Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

I'm here to wish my dear readers happy holidays and such, but due to annoying technical restrictions (and even problems), it seems I'm not posting any photos at all... That said, I've already left my home for the holidays and have to rely on the devices available.

But I want to post a beautiful Christmas~y video anyway; a Finnish singer and songwriter Jarkko Ahola performing Ave Maria. Oh yes, it's a nice music video too. Ave Maria is not my favourite Christmas carol, but at least it's international although this is the Finnish version. However, Jarkko Ahola is certainly my first choice when it comes to Christmas carol performers! On the other hand I love to listen to him sing metal as well. :> (And cannot deny it: he's one of the hottest singers I know.)

And yeah, Europeans may have heard of him when his band Teräsbetoni represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest some years ago.

I'm slowly starting to celebrate Christmas, and I hope it's a good one for everyone. Spend some quality time with your loved ones – so have a very merry Christmas!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

If I had some wishes...

♫ Axxis, Lakonia – Take My Hand

Some people have posted some Christmas wishlists in their blogs, so well, I thought I could make one too. I'm not sure why, maybe in order to tell myself what I'm truly dreaming of, matter-wise... 

The thing is, I could say I'm not getting Christmas presents. Or maybe one or two, but it's not like I would be asking for anything. Then again, I'm only giving one or two presents too. This, because we have made an agreement with the family not to buy any presents. Our Christmas celebrations consist of food and peace (and some drinks) and more food... And it's completely alright. I cannot say I ever really needed everything I used to get. Well, fortunately most of the things I ever got were at least nice or useful. But still, most people don't really need so much matter. It was always a pain to come up with something for cousins and aunts, and parents of course... Not to mention my brother.

I barely get any presents for any other reason either, let alone without a reason, but I really don't mind. Giving presents is nice, but mostly just when you really find something the recipient will truly appreciate. But this said, whenever I want something special, I'll have to purchase it for myself.

Now that I'm making a wish list, I decided to include only such things that I could accommodate at the moment – only realistic wishes, excluding fancy furniture, ponies, pirate ships, climbing frames (yeah, for myself), puppies, TVs, gaming consoles and such things.

An Ikea shelf, one that could be attached to a wall. This goes hand in hand with my next wish, because I would need some extra surfaces near my desk. Ever since my hobbies started taking up a lot of space, I couldn't place any more pieces of furniture on the floor, so I have to climb higher. I would put this above my desk. The shelf is quite massive indeed, and I haven't decided whether I want the dark one or the grey brown – would have to see them live to decide which suits my current furniture color better.

Recently I figured life would be easier with a printer of my own. I've never had one. I would need to print occasional Important Documents and every now and then some graphic proofs, which means I would need a color printer. And I don't know, probably a laser one, since I'm afraid I wouldn't use an inkjet printer enough so that the ink cartridges wouldn't dry out... If you have a good printer, I'm willing to hear some recommendations! 

...a bottle of Kraken rum. Yeah, I have a thing for rum bottles, ones which are piratey in some way... And I've been drooling over the Kraken bottle for quite a while. Unfortunately, the product is not available in Finland, so I'm in trouble. Even though I'm a rum drinker, I'm not even so interested in the contents, just the fancy bottle design and the label! My rum bottle collection will never be complete without this one. :(

Of course I need to wish for something even more vain than a bottle of rum – a pair of shoes by Zign. The brand is from Berlin, maybe that's why I fancy these shoes? Who knows, maybe I'll consider...

So yeah dear Santa, you know I've been good, right? And one more thing, I wish I got a nice job. I wouldn't even have been this lazy if I had one. So yeah, dear Santa, I've been a very good girl, rrrright?

All images © their respective brands

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Playing a housewife on independence day

♫ Freedom Call – Hymn To The Brave

Happy independence day to my Finnish readers! Do you have any independence day traditions? I barely do these days. A few hours ago I heard some heavy rumbling – I suppose it was an independence day firework display or something. I live very close to the central marketplace where it probably was, but my windows are in the wrong direction! The sad thing is, I can see how the people in the opposite building appear near their windows as they can see fireworks from their homes.

