Saturday, September 29, 2007


Some poetic moments again. Yet there is an important fact about this particular poem. Despite it is all about the T-shirt, I wrote the lines into my mobile phone. I do not know how exactly writing poems into a mobile affects the poetry itself, but nevertheless...

So many times I wear this T-shirt
Which I had when I hugged you for the last time
I do not care your body touched it
Your hands caressed its cotton surface
Band T-shirt it is
I wear it when I go to gigs alone
I do not care we hugged for the last time
When I was in this T-shirt
I did not put it away
I really like this T-shirt
There are traces of you still on it
I do not give a fuck
But wait a minute, o shit, perhaps I do
Too much

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Yesterday I went to one metal gig. Apart for the music the local band Soulfallen was playing, I also got an old issue of Finnish raskaan rockin erikoislehti Inferno. Thus meaning pretty fancy magazine, entirely deducated to hard rock and metal. Have I ever expressed my brief observation that metal in Finland seems to be main-stream culture?

However, the magazine Inferno looked nice and I was happy to read some stu
ff. I came upon a whole section on summer festivals, Raskas festarikesä 2007 (Heavy Festivalsummer 2007). A series of reports from Finnish festivals. Provinssirock, Nummirock, Tuska Open Air, Ruisrock, Ilosaarirock, Ankkarock, Metalcamp. What the f***?! Metalcamp. Yes indeed. Among all those major Finnish festivals, there was a report on one and only Slovenian Metalcamp. No Wacken, no Ballingen - just Finnish festarit, and that Slovenian Headbanger's Hollidays.

The article itself is basically a report about the festival. The two female writers mention great scenery of the festival; mountains and turquoise river. They also say the selection of the bands was this year absolutely excellent. There are words about reasonable prices, especially for the coctails; yep, 3,5 for a coctail seems to be a reasonable price considering the costs for alco in Finland. And there are words about good toilets, hehe. The rest is more or less about the bands and their performance.

Thus far, I have been slightly surprised when some people I have met here replied they knew Slovenia (and that they were pretty much sure it was not Slovakia) - or that they had even been in Ljubljana. However, it seems metal festivals (as well as reasonable prices of drinks and nice toliets) can also promote our little country... Metal on!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Silent lies the lake, beyond all world it lies the world itself. Silent it lies in stillness, there is no time, and yet there is. Silent lies the lake, the mirror-water, always the same and yet each moment different...

A year has passed since this blog has started. Many things have changed. Some things have vanished into time and memory, vanished forever. Some of the readers do not read me no longer, some new have come. So it is. The lake stands still and silent, all happiness as well as all sorrows are just a passing-by reflection. Brief moments in eternity. And the lake stands still again...

Small photographic exhibition from Korpilahti surroundings, dedicated to the first autumn day - and to the nature itself.

Dear friends and fellow bloggers, have a nice autumn!


Saturday, September 22, 2007


Tampere - Tammerkoski

Today, I went to Tampere. It takes a one and a half hour trip to get there. As I love trains and I can use the student discount, I traveled with the railway. The train I took in the morning continued the road to Turku. I have some memories of Turku, so it was a slight... well, I can say a slight sting in the heart. The train I took back to Jyväskylä also came all the way from Turku. Khm. But, however, my destination was Tampere. The city is a bit bigger, there is more people, more rushy feeling in the air. Also, it gives an impression of an industrial place; Tampere is actually referred as The Manchester of Finland. I walked around the city, checked out some shops, went for a coffee. Nice Saturday trip.

P.S.: The everchanging light in Finland shaped the Tampere-photos in its everchanging way.


Tammerkoski - other side

Tampereen Teatteri

City Hall

Monday, September 17, 2007


Ikea in Finland

Do you know Scandinavian god of cheap and sort of stylish furniture? First of all, I do not want to make any adds. However, this worldwide chain is by all means a cultural phenomena, worth of serious analysis.

