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The Love Boat – PART II

So….After hearing my cabin mates get out of bed and leave the room, I’ve decided to do the same, as we should prolly be arriving to Stockholm, and right I was. There was already lots of fuss on the upper decks, as people were having breakfast and getting ready to get out of the boat. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very nice, but the landscape was well worth the slight drizzle.

ImageShack ImageShack ImageShack

Apparently we were following this other boat (you can see it on one of the movies on the previous post), though at some point the other point went to another harbor, while we proceeded to ours.

First video from Stockholm:

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posted by André Lemos in Finland,Sweden,Trips and have No Comments

The Love Boat – PART I

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That’s a nice start for a new blog entry, isn’t it?

 

It all started on a sunny Friday morning (22nd, June). Since it was a holiday here in Finland, I decided to sleep a bit more since the new hotel where I am at serves breakfast up till 11 o’clock on weekends and holidays. So after taking a bath, and do some previous planing for the trip, I’ve decided to go down stairs to take my power breakfast. Or was I….

When I got to the restaurant, the breakfast area was already closed to my dismay, and so I asked one of the bar employees where was the breakfast area (it was 10:40 by now), to which she replied that breakfast was over at 10, and it’s only available till 11 on weekends. bastards.

Anyways, the girl was really nice, and asked me if I wanted her to see if they could make me something in the kitchen, and so a few minutes later she came out with a nice big sandwich! 🙂

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posted by André Lemos in Finland,Sweden,Trips and have Comment (1)

damn squirrels

I’m really starting to get pissed off by these runts!

Just as I was going out to lunch, a squirrel (yes… that sneaky animal that I have been trying to photograph), stopped in front of a bicycle, and wouldn’t budge. WHAT THE HELL?!!!! When I am with my camera, and ready to shoot, they are nowhere to be seen, or are über sneaky, and when I’m without it, they just pop all over the place, never fearing anyone around them.

hate them!

Anyways, since today the weather is kind of crappy, I didn’t make any plans, and so decided to have lunch at McDonald’s (yes… I’m entitled to go there on rare occasions), and there I saw a Jaguar going to the drive-in. Well…. That is kind of awkward I thought to myself, and remembered reading about this famous Portuguese person, Carlos Cruz, who was also caught on film on a McDonald’s (and now people are speculating that he is broke, with all the scandals and stuff).

But then again, I thought. Well…. They probably have small kids, and just want to indulge them, but NOOOOOOOOOOO. As they drove by pass me, I noticed that they were only a couple, that proceeded to park their car, and ate their drive-in meal on the McDonald’s parking lot. And that, in my book, was strange.

McDonald’s at a Jaguar. Oh well… *shrug*

After having lunch, I went to LIDL for my weekly supply of sausages and yogurt’s, and in there I also found 2 things that I had never seen in Portugal:

  • Playstation 2 games for sale
  • A FREAKIN’ SAIL BOAT ON THEIR CATALOGUE! HOLLY GUACAMOLE BATMAN!!! It’s the exact same model (an Optimist), as the one I learned on how to sail!! For 999,90€!!!! Add to that, the fact that, as I tell almost everyone, I will not die, before I sail once more. And I am keeping that promise! I have even found the ad on their on-line page. I really have to buy me a sail boat. Very likely it is going to be a 420 sail boat. I was about to buy one with my previous girlfriend, but well… Things didn’t turn out that way 😛

Post published while listening to Part One by Pat Metheny Group.

posted by André Lemos in Finland,Photography,Sail and have No Comments

Finland, the perfect place

That’s it! The jury is out!

Today, I’ve decided to go South, to the coast, as I’ve read somewhere that the best tour you can take during the Summer, is along the Finnish coast (seems obvious quite frankly). So in the afternoon, after some _lazy bumming_, I took my bicycle and headed to the unknown 🙂

During this small trip, I’ve noticed that the wealthier Finns concentrate near the sea, and not near the lakes (at least, judging from the neighborhoods I’ve cycled by).

Anyways, the trip was very nice, because as typical, bike tracks were available everywhere, lots of birds and stuff always around me, not too many cars, and lots of couples and _families_ walking by.

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posted by André Lemos in Finland,Trips and have Comment (1)

Royale with Cheese

Summary of this entry:

  • I was unable to have lunch today
  • I’ve found out I know my way from Tapiola to Helsinki by bicycle without the need to use a map or the GPS
  • I’ve spent a bit more than 6 hours on trains
  • I got out of bed at 8 o’clock (ON A FREAKIN’ SATURDAY), and returned back at 22

Here we go:

Got out of bed at 8 o’clock (a little before that), without needing the alarm clock, because I was afraid I would get late at Helsinki. Got my super breakfast, as I always do when I’m about to go on a big ride (lots of cereals), oh btw, the hotel is filled with Japanese as it seems.

After the breakfast, I went outside to pick up my bike and head to Helsinki, where I had a train at 10:00 to Simpele. I’ve decided not to use the GPS, or indications to get to my destination, and lo and behold! I did it! I got at Helsinki’s train station about 1 hour earlier.

Now, here’s a tip for all you travelers on a foreign country. Always carry around a written paper with the place where you want to get to, or else people will simply not understand you, even though the correct pronunciation is pretty similar to your own. I’ve experienced this while buying a train ticket for me (43,30€) and my bike (9€). Luckily, I had the name Simpele written on my cellphone (I had a reminder with the hours of the train), and so the lady in the ticket office could understand where I was heading. She was also kind enough to write the number of the track on the ticket, and to explain me what the other numbers in there meant (carriage number, seat number, and number for the bike container).