If I had to see something positive about my unemployment, it would be the fact that I have been baking and cooking much more than I used to while I was still working. I've been baking the bread I eat by myself – and I gotta say, I've become rather deft at that! And when it comes to cooking – well, we all know that it's much cheaper to cook by yourself as much as possible rather than purchase convenience food or something like that. I have hated cooking ever since I worked in a restaurant at around 18, but now that I've been doing it more, it has become a bit less troublesome – maybe because I've discovered such recipes which are easy and tasty, and mostly very cheap too! And another important thing is that I can make a bigger portion at one go and eat the same for a few days then – I can easily do that, I don't need something different every day.

I ran out of bread yesterday when someone hungry came to empty my stocks (but it doesn't matter, it's just so nice if he finds my baked goods so tasty! :>). There are some fresh onion rolls on the left, which is the type of bread I always tend to bake – onion gives a nice flavor if you just like it to begin with. But then, since I had some extra baking energy, I decided to make some nice cinnamon buns as well.

The buns, however, are vegan. Well, I am not – there's no reason why I couldn't bake with milk and eggs, but it just isn't necessary. And in order to make vegan buns you don't really have to get soy milk or something. And now, even though this is not a food blog, I'm going to share an easy yet tasty cinnamon bun recipe with you! Enjoy!

Cinnamon buns (vegan)
½ liter of water (of course you can use milk or even cream if you want, or soy milk, whatever)
50 g yeast
2 tsp (2 x 5 ml) salt
1½–2 dl sugar
1–3 tbsp (1–3 x 15 ml) cardamom
about 12–15 dl wheat flour (OR replace 2–3 dl of flour with oatmeal / rolled oats like I do)
200 g cooking fat: choose some vegetable baking fat, fluid or solid, doesn't matter: it just should be relatively soft when added to the dough, and preferably held in room temperature for a while.
100 g cooking fat
2 dl soft brown sugar
on top:
coarse grain sugar

Take a large bowl and mix warm water and yeast (the water temperature depends on whether you use fresh or dry yeast), add salt, sugar and cardamom. (You can add some imitation vanilla too.) Add the flour (and the oats if you decide to use some) and knead roughly. Add the soft butter / cooking fat (and continue kneading). Let the dough rise in a warm place for half an hour. (If you don't know a place warm enough: put some hot water in a sink and let the bowl float there, covered with a baking cloth.)

Divide the dough in two and roll it out in the shape of a rectangle. Spread some butter / cooking fat on the dough plate, add some soft brown sugar and cinnamon. And then wrap it up! (In the direction of the short side of the rectangle, so that you have a looong roll.) Then you have to cut the roll into buns; you can cut straight slices or trapezoids, depending on what kind of buns you want to make. Then assemble them on a baking sheet and add some coarse grain sugar on top of them! If you want, you may want to spread something on them before decoration, that'll make the sugar grains stick better. The traditional way is to spread some egg (beaten) on them, it gives them a nice color too, but since this was supposed to be a vegan recipe (because I had no eggs), I merely spread some water (with a baking brush) on them. You can use various things or nothing if you please: milk, fat, soy milk, syrup, coffee, sugared water... I haven't tried any of those options by myself, though!

Finally, bake at 225°C for some 10~12 minutes. And then, omnom~!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Winter is coming

♫ Sabaton – White Death

...hello there? It's been only a bit more than a month, but damn, I feel lazy. Either it is the lack of quality content or the lack of updates to begin with which is costing me some readers, but well, I'm happy of every single reader I still have, those who are still interested in the stuff I write (if I write!). Thank you!

Hey winter, you may come now.

Some of you can probably remember how I wrote about winter coats (for Sophistiqué Noir's theme posts) a year ago. Well, I never found a winter coat back then, and I got a bit desperate this autumn. Last week I ended up doing something radical: I ordered a coat from UK, hoping to get something decent. (No offence, dear Brits, but I just thought your view on a "warm winter coat" might be different from a Finn's.) Coldness and winter hit us on Friday, and my coat arrived promptly on the very same day. It was delivered very quickly!

I think I haven't posted many (if any) outfit photos ever since I had to rearrange furniture in my apartment. Even though the background is alright here now that I can no longer take the photos in front of my red curtain, it's more difficult (or simply annoying) to arrange the camera and tripod properly. Not to mention the extremely long and loose wire...

The coat turned out to be alright in practice. I was a bit afraid it would be cold since it is very thin to the touch (you see, there's fake fur trim only around the hood), but I have already tested it and been doing fine so far. It's not a perfect option when it comes to style, but I am too picky to find something perfect – I would have to make one by myself, and that's... way too much to ask. The coat also has twelve very annoying buttons which are a pain to button up (and unbutton). Also, the size XS feels huge on me. I almost ordered the size S instead, fortunately I did not, that really is a bit too spacious to my liking already.

