Archive for the ‘random thoughts’ Category


Li-Min and Cliff continued to show me all the places near Taipei that I hadn’t seen before. Among others, the Garden of the Generalissimos, a park filled with statues of Chiang Kai-shek, the president of the late Republic of China (ROC). (Although I think that the one below is of some general.) The statues were mostly collected from different schools and it was kind of surreal to walk around the park with hundreds of statues of the same guy.

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There were also black (!) swans, placed in the lake by the military. They regularly cut their wings to prevent them from flying away.

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One thing I really like with Taipei is the metro system, or maybe I just think it’s so convenient because Li-Min lives so close to one of the stations. Although the metro system in Shanghai was really good as well, with announcing all the stations in Shanghai Chinese, Mandarin and English, I still prefer Taipei, as people there know how to stand in line. Finns always appreciate people who queue.

A few weeks before I visited Taipei, a man had gone on a stabbing-spree in the metro. After that people were upset about how little information there was in the metro about what you should do if someone tries to kill you. So now they had put up signs saying you should defend yourself with, for example, an umbrella. Very helpful indeed.

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When in Taiwan always, always visit the night-market. Such good food!! BBQ and peanut filled pancakes are just some of the treats.


And then there is always the ice-cream, also with shaved nuts and, if you dare, coriander.

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We also went by a temple and I got a lucky sign for free!

On the final day I saw the most popular tourist sight, the once tallest building in the world, Taipei 101.


Thank you Li-Min for taking such good care of me!!



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Some pictures from my trip to Taiwan. Went there to visit my dear friend Li-Min and her husband Cliff. As the previous two times I’ve been there, they were super kind to me and showed me around all the places that I hadn’t managed to see yet.

One day we went on a trip together with Li-Min’s lovely friend Yi-Jin to visit the cat village Houtong and the lantern village ShihFen.


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Lots and lots of cats. You could feed them with kibbles they sold in the village and they had even put up small houses for them. However, I don’t think everything was cute and friendly since many of the creatures had lost their tails.

We also saw a little boy who was there with his grandparents. He was so afraid of the cats! They finally got him to stand in front of one of the cat houses for a picture after they had managed to convince him there was no cat in the house.

Then we went to the lantern village where we bought one of the huge lanterns, wrote our wishes on it and sent it up into the sky. The Japanese guys  in the first picture had a dramatic start when their lantern almost crashed onto the walkway before the guy who was selling the lanterns managed to get it up in the air.

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Such a lovely day!!

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Jaana’s karonkka

This Friday I had the pleasure of celebrating my former colleague, Jaana’s, PhD. It started with her defense and ended with the most beautiful dinner, in honor of her opponent Prof. Nakato. (And to my mother I would like to say that this was the fanciest karonkka I’ve ever attended – I will not be able to pull this off at my own defense, don’t worry!)

Here are some pictures from the party:

the dress!Jaana had the most amazing dress. True princess style!




The party was held at restaurant Kitzens where we were first treated to a four course dinner.


After the main course the speeches started. First Jaana gave speeches to every one present and then we had the opportunity to tell her how much we appreciate her. At the end I don’t think there was one dry eye in the restaurant.



My former boss Osamu gave a really nice speech and here he is handing Jaana a sushi set so that she can continue eating Japanese food even after she leaves the group.

group picture

Group picture. Jaana is standing in between her current colleague Petra and the opponent.

After the dinner we joined the after party where more people were gathered.


picture perfect


Jaana got some gifts from both present and former colleagues. Among others, a stuffed fruit fly, to remind her of what she has been working on, and a cancer cell that could heal itself, in honor of her future work as a postdoc.



Congratulations Jaana and thank you for inviting me to your lovely party!

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How ladybirds fly.

mac/PC or…

Amazing kid

And just some really cute ceramics by Nathalie Choux.

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I’m in love with all the birthday presents I got.

I bought this tablecloth from Marimekko (now I just need to get some new curtains…) and I got the most beautiful of blankets from my bible group.

Aalto and a new sign for my bathroom.

And this song.

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Sometimes my boss gets a bit confused and thinks he’s got lots and lots of money. Then he goes and buys something like this. THE BIGGEST TOUCHSCREEN EVER!!!


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