The housing office, which provides flats for students in Jyväskylä, has organised a bus trip to - yep, Ikea. Despite Sweden is close (or just because of that), there are only two Ikeas in Finland. Okay, it would be reasonable to put one near Helsinki, and another one more up north. Like closer to us. Hell no, both current Finnish Ikeas are in Helsinki surroundings. The bus trip itself was cheap, but still we required a couple of hours to reach the promised land. It was Saturday and it looked like half of Finland decided to do such trip as well, nevermind several miles. And it also seemed bus pilgrimages to this house-item sanctuary were quite common.

It was my first time in Ikea, despite I could visit those close to Slovenian border some time ago. But for some reasons my first Ikea happened in Finland. And, well... the store itself is big. It took me an hour, I guess, to locate all the stuff I have been after. Finnish students usually hire unfurnished flats, so such a trip is really useful. Alright, I live in a furnished flat, but I required a couple of other basic things. So, my commercial self awoke...

Basically, I do not like myself going commercial. I like shopping, sometimes, but I also despise it. Kind of love-hate relationship. Once I was told - of course people need this and that, yet too much things, this is nonsense. Like piles of things lying around the house one do not even use... The sentence stayed well in my mind, though I am not in touch with the one who said it no longer. Perhaps it is even hard to tell. Bad conscience because I spend some money? Might be, too. I am ashamed of my commercial self, I even hate it - yet at some occasions, I would still behave commercial. Join the shopping crowd, howl with the wolves... and so on.

The shopping crowd was big. Saturday-like. Even when I let my commercial self out, I certainly do not like shopping in crowded mega markets. Nevertheless there was no other option. And I filled my trolley. So, now I am a proud owner of, for instance, two Ikea table lights. I actually needed two, but one of them I bought because its name in Swedish meant Darkness. And yes, it was really cheap.

Now my Roninmäki room looks cosy. Somehow, my commercial self would like to visit Ikea soon again, oh dear... but my modest self is also satisfied. Finally, the practical visit was useful by all means; we will be given a whole seriously theoretical lecture on cultural phenomena named Ikea within our studies.

Our stuff

Friday, September 14, 2007


The first more serious week in the University has finished. My programme has started. Mainly there have been info-lectures on our studies, however, we have also had the first Cultural Theory lecture. After the first lecture, the subject seems close to Sociology of Culture.

Apart from our Digital Culture programme studies, language courses are also important. International degree students are obliged to complete two Finnish courses. Usually, it is Suomi 1 and Suomi 2, but as the University offers five levels of courses, one can of course attend higher group, too. I have enrolled into Suomi 3. There also seem to be several other opportunities for learning Finnish as a foreign language within the University. So today it was all about the language. I have had another two Finnish classes; both were suitable for students of all levels. First class was about grammar, the second was dedicated to speaking. Well, no matter the topic, the first grammar class was not boring, there was lots of discussions in groups, and the speaking session was interesting as well. Finally, the day turned Finnish-speaking by all means as I my tutor invited me to her place for an afternoon visit. We happened to speak only in Finnish.

Today, it was bright sunny day again. Heading home from the city, I decided to walk through Mattilanniemi, along the shore of Jyväsjärvi. The ever-changing weather offered blue sky and first autumn colours...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The weather here is amazing. It just changes so fast, over the night, almost. It seems one day cannot predict another.
Yesterday, it was bright sunny day, and as I walked along the lake Jyväsjärvi it felt like it would be the sea. So blue, glittering in the sunlight. And the air was so warm. Is this Finland or what?

Well, yes, it is. Today it is raining. Grey rain. Autumn rain.

Despite there was no rain seen yesterday, I was able to predict today's weather. I always get a bit cranky when the weather is about to change. Yesterday, my moodiness started in the morning already. So, what was the problem? I am not homesick, surprisingly. Computerised technology works well for me. Mobile phones and the Internet. Also, here I am much more active than at home, my life is getting some kind of a sense again. The most I miss my friends, like their live presence, and I miss Nanbudo trainings. The problem yesterday was that I started to recall some past again. Some things I would not like to recall. But it just occurs. It still occurs, better to say. And I just hate it, yet there is nothing I can do. I can only write K into the waters of Jyväsjärvi: K which stands for crisis.

