April 18, 2015

tv & people - 2 great things

im really enjoying the second season of Married at First Sight*. its reality, yes, but really one of those that gets me thinking about my life and other peoples lives and how we behave and what we expect and so on. i dont care what anyone thinks, i think its great tv with actual content.
     *i was gonna link to wikipedia page but there was just a stub and it had been marked for deletion, wtf?! every bloody tv show has its own page, and someone thought that since this one is not very long yet, maybe it should be discarded? uff. for the 3rd time in my life, i actually contributed and added info to a wikipedia page.

new tv shows ive checked out:
Weird Loners - easy breezy american "Friends" sitcom, a group of 4 singles that are supposedly funny, meet and struggle with their dating issues. nothing new and probably not worth it unless your on a plane and ran out of things to watch.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - really just full of fluff. as expected. no, its not even remotely funny.
CSI: Cyber - ive enjoyed CSI shows so i looked forward to this one. its not bad exactly, but not great...  a bit weak. i like Patricia Arquette but she just looks bloated (i would like that to not sound rude, but i know it does). the "im sorry for your loss...but we're going to find the person responsible for this!" is just getting so old...! americans pls save the world...
Man Seeking Woman - didnt seem too promising but what the fuuuuuu....  this is some weord, and kinda cool, shit. i didnt expect to continue after the first episode but... i have to keep going. its just a bit absurd and has these funny notions about the reality of dating life and social situations, i enjoy it.    

traveling (by flying) always reminds of how i like reading magazines. i tend to buy a few from the airport to read on the flight. my favorites are Wired, GQ, The Economist and National Geographic. GQ has the least meaningful content, its a light read, whereas Wired gets me really excited, its really well written (me thinks). and National Geographic just has me glued on the stories and the information. Economist...not sure why i like it, but im sure i do. id like to keep buying the paper magazines but the subscriptions are pricery by turkish standards, take weeks to arrive, and its uncertain - Turkish mail is not known for its reliability. AND its 2015 - its supposed to be so practical to read stuff on a tablet. but i admit i like paper, whether its books or magazines, i keep struggling between paper and screen. i LOOOVE the web, but some things are nice when tangible, i admit it. 

ive luckily been able to meet up with my fav friends this week and catch up. a couple nice dinners on the side didnt hurt. i didnt miss turkish food apart from a few dishes and mezes, but im alright eating it again. i really savored those foreign delicacies in australia, itll keep me  satisfied for a while.

my superpupu computer is getting old. 7+ yrs is starting to show although i take good care of her. there are little issues here or there...takes time to fix all the things, authorization issues, syncing issues, random stuff...   eventually i will just have to start over... but somehow im hoping she would last another year, like, until we leave turkey.

April 17, 2015

nää on niin näitä ongelmia

taistelen tässä itseni kanssa siitä että milloin kävisin taas suomessa. meillä mentiin kesälomat edellä niin, että Lissaboniin kesäkuun lopussa, ja Sziget-festareille Budapestiin elokuun puolessavälissä. nämä on siis lääkärin tämän vuoden lomat kaikkinaisuudessaan. mä en vaan tykkää "kokoajan" matkustaa, niin paljon kuin muuten siitä tykkäänkin...  sekavaa. mutta ei ole kiva parin viikon välein pakata ja sillee. tuntuu siis ahtaalta nuo välit, tästä Lissaboniin on enää n. 2kk, ja sitten sen ja Budapestin välissä on vajaa 2kk. syksyllä en haluaisi suomeen mennä, helvetin ankeaa. olen siis toukokuun ja heinäkuun vaiheilla. mietin eka heinäkuuta, sillon olisi myös yhden ystävän häät, mutta sitten tajusin että puolet kesästä menee sitten ulkomailla, melkeen. ja kesä nyt on kuitenkin Istanbulin paras puoli jota tässä kovasti odotetaan. joten matkustelu kesällä tuntuu epäloogiselta. onhan suomessakin teknisesti kesä heinäkuussa, mutta siinä on se klausuuli että saattaa silti sataa ja olla pirun kylmä viikon putkeen. otan mielellään lähtöoletukseksi sen, että sää on huono (ei tule pettymyksiä). sitten on oikeastaan aika sama millon menee. niin paitsi että syksy on jo vähän liikaa. ei ole helppoa!

mun facebook ei oo vielkään tajunnu et olen palannut istanbuliin, se tyrkyttää aussimainoksia. ihan okei, mieluummin mä niitä kattelen ku turkkilaisia. mut erikoista, luulis et niiden laskukaavoilla ymmärtäis et kävin ikäänku lomalla. joka on nyt ohi.

