Rock n Roll Suicide

I don’t know what to write. I have no clue. No freaking clue. I’ve moved back to Finland, it is a huge change and I can’t come up with anything to write about. It could be because I’m still in a shock within this change. In a way there is so many things that reminds me about past. Like today when I was doing some cleaning and feeling a bit blue, I saw a dog having some extra fun in snow. Like going completely mental and first I smiled, but then I just broke down in tears. It was just those moments that reminds you of someone, and this particular incident reminded me of my dog. And for some reason at that time being I was listening to David Bowie’s Rock n Roll Suicide and like dozens of times before, I was crying while this tune was on. It is my go to song when I need strength. And I have no actual clue why I would need that much of strength at the moment. But for some reason I feel like I would have had huge battle and I would be so worn out of it that anything could trigger me, like a dog having blast in snow while there was one of the best days in Finland this year so far (sun shining from clear blue sky).

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So, there I was crying my heart out and trying to use vacuum cleaner at the same time. It was one of those moments I felt I just wanted to go to my bed and just broke into 100000000 pieces. Or be more specific it would not be my bed, but almost there. Everything from past is here, but same time nothing is the same. And to be more specific I’m not the same woman I was when I left Finland almost 3 years ago. But still some things feels the same, some places just makes me wonder, if I would have been able to see a bit further I would have avoid so much pain. I would have actually seen that I can survive and I will survive from a lot more than I was able to even imagine in that exact spot years ago. It is funny how everything seems so big, huge and impossible in that moment, something you could never get over. That Mount Everest you have to climb without proper gear. And somehow you always find yourself standing with your own two feet afterwards, sometimes you need your friends or family to hold you still for a while to get energy back from that trip that drawn a lot form you but still you’re standing. I think I’m standing at the moment. I wish I could feel all that energy but it is not here yet. I’m waiting that moment when I have my flat and I can just stay in for the whole day if I feel like it. When I have that place I can go to and actually undo my luggage.

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I feel like I’m still on that plane, where I made that decision to move back to Finland or crossing border to Hong Kong for a last time in a while and giving that long hug to one of my closest friends in Shenzhen. Or that goodbye the day before my flight when I run to red line in MTR as fast as I could and my friend did the same but just to catch blue line. That last night out which I almost cancelled because I thought I would not have enough people coming and in the end there were not enough space in one table for us in Futian Kitchen. My favourite sushi place in Buji where I accidentally went last day it was open. I’m living my life in Helsinki but part of me is still somewhere else and I’m not sure is that part supposed to come back to me anymore. It feels a bit like a new born, next chapter where I have to build new me. Where I have to give up on certain things to get something else into my life. It is just hard and I’m clinging into something I had in China. Even when I have everything sorted out here in Helsinki. I’m so un-balanced it feels like ceasefire inside me but I’m not used to that. I’m used to war inside me. Pulling those bigger guns into the game but now there is weird peacefulness in this moment and I have no clue how to deal with that.

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Trust

Pics from Luohu Shenzhen

Sometimes you just have to put your faith into someone else’s hands. This week was one of those weeks for me, where I wondered a life a bit more than usual. As I didn’t have energy or strength to do anything else (okay, I did watch Game of Thrones and Sherlock quite many episodes also). Past Sunday started pretty much same as any other Sunday, besides I was feeling pain. So much pain that I couldn’t barely walk anymore. This indicated to me that I need to go to hospital. For a person like me, who had antibiotics last time 4 years ago this seemed challenge. I think last time in being a patient in a hospital was indeed when I was born. What were my feelings when I got into a Chinese hospital and I hear word ‘surgery’ and I was moved into inpatient block? I can tell that what I felt to do (and I did quite a lot) was to cry. So, I cried probably because of the pain but addition to that I think it was the shock. Shock of not fully understanding what was going on, and what people were actually going to do to me. So, as I changed to hospital clothes, and same time cried my eyes out of my head, nurses were able to get me into the surgery, and back to my bed. Everything seems quite blurry from that time, I do remember nurses and doctors asking from me ‘do you speak Chinese?’… That moment only thing I was able to think in my head was, why on earth I’m not fluent in Mandarin and why I haven’t found enough time to become fluent with the language. You know you should know, but you don’t. Oh, I hate that feeling… like someone would come over your shoulder ‘I told you so’. Yes, I think there have been a lot of talking about learning the language, but why I didn’t find the time to learn it?