The train station in Helsinki is very beautiful, img_5993.thumbnail.jpg img_5995.thumbnail.jpg and has lots of access doors, and some of them are even thought out for the people with bikes to get in (you don’t need to open any doors). I’ve also noticed that they have something similar to Portuguese’s Pendular (it was called Pendolini or something, yeah… it sounds Italian).

As I was one hour late, I got to see many trains come and go filled with Finnish people on cool looking trains img_5994.thumbnail.jpg

Anyways, after the train came in, I walked in with my bike on the assigned carriage (oddly enough, I was on the carriage 3, and my bicycle was in the position 333). There was in there this other guy, also trying to put his bike in place (he smelled like he was really drunk). They have this nice mechanism, where you use this kind of mechanical robot arm that pulls your bike up and leaves it secured on an upright position.

After having my bicycle secured, I tried to find my place, but first I saw someone from the train crew, and so I decided to confirm if I was in the right train, which I was. I then proceeded to ask, how could I tell that I have arrived at Simpele? He showed me this weird schedule with weird acronyms and some hours. And I was like… Well…. Ok…. How many stops till I get there? And so he started counting in Finnish! WTF? lol After he finished counting, I was nodding and stuff, but in my head I was VERY puzzled. Finally he said EIGHT. Well ok… So I proceeded to my seat.

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posted by André Lemos in Finland,Trips and have Comment (1)

Random it is!

As I was in the toilet doing #1, I had to bring in reading material, and so I picked up this magazine that there was on the hotel room called WTF. Yes…. That’s right… WTF. Which means Welcome To Finland ;-P

Inside, I saw some curious things, such as:

  • You can sleep in Helsinki, Finland for only 16€/night on the Stadion Hostel in the Olympic Stadium
  • You can also sleep in Helsinki, Finland for 3300€/night on the Mannerheim Suite at Hotel Kämp
  • There’s a new club in Helsinki called Redrum. If you are a Stanley Kubrik fan, you’ll recognize the word immediately.

sorry for the crapy quality video:

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Anyways… Today after dinner I went out for a bicycle ride, and three important things happened:

  1. I have found out that trying to change gears, while on the cell phone, using the opposite hand will make you CRASH
  2. I’m not old enough, NOT TO fall off a bicycle
  3. I’ve kicked some other guy’s ass on a bicycle SHOWDOWN. I really had a great rhythm going on, and got a really nice speed, even while going up on ramps. So, YAY me! It felt really great.

Shifting again the post direction,

Girlfriend, mom, dad. I love you all, but tomorrow I might try to cross over to Russia on my bicycle. More details tomorrow, if I will ever be able to come back.

And well, why not! One more movie to top things off:

CLICK ME TO SEE THE VIDEO YOU ASS

If they can make the most of their lives, why can’t you?

posted by André Lemos in Finland and have Comments (2)

Cause I am strong enough

OH

MY

GOD

I just had the _gayest_ moment of my life this afternoon.

As of today, I started doing my commuting with my big headphones on (yes… I probably look like a dork), connected to the mobile phone, so that I can hear the radio, while doing the trip.

Well, as I was going back to the hotel, struggling to overcome a ramp, Cher’s music “‘Cause I’m strong enough” started on the radio. Holly crap! You just try to picture it! (please don’t, I have a reputation, you know?)

Anyways, I am 100% safe about my sexuality, and my girlfriend can prove it.

So THERE!

But now seriously:

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posted by André Lemos in Family Guy,Finland,Trips and have Comment (1)

Recognition

Today, as I read my e-mail, I saw one from the manager of the area of the project where I am now (here, in Finland), and also had another e-mail from the CEO of Critical Software, congratulating me, and my colleague for a job well done.

The thing is,  it’s about the third e-mail I get from the CEO congratulating me for my job this year (and one phone call IIRC), and although this is all nice and dandy, this week I know my evaluation, and quite frankly, I’ve lost my hope in it a long time ago, so this kind of e-mails start to bounce quite easy off of me.

You might get pats on the back, but the bottom line doesn’t change much.

My room mate got all excited because of the e-mail. Well, I just told him: “Don’t get your hopes to high kido… When you receive the bi-anual bonus, you also get an e-mail saying how good you are, and so they are giving you X euros. Well… Guess what. It’s a template e-mail, and everyone receives the same message.”

Still feels good though.

posted by André Lemos in Finland,Work and have Comments (2)

Re: One more month?

In case you haven’t guessed, of course I said no.

 LUCKILY, I AM OLD ENOUGH TO MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS WITHOUT MY PARENTS CONSENT.

_end rant_

posted by André Lemos in Finland,Work and have Comments (2)

Handheld video

To show you that this is a truly MULTIMEDIA AND 100% INTERACTIVE BLOG (well, sort of, I suppose…), here’s a video shot by me while driving my bicycle from work to my hotel room in Espoo, Finland

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2882458077207192585

Ps.: no, I don’t know the girl that is most of the time in front of me, nor have we at any time exchanged eye contact.

and sorry for the quality, but it’s hard to make a video while hand holding a mobile phone riding a bike.

oh oh oh and yes! my hair does look funny when I enter the elevator (because of the speeeeeeeeeeeeeed during the bike ride. OH YEAH!!)

posted by André Lemos in Finland,Trips and have Comments (3)