It also seems one starts drinking in Finland. Partly kidding here. Nevertheless the first strong alco I have tasted was Finnish, after my first visit to Finland. However, yesterday, I bought a small bottle of Wild Strawberry Liqueur. Not that strong anyway. Starting to enjoy my real student life, heh. As I felt so moody, I had hoped a sip of that sweet drink would have helped. Well, far from it. It was just a sip, really, but that sweet taste made the bitterness even stronger.

This past is all about the fact I was at one point a part of somebody's life. Or better, the one was a part of my life. Then, things have changed. It seems I do not exist for that one no longer. How easy it seems to replace one person. In this case, I suppose I have been easily replaced and forgotten. As I have never even been present.

I guess such stuff is common, people come and go, but I am dealing with it for the first time. At least in such a way. Or, fuck, everything has changed, and contemporary times are just crazy. This superficiality of human relations has always hurt me; as an observer, and of course much more when being involved. How things seem worthless at one point; how the past seems worthless.

How can one so easily forget the other? How can one so easily replace a person? I keep seeking for some kind of true relations. Deep relations. It is not about one and her/his needs only, it is about the equal two. Also, I can be seriously involved with only a few people during my whole life. I can be alone for a long time, I do not care. I do not need so called partner only because I am supposed to have one. Neither to show off around my friends with my gorgeous catch, nor to build up my self-esteem. I cannot forget the past via new relationships; I cannot establish a new relationship just to forget the shitty one. Whatever. I would just like to get over that old stuff. I would like to be the one forgetting, replacing with ease. But I would also like to renew the communication I have once had. However, on the other hand, I am afraid it is pointless.

The conclusion is I would rather not drink when feeling cranky. It just makes things worse.

Sunday, September 09, 2007



My investigations of the Jyväskylä night life continued on Saturday. The place I visited was Lutakko. There, most of the more alternative kind of gigs usually takes place. So it was yesterday, too. The gig I went to see was Amorphis.

The tickets for Lutakko gigs can mainly be bought online. Not with credit cards, but via Internet banking. This particular gig was sold out some days before, yet 50 ticket were still available from the door. As I did not have my ticket yet, I reached the venue well before the door would open. Waiting outside for some time was finally payed off with the ticket.

Lutakko is more close to those shabby-looking places I prefer when it come to metal, punk or other alternative kind of gigs. I do not feel well if the place is too fancy anyway. The building is in more industrial area, it is quite old and I have heard they wanted to pull it down one time. So, Lutakko has that proper shabby coziness. Interior is quite lofty, but then again not that very big. The stage is pretty small. Again, there are age limitations. Kids under 18 can go and see Amorphis, for instance, yet they are not alloved to enter the Lutakko bar. Oh, and the coffee in that particular bar costed me 1€ - which I think is quite okay.

Now, the gig. Amorphis is one of those worldwide famous Finnish bands. More on the band itself can be found on their home-page. In general, the themes of their music have tackled Finnish past and legends, for instance Kalevala. I do not want to be nasty as I like their music... but Amorphis is among those bands I would call Finland for Foreigners. Touristic bands. Like singing in English and dealing with well known atributes of Finland and North. Winter, black days, myths, thousand lakes and all that stuff. Their sounds are dark, but they are still energetic enough. Anyway, it seemed Amorphis had remained popular among the Finns. There were several generations of fans, yet there was quite an amount of those that were not allowed to visit the bar.

The gig itself was okay. I have been more into the band's earlier material. They have just got new album out, so there was new and unknown stuff. Luckily they did feature some good pieces from old albums as well. Amorphis surely is a band with quite good and distinctive melodics; with distinctive guitar riffs. Especially within their older material. Their lyrics is... well, nothing that special for my demanding artsy ears. Nevertheless their melodics is what I like the most. The vocal is also good, combination of growls and clean singing, and the sound yesterday was fine.

