Monday, August 3, 2009
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: