December 13, 2004

Countryside idyll


Every morning I'm passing this huge sand storage on my way to work. First (from a distance) I thought they were natural sand dunes, but no, this is sand imported to Leijonakaupunki from Indonesia or Malaysia. Leijonakaupunki is doing a lot of land reclamation projects, so actually the island is growing all the time. I read that Indonesia wasn't so happy selling sand anymore, because they're afraid that soon Leijonakaupunki will grow so big that it will bump into natural Indonesian islands.. It is pretty amazing that Leijonakaupunki managed to grow economically so much without having any natural resources. There's nowhere to turn to if something goes wrong. If Nokia is not doing too well, Finns can always rely on their forest. Nothing like that here.. If not for its extremely well educated people, this island would be useless..


Last weekend we went to Pulau Ubin with Monika and Roland (Kaj "took it easy" in Orchard road..). Supposedly this is how most of Leijonakaupunki looked like couple of decades ago.


Not such a long time ago Leijonakaupunki was just a bunch of several kampongs (villages) where people were living really down to earth kind of life - growing their own chicken, vegetables. There's stories that one tiger was shot under a table in Raffles hotel when it ventured there by accident (if you would know how central Raffles hotel is these days, you would say "really??!? cannot be!")


People still live simple lives in Pulau Ubin, everything is run on generators, there's no electricity cables coming to the island (I think). Seems that the people who live there make their money through bicycle rentals - there're hundreds of bikes available. Bike rides are amazing - there's very little traffic on the island, but lots of green forest, little houses, wild pigs, chickens, dogs and cats around. True countryside experience 10min boat trip away from mainland (rather main island :)


There's also several shrimp farms on the island, so there's lots of good and fresh seafood available.


Unfortunately everybody remembers cameras only when the most of food is safely stored in our stomachs. So there's nothing spectacular on the plates, but believe me, sambal prawns were deeliiicious!!! (Kaitsu regrets that he didn't come along soooo much now.. I'm sure we're going again :)

engineering school

Otherwise, I'm turning a bit short of pictures, because I'm sitting inside the office most of the day, well in fact, I have plenty of coffee and tea breaks, but it feels embarrasing carrying cameras around, don't know why, because I'm not a "tourist", but "a working woman" these days?.. So I borrow some images from the official TP website (note, they're not copied anywhere, just linked, so I hope no copyright infringement, right?). Its still been great at TP, just very tiring, I should adjust to the new schedule, still feeling "jetlaged" getting up at 6:45am...

Muuten tyoministerio soitti mulle tannan ja mina missasin 3 soitot, nyt ihmetelen etta mita ne halusivat, onko jotain vialla ja ne potkii minut saaresta kohta? Huomenna tiedan.. Siandien paskambino is darbo ministerijos, praziopsojau 3 skambucius, dabar lauzau galva, ko jie norejo, kas nors netvarkoj ir jie ruoshiasi ishspirti mane ish salos? Ryt suzhinosiu.. :)

Posted by gkligyte at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2004

New frontiers


Last weekend was tough. Apart from starting my new job in TP on 1st of December, I tried to wrap up the Finnish Media in Communication System virtual course for Tampere University. So I had 22 essays altogether to read and comment over the weekend!! Aaargh.. At the end I was sipping wine and typing frantically at the same time.. One of the ways to invite an inspirational muse, they say.. :)

So yes, I started my new job in TP in DES department, IMD course. Every morning I take a bus going on PIE expressway, but on the way back I take MRT. I was lucky enough to start in time for the HR orientation session in TP, so I learned a lot of useful things about CIS, for example, their phone number is with me all the time these days. But they don't solve all the problems, sometimes I have to contact TSO, GO or CM if I have questions. Soon I'll have to start THEC course and so on, and so on.. I'm really strugling with abbreviations here, people manage to put some 4-5 3 letter abbreviations in one sentence and seem to understand each other perfectly. I'm completely out of it, slowly slowly starting to catch up.. Reminds me of Orwell's newspeak..


I've been getting up at 6:45am for 4 days in a row and I've made a decision that I'll assign a certain budget for a morning taxi from my salary, I think that 45 minutes of sleep is worth some 5euros (yeah yeah, that's for 30min ride, taxis are dirt cheap in Leijonakaupunki).


Otherwise I've been really enjoying my new workplace, it is so perfectly organized, beautiful, people are extremely kind, everybody would turn the place upside down and drop whatever they're doing to help you. It is the first time I'm working in such a huge organization - TP has 1300 of permanent staff, out of that there's some 700 of academic staff and 10 000 students!!! However, the principle (the top top boss) off the school made the point of meeting each everyone of the new staff and discussing personally. I think it is the sense of Asian "family" corporate concept in its ideal form, you really get the sense of belonging and you're surrounded with people who care. Everybody says "hi", smiles, etc (doesn't happen too often in Leijonakaupunki..) Today I had to stand up in front of some 800 students (the whole design school) and make a show out of myself, but then as I was walking home, some unfamiliar students were waving and introducing themselves. I think the overall spirit and atmosphere in this school is as RIGHT as it can get.. There's space and air to grow, I'm sure..

I also met Jusri (I think that's his name), an ex-lecturer from UIAH Interior Design department, he's now a lecturer in TP too! Can't believe how small world it is!!!


The facilities in the school are amazing - there's a swimming pool, gym, stadium, a climbing wall, you can borrow (!) bicycles, take archery classes, play badminton and everything is in the same school. If you want a book for a library, you just give them a call, it is also possible to get a book in any bookstore in the town, just by putting your namecard inside. They sort out everything for you and call you once the book is available.. Can't believe it..

Have a look at some better pics about TP.


So yes, right now my life horizons and perspectives are pretty beautiful. I'm very happy to be here. Anybody already envious? :)

Posted by gkligyte at 09:25 PM | Comments (1)