Author: nordicfaro

What is up after half a year in Finland

After 6 months in Finland I’ve been through a lot of new experiences:

  • Language, OMG, what a fight every day to remember some of the simple basics. And one of the things that doesn’t help is all the people in Helsinki speak understandable English.
  • Small talks, yes! basically it’s about the weather, – winter is gone, it was not even winter- (HAHAHA I almost couldn’t survive this last season) ; -Such a nice weather today, is sunny- ( 7º , it is sunny, but DAMN that still cold).
  • IMPRESSED by the buses or meeting punctuality, this is like Swiss watches. Half of my life I have been living in Tenerife, where the time perception is pretty much different. And punctuality, idk if there is even a definition for that in their dictionary.
  • QUALITY of wines, here they have some sort of people who try all the alcoholic drinks that are sold in their stores (well, the only store that sells wines and stuff). It means that you’ll never buy a distasteful wine. Of course there is a price, and most common situation is that the cheapest/inexpensive bottle of wine costs 10€.
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  • MYSTERIOUS gap between what people think of Finnish people and what they really are. Even I’m still very rocky on Finnish society and ways of getting to know people. So far, I have had some clicks with them. Most common scenario, I started a conversation a bit afraid of being rejected for some kind of previous knowledge of Finnish stereotype (reserved, non-talkative). However, what you really find when you try with a Finnish is slow but really nice conversation which can develop into deep thoughts and polite argumentation.
  • Kids playgrounds are usually full of toys who they themselves leave there, and all other kids can play with those.
  • SAUNA & ICE SWIMMING. During the winter, I was able to go to avanto (a hole in the ice in which you can go swimming) in Vaasa where people go to sea water and then to sauna. Translated into other words, they go to the ice and then to the hot. This phenomena is practiced for adult people in general but also for a lot of young and even kids. This is very healthy (even though it doesn’t seem like it) and it has a lot a benefits. Practitioners of such adventure define it as an amazing hobby. The real sessions consist in going to the water at least 3 times, which means: cold water (5 degrees if you’re lucky), sauna (80 degrees, if you don’t have a classic old man who never stops throwing water to the rocks), cold water, sauna, cold water, and sauna. I have to admit that at the beginning it sounds irrational and senseless, all of this of going to ice swimming and the to very hot sauna. But then, eventually, I reached to love it, and today in the middle of the summer I confess I miss it. /PRO TIP: it is better to leave after cold water, but it should be very fast, i mean just wash your body and leave/

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There are more experiences, and I will let you know as soon as next post comes up.

– David

Love and language

A lot of people have been commenting or asking about the language thing, especially in the beginning of our relationship. I have heard people say that they could never be with a person who doesn’t have the same mother tongue as them. And I get that. It is a big thing, and I have also had my doubts about it.

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Aquí y ahora, Tenerife

I would say that for us both our own language is extremely important, and we’re both really good with our mother tongues. Maybe for me speaking English comes a bit easier, but David’s English has developed so much throughout the time that we’ve known each other, and I’m super proud of him. And in general, coming from Spain versus coming from Finland really gives you kind of different basis with any foreign language.

Being in this relationship has definitely made me more practical with English: I don’t care anymore about using fancy words or aim at perfecting my accent, the important thing is being understood. Nowadays I mostly choose the most functional word (though I’ve never really been the person using inexpensive instead of cheap). I’d also say that my accent has become more Finnish: for example sometimes my r’s are more distinctive.

At the moment I would say that we don’t really struggle with our communication. Of course sometimes when you’re hungry and tired it might be frustrating to try to remember the word for that thing that you can’t even remember in Finnish right now and arghhhhhh!!!

But then again, when you’re hungry and tired, tell me something that isn’t frustrating. (“Hangry” seems to be my state quite often….)

A real pro side of the situation is that when you don’t speak your mother tongue, you have to think about what you’re going to say a bit more carefully. And at least for me it also helps with making sense of my own feelings and emotions and thoughts in general.

