Monday, August 3, 2009

Holiday haven


What a week I’ve had. In a rental car we went through parts of Finland that I didn’t even know existed: picturesque little villages made up by lakes and islands that look as if they have been taken out of a story book. Got to love the beauty of this country and being so close to nature and fresh air. Summer, sunshine and an average of 24 degrees (forget about the humidity –heaven!) didn’t make matters worse. I swam every day (in all kinds of lakes, in case you didn’t know, Finland is known for being ‘the home of thousands lakes’ even though Sweden actually has got a bigger number of lakes), enjoyed picnics in the sun, walks in the forest and cute little boat cruises on boats that could have been taken out of a movie. It was truly wonderful. Now, however, I’m back at work and I feel completely out of touch with what’s been going on in the world while I’ve been ‘gone.’ That’s what no computer/ no email/ no phone/ no newspapers (sure, could have gone and bought some but deliberately chose to be ignorant enough not to) does to you.

I haven’t spoken a word of Chinese in 2 weeks. Yikes. Scary how fast you forget recent vocabulary. I realized the change when I was catching some sun on the pier the other day, and tried to make up a sentence in Chinese in my head (one of my odd hobbies nowadays) and couldn’t think of the word for ‘destiny’ (a simple word as 命运 that I learned ages ago!). So frustrating! Fortunately, it eventually came to me, but still… I already fear how my first few weeks at the new university are going to go… Oh well, you win some and you lose some. I guess that I too have to realize that you cannot have the cookie (spend a summer in Scandinavia) and eat it (improve my Mandarin/not forget my Mandarin) at the same time.

Some pictures from Savonlinna and the surrounding nature where we spend the beginning of the week:














9 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a magical place!!!I don't have to wish you good time you are already having it. And to sum up your situation, 鱼和熊掌不可兼得.


fei

Anonymous said...

I just had to check :)
Finland has 187,888 lakes and Sweden 97,500. The Swedish list of lakes is not comprehensive though. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_lakes_in_Finland

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_lakes_in_Sweden

Tuomo

Jonna Wibelius said...

Fei -haha, I didn't know there was a Chinese way to say 'one can't have the cake and eat it at the same time'. Thanks for telling me! And yes, Savonlinna was magical!

Tuomo -wow, that's quite a difference. So how come everybody (including me who listens too much to what other people tell me) walks around and says: "haha, it's so funny, they call Finland the home of thousand lakes but then Sweden actually have got more lakes than Finland!" Or hang on... should it be rivers? New wiki check to come! :)

Tarja said...

Great pictures =)

Hyvä Tuomo.... =D

mantse said...

what a wonderful place.... no worry, words will flood to your brain again when you first get off the flight...

enjoy life!!

Carl said...

Great photos, Jonna! I especially like the stone fortress on the rocks. If we were kids, that would be a castle! Looks like you really enjoyed your little get-away. :D

TalesOC said...

Vocabulary is the first thing to go...

Hey, found this and thought you might find it amusing:

Sweden in Japan, complete with festivals:

http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=11811

kanmuri said...

Seems like Finland resembles Canada a lot :D Your pictures made me think of home.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Tarja -thanks! Savonlinna is truly amazing. Have u been?

mantse -I guess u are right. I should enjoy more and worry less. Easier said than done though...

Carl -haha, u know what, that stone fortress IS a castle indeed!! However, I personally liked it better from the outside than the inside.

Tales -hahahahhaha, that page is hilarious?! Those houses look like taken out of a Scandinavian movie. And they even celebrate midsummer?! Mad!!

Kanmuri -yeah, I've heard that Canada and Scandinavia are quite alike... :) Climate and nature wise...