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Everything went well, and I’m still in one piece. I’ve managed (I hope at least) to understand what happened, and how to deal with this whole situation at home. But still, I couldn’t stop wondering, how much trust you have to put on someone when you’re hospitalized. As I’m one of those persons, having the independent act going on and so used to do and handle everything by myself. What happens to a person like me, when all of a sudden I’m not in control of it all anymore? When I can’t just make the decision to move forward, or sideways or handling the issue right now, in that exact minute? Well… besides the crying which lasted quite a long time, I found myself in hospital bed wondering about life, Universe and all the other basic things from deep waters. I found myself again questioning a lot of things, which I’ve been ignoring due to ‘rush’, ‘stress’ or any other excuse that has ‘busy’ written all over it. As per usual, I couldn’t find any answers nor solutions but at least I was forced to find the time to think. And, oh yeas I did think, questioning again my life, choices and this year in general. As it was supposed to be the year of graduating and learning. I’ve found myself in different path, and fighting against obstacles I didn’t even dare to think when this year started.

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I’ve looked at myself, and my behaviour and worst part… started to question myself because there were ‘talk’ about my presence and way to handle things. I’m no way perfect, but I saw myself going back to the old trait. To that place where everything is wrong about me and I’m just the one making mistakes, and being the horrible person. I have it in my blood, I blame myself of everything, as I’m supposed to be this almighty person who always understands and reads others minds. Who always reacts in right manner, and bloody hell sets on fire if I ever say anything against on someone’s behaviour against me.

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I’ve heard an awful lot of things about me, straight to my face this year and as much I would love to be a normal person, who can just pass that torch of hate straight back to the one who gave it to me… I found myself re-evaluating those sayings against on my behaviour. This is in top of my reasons why I always try to avoid in fight to attack the other person, I’m trying to argue over the action not the person. Welcome to the real world, I guess but same time I would like to stay in that land far far away, where grass is still green and people wants good for each other nonetheless are you thinking or feeling about things same way. I would just like to hold on to that little tiny bit of me, who still believes in things that seems impossible in the light of the recent news. Maybe all I needed was a bit of trust, trust on nothing, that moment when you have no other option than to let go and hope that everything turns out OK.

Bali Kind of a Vacation

Helloo from beautiful Bali!

This is most likely going to be one of those posts where I have nothing bad to say. This was one of those vacations you need every now and then. So, prepare to just read about awesomeness.

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I went to Bali for a long weekend last week, and I can swear that it was needed vacation time for me. My adventures always start with an emergency, as it would not be enough stress to pack for yourself, due to climate change and bureaucracy I needed to pack for my friend too (Wechat phone call to Hong Kong, and questions like ‘where is your snorkel?’). There I was again around midnight trying to figure out, what I need to take with me to the flight on next morning. Though, packing is always a procedure before walking to the airport and then the act like you would have everything you need with you (now a days my plan before leaving is to check that I have a) passport and b) toothbrush). Rolling with those blades, singing in your head ‘they see me rolling… they hating’ (and by the way I forget to take my toothbrush with me).

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This time, I got my first heart attack on my way to airport. I took a taxi from my place, and I did think that there must be morning rush hours but I wasn’t prepared for this kind of massacre. Usual travel time to Huanggang border is around 20 minutes, this time it took almost 4 times longer than that! There I was looking out from window calculating do I have enough time to get to HK, and to the airport. Sending freaking out kind of messages to my friend (who is one of the most relaxed person in the world, she forget to put on alarm on flight morning but she woke up on time and went to swim before taking the bus to the airport) in phrases ‘I’m going to miss the flight! We are not moving anywhere!!’. Of course I got to the border eventually, and I hoped into car in there and I was on time in the airport. Actually, so early that I was able to go and get the lipstick from MAC that I’ve been searching for ages (awwww yeah, as I would not have enough those…)

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Arriving to Bali was just awesome, we took a taxi from the airport and found ourselves in beautiful Ananata Legian Hotel. As this was my first proper vacation in beach kind of resort I had no clue what to expect from the hotel. I’m so used to go to hostels in cities, and usually I don’t spend any time in those only sleeping. This was a full blown nice 4 star hotel, with a pool and really good breakfast (included in the room price!). As this wouldn’t be enough, it was short 10 minutes’ walk from the Legian beach. And the weather was just amazing, the whole time being. I don’t have any bad thing to say about the hotel, or the beach and because it was not a peak tourist time there was enough space to just hang with the group. So, what we did for the long weekend?