The quality of the coat is surprisingly nice though, considering the brand is Hell Bunny, and their quality varies a lot. I'm still surprised I managed to find a relatively nice coat in their collection, but cannot complain.

I also purchased something very, very exceptional for me – PVC hotpants. I've usually tried to avoid PVC since it is not a very eco-friendly material, but I kinda found some use for a pair, so...

Besides, these were very cheap (and yes, they are new), cost me less than 10 euros with the delivery. The hotpants look good in their own right, my bottom when wearing them does not. :(

Shiny, shiny PVC...

Otherwise... I am not even sure what has kept me away from blogging. I am lazy to take photos of myself. In fact, I hate doing it, it always takes so many failures to get one successful shot. Blogging is also quite a lonely hobby for me (at least when it comes to my personal blog) since I don't really have anyone I could ask to take photos of me. Or well, I do have, I just don't expect them to have the patience, or be interested at all. Those friends who might enjoy it live too far away these days.

Besides, I haven't been shopping that much lately, and if I ever dress up fancy, those outfits are simply just repeating themselves. It's nothing worth showing to you again and again. Personally, I have realized that I like the relatively similar outfits I wear whenever I'm partying. The differences between those outfits are quite subtle, maybe a different skirt in the same colour, but still the same corset and such... But I'm only happy when I've found outfits which make me feel nice and comfortable but also good-looking, hopefully at least.

And then... Well, I am still unemployed. Or even more so than I was at the end of summer and in the autumn. At the end of November, my contract ended for good. I was permanently laid off because the company simply couldn't afford taking me back anymore. Even though I've successfully made my way to many many job interviews, I've so far mostly ended up being the second or third best option. Recently, I have been seriously thinking of freelancing. Especially since several quarters have been particularly interested in my work, but they couldn't permanently hire me. It's flattering and nice to be contacted first when it comes to work, it prevents me from falling into the depression of being a total loser, but it won't yet pay me anything. Still I wish I could find a nice, steady job soon enough.

P.S: And still, if you're into metal music, go see our blog 23.58! We went to see Sabaton recently, so there's a gig report up now!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Socks to be me // Monthly theme post

Woah, Sophistiqué Noir threw a very interesting blogging challenge this time, and I barely even had the time to do anything! In the past I may have put quite a lot of effort into these theme posts, this time I took a few photos quickly as I have to concentrate on another design project again. And that's too bad, since the theme, hosiery, is quite close to my heart!

Since I only wear pants when exercising, I have quite a collection of hosiery. I don't wear fancy stuff daily because I'm good at ripping delicate stockings and tights, not to mention that I just bought several pairs of thick and warm tights for the winter... Instead, summer months are a real golden age to me since I get to wear short skirts and provocative stockings. That's probably the cornerstone of my style to begin with!

Because I really don't have so much time to spend on this post, I'm only showing off a few of my most favourite pieces or ways to wear hosiery. And they will be accompanied by some lyrics by Emilie Autumn, who is certainly quite a stocking idol for me (yet still I have never mimed her style...).

 I admit it; I'm not a very decent girl. My absolute number #1 trademark and cornerstone of my style in summertime is wearing certain overknee socks and a garter belt, with a short skirt so that they show. (Some evidence shows that I've been doing this ever since I was seventeen.) Although I own many socks and a few garter belts, I have certain favourite ones to be paired like this. It's comfortable for me, and good-looking. It's cool enough, yet covers the bruises I have. :D And I know; it looks either damn good or damn tasteless. I'm all for the first option. I may pair them with such casual clothes that I may not look particularly slutty. However, I know I can highlight the best part of my body by wearing those, a short skirt and high heels. Then my legs seem long, and people ignore all the flaws I have.

Very long socks with round holes all the way up! These are funny and quite eye-catching as well. (It was damn difficult to stand on my shoulders and take a photo though.)

