Last weekend I went to Helsingør with my colleague. This little city absolutely stole my heart and will be on a revisit list for summer. Besides numerous ‘to be or not to be’ –liners I dropped the whole day, I literally could not let go of my camera. Kronborg’s castle is what Helsingør is known for (or at least one of those things) and Hamlet is pretty much present everywhere in the city. Kronborg’s castle and its surroundings reminded me a bit of Suomenlinna Sea Fortress in Helsinki (absolutely in top 3 places to visit when in Helsinki during summer time).


You can see from Helsingør to Helsingborg and the ferries go between Denmark and Sweden regularly. I think it will be a good idea to make a short visit to Helsingborg next time, it has been a too long while since I’ve visited the neighbour (although Malmö might happen before Helsingborg). Besides the harbour and Kronborg castle what really strikes out in Helsingør is the old city. Buildings looks like they are from a cartoon, it feels like you would be inside of a story. Every building is different colour and it feels like you should take a picture of every single alley you see. It is a good idea to prepare a power bank and full battery for a camera with a decent size memory card in it for the day.


City is easy to reach from Copenhagen central station and with a tourist tickets (24/72h ones for zones 1-99) it is cheap to get there and you can travel with the same ticket inside of Copenhagen also. Definitely a day trip you might want to squeeze in if traveling to the capitol of Denmark.



Confessions of a single traveller

I started to write this post already a couple weeks back but because I had some difficulties to put it up in public it is here now. Pics are from Copenhagen from the past weeks, I will do separate post from Helsingør where I went yesterday. But now on to the post I kind of don’t want to and same time want to write.


Today on this perfect sunny day I decided to pay a visit to some of the tourist spots here in Copenhagen (also I continued a search of that n.1 Café Latte in here more about that on next post). But while exploring the city and doing one of my favourite things (photographing) I did get that blue cloud above my head. And I could choose to ignore it and just write a post about what I did today, show these pics that I took on a perfect day. I just chose to take this post into another direction, maybe one could say to the shadows 😀


Sometimes, it is just damn hard to do stuff alone. There it is, I said it. I’m that person who would want to act like that sentence is not happening in life, like that could be something that I can happily just put into a box and send it to somewhere (READ: meaning that this doing things alone would not get me, it does). Today was one of those days that as much as I enjoyed photographing (I got some sweet shots) and spending some quality time with myself, I just kind of wished I could have shared it with someone. This would not be the first time, I remember quite clearly one of the most overwhelming moments in my life when I was standing in Central, Hong Kong looking back to TST and just cried. Because I was somewhere where I always wanted to be. But inside I felt so lonely it was painful. As a consequence of equation of trying to cope with that pain and dream coming true I just didn’t find any other way to deal with that situation than being by the water and cry my eyes out. Today’s feeling was more like a whining undertone trying its best to ruin my day. But still, as far as I’m standing with my own two feet as an independent woman, I still can’t help myself of feeling isolated every here and there from the world because I do so much alone.


Isolation is hard, it is that feeling of being an elephant in an antique store or that you would wear a cap with Las Vegas lights screaming in all colours and sparkles ‘WEIRDO’ ‘ALIEN’ ‘KEEP AWAY YOU MIGHT GET HURT’. Which of course inside of your head turns into behaviour pattern of trying to act as normal as you can (for me trying this is most of the time quite hard… in other words; I think I just don’t deliver this ‘normal’ well). As a consequence you might as well look like a lost little puppy, which is not helping that mission of not being noticed. And I’ve been going this thing over and under, sidewalks and highway and come to the conclusion that some of the traits I have in me, I can’t fully nourish when I’m alone (of course this goes other way around too there are things that I prefer to do alone).


