All entries for September 2005
September 18, 2005
Last summer days in Finland are over and I have now moved to my lovely new house in the scary Coventry. In fact, Coventry is nowhere near as bad as its reputation, and so far Iíve been mainly positively surprised at the house.
Before my return to England I spent crazy days with my international friends Julia(England!) and Katrin(Germany!). Juliaís written her verdict on the Finnish smoke-sauna, muurinpohjalettu, howling wolves and much more on her blog: www.spaces.msn.com/members/agueda
Check it out, itís seriously funny!
Katrin visited me in Helsinki and we went to our holiday house to Joutsa as well. Of all the things including weird Finnish dishes and sauna and even bio-toilet Katrin was most shocked (and amused) at Finnish alkies. She got to see this interesting side of Finland when we did a day-trip to Estonia across the Baltic See. The ship was loaded with part-time alcoholics, who were thrilled to buy tax-free alcohol. In Estonia the situation didnít significantly improve, and probably half of the passengers spent the day pouring 80% Viru Valgee or similar down their throats. How surprising that Finns are known as _poro _(Finnish for reindeer) on the southern side of the bayÖ! Finns seriously resemble these arctic animals when standing, walking or crawling in the middle of the road with a confused look in their eyes. Apart from the fact that reindeer donít swear of course.
Having survived this alkie-populated ship and eastern suburbs of Tallinn, where everything was written in Russian(!), Katrin headed to Germany and I to England.
I arrived on Saturday the 10th at Birmingham, where Chris and Matt were already waiting for me! It was really nice to see them and we drove straight to Leamington Spa to their place. We went to Kenilworth Blockbusters where I used to work last year and my colleague generously let us rent 2 DVDs free. We had then Indian take-away. The best Indian food in Europe is definitely made in England. YUM!
I was trying to call my landlord to find out when I could pick up the key to my house. There are 3 of us living together, but I was the first one to arrive and therefore desperately needed to collect the key. Well, the landlord didnít come back to me, so Matt and Chris let me stay at their house over night. It was actually really convenient, because they had a spare bed(the German flatmate hadnít moved in yet. They concluded it must be because of excessive usage of German beer) and we watched the film Aviator. If you havenít seen it yet, donít touch it! If you have made it to the end, congratulations! Itís 3 and half hours long(read: way too long!) and I kept falling asleep when watching it.
On Sunday I finally moved into my new house!! When I left England in June I left most of my stuff at Helenís house in Kenilworth, so I had to collect that and then took a taxi with all my stuff in to Canley. The house is not huge but fair-size. Weíve got a kitchen and a lounge downstairs, and 3 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. Thereís a garden on each side of the house. And apparently we have to keep mowing the lawn, this is stated on the contract. Sophie already moved in on last Tuesday and Erikaís coming on this Tuesday.
The only problem we have noticed so far is the shower. Waterís dripping so slowly that feels like standing in the rain. I and Sophie decided we are going to do a lot of exercise this year and shower in the Sports Centre. I also have the boiler in my room now. First Sophie was living in this room but couldnít apparently sleep because of the noise from the boiler. Even now I can hear the cheerful rhythm from the boiler but itís luckily so quiet it didnít really disturb my sleep last night.
Surprisingly we haven't had any chavs, junkies, drunkies or any kind of dodgy people bombarding the house! I've only heard our neighbour sing a song I couldn't recognise and another one in the bathtub. Yes, the walls are so thin I can even follow their conversations and hear the water move! The reason I didn't know the song may be a gap in my music knowledge. Or more likely, because the artist wasn't perhaps fully qualified…
On Wednesday I traveled to north-England to Hartford to see Julia. The train station is right next to our house, so I didnít have to walk far. I was really lost the Coventry station and got on a train to Aberdeen, Scotland. In the end I made it to Hartford.
On Thursday we visited Chester. It was raining quite heavily but we got on a city tour bus(open-top) and Julia got really wet sitting next to a leaking window.
Chester is a really old town, it was once governed by the Romans and thereís still an old Roman amphitheatre in the town. However, the Roman houses had been destroyed and instead the centre was full of Tudor houses. They typically have black cross-patterns on the white background as decorations, and I always had thought this style is typically German! The houses of Chester hadnít been actually built in the Tudor era but a lot later in Victorian times. Then there was an interesting road system called ďThe RowsĒ. In this system you would have the roads in a way ďinside the houseĒ so the outer walls of the long houses were drawn back and the roads were covered with the ceiling of the house.
There were these roads in the ground and first floors. I guess, itís a type of an ancient shopping centre.
On Friday we went to a salt museum in Hartford. Thereís a big salt mine in Cheshire and a developed canal system they used for the transport. When they first started mining salt from below the town, it resulted in subsidence and the ground sunk. Nowadays the methods are better.
On Friday night there was a little ďleaving-for-the-uniĒ-party and we cooked curry for lots of people. On Saturday morning we set off for Warwick again and Juliaís parents brought us here.
The Orientation Week for the new international students will start tomorrow at Warwick and Iím volunteering as a Helper. 850 new students will arrive and there are 80 Helpers.
Should be an interesting and fun week!
The term starts on the 26th with a gene technology lab.