach mal, deine Mitbewohner kennen zu lernen. Die Finnen scheinen doch alle so nett zu sein, da ist das bestimmt nicht so schlimm. Du schaffst das schon!
    Liebe Grüße,

  8. DER HAAAAI!! :D Ich nehme meinen Lieblingsteddy, genannt TEDI^^, auch immer mit auf Reisen *gg*

    Und ich habe das gleiche Problem wie du, ich habe auch immer Angst Leute beim ersten Treffen (oder auch bei Treffen nach langer Zeit wo man sich nicht gesehen und vll verändert hat)nicht zu erkennen.

    Und ich kann verstehen dass du dich gerade irgendwie nicht so gut fühlst, das ist glaube ich normal. Aber ich bin mir sicher du wirst eine tolle Zeit haben! <3

  9. pleaaaase continue writing in english! :)
    And as I'm planning to spend a year abroad, it's really interesting for me to read about the experiences of someone who tried that step! :)

    1. Ohh that sounds great! :D Of course I'll continue in English, even if I don't have time to write a German translation I guess I'll focus on the English post. I think most of my German readers also understand the English well enough to understand what's going on, but people who don't understand any German are more likely to know English :D

  10. Aaaaw, höpöhöpö!
    Du wirst Finnish schon lernen, so schwer ist es auch nicht, vorallem nicht wenn man bisschen effort aufbringt und nicht so faul ist wie ich!

  11. Ich drück dir alle Daumen, dass in Finnland alles klappen wird, und du dich schnell an die Umstände dort bzw. die Sprache gewöhnst.

    6 Monate sind eine lange Zeit, aber eben auch dann begrenzt. Mach dir nicht so viele Sorgen! (ich weiß ist leichter gesagt als getan)

    XD ich nehme auch immer ein Kuscheltier mit in mein Handgepäck (im Moment ein Karpfen ;D)

  12. kennst du vllt blogs, die auch auf englisch bloggen? :)

    1. Oh, ich lese ein paar die auf Englisch bloggen, zB Through the Looking Glass, New Vogue Children, With Dee oder Moments like Diamonds. Bis auf die letzte sind die Bloggerinnen zwar keine Natives, schreiben aber in sehr gutem Englisch. Die meisten Englischen Blogs die ich lese sind, wie ich gerade feststelle, ursprünglich finnisch :'D

  13. Gott, bist Du viel in der Weltgeschichte unterwegs. Da kommst Du ja fast an das Reisepensum unserer Kanzelerin ran :) Aber die war ja auch noch in China. Jetzt also Finnland. Die wievielte Sprache lernst Du da eigentlich?


  14. I'm German but I like English so nevertheless, I'm gonna reply in English. :D
    I like reading your English texts. And I thought that on the first picture of yours, you look kinda Finnish. :D

    1. Haha, oh thanks! ^^ That's a nice thing to say :DD


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