I’m a bit shy (everyone who knows me, yes this happens 😀 ) when I’m alone and this has an effect on me when I’m taking photos. Sometimes I might not take a shot just because I feel that I might disturb someone or will be out of my ‘normal zone’ and surprisingly I usually feel not to be in that ‘normal zone’ when I’m with someone I feel comfortable to be with. Feelings of excitement (which I personally get from anything like today when I saw two swans eating in a pond) are supposed to be shared with someone, they bottle up inside and withers without expression. Sharing parts of your life in somewhere else than in social media gives you a sense of belonging. Therefore, one of the most hardest things when moving a place or traveling a longer time alone is not how to do things by yourself. The hard part is when you feel like sharing a moment with someone else and you can’t.


The Coffee Collective – Torvehallerne, Copenhagen

There has been a while since my last post, but to be honest past few weeks has been nice but same time a lot to adjust to. Copenhagen seems like a good place to live and today I finally started my search for the best coffee place in here. I just moved into my room near Nørreport station and I started my search quite naturally from surrounding areas. My first pick was not bad at all, I went to Torvehallerne and find my way to The Coffee Collective. Ordered my usual, meaning Latte & Croissant. I wish I could be that Espresso –person who would understand and appreciate all the tastes and richness of serving a coffee in such a pure way but well I’m not 😀  I like the taste of coffee when it blends with milk, that smoothness but same time, depending on the bean the taste varies. Although too many times you receive a bitter latte (there is something hypnotic of that first sip of the morning coffee, bitterness breaks the spell). I was lucky to have the best coffee so far in Denmark this morning, the spell did not broke! I’m more than sure after this experience I will visit also The Coffee Collective’s two other shops here in Copenhagen.


Only minus I would give for this morning experience would be that the shop is small and because of its location, it is really busy. Therefore if you are looking for a place to spend time and relax I would not suggest this as the first place to go. Interior design was similar to a lot roasteries back in Finland, so really Nordic alike style, with clean lines. White, black and wood mixed in interior choices. Even though it was busy this morning, shop itself felt cosy and familiar, which was a good thing.  Also, they would deliver for a more demanding coffee drinker (I didn’t check the menu but based on the gear that they have there I would say that they can do pretty much everything coffee related). I think Torvehallerne shop will be a must go take away place when spring and summer hits here with full force. In that case the only minus I could come up with (and that is not necessary a minus, it is more related to the location of the shop) would not matter because there are plenty of places near Nørreport to enjoy the day.

And if someone knows coffee places that I should definitely visit here in Copenhagen let me know in the comments!

你不是真正的快樂 – You are not really happy

I’m standing still and I can feel the warm breeze coming towards me. I’m awfully calm, which has not been my trademark before but somehow now, in this moment I am. Jumping into a new adventure, figuring out how to make all the arrangements but it is coming, no it is not winter but something new. It was not long while ago when I sent a text to my friend saying ‘I know international career has always been my dream, but what if I’m just not meant to do it’. Because I felt that I should just leave it, I don’t know even why but in a moment of despair you say things aloud. In those cold and muddy waters, it is easy to question everything and mostly question one’s existence.

Past couple of years I’ve tried to really find who I am. It has been a roller-coaster, which has been mentally really exhausting. Jumping from the best moments in my life into black hole and back, where everyday is like riding in a taxi in Shenzhen = you never know what line the taxi will take next, where the cab is going to turn what speed it will go and is it steady or a bumpy ride. I’ve always been happy person, but there has been awful lot of moments in recent years where I had to go behind my smile. Moments where I felt I wanted to just stop being, hide from the world. I don’t even know where I found at some points the energy to force myself to move forward, but I did. It was a sudden moment this January where I caught myself smiling, not because there were specifically something that I should smile about. It was just the fact that I felt good in my life, in my ordinary life.

Today, I was sitting in my favourite café in Helsinki (Kaffa). I have tradition to start my Saturday’s in there with Café Latte and cheese croissant, while I read and write my journal (I’m reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah at the moment, warm recommendation). All of a sudden speakers started to play Adele’s Hometown Glory. I’ve learned to love Helsinki, listening this song while knowingly drinking one of the last Latte’s in that café for a while created a new kind of atmosphere, which I haven’t experienced before. I will miss Helsinki and more precisely I will miss the life I had in Helsinki. But at the same time, I feel the eagerness inside of me to move to my next episode.