Last but not least, some simple socks with vertical stripes. Long ago I was one of those who liked stockings with horizontal stripes, then I got a feeling they make my legs seem shorter. And well, not longer at least for sure. Vertical stripes are classy and quite easy to pair with some different patterns.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes

Today was the Thrill the World day! You know, the worldwide event where people dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller, dressed up as zombies, trying to break world records. Since the event was held here, I actually considered joining the dance, but I was simply too lazy to practice the routine. I watched one video tutorial and was like "d'oh", but seriously, I can only blame my laziness. If I had tried, I would have learnt it quickly, I do know I'm quick to learn things like dance routines and such by heart.

However, I went to see the show! I had considered taking a good camera with me, but got second thoughts because of the early winter and extremely slippery roads! I mean, SERIOUSLY, I was afraid I'd come crashing down to the street if I had had an expensive camera hanging around my neck or even in my bag (taking a cushioned camera bag would have been too much). (And I don't have safe shoes! Even warboots (or ESPECIALLY those) fail me!) And as a side note I can say, I really hope the whole winter won't be like that. :| My home street is particularly awful with sloping sidewalks.

Took some lousy photos with my phone anyway. :D After the dance some man behind me in the audience asked why I wasn't dancing, and I really began to wonder if it was a random question to a random stranger or if he thought I looked like one of them. He even asked if I was going to their afterparty... well, no? I wasn't exactly dressed up for Halloween, though my makeup was like this:

I've showed a bunch of makeup photos like this (at least I think so) but what was at least semi-exceptional tonight was the way I applied pink eyeshadow around my eyes, so on bottom lids as well. Perhaps I looked like a zombie when I was freezing out there... :0 So long!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Case of the Syphilitic Sister

Do you still remember when I wrote a review of The New Death and others? The author of that collection, James Hutchings, is working on another project – a detective / superhero story set in the 1930's. The first chapter of The Case of the Syphilitic Sister is available at JukePop Serials, with more chapters to come.

I can recommend this especially if you read and enjoyed The New Death and others, but you might also want to check it out if crimes and superheroes fascinate you. Take a look at the tag list at the beginning of the chapter! I really like the wit and the humor and am looking forward to read more.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Of hope and hopelessness

♫ Iron Maiden – Ghost Of The Navigator

Oh hi... I'm still alive. Life's been busy and stressful. With some good moments and sad moments. I can start with the worst news and leave the best for last.

My grandmother passed away. She was my last grandparent alive and probably the closest too since she was always living so near. The funeral was on Friday, it was quite a beautiful and warm yet naturally sad event. She will be missed for sure, but she was 87.

I've been down with a flu too, probably fell ill again within such a short period of time because of all the stress. Being laid-off is tough, but I've been looking for work and I've been to many job interviews. :0 It's been motivating at least – making my way to the top three most potential applicants out of two hundred has helped me believe in myself a bit more. Or to be precise: the first two jobs I applied for right after my unemployment period began didn't result in job interview invitations, but after those... I've been invited to interviews for every position I've applied for. Sure, I've already been rejected after interviews for being "too competent", but I don't care. I'm still waiting, feeling nervous and hopeful and desperate at the same time, but at least I know all the interviews have gone well and I've done my best, if someone still is just a bit better, then... that's how it is.

Yesterday was also my birthday! I like being born on 13th since it's sometimes Friday, though Saturday is also good for practical reasons. We went out for dinner and a few (or a few more) drinks and had a great time. I shall post a photo, you can also see my new hair which I had redone last Tuesday at a hairdresser's.

...well it's not my fault you cannot see my delicious portion, but on the other hand the quality of the photo isn't so breathtaking to begin with, and I blame it on the phone and its flashlight. Anyways, so long, it's about the time I do something useful today!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Time stands still

♫ Heavy Metal Perse – Heavy Metal Perse

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to present my best flea market find EVER.

Coasters. Beer mats. Absolutely lovely! Six coasters and a stand, all for 4 €! Perfect for me.

Pocket watches. Wood, metal, cork. Signs of use. Perfect!

Right now I cannot think of anything better to host my glasses of Captain Morgan. Perfect!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Minutely Metal

♫ Battle Beast – Enter The Metal World

We started a new collaboration blog: 23.58 – Minutely Metal.

Mostly metal news, reviews, gig reports and stuff like that, occasionally maybe something else as well. We're not too strict. The blog's in English, so metalheads from all over the world may enjoy it!

I will still keep posting about music in this blog as well, my style here is quite different after all. But you're welcome aboard another ship as well!

