Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category


Last year it was Underlandet goes Australia – this year they’re in Japan! Watch it on FST5, Thursdays at 20:30.

My favourite country!!

Does anyone want to go there with me?? Anyone?


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We’re having a lecture series at work. About animal imaging. And I came to the conclusion that I know nothing about it. And that you soon have to know way too much about computers to be a scientist.

One of the lecturers was from Gotenborg. He was a Chinese with a very obvious Swedish accent. Except for when he spoke quickly, then he had the typical staccato of a Chinese. 🙂

My landlady came to visit today. She works in a bank, and acts the part. Her husband came too. He was the one measuring my bathroom cabinet. I’ll hopefully get a new one since the lamp cover got burnt by the previous tenant. jej, I like new things!

Then I washed a machine of white clothing and baked a bread. Here is the recipe:

  • 3 1/2 dl rye flour
  • 3 1/2 dl flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 dl sesame seeds
  • 1 dl raisins
  • 1 dl sunflower seeds
  • 1 dl oatbran (havrekli)
  • 1 dl pinhead oatmeal (urvete)
  • 1/2 dl syrup
  • 4 1/2 dl sourmilk
  • 2 egg

Mix the dry ingredients. Whip the others in a separate bowl. Mix all together. Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for about one hour. (I took this recipe from a book and you can basically vary it at much as you like. You don’t need to use eggs, you can add some lingon berry jam or use any kind of seeds or nuts, it’s good either way)

I’m not used to this regular oven. It’s too quiet! With the hot-air one you could always hear that there was a bread baking.

It took me one and a half hour to read the blogs on bloglovin today – half an hour was spent singing along to the worship songs on Stina’s blog. Especially “Prince of piece”. Here is a sample (and the lyrics):

  • You are holy (You are holy)
  • You are mighty (You are mighty)
  • You are worthy (You are worthy)
  • Worthy of praise (Worthy of praise)
  • I will follow (I will follow)
  • I will listen (I will listen)
  • I will love You (I will love you)
  • All of my days (All of my days)
  • I will sing to (You’re the lord of lords)
  • And worship (You’re the king of kings)
  • The King who (You are mighty God)
  • Is worthy (Lord of everything)
  • I will love Him (You’re emmanuel)
  • Adore Him (You’re the Great I am)
  • I will bow down (You’re the Prince of Peace)
  • before Him (Who is the lamb)
  • I will sing to (You’re the living God
  • And worship (You’re my saving grace)
  • The King who (You will reign forever)
  • Is worthy (You are acient of days)
  • I will love Him (You are Alpha Omega)
  • Adore Him (Beginning and End)
  • I will bow down (You’re my Savior Messiah)
  • Before Him (Redeemer and friend)
  • You’re my Prince of Peace
  • And I will live my life for You

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I’m a thief!

Today I stole something. When did I do it last? I can’t remember. Maybe I’ve never stolen anything in my life – I would not be surprised.

Before eating my lunch of pasta and minced meat that I brought with me to work, I took the elevator down to our cafeteria, grabbed a small plate from the salad stand and got some ketchup. I just did it! I was so cool too! Walking to the plate rack I even passed one of the kitchen ladies and I didn’t even flinch. But I must admit that my heart was racing.

Ha, I’m such a criminal – stealing one squirt of ketchup 🙂

It made me think of my Hong Kong days when every exchange student had at least one plastic glass from the canteen in their own cupboard.

I just bought everything from IKEA. Even though we would have to give it away after just one year. I am way to chicken to steal a glass, and I think this was the last time I stole ketchup as well.

Too much exitement could kill you…

mcd_ketchupAnd I’ve never even taken some extra McDonald’s ketchup home with me!

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I was talking to Zhao the other day about the restrictions people put upon us. When Z was in elementary school the kids were forbidden to go dancing, to play video games and so on. If someone saw you in the game-hall they could report you to a teacher and you would get reprimanded. And this was outside school hours!!

The only thing you were supposed to do was to study – I guess. And that’s something I know quite a lot about. One of the things I regret most about my life is sitting with my nose in some old school book reading about things that I’ve now long forgotten. And I do blame my lack in social skills on the period when I was 11-15 and did nothing but think about my grades.

So it was with chock that I read today’s newspaper where they were talking about what kids do during their free time. As all of you living in Helsinki know, the place to be if you are 11-14 is Kamppi, a big shopping center. Here kids just hang out, sit in small groups and chat and whenever someones hair gets droopy they take out their bottles of hairspray 😉

But the Youth Director of Helsinki, Lasse Siurala, did not see this as such a good thing. “Why use your energy for admiring goods in stores when it can be used to do something more educative?”