  1. ate well, the food was absolutely delicious (as in every Asian country I’ve been to)
  2. Besides swimming in ocean and pool, we did go to waterpark. Inner child was set on loose! (though when the speed was too much for me, I just went to the lazy river, that is a place to be)
  3. Shopping, I know this might not be the best way to use vacation time, but for me it is relaxing
  4. Wandering around in beaches, seeing sunsets it was just beautiful
  5. Spending the time with my roomies back from UK. You know, when you have people you’ve said goodbyes not knowing when seeing them again. Eventually you meet them, and you just continue where it was left last time.
  6. Going out, though I must to say that I rather enjoyed everything else in Bali than the nightlife. What I did love was staying by the ocean and just chill after the sunset in those big beanies.
  7. Some nice massages, and last of course taking photos! I’ve missed it so much so I was happy to have the time to do some photographing.

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This was one of those relaxing type of a vacations, where you don’t have to think about Uni, or work or more precisely anything. I can warmly recommend visiting Bali, if that is what you want to do. As if this whole relaxation wouldn’t be enough… as we were boarding to the airplane our seats were changed, and all of a sudden we found ourselves in first class. Way to end a holiday!

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PS. I created a new account in Instagram which is dedicated to traveling and this blog. You find me there with @miladyopri

 

Drive pt. 2

Pictures are from Macau from past weekend. I said goodbye to one friend who went back to Finland in Honk Kong and needed some time off from Shenzhen so with same time did trip to Macau.

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I wrote about my first hand experience with taxi drivers after couple weeks of stay in China. After a while, I’ve learned some survival techniques when using taxi in Shenzhen.

  1. First of all, learn Mandarin… or more precisely learn it that much that you can’t have a conversation with taxi driver about whether he wants to drive you into your destination (if you speak fluent Mandarin, I can assure that they will say something in the lines ‘I don’t want to drive there, leave’). Of course good old picture of the place you want to go, or address of the place might be handy… but in case on emergency when you’ve lost them you’re able to find your way back to wherever you’re going.Blog_Drive2_2
  2. In a case of two persons, two destinations let’s split the cost situation, where driver says at first stop to the other one ‘You need to change the cab to another’ (what I’m going to explain next is actual scene from New Year’s). EXCUSE ME, heated conversation in back seat, about how this is not fair… first person gets out from the cab and sits into front seat. Taxi driver is getting off and runs to the same side of the car. One takes a phone from her bag and is taking picture of the drivers licence (licence can be found always in front seat of a taxi), driver pulls put the licence and starts to yell in Chinese. One start to yell back in English. One poor traveler in backseat is trying to cool down the situation. After a while, driver is fine to drive the other passenger to her destination (what happens in that drive a) driver is apologizing that he didn’t in a first place drive there b) how this western girl knew to take a picture of the licence, apparently no one has done that to him before)Blog_Drive2_3
  3. Fasten your seatbelt (if there is a one, usually there is not one in backseat because ‘why would you need one in there?’), it will look funny to local people but after experiencing the traffic in here you might want to seat that belt.Blog_Drive2_4
  4. Be aware that weird things can happen in taxi. The usual spitting out from window, is not surprising anymore. You both (might be) complaining in different languages about the enormous traffic jam, where you sometimes say ‘是的’ (yes) or 我不知道 (I don’t know) in Mandarin to create a comfortable zone while you wait a long time to get into your destination. Some driver might start to play a love song on a repeat the whole drive, and at some point says ‘listen’ and puts the volume up.Blog_Drive2_5

But why in the end of day I like the taxi drivers in here? They have always taken me (knock on wood) where I was supposed to go. They are not aggressive as the black cab’s… trying to get you into their fancy cars! And finally most of the times they drive almost the straightest way to your destinations (okay, I might have had couple of times debate about the price… ).

