Archive for ‘Finnland’

April 14, 2011

My Iitalla Vase

When fins leave their little country in the north they are still easily spotted. Know the signs and you know who they are. Next to the more obvious things (pale skin, happiness once they see central european alcohol prices and a lack of interest for communication), there are more subtle hints as well. Fins love to buy stuff from home (not China!). On a standard plane from Helsinki to Munich you’ll spot at least a dozen Marimekko bags filled with Salmiakki bottles. At home they refuse to drink from anything but Arabia cups, and sit on Artek chairs. Of course their plates have to come from Iitalla, and when they ..

You’ll get the point. Maybe really the only thing that comes from Finland and leaves some scepticism with the Fins is nowadays Nokia, but that’s really another story.

Being a weird hybrid Fin myself by now, I had to adapt this proud habit as well. Anyhow I am not sure if the use of my vase is as intended by Alvar Aalto .. Can any Fin answer me if this is still finish or rather weird?

Kiitos to Sirpä for this wonderful good-bye gift!

April 1, 2011

Tipaton Huhtikuu!

Is the finish word for: “I have really drunk too much over the last eight month in my great home of Finland and really need a break from Erasmus life. That is why I will show an enormous amount of newly acquired Sisu and will not drink in the current month of April – If you see me doing that anyway feel free to beat me up or congratulate me that I have come to senses. Weigh your options wisely.”

Full disclosure: Usually fins enjoy this tradition only in the month of January – hence the original name “Tipaton tammikuu“.

March 28, 2011

My life in Finland – An Erasmus Report

One week after coming home to germany the boring stuff wants to be done. The compulsory Erasmus report is cheerfully beating up my precious time. My university in Munich and the european Erasmus program seem to be all to eager to know what really happened to me in Finland (can’t they just read my blog?!).

I am not very talented at writing those things and thus it took some to write the paper (How do you fit Finland in 3 Pages// Can an Erasmus life and an academic career mix at all?// What did I do their anyway? ..). Finally finished I do not want it to be useless in some office spaces in Brussels. Thinking farther their might even be some useful information for future students in their. Not sure if it helps anybody but please feel free to use it as information, advertisement, or whatever your heart feels when you hear the five letters: SUOMI

Click here to retrieve my study report

Sorry, but this one is german only – anybody wants to translate, feel free to send me an english copy.

March 21, 2011

Shear Test

My first day in Munich is over but actually I have not really finished of with finland yet. Not only my memories are still swirling back to the people that I have left, but also my work. Next to organizing all kinds of stuff today at the university here in munich I also finished of the report of the shear test that I created last week in finland. As always the paper work was much more dull than the exercise, but what can you do – it’ll be like that at work as well.

What did I actually do? In order to save Arcada some money we decided to build a shear test for composite materials ourselve. I did not have a clue what this could look like and neither had my teachers. Moving on with educated guesses I went from the different stages of brainstorming to construction and from their to the workshop were I have manufactured my ideas.

So far I have always done the mentioned phases only seperately. I have never had the chance to do it all in a joined effort. Quite exciting to see something develop by your own hands from the first idea to the final testing. After my work was finished on friday at 4pm (I did not have much spare time in case of failures for this project ..) I was keen on playing a little around. I have to say that I would like to optimize it. Anyway I am happy to know the competent people who will be able to play around with it much longer and careful. Special thanks to Erland for all the great advices throughout my work on that project.

Closing words: An intense project which I still don’t know how i finished it in time. Let this be a good bye gift to Arcada from a very satisfied exchange student!

March 18, 2011

What am I good at?

Don’t worry – i have not fallen into a self destructive and questioning time of life. Much rather i want to share a story about me and my children. This wednesday i had to say good bye to my children of my fifth class. I have taught them german for almost half a year now. I know from parents, students and teachers that my classes were a big difference to what they usually do. They did not want me to leave but i promised them one last game as a treat.

The task was really easy: What am i studying? The kids had about twenty minutes to guess my real study subject. Remember – they only knew me as the weird german who can’t speak finish and refuses to speak english.

So the guesses came in: Photographer, Musician, Actor, Videomaker, Teacher, … somewhere in the end a girl in the last row guessed the right answer. I am studying to be a mechanical engineer. The first things they assumed were all things related to class activities that i have done with them. None of them thought about my real proffesion. It was a great exercise for their vocabulary. The students and me had a great time laughing out loud. Saying good bye is easier when you are in a good mood.

A couple of days later that small episode got me thinking. Is it bad that they did not guess my true study passion? Am i studying the wrong thing? Should i be a Photographer, Musician, Actor, Videomaker, even a teacher?


