Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jouluaika /// Christmas Season

For some of you this might come off as a kind of surprise, but it's just a caouple of weeks till Christmas! :)
I love Christmas season, all the kitsch and glitter and happiness and peace that comes with it, the darkness of the winter nights, and the bright lights of Christmas decorations.

It is one of the reasons Winter is my favorite season, because it is by far my most favorite holiday of the year (Well, with birthdays out of the game, there is not so much left, actually.), primarily because for me, it's all about family and being close to your loved ones. I know that I am very, very lucky to have such lovely friends and family members who always support me, and Christmas is the time of the year to celebrate that uinity and these deep bonds.

That being said, I am also supper happy that I can go home for Christmas.
Despite already having made up with the thought of staying in Turku over the Christmas break, when my parents announced they would buy me a ticket for a trip home, I was unbelievably relieved and happy. I am so glad I will see them again, and not just spend 14 days of boredom and loneliness in Turku (because I'm socially awkward and a loner and a loser, so what else should I do during my holidays? :'D) !

Why am I telling you all about this?
Well, as you might know, Turku is something like the "Christmas Capital" of Finland, despite Santa Clause's office being situated in Rovaniemi, Turku is the capital of Christmas itself as a holiday. It is here that on every 24th of December the Christmas truce is called. And also last week end, there was an event in the city to celebrate the beginning of "jouluaika", the Christmas season. There was a parade with a marching band and dancing Christmas elves or something (I more or less missed it because I was late, actually) and then, during a festive speech the season was welcomed.

I took some pictures during the speech, but they're actually not that good. But it was also during this event that the lights for Christmas decoration were lit, and I got some photos of that at least :)

It was not so easy to take good photos during the event, so I came back a while later when there were less people on the streets and it got a bit darker :)

The speech was actually pretty funny to listen to, because I did in fact understand some single words, such as "joulu" and "aika" (obviously) but also "sydän" which is one of the first Finnish words I learned years ago, because I used it as a nickname for my boyfriend :)
So, the rest of my life here in Finland is a disturbing mix of ups and downs (but actually, my life before Finland was the same, so why bother?). Today I had my Finnish exam, which was actually kinda sad, because I enjoyed learning this language and I would have loved to learn more during my stay. Of course I will, but knowing myself I also know that I progress much faster when I'm taught by another person than by learning all by myself. Tomorrow or the day after that I will have an insanely awesome presentation about cell sheet technology in our Biomaterials class. Hell, this is one of the most fascinating topics in Tissue Engineering I've ever heard of, I'm so glad I came across that and was able to chose it as my topic! I am now even more positive that regenerative medicine is the area I want to work in one day. I hope it will be possible!

On the minus side, the pain in my back is driving me really crazy. It comes so quickly and hurts so terribly that sometimes I can barely work anymore. I'm quite sure it's because of my super bad working position (table to high and crappy chair) in the office.... but I don't know a solution to that :( Also, I got a terrible head ache today from wearing two sets of glasses - my regular ones and the safety goggles for lab work for several hours straight. After a while it really starts to hurt behind the ears and soon I get a headache. I don't really know a solution for that, since I'm not allowed to wear contacts, but I guess tomorrow I'll do it anway because I really can't work when my head feels like it's smashed with a hammer from the inside D:

Oh, and I actually have plans for this week end! I'm going on a trip to Stockholm with my colleague :D
I'm quite excited already, because I've never been on such a huge ship (the largest was the Twin City Liner I think?) in my entire life. Actually I'm a bit agarophobic, specifically the thought of very vast, open spaces like the sea or outer spaces scares the hell out of me. But the trip is during night time, so even if I'm on deck I probably won't see anything :D I'll probably just sleep through the trip, haha!
We will go there over night and return over night again, so we have a full day in Stockholm.

Have you been to Stockholm and can you maybe recommend some sights to see for me? :)
I was already told I should visit Vasa museum, but to be honest, I don't really know much about the city and its sights, so I'm glad about any suggestions! ^__^
What are your plans for the week end?

~ Übersetzung ~

Letzten Samstag gab es hier in der Stadt eine Art kleines Festival, im Rahmen dessen die Weihnachtssaison offiziell für eröffnet erklär wurde, sozusagen! Es gab eine kleine Parade mit Marschkapelle und Weihnachtsmann plus Elfen, und schlussendlich wurden die Weihnachtsbeleuchtung der Stadt zum ersten mal angemacht. Es war wirklich nett anzusehen, aber so ganz alleine fühlte ich mich da zwischen den ganzen Familien mit Kindern usw. doch ein wenig fehlplatziert :'D Ich freue mich schon sehr, zu Weihnachten meine Familie und Freunde in Österreich wieder zu sehen - da war das eine willkommene kleine Einstimmung auf den Advent. Ich zähle schon die Tage - allerdings bis zum 22. Dezember, denn da geht mein Flug, haha.

Sonst habe ich nicht viel zu erzählen, außer dass ich nächstes Wochenende nach Stockholm fahren werde! Ich bin schon total gespannt, da ich noch nie auf so einem riesigen Schiff war. Viel mitbekommen werde ich von der Schiffahrt allerdings sowieso nicht, da wir über Nacht fahren, damit wir den gesamten Samstag in Stockholm verbringen können.

Habt ihr irgendwelche Sightseeing Tipps für Stockholm für mich? :)


  1. das sieht wirklich schön und festlich aus *_*

    Ich hab vorhin in den Nachrichten gehört, dass es in meiner Stadt dieses Jahr gar keine Deko geben soll, da die Stadt so hoch verschuldet ist, das wird richtig kahl und nackt aussehen :(

  2. Haha sieht aus wie bei uns ... ich liebe die Vorweihnachtszeit auch total gerne und freu mich immer drauf .__. nur der Rest des Winters ist kacke .__.
    Das mit den Kontaktlinsen im Labor find ich manchmal auch so albern ._. bei mir motzen auch manche rum, aber ich finds iwie super blöd...zum Glück kann ich zu den meisten Praktika mit den Kontaktlinsen hin, weils dann uns selber überlassen ist xD
    Viel Spaß in Stockholm ^^

  3. Stockholm ist schön (ich war bereits mehrmals dort, weil meine Eltern in einem Vorort davon leben). Vasa-Museum ist schon mal sehr gut, ansonsten würde ich dir einfach einen Gang durch die Altstadt empfehlen. Wenn du Zeit hast, sieh dir die Wachablösung am königlichen Schloss an.
    Viel Spaß :D
    (Übrigens, die Stockholmer Weihnachtsdeko ist auch richtig schön. :D)

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  5. Ich war das Wochenede auch schon am ersten Christkindlmarkt. Ich hab die Weihnachtszeit vermisst :)
    Stockholm ist wunderschön, ich war letzten Winter dort. Das Vasa Museum umbedingt, das ist schwer beeindruckend! Sonst hat mir der/die/das (?!) Skansen sehr gut gefallen. Das ist ein rieeeesengroßes Freilichtmuseum - da hätt ich gut und gerne Tage drin verbringen können.


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