As a proven metal band, Amorphis is skilled in live acts. Seeing them live was worth 13 for the ticket- actually, the prices for events seem to be mainly around this number, or less, like 5 for a couple of minor and in Finnish singing metal bands. Also something. As Slovenia, Finland too has prohibited smoking in all public places. For us non-smokers it feels really good to return home from either the bar or the gig - without sore eyes and especially that nasty smell. However, these are only my first impressions. I guess I might write more on Lutakko, ticket prices and on some gigs in the times yet to come. Until then, here is a few pictures. They might not be the best I have ever taken, but nevertheless I hope they will offer a slight taste of my first Lutakko visit.

The entrance.

A part of the interior.

Amorphiksen laulaja Joutsen.

The stage after the gig.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Not even an hour ago I finally checked out night life in Jyväskylä. It did not take me long to find out one place which offers the thing I was after - so called metal bar. This one is called Inferno and it is located in the centre of the city. Well, as you can see, the first visit was short, it lasted just two hours and a half - but it was only a first check up. So I might be writing more on this theme in the future.

I have had this Finnish friend (luulen, ettet lue blogiani ennä...), yet for some reasons our interaction and Internet communication had never tackled night life in Finland. At least not in details. Thus meaning I have been lacking some essential information. Like when to come to the bar. But still, I like to discover things on my own, despite I am sometimes embarrassed. The bar opens at 20:00 and so I decided to take the bus which leaves from my place at 21:15. However, when I reached the destinations, first I had to show my ID. Yep, the bar is only for those aged twenty and onwards; during some days, however, the entrance is allowed to those who are eighteen, too. This limitations are marked with the sign K-20 or K-18. No matter if I may seem younger, being well over twenty, heh, I then entered into...a completely empty bar. Well, there was music playing and all, but at 21:3o there was only the barman and the securities. In my shaky Finnish I managed to get the following information: night life in Finland starts a bit later than my arrival. Okay, if there is some Finn reading this, please, just feel free to correct me if I might be finding out wrong info.

I bought quite a big glass of coke, 1.50 €, and sat alone. Feeling slightly silly, of course. However, the bar is indeed similar to our Orto; this is the very brief impression. Two places, yet here both on the same level. One bigger with the bar, some seats and a stage for the gigs, one with the bar and many seats only. And yes, as this is metal bar all the time, it is opened several days during the week. Anyway, after some time of my feeling silly and guessing if any Finns will appear before midnight, people started to pop in. Soon, the place looked more like a proper metal bar as there were finally some fans in it.

The music. What can I say, pretty similar selection than at home. Some more local, in Finnish only singing bands. Quite lots of hardcore. Melodic death-doom, some thrash. And then, also some favorites - Satyricon's K.I.N.G. and, yep, Finntroll. Actually, I have heard some guys behind me discussing whether it is Finntroll or Korpiklaani... before the Swedish lines started. Well, metal fans looked interesting, and despite I felt a bit silly, I was not the only one siting alone in the bar... but this is just a current brief impression.

As I felt tired, I took a bus back home at midnight. So here I can also add a note on the buses. It feels quite a luxury to me that I have a bus stop so close to my block. Despite the monthly pass here is expensive, I did afford one. Well, there are some buses at 2:00 in the morning - and I think that in some other areas even later.

Finally, this Inferno looks like something close to our Orto bar metal nights. The place seems even slightly too fancy, perhaps. Could metal in Finland (or elsewhere) still be considered as a proper subculture, with alternative shabby-looking places, or it has actually become a commercial main-stream act? Something to observe and to think about in the future, I guess...

The photos of the place TBA when I make some.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Jyväskylä, 7.9.2007

Finnish study year starts in September. Since Monday, I have been officially a student. Again! There is really a lot of international students. Most of them are here on behalf of student exchange programmes, yet there is also a nice amount of 150 international degree students.
Jyväskylä is a small city. Kylä itself means a village in Finnish. Just do not be mislead by this translation, Jyväskylä is by all means a city - with approximately 80.000 inhabitants. And half of those are actually students. However, our Digital Culture starts next week; now we are just listening to loads of practical information.