It is inside me, this thirst to see and experience new, see the world. Nonetheless my longing for freedom, this time leaving Finland will be different than before. This time, I had made a decision in a place and mindset where I was feeling good about my life. Couple years back if I would have gotten the opportunity I got a week ago, I would have packed my bags in that minute and leave. That was me then, now I actually used days (yes, this is a long time for me to make a decision :D) to come up with my conclusion. It was one day last week, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I jump up in my bed and my first thought was ‘Copenhagen’, which kind of sealed the decision.

So, Copenhagen, Denmark I’m ready for my next adventure.


I was running around trying to catch something. When I finally got a glimpse of it I had forgotten what I was chasing for and all of a sudden I was in forest, which is same time so familiar and comfortable but at the same time, so enormous, something I’ve never discovered. Standing right in the middle of it, trying to figure out how I got there, but it is more than that. The stop, realisation of standing still and my past starts to paint into pictures and somehow meaningful journey. I start to understand what I was, who I was but who am I now? After all that has happened to me, who am I? What am I and where I am supposed to move from here? One could turn back and walk into old But most of the time going back suffocates, especially if the main drive to go back is the fear of new. Turning back and walking into old in that spot, in that forest feels as wrong as mixing perfume and meatballs. Still standing, looking into that forest and those remaining 364 possible paths to choose from.


Back into square one, who am I? And what it is that lights me up, makes me feel that I am alive? Isn’t that something I should follow, but I see the goal but path to that does not seem so clear. I can only see the forest, nothing else. In that moment everything is present, all of it is in the air but my mind just can’t get a clue where to go. So, I just stand there. Something has come to an end and it is more than obvious that every time something comes to an end, something new will come. Impatience, does that make the transformation always so hard? A story of an ugly duck, who could not see what she has become. Would I always mirror back to that little insecure girl? Or would I find a way to let myself bloom and let loose of those skeletons that are still holding me back. Transformation is coloured with vulnerability, self-doubt and determination. My whole life has been balancing act of these three qualities, or act of hiding some of them. World is more complex than an individual transformation, it is easy for a western person to fall into delusion of me, myself and I. But our whole life is decisions to communicate or not to communicate with others, and these decisions have an impact on the life we create. Our surroundings also guide us to a certain solutions and outcomes with or without we acknowledge these forces or not. Still standing.


And I wish I had the courage. The courage to move but I can’t move my feet’s and walk into undiscovered, at least not yet. And I just keep asking myself why? What it is in this time that makes me want to stay and not to move. But at the same time there is something inside of me telling that I want to move and not to stay. It is like two parallel universes trying to combine themselves into a one burrito but these two views just repel each other creating well a huge mess. It is not that I would not find things interesting, I find almost everything interesting. But it is focus that I’m lacking and my view on things are incomplete and I feel that I’m just one big question mark. In the future I would understand better, my past would present itself more simplified way, where correlations are clearer. It is challenging to make decisions. You choose one path, it prevents you to enter another which is still available in this moment. Is it ‘too much choice?’ world? Have I created this problem all by myself? Or is it just life, is life constant decisions that moves our life to certain directions? And at the end of the day, how much say so we have into our journeys? Is there a really a way for us to choose, is there a freedom to choose? And more remarkably, do these decisions we make have an impact in our lives or is it just illusion of an impact?


Hymn of Life

Pics are from Yayoi Kusama’s In Infinity exhibition in HAM (the piece is called Hymn of life).

I just happened to have awesome friends (as everybody else) but I just have to shout it out today! Past week I’ve been experiencing one of my favourite exhibition experiences this year, when I went to see Yayoi Kusama’s In Infinity in HAM with a friend, she is someone who will always take me as I am even during those times when I’m running in circles (or when she is waiting me outside of surgery room but let’s not go there). This was topped by finishing my BBA and having couple drinks in Steam with someone I have not known for so long, but who has been inviting me everywhere this year and has made settling back to Finland a lot more easier. Then there is my childhood friend who just came back from Australia and besides the fact that she is awesome, she knows me as I know my shoes and other way around and she visited me couple days ago. How about a bit of my ‘listening her life story everyday’ ‘supporting her in any decisions she makes’ –friend who happened to had Birthday party this Monday, it is not appropriate to forget to mention me interrupting the date nights (basically always).