P.S: A piece of metal news here, related to the song I was listening to: Nitte has left Battle Beast. For a while I was shocked, but the new vocalist doesn't sound so bad after all.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning

♫ Voyager – Times Like These

Well, everything happened quite fast, I went shopping on Ebay... Then one day maybe a week later a courier came rapping at my chamber door and brought these beautiful posters. Consequently, I went frame-shopping, which was slightly more difficult since our default frames are not really made to fit (supposedly) standard poster sizes measured in inches. Although I do find smaller top and bottom margins slightly awkward, it was the best compromise.

You can admire my furnishing solutions. :> No, not really. I'm not too fond of my bed, let alone the cover blanket. I would own a nightstand, but there are... reasons which prevent me from placing it next to my bed, which results in awkward piles of random stuff next to my bed – the modem for example, just because the only socket for it is right there.

The reason for these solutions is right in the foreground. The reason why I had to take the photo from this angle is the fact that the glass of the frames reflects quite a lot, which is probably very natural, of course a bit frustrating too. In many lighting conditions the darker poster is just a solid black box. :E

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Revamping sanity again

♫ Vroudenspil – Lebenselexier

I started a blog layout renewal project again, this time with the intention of making it very, very simple. I wanted something which would draw the attention to the blog posts and photos. I figured I would rather make individual posts seem as fancy as possible with high quality photos instead of the layout because, well, the content is what matters.

This project is probably not complete, I may still create some sort of a simple background image. Some of you may wonder if I've ever had one – well yes, I have, but Blogger has occasionally refused to display it.

I'm frustrated now. First: I hate WYSIWYG-editors with a passion. In the end I couldn't even use it. Then, I just hate this whole system with a passion. Especially this text editor. Hey come on, you cannot seriously style the text or image elements within the html tags. Seriously.

I have a friendly message to the Blogger developers, but since it's not particularly civilized, I will only write it in Finnish. It's the best way to express how I feel at the moment. And those of you who didn't understand – I assure you, you don't need to.
"Nyt vittu oikeesti."

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Consuming Poe

♫ Axxis – Lady Moon

About the time I write about something else but Berlin. :> Now it's all about Edgar Allan Poe, games and movies. Or maybe not in plural, but anyway. No need to be afraid of spoilers, there won't be any.

Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy

During the Steam Summer Sale I purchased a Midnight Mysteries game bundle which comprised four games of the series. The reasons why I bought it were simple: The first game was called "The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy" and the price was very... small.

All those Midnight Mysteries games are puzzles, consisting mostly of hidden object search. Not solely, but mostly – the Poe game has less variety in its puzzles than the rest of the games. It's obvious it's older: it was more frustrating, simpler with its game mechanics... It lacked achievements and bonus content. But yeah, it was about Poe!

To cut a long story short, in the game you're trying to solve the mystery behind Poe's death by collecting clues. You see these scenes with multiple strange items scattered around, and you're supposed to pick up the ones the game is asking you to. This may sound easy, but it's damn difficult! The game art is very beautiful and detailed, and thus, the hidden objects don't really stand out from the background. Of course it would be too easy if they did, but... While this is the whole point of the game, it is also its weakness.

I may be a particularly impatient person, but honestly, I cannot say those puzzles would remain motivating and fun after you've seen a few. And they go on, and on, and on, for the whole duration of the game. I completed it, and my Steam clock says I've spent 5 hours playing the first game. I know it took me less to complete it because I just spent quite a while doing the puzzles again in order to get some screenshots.

Of course you will get to see some cut-scenes, something fancy every now and then (like talking to Poe's ghost). However, the game is carried on by looking for objects again and again. And they are not always even related to the mission in any way: it's quite unnecessary to find an apple next to Poe's tombstone. You just have to do it for the sake of, well, searching.

My efforts were rewarded with some pirates, which made the game worth continuing for me. Edgar Allan Poe and pirates, I can manage with a few annoying puzzles... But I wouldn't wonder if most people couldn't.

I've completed the second game of the series, Salem Witch Trials, and am now crawling through the third one, Devil on the Mississippi. Salem Witch Trials is about Nathaniel Hawthorne while Devil on the Mississippi  revolves around Mark Twain. The fourth one, which I haven't even started yet, Haunted Houdini, is surprisingly about the famous illusionist Harry Houdini.

