Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kill two birds with one stone

Weird title? For me at least, because I have never heard the English version of the Finnish idiom "Kaksi kärpästä yhdellä iskulla". Then there are the modern idioms from the land of a forest and thousand lakes;
"Drive like a bottle-ass pig",
"Got lost like a fart in the Sahara",
"The guy is outside like tampon strings",
"Hungry as the Estonian wolf",
"Swings like syfilis"
and so on.

And the whole point of this, I don't remember. Let me read my last (only so far) text again.

Aa yes, because during that first day I was able to add two new countries in to my where-I-have-been-list. Now in total of 18 countries, I hope to have over 20 by the end of next year. But before we enter country number 18, let me do now a proper introduction of myself. I'm Jaleh and I'm a non-alcoholic. I was born in the Philippines, having a Filipina mother and Iranian father, but I myself am a Finn, due to the fact that I was 2, when we moved to Finland and have been ever since molded by the Finnish society. The end result of been raised by three cultures is me, a melancholic joyful smart ass.

Let us do now what Mark, Matthew, Luke and John did, skip 18 years until now. So I studied two years Music and Media Management in JAMK University of Applied Sciences. Before that I wanted all my life to study in the University of Jyväskylä to become a teacher of philosophy and English, but having the skill of doing everything in the last minute, I ultimately ended up in Holland studying Oprah's conversation skills and figuring out which is the best dark beer. First year of studies was just about thinking whether I'm in the right study field. In the second year I knew I was, no longer could I picture myself studying in a university. It was the first year when we heard that there would be a possibility to complete a double degree in Haarlem, Holland. I already was planning to apply there for an exchange the following year. Then came the winter with pleasant and less pleasant surprises. By many reasons combined (one getting involved in a documentary), I decided to apply into NHTV in Breda. I had my mind set up on Holland for a long time, so changing the country was impossible, but city not. And voilà!

Now to the reason of the existence of this blog. Like I said before I was supposed to start writing this before I arrived here, I thought that a lot of great things would happen that I must have a blog. But then I got lazy and thought that no one would read this anyways. After a couple of weeks so much had happen and I started to realize that I must write them down, not only for others to read, but for also keeping my own brains active before more memory gaps spring. The difficult part though is that it's a bit hard to remember everything, but I try my best and luckily I have loads of pictures to refresh my memory. Otherwise someone just tell me if I forgot something or write about something that didn't happen (especially first weeks did not feel real every now and then).

So let's go back to the crossing the boarder scene. Me and Henna after our dessert hopped into the train heading to Breda. For my surprise there really was not any space for people with big luggages. After an exciting and nervous hour and a half we arrived to the train station of Breda and waited for Julian (a guy from the student union Compass) to come pick us up. When he came, we left off to find our new homes for the coming months. During that six minutes in the van and observing the city as much as I could, must say it really didn't impress me and I started to feel terrified. After going round and round an upper-class neighborhood with nice houses, we came to our house. My German flat mate Rebecca was not exaggerating when she told me about the big, expensive house on Facebook. Having first to type a code to open the gate, we entered the yard; full of all kinds of birds and other animals. Behind the great red house, there was the house for the Cinderellas. For me at first it looked better in the pictures, but when seeing my room I noticed that I had a terrace of my own! I never use it though (can't get the door open).
our house

or not
welcome to the animal kingdom
my room
the door which never opens again
My landlord gave a quick introduction of how everything works in the house and told to ask the others for more information. And yes Rebecca was really nice; greeted with a hug, gave me a bottle of lemonade and helped me with the Internet (I was actually terrified of her before we even met). I started to unpack and arrange the things in my room, then my two other flat mates arrived; Alice from Italy and Judit from Spain. And our first conversation was about how we need to eat Activia yoghurt.

I planned to meet my old exchange student Sven and go out to see the city with Henna too, but being so exhausted and dangerous to be walking in the dark in a foreign city, we decided to hang out in our house. Not knowing where the grocery store is and what time it closes I asked Sven to bring me the cheapest milk, bread and butter he can find. Being such an angel he did, along with Dutch beer and sweets, maps, brochures from school (wrong degree program) and garbage bags.

sven with his gifts
Having not slept for 36 hours and eyes closing, I had to kick Sven out and start my first night in my new home. And quickly it came.

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