äh, ehken ole ihan taas kärryillä suomen politiikasta mutta siis Sipilä vastustaa aborttia?! hyi, ja totako sit äänestetään sankoin joukoin?? joo, maailmassa (ja suomessa) on isompiakin aiheita käsiteltäväksi kuin jankata tosta ees taas - mutta en haluaisi vaarantaa aborttioikeutta ja jos olisin keskustan äänestäjä, vaihtaisin puoluetta nyt ihan periaatteesta. ihan siksikin että tyyppi puhuu abortista eikä valtionvelasta tai vanhusten hoidosta.

hesarissa kiva summary turkin tilanteesta. nothing new, mutta kuiteskin.

hesarin juttu seksityöläisten auttajasta Kyproksella oli aika floppi. tärkeää työtä mutta tyyppi on jeesustelija joka jotakuinkin haluaisi kai kieltää seksin, paitsi ehkä avioliitossa. yhtä lailla kuin kannatan naisten oikeuttaa aborttiin, kannatan naisten oikeuttaa myydä itseään jos siltä tuntuu. kaiken prostituution kieltäminen siksi että joku siihen pakotetaan ei ratkaise pakottamisongelmaa, ja sortaa kuitenkin toisten oikeuksia ja tekee työstä vaarallisempaa. en kannata ruotsin mallia.

April 14, 2015

home. cozy.

returning home caused some mixed feelings. was nice to return to the familiar environment, but then, at the airport i queued 1h 4 mins at the passport control.... not fun. and the queue was full of turkish looking guys (but not turks cos they have their own queue) ogling at me, reminding whats wrong with this country. then the passport control guy interrogates me for a minute or so, about stuff thats basically in my residence permit. did i not look like the person in the photo or what? okay well its his job so whatever. then we struggle with our luggage into the rush hour metro and tram. the tram was so full that it wouldnt let people in at some stops, it was rough. and as if it wasnt uncomfortable enough with the backpacks etc, people started mobbing us for having the luggage (and taking space and whatnot)! it was a real "we live in a fuckin zoo" moment.

but it was nice to come home, our subtenant had cleaned after herself and even changed the sheets. ah. but instead of sleeping we unpacked our bags and the storage room to make home feel like home. the subtenants had moved things around (not really sure why someone would move furniture around for a 1 month stay, but ok...) so we were putting things back and so on. today i really enjoyed working by my own desk, with the sun shining from the window. a very cozy feeling.

unpacking our stuff i tallied what we brought with us:
-a pile of H&M clothes
-a water dispenser
-2 bars of soap (Lush and some aussie brand)
-a pink plastic glass
-a shower wall 'basket' (for creating a phone holder!)
-a new leather handbag
-The God Delusion pocket book

doctors luggage:
-tablet pen
-Fitbit activity tracker
-Toni&guy sea salt spray
-Toni&guy hair texturizer

i dont like the word 'ladies', which is often used by women in womens groups (or among friends, whatever). i think the frequent use has been established by americans/british, but not sure. to me it sounds old fashioned, but i realized its also a cultural thing - i dont feel a need to address a group by using anything (ladies, guys...), but i think just because its not so common in finnish.

generalizations about australia:
  • they really like gambling. talk about an addiction...  "pokies" signs are all over, there are bars dedicated to poker and other slot machines, and in Sydney all the bars have a "VIP room", which means a room dedicated to these machines.
  •  they are really hung up on the gallipoli fight during WWI ...like, really. they have statues for it and its a big deal every year to celebrate and remember the fallen soldiers...  and if i dont remember wrong, a movie just made with Russell Crowe tells the story of a father of one of those fallen soldiers...   im just thinking, i hope next time they think twice before sending their men to a far away country to fight someone elses war...?

movie reviews:
Force Majeure -  a smart drama about (i think) men's position in the modern society. i dont usually look or see this type of deeper meanings, but it felt obvious here. anyway it was a good swedish flick. watched this with doctor a few months ago...
Synecdoche, New York -  i did not like it at all. probably there were some deep analogies and something... and i guess the acting was great but even Philip Seymour Hoffman cant save a film if i dont understand what its about. we watched this in Sydney.
Birdman -  mostly as above; WTF. there were some interesting scenes that i enjoyed, and the film was visually nice, but still, i didnt get it, like, what just happened? uff. watched this in Melbourne.
Oblivion -  better than expected. ok, some horrible cliches about eternal love and too many fancy war scenes with the machines, but story wise quite ok. with some though provoking (for me) stuff about identity and parallel possibilities of reality. watched on flight to Istanbul.
Before I Go to Sleep -  actually this was good, offered some surprises and kept me interested. jenni recommends. watched on a flight to Kuala Lumpur.