I think that i am good at what i do and do it with a passion. I explore life! Half a year of Finland has taught me to seek my manyfold dreams. I am good at going into every aspect of life. Maybe not as deep as others, but i truly believe in finding out as many things and experience the most i can get. I am a passionate engineer whose view is broad enough to connect his skill with everyday life?

I can live this eventful and multicolored life because i have parents that never questioned my desire to do things out of the ordinary and encourage me to take detours in my paths. I want to thank them for their ongoing mental and financial support! I could not have taught children, go to Finland or travel half the world without a strong circle of people who really do care for me! Thank you so much! Before i get to sentimental – lets close it for today and meet with all of my finish friends one last time.

March 15, 2011

What, when, where, ..

Just finished planing my last week and wanted to give you a quick inside when to see me where for the last time.

And once more in a structured way (for all my engineering friends :-9):

Friday (18.03.2011)

  • 8pm Change of Plans! Pre Party is not at my place but at the party boat bar in the hakaniemi harbor – after all exclusivity is guaranteed and we should have a great joint party with the girls and guys from the mediateknik department – we will be their starting 8pm in the boat – here is the address:
    Ravintolalaiva Wäiskin keskikerros
    Hakaniemenranta 11
    if you do not know how to get their we will start walking from majstranden at 7:30pm.
  • Some time later we’ll go to the Club Werket Party for “St. Patricks Day”.

Saturday (19.03.2011)

  • All afternoon Come over to grab a Coffe, one of my homemade cakes, some of the stuff that I have to give away, or just come to say good Bye.
  • Some time in the evening We’ll go to a Restaurant, please tell me in advance if you want to come, I’ll have to reserve you a seat.
  • Later We’ll grab a good bye drink in Kallio

Sunday (20.03.2011)

  • 8am I will be in midair to Munich shed tears looking backwards and look forward to a great reunion, a fantastic semester and a great bavarian summer!
March 14, 2011

Back from Lahti..

.. and off to my last week in Finland. To commemorate the last full weekend in Finland i spent my day with Maria in Lahti and watched the mad Ski Jumpers from all over the world. Saddly enough Janne Ahonen (who had his last appearance ever) did not make it very far. Surprisingly enough Severin Freund (GER!) made it to a very astonishing 3rd place. Tack så mycket to Maria for organizing such nice hours for me and and taking a little of the plenty good bye sorrows from my mind. Let the last week begin!

March 12, 2011

Snow Cave

Two days ago i posted a little status message:

Just going to sleep .. in a snow cave by the lake in Majstranden – after all its cosy -1°C in Helsinki

Next day quite a lot of people asked me what that was about. Once I told them that their was nothing more to that status than allready expressed, people started to look at me weirdly. Suspecting some kind of finish drunkenness, they turned away in disbelief. Finish madness would have been more like it. My friend christian told me a couple of nights before that day about his adventure in a snow cave. Not able to resist I talked him into doing it again. Grabing our cross country skies, joakims isolation mattress and a proper amount of Sisu we went out to the Majstranden bay in order to resist the finish cold. Still did not understand what all of this is about? Well, just take a look ..

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Oh yeah – and i really could not resist to waste another five minutes with one of the hillarious iMovie ’11 themes ..

Full disclosure: Man, I really did feel comportable in my cosy and warm bed the next night ..

March 9, 2011

Alexander Stubb on German Radio

Just a quick note on one of the politicians that have fascinated me the most in the past year. Alexander Stubb, Foreign Minister of Finland, had a short apperance this morning on my favourite german radio station. Not only can he speak english (in contrast to our own FM – see my story from last year) but he can also speak german. Thumbs up for using a bit rusty but respectful german language on Deutschland Radio Kultur.

Alexander Stubb bei Deutschland Radio Kultur

March 6, 2011

Annual Ball

Lets wrap it up: it was a great weekend! A whole sunday in Espoo with Maria and studying quite a lot for my upcoming exams lies behind me. In the evening I had some time to flick through the pictures of this weekend. Considering that I move away from this country in two weeks I went a bit gloomy into the Årsfest on friday. The gloom got bigger when my friends from TLK honoured me with a generous stipendium. In this very moment I realised what a wonderfull time it has been in this cold country and what I will leave behind in two weeks. Being honoured by TLK was great since it showed me that it was not only me having fun here but other people having the same feeling about me.

Anyway my gloom was quickly delt with in a “finish way” and the night continued to be a great one. Attached you’ll find some of the more appropriate pictures of this weekend. The rest will have to stay memory with the special people I was with! Thanks to all of you!

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