Lemons?

Life gives us lemons and we’re supposed to make lemonade out of it. I’ve been struggling to write post about this year, and what are my expectations for 2015. Because I still don’t know the receipt for the lemonade. Some of the lemons are already getting bad, better word would be rotten. And I’m just loitering this life day by day, not finding a way to live my life (I’ve started to think that maybe this ‘living my life’ thinking is also part of the perfect life dilemma I’ve written about before). Inspirational quotes which I see everywhere are trying to give a fast food kind of a solution to me. What I really need, would be something real. Not words, actual presence. I’m just too far away in who knows where, and I can’t find myself anymore. I’m sinking, and I just don’t know how to swim. I’m like a little bird who is dropped from the nest, and I better learn how to fly. Ground just keeps coming closer and closer, how on earth am I supposed to soar?

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I’ve not hit the ground yet (that should be a good thing). This roller-coaster of feelings from pure hate, rage to love, from love to afraid and happiness has been hard. Most of the moments this year, I don’t know in what part of that race I was on. I caught myself so many times in middle of this ‘I’m not strong enough for this life’, where I wanted to just give up. I wasn’t prepared for any of this, and as much I had those crazy happy moments (one of them in plain while I was going to Malaysia) I did dip myself into dark waters one or two times too often. Maybe it is the age… maybe… I think it might be. I just don’t want to say that aloud.

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When they say life is an open book that is exactly what happened to me this year. I surely did not know in January 2014 that in end of this year I would have not accomplished all my targets for this year (as my defence the only thing that did not happen from that list was my thesis… and I made ‘peace’ with that already in autumn because I got more responsibilities at work). What I really wanted to say was, I did not calculate into my formula that a) I would be doing my internship in China b) I would actually kind of enjoy putting myself into environment that is so far away from everything I’m used to c) I would stay here longer than my internship was for. So long London, my dream since I was a kid. I think the town might just wait, or maybe that is not the place I’m heading… Or maybe I just choose the London in Asia (Hong Kong I’m watching you).

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It was indeed one crazy year, it was the year when I lived in 3 countries in two continents, when I travelled more than ever before, when my heart was broken, when I learned thing or two about friendships, when I overcome so many obstacles I didn’t even dare to think I could, when I shouted to a taxi driver and felt bad afterwards, when I saw a dead body on a street, when I spend too much money on make-ups (the usual one), when I didn’t understand a word from a conversation, when I was grateful of the fact that I was born and raised in Finland and when I understood that I’m blessed to have those people in my life I have, and for sure something can come up and take it away from me in any minute.

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To wrap all this nonsense up next year is still an open book. Spring I know I will be spending on thesis and work but after that… well I think I will find out when it’s time for that. Oh, and for whoever reads this blog thanks for finding time to read all the silly things I write, and being part of this weird journey I’m traveling.

BTW I gathered some of my favorite pictures from this year into this post. Enjoy!

 

“Life, the Universe, and Everything. There is an answer. But, I’ll have to think about it”

“Life, the Universe, and Everything. There is an answer. But, I’ll have to think about it” – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I’ve been writing my old blog for about year now, somehow I started to feel that the name and feeling of it was too much tied to Nottingham and my time being in there. This is why, I decided to create a new blog. I thought about it a quite long time, but somehow name and quote from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy just came to me. It explains my feelings and life right now pretty well, so I wanted to give it a shot. I have no clue, is anything else changing than layout but this just feels more comfortable (same time scary, just like my life…that is the combo).

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I have not introduced Shenzhen well enough yet, or at least I feel like it. I’ve been concentrating on work and uni lately, and everything else have been on ‘pause’, and I start to feel that. If I don’t have time for my natural ‘creative me time’ I get anxious. I decided that I will take the time to create and make changes to the outlook of the blog. But now when everything is all settled with that, I could actually give some insight to the city I call ‘home’ right now (will see how long, I will call it a ‘home’… but that is an another story).