April 11, 2015

thank you Melbs :)

sharing a house has its sides. mostly bad. actually i cannot think of any really good ones. occasionally u might run into a nice party or someone invites u to something...but its not much different from your friends nearby inviting you out or so, and at least u can choose ur friends. there is a reason i like living in the center; to be close but far at the same time! while i truly cherish this experience of living "aussie style" with some 7 other people, i have zero interest in ever repeating it again. i am an only child, what would u expect.

our melbourne experience has been quite good, 2 sunny months. instead of dwelling on all the good & obvious stuff, i think its better i list the things i will NOT miss;
  • wearing shoes and clothes when going out of our room
  • old townhouses (not in much better condition than most turkish flats)
  • traffic lights - i recorded waiting times of 50-110 seconds...usually round 90sec
  • unresponsive aussies (they are lazy at replying to messages - where is basic human decency?)
  • calling restaurants to see if they are open today, if a booking is possible, or worst case; queuing
  • agitator style top-loading washing machines
  • the prices

grilling at the Albert Park last weekend with doctor, Melis and 2 other turkish doctors (who have relocated here). parks and beaches often have public gas grills seen below, everyone is free to use them. very nice.

 possum! they are all over the city parks and not afraid of humans (but would not let me cuddle...)
 the happy hours...oh boy.
 aussie burger at The Flame (chapel st)

flight back to istanbul tomorrow afternoon! and arrival on monday - if Malaysian Airlines is willing, of course. kind of happy to go back to our cozy home although it has its problems...   but now i should go eat the last pieces of tasty sushi...

April 08, 2015

too much food, burb

i wouldnt be me if i didnt post a meaningless pic of my clothes shopping (from over a week ago). it was the H&M sale. gooood memories.

Indian all you can eat night. we got a groupon deal for this Indian restaurant - again i decided i would give indian food one more chance...  i didnt strongly dislike the food offered, there were a couple of nice things like the garlic naan bread. but overall, im really going to sign off from indian food, its not my thing.
speaking of indian, me and doctor were heading out last night for a quick pancake & ice cream & cocktail at Mövenpick cafe, when our Indian housemates invited us into the kitchen. the other of the 2 girls was celebrating her birthday with 2 cakes. so then we had to sit down and eat some...  i dont mean that in a bad way, it was a nice surprise and the cake was tasty. but after that we didnt really feel like ice cream anymore...:D

that feeling when u realize the striptease show is a little bit more interactive than you expected.... :D me and Melis got a Groupon deal to go see a male strip show (at Mandate club). the "warning" of full frontal nudity didnt exactly turn us off :D of course i knew they take that one volunteer or bride-to-be from the audience and have fun with her, but this went beyond that, everyone was game. maybe because of the small venue and audience (no more than 25 women) everyone got their share of the men :)
complimentary champagne and finger food helped set the mood, not to mention the nice and forthcoming topless waitresses and strippers themselves that would keep us company after their show. i was very positively surprised by it all. its nice to stroke oiled bodies and dance with hot guys especially when they pull you to the dance floor - but also awesome to go back home to our own guy afterwards (yeah thats so cheesy but true).

last week we were invited to a birthday party in Hawthorn. this Iranian girl had her 24th birthday and the crowd of guests was pretty international :) even a few turks.

Mundo Lingo language exchange. with this amount of people it gets deafeningly loud...

now...  off to eat italian!!

oikeus ja velvollisuus

huomenna olis vika ennakkoäänestysmahdollisuus Melbournessa. todella "fiksusti" ja "kätevästi" äänestyspaikka on jossain paikallisessa järvenpäässä (tai joku kaukainen kaupunginosa), johon pitäs matkustaa junalla. siellä on "Suomi-talo". jes. paitsi että mulla on päiväsaikaan töitä, niin toki laiskuus on myös ongelma. vaikka kovasti tykkään äänestää, niin mutu-tuntuma on etten ehkä saa pyllyäni roudattua sinne Suomi-talolle... :(   MUTTA se mikä oli hurjaa, niin että idolini Osmo Ode Soininvaara antoi julkisen tukensa Oskalan Hannulle, jonka minäkin tunnen. aika hyvin, tosi hienoa, olen vähän ylpeä Hannusta vaikka minulla ei ole tähän osaa eikä arpaa :D