And it gets better, after accidentally saying ‘yes’ to a ‘proposal’ in Ateneum (yes, you read right, I blame a bit on it on Universe and more to the fact that if someone is talking in language I don’t know I tend to say ‘yes’ in that language, even when I have no clue what the other person said… Maybe I should start to learn some French) on Wednesday, I saw someone from China, or more like a Finn who is living in China and just here for the holidays. Of course I got a migraine and what happened is that she walk me home, and we chatted in a dark room… or it was more like me listening her and saying ‘mmmm’ but still it counts (I tried my best!). And I’ve missed her so much! Today I got a surprise from my friend who also happens to be my Chinese tutor (…my Chinese language skills are still limited but I’m learning), she gave me traditional Chinese cosmetics and I’m just happy I have someone who has the patience to teach me this language I really like but which I learn so slooooow. When I got back home there was a card waiting from me from my best German friend. It just put a smile on your face and yes, I would really like you to visit me soon!


Not to forget my childhood friend who I send a message whenever I have problems to explain Finnish grammar (thanks to her I know now that there are verb types in Finnish and it makes a lot more sense to explain them in that way to someone who is learning Finnish than my answers before: ‘it just is like this….’) to somebody. Although she is also someone who knows me so well and understands me because we’ve seen together so much since well that was so long ago even I can’t remember when we first met. I wish I have chance to meet you next year in other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Not to mention the group chat with my castle mates, it was over 3 years ago when we first met in the Flat 138 in Nottingham but we still keep in touch weekly even though there are some time difference issues as everyone is in different part of the world, it still means a lot to me having you guys around. And for all of those people in China, who I dearly miss and I wish I would have that teleport to give the ‘happy holiday’ greetings and hugs. Extra special mention to the best English tutor who helped me to check my language in my thesis and to ‘my boys’ well, just because you are so great. And I’m now getting ready to pick up my sister from the central railway station as she will be visiting here for the holidays. Tomorrow we will head up ‘north’ or more precisely to ‘middle’ to one of my favourite places in the world and spend Christmas with rest of the family. This year has been confusing and life changing but I was able to finish my degree and overall stand with my own two feet’s even when there was times I would not believe it myself.


So, I just want to shout out loud and clear how much I appreciate every single one of you! And you know who you are, I could not fit everybody into the story above but that does not mean that you are not part of the real story, the one that actually matters.

Happy Holidays everyone!

In Rainbows

I’m still dancing through November (knock on wood). Facebook has been kindly reminding (with the function that tells you; x years ago you posted this) me about albums like Kid A and Amnesiac, but I’m not in the mood for those. Although, I have to confess that when I found out that In Rainbows (FINALLY) is on Spotify, my playlist has been pretty much Radiohead on loop. At least one could view it a bit more ‘light spirited’ compared to Kid A or Amnesiac (I don’t want to disappear completely, however not sure is don’t get any big ideas, they’re not gonna happen any better?  :’D). Past autumn has been busy (as every other autumn I would say) but it is flavoured with me returning my thesis (yay, graduation is one step closer and if everything goes fine I will get that certificate end of this year… at last! what a relief). What I’ve been up to lately in Helsinki is brunches. I’m still figuring out when to do another post for coffee places (there are more than couple good ones in Kallio area), but because I happen to have footage from a really nice breakfast/brunch place I think it is better to stick to that. Plus I have no idea what else I could write about but I still feel like writing. It seemed logical to talk about KUUMA.