And would I recommend these games? Well, it depends. I would recommend those to the fans of the respective principal characters, but only if they have the patience the games require. I barely do. However, the second and the third one have been more interesting to play than the first game since they do have a bit more to them, yet still the majority of gameplay is all about hidden objects. However, even though the game art is beautiful and the sounds rather nice and atmospheric as well, I don't think the game is worth its Steam price. If you want to try it, wait for some nice discount!

The Raven

Onto better things then! Some time ago I finally got to see The Raven as well – the movie I already hyped in the past. Ah, the long wait was over... I didn't even bother to find out how violent the movie would be – the R rating is too vague for me, in Finland movies get an age limit of 16 or 18 depending on how much gore there is. I tend to avoid those with the rating of 18 since I'm not a friend of extreme gore... But well, The Raven wasn't too extreme for me. :> I almost got worried at some point, though.

The plot in brief: strange and cruel murders begin to occur in Baltimore, being suspiciously similar to Poe's stories. Being expert enough to help a professional detective in the case, Poe joins forces with him in order to find the culprit.

It seemed the movie was easier to follow for an avid Poe fan than an average viewer. I didn't probably notice it since the references were familiar, but perhaps I did pay some attention to how vague the movie managed to be. Hardly anything was thoroughly introduced, but I don't think it's too bad. It left the movie seeming slightly superficial, and if you're looking forward to a murder mystery which will keep you engaged for the whole duration of the movie, making you solve the mystery on your own as well, The Raven isn't probably the type.

John Cusack's interpretation of Poe was interesting. Many people seemed to be sceptical beforehand, and many seemed to be disappointed after seeing the movie. I don't think it was that bad at all. He wasn't so poor, although the result was probably not quite what I would have imagined Poe to be like. But I'm not so strict, it's refreshing to see different ways to portray a miserable writer.

Visually, the film was beautiful and interesting. The plot wasn't strong or well-developed, but entertaining enough. I wasn't disappointed, but not awestruck either. The movie was good, but not magnificent. I would certainly recommend it to Poe fans. It may not provide wannabe detectives with enough food for thought, but at least one fangirl liked it.

P.S: We thought Cusack looked like Tony Kakko every now and then.
P.P.S: Now I'm dying to get some posters of The Raven on my walls because they are so beautiful. I've found some online, but can anyone recommend a good movie poster store online, preferably in Europe, with reasonable shipping costs?

Friday, 31 August 2012

Summer in Berlin, it's alright PART V

♫ Freedom Call – We Are One

I think this may be the final Berlin post – well, unless my babbling becomes so uncontrollable that I had better make another post for it. So be prepared to read something inconsistent, I suppose the only properly introduced tourist tip will be...

East Side Gallery
There is not much left of the Berlin Wall, but East Side Gallery is a spot with 1.3 kilometers of the original wall. The eastern side of the wall was decorated by artists from all over the world in 1990, and it is sort of a memorial for freedom. Most of the paintings are more or less political, many of them referring to the wall itself. And the other side of the wall, basically the no-man's-land part, is full of traditional graffiti. :>

The gallery is located near the River Spree, on Mühlenstraße, near Ostbahnhof train station. Besides the art and the original wall, there's not much else to see on the spot. However, the mere wall would have been enough for me, I'm somehow so fascinated by it.

The graffiti side of the wall, as well as the first photo.

A cute graffiti.

Graffiti side, but damn – if this was authentic, it would be very impressive.

The gallery side

Okay, that was it for the East Side Gallery. I shall... talk about how I liked Berlin. Hopefully I can keep it short. In brief: I really fell in love with Berlin. Many big cities may fascinate me, but Berlin was just as awesome as I had expected it to be. And well, I don't like just any big city. I don't like Helsinki at all, although it is the biggest city in Finland (apologies to you who live there; I cannot quite explain why I don't like it).

A piece of wall near Potsdamer Platz

Berlin felt like home instantly. It was so strange, but not alienating at all. It was so easy to move there, so easy to find whatever you were looking for (except for good and cheap record stores, oh well). While some people say Berlin isn't beautiful, I would say it's interesting. There are beautiful buildings and ugly buildings, but it's much more interesting than a city with merely neutral architecture.

At Tiergarten train station

And I don't really speak German, I've forgotten everything I studied in two years in elementary school. :( I wish I hadn't though, I have learnt to like the language later on. But you can manage with English. And I felt very secure in Berlin. Seriously, I would dare to go there all alone and move about and trust that nothing too bad would happen and I wouldn't get too badly lost either.