Vihreillä on käsittääkseni nyt useampikin jees ehdokas, mutta tällä kertaa en ole perehtynyt niihin sen kummemmin. onhan mulla Ozan Yanar twitterissä ym mutta ei se vielä mitään kerro, yleensä luen ehdokkaiden vaaliohjelmia vähän jne jotta saan kokonaiskäsityksen että mitä henkilö ihan oikeasti pitää tärkeänä. vaikka onko mulla enää oikeutta sanoa mihinkään mitään muutenkaan kun olen ollut jo yli 5 vuotta poissa?

musta tuntuu että tänä keväänä pitää hankkia uusi iPhone, syksy on vähän liian kaukana, vanha ei varsinaisesti nikottele, mutta vähän kumminkin... akun kesto jne. oikeastaan mun suurin vitutuksen aihe on näppis ja typojen määrä. se on ihan käsittämätöntä. toki mä typotan ihan desktopillakin. mutta se mobilepuolen "näppäily" on jotain ihan omaa luokkaansa, aikaa kuluu hulluna. isompi näyttö helpottaisi tilannetta. totesin tämän varuiksi ihan oikeaa 6:sta testaamalla. ei edes tarvi olla se plussa, perusmallikin tarjoaa sen pari milliä ekstraa jotta mun pienet tassut osuu oikeille 'qwertyille'.

musta tää oli aika reipas veto kreikalta, mutta enemmän silti nauratti Saksan vastaus. musta oli aika vyön alle kreikalta mutta ei kai niillä ole enää mitään hävittävää?

vähän yllätyin Peter Sundenin piraatteja koskevasta kirjoituksesta. teksti oli jotenkin aika...naiivia? no, ehkä se on itse kullakin.... joka tapausessa tyypillä on oikeus mielipiteeseensä. en minäkään piraatteja ole äänestämässä ja olen ainakin hiljaa mielessäni ajatellut jotain samantyyppistä välillä kun mistä Peter avautui, mutta jotenkin oma suhtautumiseni on silti lempeämpi tai välinpitämättömämpi. johtunee siitä ettei tuo puolue kosketa minua ihan hirveästi (toisin kuin häntä) vaikka siellä olisi jokunen hyvä ajatuksenpoikanen. niitä kun puolueena tarvisi muutaman enemmän ollakseen uskottava...

turkkiin paluu sunnuntaina kyllä vähän mietityttää, tuntuu että siellä on alamäki 'hiukan' jyrkistynyt...

April 06, 2015

night swimming

overall its easy to say that melbourne is a nice city to live in, very "livable", as the surveys and listings claim. i definitely miss many features of it. especially sushi lunches. and sparkling wine. and wearing what i want without men staring. and the HUGE H&M. although if they hadnt had a sale, i doubt i wouldve filled my luggage with their products so eagerly - the normal prices are relatively okay of course, but coming from turkey, kind of everything is just expensive.

while looking for a place to stay in melbourne was a lot of stress and hassle, i see the positive of it, which is that we got to see 3 kinds of local living:
-the trendy & upscale near the beach neighborhood of St Kilda
-skyscraper living with a rooftop pool in CBD
-an aussie classic: a multicultural shared house in a nice neighborhood walking distance from the center (Carlton)

this Mad Max trailer got me really excited. much more so than i expected. looks like good stuff!!

we flew to Sydney with Jetstar, local cheapo airline. it was fine, but one the way back our flight was cancelled and i was panicking for a moment. they then offered a flight to another airport in Melbourne, which suited us just perfect. so, no harm done, they handled it well.

some memories from Sydney;

we stayed near Chinatown at Quest worldsquare apartments. good, busy location with a lot going around it.

doctor and i celebrated our 5 year anniversary in Sydney. i reserved us a table from this cool italian restaurant (Belloccio). also a very gay restaurant, from the owner down to all the guests. only we looked suspiciously hetero :D lovely place- we had a great night.

Alex, whom i knew through Alina in Istanbul, now lives in Sydney and took us out to see New Town's nightlife and to the beach on sunday. it was a great picnic day and a bbq on his backyard with some hefty steaks topped it off. in short: awesome.