KUUMA is a relatively nice place in the corner of Pursimiehenkatu and Albertinkatu in Punavori (I know, am I too favourable for the places here in my hoods? But what can you do, Punavuori delivers one of the nicest restaurants and cafés in Helsinki). I heard about it from my friend (who lives btw in Espoo…) and I thought I needed a tiny yummy break from my thesis and decided to have an all-day breakfast in KUUMA (which translates in English as HOT). And just to be sure how much I like the place, I met my cousin today in there. Here are some pictures from their breakfast and yes, I can warmly recommend. What I have had is an Avocado Toast and Chia pudding with a juice and coffee (awwwww… yes.)

Million Reasons

Some odd reason relationships and commitment has been on my mind lately. It could be that there has been so many things considering these issues in my close friendships that I felt to write about this. How to make that decision to stay in a relationship? And on the other hand what tells one to exit? Every relationship looks like the ones who are in it and only those two knows exactly what is going on between them. What I’ve learned in late years is that most of the times one is too blind to see own barriers and locks that prevents the relationship to evolve. And I see this in me too, everyone has their baggage of prior relationships, heartbreaks and past.

There is always those things no one wants to hear about like timing and of course the fact that you can’t change the other person. Change oneself is hard and for some reason we often find it easier to try to change everything else in our lives but not ourselves. What makes us turn our head away from ourselves? What is the distraction and why it is so much ‘easier’ to see mistakes in others? Loving oneself with whole heart is challenging, because we tend to push things that threatens our world view to subconscious. Therefore we don’t have to deal with those thoughts and same time we easily strengthen those old thoughts and ideas we have about ourselves. This creates dissonance within, because we change and evolve but if we close our eyes from that change we live and stay in life that fit previous versions of ourselves. Which could led into situation when you have everything you ever wish for but it seems that something is off.


It is hard to look back at that map and compass and decide to go to south when you have traveled to north east for years, especially when you know there is storm you have to go through if you change your direction. I thought if I just throw that anchor into water and stay for a while, I would find that place that is meant to me. Just to notice that being still would not make me happy, that I would need to take that leap and travel to south, even when it didn’t seem to be rational at all. Waiting for something to happen is painful and draining, sometimes only option is to lift up that anchor from the sea and continue. Let go of those thoughts of what could have been and take the chance to access something new. But making that decision to move on is one of the hardest things to do. Even when you know that this is what I have to do to keep that fire inside me live, it is hard to let go when love is involved…will it always come down to love? And is it that paradox of love that makes it hard for us to stay or go?


Coffee & Helsinki pt.2

So, after having my first V60 on Saturday (of course at Kaffa) I think it is a good time to write more about Cafés in Helsinki. Next three is going to be from city center area and not in any particular order once again. First Johan & Nyström Coffee. Located in idyllic Katajanokka with a sea view and warm welcoming atmosphere topped up with nice coffee, not more you can ask for? I think I mentioned earlier, my usually ‘to go’ –drink is Latte which is served in nice glass mugs and there are some little treats you can choose to go with coffee if you feel like it. Menu for all the coffee possibilities is projected into a wall and there are plenty to choose from. Similarly to Kaffa you can buy all the necessary accessories to make your coffee also at home and staff is helpful if you need assistance. But for me, it is the atmosphere in here which comes from the location and interior design that makes me go back for coffee in here. Often if I’m showing Helsinki to someone I take them here. Below picture from last summer showing that awesome view and cafe heart I got last time when I visited the shop. How to get here? Easiest way is to take a tram to Senate Square and walk from there to the shop.

Second place is the newest addition to coffee places I’ve visited in Helsinki called Mad Possum. Due to the years in China I like my coffee hot (usually other beverages too like warm water, tea…even during summer time), nonetheless temperature outside. But after walking for a whole day I stepped out of my routines and tasted iced latte. And yes, it was a good choice. You know those times you have to choose what are you going to have and you slightly want to try something new but end up disappointed? This time there were no disappointment in the air, my latte had excellent taste. Besides the iced latte I heard nice reviews of Espresso that my friends were having. Place is small, by square meters it is most likely one of the smallest places I’ve visited in Helsinki. In this case that is not a problem, it separates Mad Possum from other places and creates certain feeling to the place. Once again staff is more than helpful and if you feel like chatting for a longer or not at all there is a room for both. Located near Senate Square in Vironkatu in Kruunuhaka, easiest way to get there is by taking a tram to Kaisaniemenpuisto (trams 3, 6, 6T or 9) or Kansallisarkisto (trams 1A or 7B). Because place is small and I have some issues photographing in places where I could accidentally harass someone’s chilling I only have picture from the outside.