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In der Liebe ist Alles, Vienna

One thing that is good is that our common language, English, is not the own language of either of us. Maybe I’m wrong, but maybe in that case, when only one person would be playing in the home field and the other one would always be the guest, it would sometimes be a bit unequal in a way. (If you are in a relationship like that, please do leave a comment and let me know how you feel:-))

I would really like to know David in Spanish, because he is so great with that language. The little that I understand from when he’s properly speaking it, is wonderful. One day! I also hope that one day he will get to know me in Finnish. Also it would be nice that he would for example be able to read my articles and texts and give his opinions about them.

I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I feel a bit blue about the concern of never going to be able to have a conversation with the language I love the most with the person I love the most, but then I just have to have faith in David’s diligence with Finnish. Maybe it’s not even about the having a conversation part, but playing with the language part that I miss the most. But in here I think it’s important to prioritize things in life.

A really important thing is that we are both studying each other’s languages. I personally have no other choice, because otherwise I can’t communicate with David’s family. And I do feel like I’m progressing quite fast. During the spring I was also taking a course at school, and that was really helping especially with the grammar part.

David was attending a Finnish level one course, and he was working hard with it. I’m really happy about that. It’s also important in that way that without Finnish it’s quite challenging to find jobs in here.

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Love is the answer man! Tallinn

Of course there is sometimes a feeling, a fear: “what if we don’t actually understand each other?” But maybe that is a general fear among humans, the fear of nobody truly understanding you, being all alone. A bit more concrete worry is that if there are some misunderstandings, what if they go unnoticed and will cause trouble or hurt feelings? And yet again, I really think that this same worry or risk is present in same-language relationships as well.

Yet another thing is how the language barrier affects not just our relationship but a lot of people around us. But I think that would deserve a post of its own…

Summa summarum: sometimes it’s difficult, most of the time it’s not, and it’s definitely worth it.

– Tia


 

Amor y Lenguaje

Un montón de gente ha comentado o preguntado como llevamos eso del lenguage, especialmente al principio de nuestro relación. He escuchado gente que nunca podrían estar con alguien que no tenga la misma lengua que ellos. Lo entiendo. Es complicado, y yo también tenía dudas al respecto.

Podría decir que para ambos nuestro propio lenguaje es extremadamente importante, y los dos somos muy buenos en nuestras lenguas maternas. Tal vez para mi hablar inglés es fácil, pero el inglés de David ha mejorado mucho desde que nos conocimos hasta ahora, estoy muy orgullosa de él (yo también). Y en general, venir de España contra venir de Finlandia realmente te da diferentes bases en cualquier lenguaje.

Estar en esta relación  me ha hecho mas practica con el inglés: no me importa si usar palabras sofisticadas o perfeccionar mi acento, lo importante es ser comprendida. Ahora utilizo palabras mas funcionales. Podría también decir que mi acento es mas finlandes, por ejemplo: las R’s son distintivas.

En estos momentos voy a decir que no tenemos problemas con nuestra comunicación. Por supuesto cuando estas cansado o hambriento puedes agobiarte tratando de acordarte de esa palabra que ni siquiera te sale en tu propia lengua ahora mismo y… ARGHHH!!!

Pero entonces, cuando estar cansado y hambriento, dime algo que no sea una frustración.

El verdadero lado positivo de la situación es que cuando no hablas tu propia lengua, tienes que pensar acerca de lo que vas a decir con mas cuidado. Y así, al menos para mi esto ayuda dando sentido a nuestras emociones y sentimiento y pensamientos en general.

Nuestra lengua común es el inglés, que no es el propio idioma de ninguno de los dos. Tal vez estoy equivocada, pero quizás en este caso, cuando una de las personas juega en casa y la otra es visitante, podría llegar a haber un desequilibrio. (Si estas en una relación así, por favor deja un comentario y déjame saber como te sientes :-))

Me encantaría conocer a David en español, porque él es un genio con su lenguaje (el amor es ciego, y sordo). Lo poco que entiendo cuando él habla propiamente, es maravilloso ¡ algún día! Yo también espero que algún día él me pueda conocer a mi en finlandes. Sería muy lindo que él pudiera leer por ejemplo mis artículos  y darme su opinión sobre ellos.

No te voy a mentir. A veces te embajona saber que nunca va a ser posible tener una conversación con el lenguaje que amo con la persona que amo,  por otra parte tengo mucha fe en el aprendizaje del finés de David.  Capaz no es ni siquiera el hecho de tener una conversación, sino mas bien el poder jugar con el lenguaje es lo que mas extraño. Sin embargo, aquí otra vez  creo que es mas importante saber que priorizar.

Algo realmente importante es que ambos estamos estudiando el idioma del otro. Personalmente no tengo otra opción, porque de otra forma no podría comunicarme con la familia de David. Ahora estoy en un curso en la universidad y siento que mi progreso es muy bueno y rápido, especialmente en la parte gramática.

David esta yendo a un curso de finlandes nivel 1, y se esta dejando la piel ahí. Estoy realmente contenta por eso. Es también importante destacar que es re complicado conseguir laburo sin finlandes.

Claro, esta ese sentimiento, miedo: “¿y si en verdad no nos entendemos el uno al otro?”. Igual, capaz es un miedo general de todos los humanos, el miedo de que nadie te entenderá de verdad. Una preocupación un poco mas concreta es ¿y si hay malentendidos que pasamos por alto, sin ser notados y causan problemas o hacen daño? Otra vez, siento que este problema también esta prensente en las relaciones que comparten el mismo lenguaje.

Summa summarum: aveces es difícil, mayormente no. Definitivamente vale la pena.

– Tia

We Are Back

We had a wonderful holiday in Slovenia and Austria, but now we are back in business with loads of sunshine in our pockets! Bring it on, Finland. We celebrated vappu, 1st May, in a traditional wintery atmosphere.

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We visited multiple museums, but Belvedere with the marvelous Klimt masterpieces was unforgettable.

More about the vacay soon!

x

Last days in Vaasa – Chau first chapter

12.4.2017

Last days here, naked walls, empty cupboard and fridge, and a lot of space start to develop nostalgia even when we haven’t left. I miss it and we haven’t left.

This is always gonna be our first house, just Tia and me. Somehow it has a strong and gigantic emotional value. It has been a really good battle for our relationship to live during winter in such small summer city.  We really have worked out our muscle of communication and resistant of patience.

I mean that because our studio is/was like 30 m2: bathroom and one room: kitchen, living room, bedroom. More than once one of us has felt suffocated by the smell of cooking food. Or saturated by the fact that you can’t leave the room after a discussion. But still, this didn’t make any wound that didn’t heal and all of the scar has made us stronger and compatible, and over all of this, the ministrawberry on the strawberry on the cake is that we have now high levels of understanding and tolerance.

There are people I would like dedicate this post and give special thanks for helping us:

Special thanks to Aino who has shared her furniture and kitchen tools so we could have human conditions to live in.

Jari and Eeva for all the support and advice and positive energy.

To my sister Carla who came here to see us and push me forward when I was feeling a bit defeated.

To Bea and Juhana came and helped Tia a lot with packing and moving most of the stuff to Helsinki.

The first chapter of Noric Faro

—> Second: Helsinki and Slovenia-Vienna Trip

– David

Feel the Connection – Šumik

It was a springy day last April when Nejc took us to Šumik. He had been talking a lot about this amazing, fairytale-like place with waterfalls hidden in the mountains, and oh boy it truly was amazing. I think that this trip was one of the most unique things we did in Maribor.

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We were driving up, up, up the side of the mountain. The road was really narrow, and when at one point there was a truck coming down, we needed to reverse until there was a spot so wide it could get past.

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The place is so high, that the spring hadn’t really reached it yet.

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Waterfalls!

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Almost every time David sees water he just takes off his shoes. Like a reflex.

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Or does this. Haha!

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The day got even a more dreamy turn when we visited Nejc’s friend’s place up there. They had this farm with cats and dogs and horses and a pig just walking around freely. The feeling was surreal and my soul was singing with happiness.

This is what our coffee moment looked like:

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– Tia

Saturday Excursion – Lauantairetki

Yesterday the weather was perfect and a friend was visiting Vaasa with a car – what a luxury! There are a lot of really nice nature places around Vaasa, but sometimes they are a bit tricky to reach without a car.

Vaasassa ja lähiseuduilla on niin paljon ihania luontokohteita, mutta autottomana (ja erityisesti kesäsesongin ulkopuolella) on välillä hankala päästä niihin. Eilen Onni kuitenkin tuli Vaasaan autolla, ja me pääsimme retkeilemään.

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We visited Söderfjärden, an actual meteorite crater. An asteroid hit the Earth here some 520 million years ago.

Lähellä Vaasaa on Sjöderfjärden, meteoriittikraateri. Se on muutaman kilometrin kokoinen pyöreä tasanko, jonne osui asteroidi noin 520 miljoonaa vuotta sitten.

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There you also have a model of the solar system in scale. That white ball on a pole in the background of the picture above is the Sun, and inside the magnifying glass kind of thing is Mercury. Neptune is located 2 km from there.

Siellä on myös malli aurinkokunnasta oikeassa mittakaavassa. Ylläolevassa kuvassa taka-alalla oleva valkoinen pallo tolpan päässä on aurinko. Suurennuslasin näköisessä jutussa oleva pikkupallero on Merkurius. Neptunus löytyy kahden kilsan päästä.

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Jupiter was the size of a tennis ball : )

Jupiter, tennispallon kokoluokkaa.

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Our excursion day was effective, we also visited Risö birdwatching tower.

Tehokkaaseen retkeilypäiväämme mahtui myös Risön lintutorni.

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Satu came back from her exchange in Chile just a while ago. So nice that they can speak Spanish with David!

Satu palasi juuri vaihdosta Chilestä. Mahtavaa – Davidille espanjanpuhumisseuraa!

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Such a nice day! ❤ Ihana päivä!

– Tia

Why would I change my comfort zone for Love?

Just after having spent almost the whole exchange together we both were conscious that distance could be a big test for our relationship. In fact, it was.

Tia went back home and her family prepared a big welcoming party because they are like sweet sugar cotton. Then she got a job in customer service for one of our “things”, selling ice cream. (During our time in Maribor, we ate huge amounts of ice cream from Ilich – one of the best cafeterias of Slovenia. We were so frequent customers, that we got some volume benefits on the ice cream portion.) Continuing with Tia’s arrival, so her family and friends were joyful with her coming back.

When I arrived in Tenerife my family and friends also were excited about me coming back. The difference was that I stayed there for a week and then I came back to Maribor, to do some extra exams. I spent a large number of hours in library, but also with Ryan and friends. Nevertheless, when I was at home the lack of Tia was so deep on the chest. You are able to actually feel gravity oppresing weight down to you. I tried to fulfill the emptiness with hard work in the library and having fun in the afternoon, but still. That last month there, thank god that Ryan was there, he helped me a lot.

Then 2016 academic year was ended.

September in Tenerife, It means sun, good weather, thousand of alternatives, but I was missing Tia like one who missed those summers when you were a kid. I felt like that was my permanent state of being. I wasn’t able to be in social enviroments, it was difficult to talk with people who I didn’t know and to be in meetings with more than 4 people. I was rushing the time so somehow I would be closer to reach Tia sooner. Each of all  my decisions were focused on being together: I changed to distance university, so I could continue studying; I organized all my money so I knew how long I could be there independently; we found a place to live; I bought the flight tickets.

Here I am, sometimes I feel overwhelmed for culture and for not having income.
But I am happy, because all my wishes right now are just material or vain.
I am happy because I am every day with a woman who does every action with love and kindness. I am happy because even though the problems and the battles we stand up together and solve it and reinforce our connection.
I am happy because I am doing what I want the most with the person I love the most.

-David