Avalon and Palm Beach sceneries:

the water was (naturally) too cold for me to swim PLUS i left my bikini in Sydney, so, i just hung out and watched doctor do his swim routine.

our hotel had a heated pool so FINALLY even i got a proper swim. it was the night so i popped in in my underwear...   half of the pool was covered and the half not, so it was kind of cool, floating thre looking at the night sky and skyscrapers around...   one of my best memories from the whole 2 months.

there was a building with miniature Sydney under the glass floor. it was fascinating.

botanical gardens with the city in the bg. i met a guy named Niko in Melbourne at a Couchsurfing meeting on the wednesday before he headed to Sydney and he was going there as well, so we decided to meet up. had a lovely afternoon walking around the docks and the garden. whats interesting is he has also lived in Istanbul, next door to where doctor used to live. he will come over for a visit in the spring maybe so hopefully we can meet again over in Istanbul.

uh, and now i read turkish gov has once again blocked youtube, facebook and twitter all at once. oh well.

April 03, 2015

almost done here

oh wow time flies...   we have just over a week left of our Australia experience. its been good, so im okay going back, but looks like i should prepare with a bulletproof vest - the shit is really hitting the fan in istanbul...   i am getting increasingly skeptical if i can stay another year and a half.

we went to Sydney with doctor for a long weekend. enjoyed our 5 year anniversary there (and my theoretical 5 yrs in Istanbul).i forgot to take my camera with me but took some photos with my phone. will need to upload...at some point. but Sydney was a positive surprise, my expectations were not very high. it had more nightlife and 'stuff' than Melbourne (although no H&M downtown! - but H&M addressed the issue when i tweeted about it) but was somehow more 'american' (more cars, less public transport). a bit pricier than Melboure though. didnt know that was possible...    anyway we enjoyed it overall.

i did some crazy shopping at H&M sale, now worried how to get everything back home with me. i probably bought one chinese employers one days work...  (too bad they only get a fraction of what i paid - but i do realize that is a major factor enabling the cheap prices).

tonight we are heading to a birthday party in the suburbs, a foreign student me & Melis met via Couchsurfing is celebrating her 22nd. ill admit that does make me feel old...

March 25, 2015

something with flowers and bunnies perhaps?

the latest album by Smashing Pumpkins is definitely okay. but feels like i would get tired of it if i listened to te album a few times, it reminds me of teenage angst for some reason (eh...) and Corgan's voice is kind of squeaky which enhances the feeling.

i bought Dawkins' God Delusion from a 2nd hand market, i think i had a copy of it in finland, and definitely have read it, but it can stand another read :) Dawkins has gotten active on social media in the past years but i am not sure its the best for him...  while he is so smart and has good ideas, he seems to get into petty arguments a lot (on twitter) and generally waste time with being offended or arguing over something... then again who am i to say whats time waste? i do feel bad though when gets shit for his blunt statements, which i think have been technically solid (the ones i know of; down syndrome abortion, bad rape vs worse rape) but emotionally charged people want to understand them wrong. suggesting that aborting a fetus with a genetic disorder is the same as hating all those with a genetic disorder or that once born, they should not be part of the society. aborting a fetus is just aborting a fetus. and the rape thing, im not even gonna go into it...   now that i google, i do find some other slightly questionable thing, mainly related to islam, and i remember disagreeing with one o them a couple years ago...  anyway, i dont like when rough sounding but truthful statements are distorted into something else just because people want to feel offended and are passionate about their causes.

i just remembered my tattoo "situation" again. the arm thing needs an update of some sort, and i want new stuff around it. ive been struggling to get to it for a few years now, i just dont know what exactly i want so i havent been able to make a move. also in turkey the language barrier is an issue when communicating with artists. i now decided to look into Melbourne artists. i think i want to extend my current "half sleeve" with something modern, like watercolor painting style maybe with etching. thats the conclusion after looking at whats going on in tattoos in the recent years and what i like and what would maybe work with the mixed styles i currently have.