And last is La Torrefazione, this is located in da spot. Meaning that it is always busy and it is next to Stockmann (oldest and biggest department store in Helsinki). I would recommend this place, if you are a bit hungry but same time would feel like having a coffee. La Torrefazione serves really nice menu of Ciabattas and cakes if you feel like something sweet (also vegan choices, yay!). I would say compared to other two option this is more like a café in a traditional sense where you would just order and move to eat what you wanted in a table you choose (or in this case you take a table that is free). Therefore it would not give so much choices in terms of if you want to know more about the coffee you’re drinking or you feel like chatting with the barista (I’ve never been in here and not seeing a queue to the counter). But it is located in a really good spot and compared to other chain cafés it serves quality coffee (using Kaffa’s beans see my first post on Coffee and Helsinki) and nice range of other beverages and things to eat. It is easy to walk from Central Railway station or Kamppi to La Torrefazione, but if you feel like taking public transportation take a tram to Alekstanterinkatu (trams 2, 4, 5 or 7B).


As a bonus, El Fante which is a coffe&wine bar, therefore anytime you feel like having some wine or coffee El Fante is a good choice. Serving Good Life Coffee (I will introduce Good Life Coffee in third Coffee & Helsinki post from Cafes in Kallio area) and located just couple steps from Senate Square it is a good place to visit while sight seeing Helsinki. Link to the map: https://goo.gl/maps/e7VcqrZY5kv


I usually don’t like to talk about my experiences in first hand. It seems, well too close like I would reveal too much of myself. I write about my life but there is always certain filters or I write it in a wider perspective that only relates to my life. But Sunday nights experience was something different. There is a certain euphoria to music and I’m just experiencing that for a third day in a row after Moderat’s live gig I saw on Sunday in Helsinki. And I was expecting a lot, it didn’t help that my friend put some gas into fire before the gig and described last live sets he saw with a words that doubled that critical mind of mine with expectations.

1733040772Usually expectations are bad, they ruin everything. It is Russian roulette where you wish that you would not get that bullet. Therefore I try not to expect, life is simpler that way. But for Moderat I just couldn’t do it, too much emotional baggage loaded into every beat, melody or a pause. Little did I know when I found Rusty Nails from my friend’s playlist in 2013 that it would be one of the biggest treasures for that year to carry along with me. And when I heard the first beats of Rusty Nails on Sunday, that extended version topped up with visuals and extremely talented playing I just felt small. Actually I felt small for the whole 2h gig, it is almost impossible to find something that is so well thought and executed with level of perfection with edge that keeps it still real, tangible and close. But all of that just happened and when everyone else was able to at least burst into some kind of a words after the gig my best ‘sentence’ to come up was ‘that was solid’. And I’m still in it, there are only few things that makes me tickle more than that post euphoric feeling after a live music, especially after a live show that strikes and pokes the right way.

And when it pokes it is just a nanosecond and you are on a time travel. When I was little one of my main concerns were, how it would be in space? If I would just be there, flow in there, how it would feel? Not sure would space feel like that time traveling I experienced on Sunday but I think I was flowing. It is that feeling when you just fall into music, and it just moves through you and you completely forget place and time. There it was and I was stunned, you expect but when something goes beyond your expectations, well you’re in post-traumatic shock. And I think I’m still in it, shock I mean. Music, when it is not pretending to be anything, it becomes everything. And that is rare to find.

I have only one pic from the venue, which was taken before the show started. So for this time, I will spice this post with some tracks from Moderat.