Now to my personal practicalities. When I came to Finland a week ago, I knew where I had been going; thus meaning the society here, as I had visited the country twice before. The fact that I already speak Finnish seems a nice benefit. At least it gives me more confidence when it comes , for instance, to food products. I also try to talk Finnish as much as possible, especially within the last days. The knowing of language as it would bring the culture closer, or at least I do not feel so isolated, so foreign.

The city is small, but that does not bother me. I do not feel good in big cities. I already know the streets and it is also not that hard to find them from the map. There is Lutakko for metal and I hope some punk gigs I intend to visit some time in the future, there are some interesting music bars. What else do one need, heh? Many things, still... too many, perhaps.

I do not feel like a tourist here. That and also all the time some errands in my mind is the reason I have not taken many photos yet. Also, I have again this Fake Finn thing of mine going on; I try to melt with locals as much as possible, not to appear as ulkomaalainen, a foreigner. Manly because of the language purposes. However, now I do have a Finnish phone number, and all of a sudden two Nokia cellphones in my bag (so this goes to those many things mentioned above). I had to open a Finnish bank account, too, and I had to encounter personal internet banking for the first time. Well, yes, considering some everyday stuff, I seem to be behind time in both countries, in Slovenia and in Finland. Oh, and I am going to study Digital Culture, beware...

Now I will pass the word to a few of my first photos...

My opiskelija asunto, student apartment community. It is called Roninmäki. No matter that Finland is supposed to be more or less flat (Lappi is different story), I live on the hill, mäki, again.

The view from my window.

Kirkkopuisto - Church Park in the centre.

Agora, university building in Mattilanniemi part of the campus.

Monday, September 03, 2007


There is a song I have been given some time ago. In the song, a Finnish guy Arto writes from south-somewhere; like that he moved to that particular south and he would stay there for some time. The song-letter concludes with the lines Rakkain terveisin, Arto. With love, Arto. This song I have recalled last week. Yet my story is reverse. Unlike the guy Arto, I have moved up north. I am in Finland.

Where shall I start? There is much to tell, my dear people... but I am a bit tired at the moment. So many words there was, so many tiny stories... but now it is hard to find them. Thus, I plan to write more in the days to come. Also, I plan to add some photos. I did not have proper time to take any during the past days. However, last Monday, I left Ljubljana, direct flight from Letališče Jožeta Pučnika, the former Ljubljana Brnik Airport. The plane took me all the way to Helsinki. It was an evening flight. And as I left Finland at the break of the dawn last last year, now I reached the land when the day ended. As I did not sleep my last night in Finland a year ago, I did not sleep my new first Finnish night either. It felt as I would make one big circle. Last year, this year. Same time, same month. Morning, night. And no sleep in between.

This time, there was another reason for my insomnia. I needed to wait for the night bus from Helsinki-Vantaa. The bus that took me to the place where I am now. I traveled to Jyväskylä.

So, now I am in
Jyväskylä. The centre of Keski-Suomi, Mid-Finland. In my own room, in a student apartment. For the first time in my life I actually live in a student apartment. And yep, the main reason for my relocation are MA studies. I have applied to MA Programme in Digital Culture at Jyväskylän Yliopisto, University of Jyväskylä. This project of mine has been going on since January, and there were times when I was totally unsure if I would be going or not. However, when the scholarship was approved to me, my final decision was a bit easier.

Now I am in Finland. I have been getting questions from the Finns, like - why have you chosen Finland? Well, I do not actually know... or better, my heart knows the best. The MA programme attracts me, one reason, there is no tuition fee for the MA, second reason, and I would like to develop my language skills, the reason number three. Okay, some time ago, I was also in contact with somebody from Finland. That communication has turned into a pretty crucial point of my life, so it seems. Will we ever meet again? I cannot tell. Life, various stories, and so on. I miss some past, yet the future awaits.

Still, I cannot totally get this move to the future. Today, my club in Slovenia has had a first Nanbudo training after summer, I have felt a sting in my heart in the midst of these woods here...

Alright. It is getting late; according to that, I am getting sleepy. Tomorrow starts the Orientation Week for all new students. So much for now in my first letter from north... my friends and fellow bloggers, stay fine.