Buzzfeed's list of 28 waterpainting tattoos - not all of them are to my liking but many.

so i then find a great artist in Melbourne (Kel Tait), but she is booked until, like, the end of the year and very specific about what she does and doesn't do (i received an automated, long, somewhat confusing email "rider", written in 1st & 3rd person, etc) - i dont think i'd qualify as her customer anyway :D so i kept looking, now im gonna contact Mel Wink. she has a very similar thing going on stylistically, but i should be prepared that she is quite booked too....i know, the good ones usually are. while googling for talent, i came across istanbul based Koray Karagözler. turkish artists are usually not very booked, there are so many tattoo artists there and many people are not educated enough to go after the good ones, more interested in the price tag...  so i am hopeful that he could be my artist if Mel doest work out. there is then the question of if Koray knows any english, but i could try to push and manage a turkish situation too if i really want to make it happen and get a feeling that he is on the same wavelength. then, if that doesnt work out... there is Petra Hlaváčková in Prague.

March 24, 2015

Hobart & Ararat summary

Tasmania done. starting today i have full week of holiday and we will go to Sydney for a long weekend. yesterday i worked my ass off, in a good way, a clients website is going through some changes and i always love those, a testers paradise. actually im really bummed that my holiday is right now, if i had known much earlier, i wouldve wanted to be there for the rest of the week too. im just a little obsessed that perhaps some bugs will make it to production because i wasnt there. maybe thats a little too narcissistic view...

so we were not too happy with Tasmania. BUT i totally recognize that if u have a car and a week or so, and maybe love hiking/trekking, and prepare for windy weather, it could be pretty awesome - the nature is obviously impressive. this was not the case with us and i take partial responsibility for going to places where maybe i shouldnt go. next time ill google before buying flights? :D but im still entitled to an opinion. i dont regret going but the one word i have is 'meh'. bloody cold freezing wind, empty center (because car city - ppl live in suburbs), nothing much to do, expensive. we thought about going on a tour to an animal sanctuary but they mostly just host the tassie devil, and maybe a couple marsupials... overpriced tour to see a black rodent like animal with a funny name? yeah no. of course once i gathered that im not fond of Hobart i was psychologically preconditioned to dislike everything, im still interested in going to see the animals in sanctuary near Melbourne. but honestly, kangaroos and koalas win tasmanian devil any day.

enjoying a wine INSIDE in a WARM cafe by the docks, planning our Hobart days.

a free concert at a small courtyard next to the arts center, every friday. it was very cute. but again, we were freezing.

Tasmanian art museum was actually more like a history museum, or perhaps we just saw that part. but it was free entrance and very nice! educational regarding Tasmanias history (TL;DR the british and dutch settlers came and killed all the locals and populated the island) and with a small natural history museum with local animals etc.

the art museum courtyard.

the botanical garden was huge beautiful . getting back frm there to the city...not so great, walked on the side of the highway forever and then waited for a bus for nearly half an hour. freeing, naturally. fuck that shit...

asian food in Hobart. i was lucky that the only restaurant open at 7pm on a sunday was an asian place.

rules for home delivery :D i DO understand why these things are so "difficult" in countries like australia or finland, but its still an amusing comparison to istanbul. the latter obviously has its benefits, from a consumer perspective anyway, maybe not the delivery guys'...

okay then, we stayed in a motel slightly outside the center. good quiet sleep and nothing special, fine. interestingly the place was full of asians. like, fully booked full, i didnt know they had so many rooms full. when we arrived before check-in, we sat in the lobby just watching these people come out with their luggage, and then more came, and more, and it didnt end. obviously a group that were all departing that morning. and why does it matter? it doesnt. they couldve been bikers or scandinavians. just an odd feeling watching what seemed in the end like hundreds of people belonging to a 'specific' group, walk past with almost identical luggage (the big hard case type). we thought maybe they walked out and then to the back of the building and kept coming out again, in a circle...  (okay we were tired from the travel, it does not seem as amusing now as it did then).

finding a cafe or a place to eat in the weekend especially was hard, all the places were closed. shops and bars there dont even display opening hours on the window, and i came to understand that its probably useless as they are almost never open anyway. otherwise it would say something like "open from 2pm until late". asking one of the places about late, they estimated 8pm.

center of Hobart:

the week before, me and doctor made a day trip to Ararat. a real aussie small town. wayyyy smaller than Hobart but we still had a great experience. but the day was warm and we had zero expectations. and it was  a DAY trip after all.  

i think i also understand why the town got so overweight - there are practically only unhealthy options for eating out. and while the park was beautiful (like all parks weve seen here!), i dont think there is anything that motivates people to exercise outside. i know small towns must mostly be like this, a couple of chinese places, a burger-cafe-deepfriendstuff-place, a restaurant cafe thats open sporadically and maybe one italian. most of these were not open on the sunday we visited, anyway.

the cafe-fast food joint. not very busy (a few teenagers were sitting in a remote table, they left soon after we arrived).
there was a vintage car & rock festival though (Jailhouserock festival). meaning a field next to the park where people gathered to listen to rockabilly music and look at old fancy cars. we visited. i think (ok, i know) there was an entrance fee of 25 aud, but we approached the area from the park and just walked over a knocked down fence. there were other entrances too, but the ticket booth was by a road entrance where you enter with a car. this city was NOT for pedestrians, we were most of the time the only people around by foot.