And now, in this situation, Berlin may seem more like a safe haven to me. I want to go back, I want to experience it again in a different way (probably in a more laid-back way this time; we were pretty much running from one place to another, though I liked it too, but didn't have much time to sit still and wonder, enjoy and feel...). I want to return to those moments when I felt that my dream had come true. Those moments when I felt so very happy. And then, like I already told you, on the day of my return I got to hear I would be temporarily laid off of work. And here I am still, looking for work, getting depressed without a single invitation to a job interview, feeling anything but confident about myself, feeling frustrated when days go by and I don't feel that I've accomplished anything. Then I just dream of Berlin, dream of the vacation I had, and occasionally even think of moving there – why, I don't know. I still don't speak German and I don't know what I could do in Berlin or how I could make a living over there when it doesn't seem to succeed in Finland either. It just gives me a feeling of so much better a place than, well, this.

Potsdamer Platz

However, at the end of the vacation I was happy to go home. My feet were so extremely sore that I couldn't have survived another day exploring the city, no matter how much I would have wanted. Each step hurt, but what was even worse was standing still. I had had two pairs of flats which I mostly wore there. While one pair was so soft that they couldn't possibly rub the feet uncomfortably, the other pair wasn't so nice on feet to begin with. The worst thing though was having such thin shoe soles. The shoes provided my feet with about just as much protection as walking the streets of Berlin barefoot would have. That left my foot bones sore after each long day spent mostly on our feet, and a short night spent resting didn't let them recover. Eventually I woke up to each morning with aching feet, and it took me several days to recover afterwards. Lesson learnt: good shoes do have thick soles for a reason.

A bridge across Spree near Schloss Bellevue

A detail in a work of art near Europa Center

I have yet to show what I actually purchased in Berlin, although I already showed a photo of the stuff I bought at Brandenburger Tor. Very well – we didn't really have much time to go shopping, but it's alright. I might have wanted to find some clothes or shoes, but maybe next time. I did end up trying some in one clothes store, being so much in awe by the fact they had size 32. In the end none of the fitting clothes pleased my eyes, and the only ones that did were a pair of, should I say, denim hotpants, which were just a bit too tight. Sucks.

I got a German flag, because I kinda like to own such to remind me of where I've been (not that I'd ever buy another one if I visited Germany again). Funnily enough, I don't own the flags of most countries I've visited... I wanted to buy two postcards with DDR related messages. At the TV tower I bought a tote bag which is quite a perfect carrier for my training gear. Yellow was quite an exceptional color choice for me, but the other option was green. I would have bought a T-shirt with that print if they had had my size! Then I got a small Hard Rock Cafe Berlin goblet, to remind me I've visited that place too, hahah. I had wished I could find a record store selling good and cheap German metal records, but that was too much to ask. I'd thought they'd have a lot of discounts for (a few years) old domestic CDs, but nah. :/ The only CD I bought was Powerwolf's Lupus Dei, not a bad find though. Finally, I found a pair of fancy fishnet tights for 4.99€ (and as a Finn I got dumbfounded when the clerk gave me one cent in exchange for my five euro bill).

Oh but I'm a Finn and I visited Germany? Must bring home some booze... This may make me seem like an alcoholic or something, which I certainly am not, but oh... Captain Morgan. I just had to get bottles which aren't available in Finland! The most important thing for me to find was a bottle of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold, which wasn't available in Finland until... I don't know? During the trip I still thought there was none available here, but a few days ago I found out 0.5 liter bottles are sold here as well – but as far as I know, they haven't been available for long. I'm not sure if it is good or bad news for me – I happened to fell in love with Original Spiced Gold and if it's too easy for me to get my hands on it, then... Seriously! It smells like candy and tastes like candy! And yes, on its own. The Black Label bottle was my tax free purchase, probably for the sake of getting a one-liter bottle to my piratey collection of, err, Captain Morgan containers. And the can with a mix of Captain&Cola was an awesome find – why don't they have such mixes in cans in Finland, especially not in grocery stores? Oh yeah, our alcohol policies are so strict. :( When some people cannot use it in a wise way, those who do (like me, believe it or not, see what I said here) get to suffer as well.

Okay, the end of my Berlin series is drawing near. I hope you enjoyed reading the stories – and thank you all who did! If you want to ask something about the city, I'd happily try to answer. So long!
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