What the….?

What is he saying here? I interpret it as such that he wants the kids to do something that can benefit them in the future. Playing an instrument, join a theater group, do sports. Because lets face it; you don’t benefit from just relaxing with your friends…or do you?

(Or maybe he is just bitter that the youth houses the city do provide are standing empty while kids are wasting their money buying things at the mall.)

In China, a lot of the restrictions are there because of the fear that kids would fall in love. Dancing together can do that you know and kissing has been scientifically shown to be bad for your grades, hasn’t it 😉 But as soon as the students enter the University world, the restrictions are dropped. There they then stand, a group of kids that have never done anything other than study, suddenly able to do whatever they want (except for bringing a person of the opposite sex to their dorms or using a hot-plate in their rooms). And they are handicapped.

In Hong Kong I attended one of the parties that the students had organized. And I must say that it was quite embarrassing. When the dance finally started the kids didn’t form couples but huge rings that went round and round to the beat of “I’m a barbie girl”! Here is picture proof, somewhat dark but I hope you can see something of the festivities:

dancing in HK

Well in Finland we do have a more liberal system, where I still think the parent is responsible for setting limits to what the child is allowed to do or not. But the trend of an “active” life is getting more and more prominent with kids being driven around to different “hobbies” five days a week. And I think it’s scary how we seem to think that these educational activities would be more beneficial than social networking.

When everything has to be an accomplishment where does that leave life? Are we really brought up just to accomplish something or to actually live and interact with our fellow human beings? In many cases the educational programs allow us to build friendships but also to push people aside and rank them according to what they are able to achieve in life.

I wonder what the kids of today would like to do differently when they get older and look back at their life…

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Today I want to open up a manga-rental in Helsinki. A place where you can rent a comic book and then sit down in a comfy sofa to read it. They have them everywhere in Asia and now, with the growing interest for manga in Finland, I think it’s about time that we get one here as well. Here is a picture I took in Taiwan that would explain what I mean:

manga rental

Even though they sell manga in every supermarket nowadays they cost something like 8 euros a piece! Way too expensive in my opinion. So my business plan is to buy all the translated manga and the manga made in Finland and let people rent them for say 2 euros. 

The place could become a hangout for kids. Sofas in every nook and some vending machines selling japanese candy. There could even be a coffee machine.

And it wouldn’t have to stop there. If there was a basement or an upper floor I could arrange manga workshops. Every other week we could have lolita-nights where girls could compere their latest outfits. Then there would be all night karaoke where kids would stay up until dawn to sing. 

And because there isn’t that many Finnish manga books out there, I could hire a guy to translate the latest manga series into Finnish and print them out as text-only versions. Then the reader could look at the pictures in the book and read the text on a separate piece of paper. Then I wouldn’t even be breaking any laws (I think).

I’m sure I wouldn’t get any money doing this. Selling cheap candy and renting books for a couple of euros won’t cover much more than the rent, if even that. But it would be a lot of fun! And maybe I’ll even get some sponsoring from the Finnish comic book society (if there is such a thing), or maybe from the Japanese embassy or a cultural fund.

Maybe something to consider if I ever get unemployd…

…if someone isn’t doing it already that is

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Shinya came back to work today after a 3 week long vacation in Japan. I am so glad and he was happy too. He said: “I’ve confirmed. I’ve confirmed that I’m Japanese.”

And I thought: Yes, how wonderful. To be able to feel that you belong somewhere, that is truly a beautiful sensation. To find your identity anew.

And I don’t think it only applies to nationality but to other things as well. You can forget who you are but when you walk into a church, attend a meeting or pray with your friends you find yourself again. “It’s confirmed, I am a Christian.” And what a wonderful feeling it is.


Me and some of my relatives (+Li Min) at Christmas. With them I find that I’m truly a Finn-Swede. (photo by Olle)

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More election thoughts

It was the first time that my boss and his wife were allowed to vote in a Finnish election, so today I talked to Lisa about her new experience. She commented on how quietly everything was done. The only time she met the politicians or their followers was when she went shopping to Prisma or Citymarket. And even then they only gave her a flier – she was very surprised at how no-one really tried to convince her to vote for them.

In Japan things are obviously handled very differently.

It gave me a new perspective on things. I tend to become annoyed just because someone tries to hand me a piece of paper. And they don’t even do that if you are smart enough to shake your head. If everyone who tried to hand me a flier instead would start talking to me, or if there were political parties shouting out their goals in every street corner, I don’t think I would leave my apartment for a month!

I think Finnish people have a teenage approach to voting; if someone tells us to do something, we usually decide to do the complete opposite.

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