(people dancing to rockabilly in the tent)

the people i talked to were not somehow happy about the Biggest Loser past of the town, they seemed uncomfortable with the whole thing. i tried to make them feel better by saying it was quite inspiring (which is true), but it didnt help.

Ararat art museum was for some reason open on a sunday, and free entrance (okay there are 2 rooms, i dont know how many people would pay for that). anyway saw stuff by local and non-local artists.
Ararat town hall! i remember seeing this on the show :)  hah

March 22, 2015

Hobart, Tasmania

Hobartin  Heinolan kokoinen kaupunki ei ole miellyttänyt jenniä. kokemukseen on luultavasti vaikuttanut hyinen sää joka ei laisinkaan tunnu mittarin lukemilta (12-20c). pieni kaupunki on Amerikan malliin rakennettu autoille ja näin liikkuminen on haasteellista turistille. ymmärrän nyt hyvin autonvuokrausmainonnan joka alkoi jo reissua varatessa. rehellisyyden nimissä tajusin siis jo silloin ettei täällä hirveästi tekemistä ole ilman autoa, ja vuokraustakin harkittiiin mutta päätettiin yrittää kuitenkin nauttia mitään tekemättömyydestä. ei olla nautittu. olihan täällä eilen markkinat ja ilmainen museo, ehkä vaan Melbournen jälkeen tuntuu vähän mitättömältä? ja hinnoissa on n.+20% vielä jotain Tasmania-lisää. kaupat on pitkälti kiinni viikonloppuisin ja keskusta tyhjenee Illalla. nyt kun olen avautunut Hobartin surkeudesta niin voin sanoa että illalla on lento takaisin Melbsiin. 

huomenna töitä ja sitten pidän viikon loman...ja mennään käymään Sydneyssä. totta puhuen en jaksaisi, mutta ehkä jälkikäteen kiitän itseäni että vaivauduin?? alunperin piti mennä itsekseni uuteen seelantiin, se oli syntsälahjani lääkäriltä, mutta jotenkin en pystynyt siihen sitten ollenkaan (syy: tuntematon ahdistus). muutimme sitten lahjan yhteisreissuksi Sydneyhin. 

minä elän hiukan tulevaisuudessa kuten on tapana  ja mietin jo Istanbuliin paluuta. en pelkästään hyvällä mutta ihan yleisesti. eniten on ikävä kavereita ja ihmisvilinää, ei niinkään mitään muuta ehkä :D mutta kun kesä saapuu niin kyllä kelpaa taas. 

lähetin lääkärin kiipeämään Mt Wellingtonille ja nautin kahviloiden antimista sillä aikaa (niiden jotka auki, aika rajattua siis).

March 14, 2015


we have been chatting and hanging out with a chilean erasmus student named Rodrigo who lives in the house and occasionally brings his chilean friends over. we decided to have a party together tonight, cooking and having drinks. the shared living room was perfect for that. i guess i also treated is as an unofficial birthday party for myself? i cooked macaroni casserole, a finnish dish.

tomorrow we are heading to Ararat, small town a couple hours from Melbourne. we need to catch an early train so we can spend about 6 hours in the town that doesnt have much...  not to be rude. but, yeah. someone i spoke to nastily called Ararat the 'fat capital of Victoria'. apparently it was the 2nd fattest city in australia a year or so ago when they decided to focus the whole season of Biggest Loser to that town.i figured we should go see some obscure small town just for the sake of it, and once i realized Ararat is a couple hours away, there was nothing stopping me. i recently saw this season of BL, so i somehow feel like its "familiar".

 federation square's book market;

on my actual birthday on thursday we both worked, i got a haircut in the afternoon and then we met with doctor for an early dinner. tapas and other spanish things with wine in central Melbourne. then we headed to the royal botanical gardens and boy was it nice there, like an extra beautiful, fancy park. there we relaxed on bean bags, enjoyed snacks and sparkling wine (you can bring your own) while waiting for the film - how come i was so lucky= they were showing Breakfast Club on my birthday??! i knew like every line by heart cos id seen it 5-7 times before, in the 90s. thats the most times ive ever seen a film. anyway moonlight cinema starts after sundown so around 8:20 the inflatable screen was erected and it was massive (covering the lake view below).