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I’ve unnoticed took some stereotypes of mainlanders. Moment when you’re at the border of HK and China and you find yourself standing in a place which says ‘No waiting’ and next to you is a security guy, and you just chill out and listen to music, just like every other person who is waiting to get their friend or family through the border (we have to minus the fact that I did not have a trolley with me, but let’s forgive that). Or the moment when you squeeze from places you would never think that you could squeeze before…or when you thought in your previous mind set that ‘this tube is full’, no it wasn’t full it was half empty. It is ridiculous how many can fit into one MTR (yes, I’m looking at you Blue line, try Lao Jie and last train of the night). Sometimes, even I go ‘is that a western person?!’ and look at them like it would be weird to saw one in Longgang.

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Shenzhen to me is: loud, sometimes dirty, people everywhere, chicken and other animals too in the streets and in supermarkets (it is so weird to see that…), you pay 10RMB for a food and it is better than basically 80% of the Chinese food I have had in Finland, people smiling and giving giggle look when you try to communicate with Mandarin (I’m pro already, I don’t say anymore ‘this, thank you’ in restaurants when I’m making order, I can do ‘one portion of this, take away, thank you), you never know what is going to happen in one night, next day place you go for lunch may not have stairs anymore (true story) , or fence which is going over the office might have a door in it (it was not there last night), or maybe there is a building that was not there the other day. There is chaos every morning in Buji, it is like a jungle you have to look everywhere, and by that I don’t mean the regular Finnish style of crossing the streets (for those who have no idea what this is, this is how crossing a street is teach to us: first you look left, then right and then again left, if there is no cars you can carefully cross the street). In here you need to have eyes in your back too (and of course the light in the middle is so short that everyone is having a 100 m race to get to the other side, before it turns into red).

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Size of the city is huge, there is everything. If you’re in a need of a holiday you just go to Shekou, any of the OCT:s, Grand Theater or Window of the world (just to name few…). Those are the places I go when I need bit of a rest from everything I stated above, or just for the sake to get myself out of this world (by that I don’t mean Coco Park and bar street, I was actually talking about my Kindle, coffee and muffin form Starbucks in Grand Theater). This city has everything you thought there is, and everything that you did not know that even exists. All of this won’t mean that there is no cons. There is, as much as I love this city, it has remind me of many things I have forget, or took as a granted.

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Equality, that is one of the things I have started to appreciate even more after my time being in somewhere else than in Finland. You can really feel the difference when you cross the border of my homeland (and by no means it is perfect in Finland either, but I can see and feel the difference). Things like free education, which I have took as a granted  before, feels like one the biggest privileged I’ve got in my entire life. Even when media has become biased everywhere and there is propaganda in all of the sides, the fact that I can a) think as I want about things b) I’m encourage to look critically the  sources I use c) say my thoughts out loud, in any media I want and whomever I like is something that is not reality to everyone in this world. Actually it is quite small percentage of the population of the human beings that are able to do that. I’ve started to see world different, and same time see that things I complained about before… might have not been actual issues.

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The stories about people working 24/7  in a factories don’t seem that far away anymore. It does not sound fairy tale to make you feel bad, it is actually happening. All the time, everywhere. There is stories about the fact that human nature is this way, that how this is the way ‘the world rolls’. But when we will have enough of suffering, financial crises, recessions, killing… when the line will be crossed hands are thrown up in the air. When we will admit that maybe it is time to change the way of thinking? When we are brave enough to question all the things we are willing to buy and get in the sake of ‘happiness’? When in real world only few, or none of those things have to do with happiness. Society has created the way we have to think, and it has pour it into our heads since early childhood. We won’t even notice that this is not how I am thinking, this is how I was taught to think. Are we too afraid to question ourselves and our motives behind our actions?

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I have no answers to these questions, and there is me who loves to dress up and do shopping, me who likes to see ‘sales’ …. everywhere, who reacts back to the way things are marketed to us, me who thinks the way I was thought to think, me who put labels everywhere and sometimes acts in ways that I shouldn’t, me who hurts other people for purposes I don’t even know, me who is proud of my accomplishments, me who is selfish and silly.

So, where do all of this leads to?

“Life, the Universe, and Everything. There is an answer. But, I’ll have to think about it”

42.