for my birthday, doctor gave me a gift card to H&M and said he would send me to New Zealand. so i started looking at 3-4 night trips. but somehow i feel meh...  its a long flight and i dunno. but i really should go, its a thoughtful gift cos i was not planning to go without him at all.

i havent had much space for deeper thoughts lately, its just work & seeing things and such. i got Dawkins' God Deusions pocket book from the flea market so i am reading it again here and there. something relaxing. and last night we watched Birdman with doctor (it was okay).

Bachelor season 19 just finished. its great entertainment but still, pretty awkward. i dont think i would fit in that culture. i know tv is tv but it does reflect reality, no one can deny that.

random chinese/japanese restaurant menu;

March 12, 2015


my feelings while in Melbourne have been overall positive but there is turbulence as well...some days are just 'blah'. but okay so maybe thats normal. overall im good, i have my rhythm, getting up around 9, working more or less (being part time, usually less...). watching a bit of tv on my computer - i tried the tv in our room but the reruns of Frasier and Friends get tiring and the rest is shopping channels and other horrible shit. when doctor and melis get off work we either cook at home and eat hang out in the common area, or go out for dinner & drinks, not all together all the time though, maybe 60/40 me and doctor spending more time together.

on monday we went to a vineyard tour in Yarra Valley which is known for producing most of the premium wines in the area, i learned. the area is focused on chardonnay and pinot noir, which are still just words for me...  but it was an educating day, i took it all in and smelling and tasting wines side by side or one right after another really made their differences obvious.

tasting bars were nice, just point at things in the menu and have a sip. i smainly ampled the sweeter white wines of the 4 wineries we visited.

i was quite excited abut the sparkling wines of Chandon winery since its a company under Moët & Chandon. certainly tasty stuff and great views from the property.

rose bushes are planted in front of rows of vines to indicate if there are problems like fungus or something - cos they hit the roses first.
actual grapes. not the same u buy from the supermarket...

it was a very cool experience, i could certainly smell, and even taste, differences. but its not stuff that i can remember and refer to, nor do i need to. at one of the boutique wineries the owner went on to a long speech about how properly aged wine develops in the grape, oak barrel (MUST be french oak) and the bottle, and how a 15 dollar (10 eur) wine has certainly not seen a real oak barrell nor aged naturally - and thats an atrocity. made me think of the 4 liter 9 dollar (6 eur) box wine i had waiting at home in the fridge. to be honest, coming home it still tasted just as delicious. i guess it didnt have that oaky smell but i dont really mind...  its really fruity & easy!

i did ask what would happen if the oak came from the belgian side of the border, they must have some of the same oak breeds over there. but our wine expert could not say. so i remain a little bit skeptical about this 'special french oak'. and overall, us humans have made probably all of our guilty pleasures into an art form, from cigars to whiskeys to wine... sure, things can be developed and varieties tweaked, buuuut...  i mean, yeah wines taste different, but it is known that even sommeliers can mix a cheap wine to an expensive one, and peoples image of a wines taste if affected by the bran/price/label and whatever else. i think its just important that you find what u like and go with that. and if all the options seem bad or you cannot tell the difference, then picking the cheapest is good option...

great sceneries no question.

wagyu beef cheek lunch at a winery restaurant. huge piece of meat. huge. i dont know what this 'wagyu' is, but it seems popular here.

Queen Victoria market also has wineries selling their products. u can try and test and there ar liqueurs and whatnot. in finland it would never be allowed because RULES. and omg what would happen? u know, something terrible could happen, so, lets just not, u know, allow anything. hehe.

anyway we go a small bottle of honey vodka, it was really tasty :D
 Moomba festival last sunday by the Yarra river.

 the bar under the bridg is cool. and packed on sunny days.

love locks on the bridge!

its been a month now since we arrived. another one to go...and we still have quite a few things on the to do list. we better utilize the weekends to the fullest especially. i think some of the things will be left out but ideally this is the to do list:
-beach trip somewhere
-great ocean road
-Melbourne museum
-state library

today is my birthday and we r planning to go to an outdoor cinema in the evening, there is one that is showing one of my all time favorites; Breakfast Club. hopefully it wont rain...