August 28, 2006

In the Bush


Sorry for a long break with the blog. I started working (2 weeks gone already!), and, as it always goes with starting life at a new place, there's just an unbelievable amount of things to be sorted out: bank accounts, phone contracts, Internet, power supply...


... that is if you have a place to stay. Currently we're still in our temporary "box" as Kaj calls it - a 9 sq m grey cell at the 17th floor of a skinny skyscraper in the city centre. Auckland's city centre looks ok from further away, but, its a real urban hell inside.


Winter is slowly giving in, we had a sunny and warm weekend just now. The weekend before was really cold, foggy and rainy. We went out to the West Coast, but Piha beach was difficult to recognise.


We were here couple of months before and we had blue skies and T-shirt weather then. This time was really different. But if you ask me, Piha is amazing in any weather.


So far things have been going quite tough, with the apartment hunt, settling down, etc. We've been driving for hours and hours almost every day, going through the papers, Internet ads, etc. I wish I could write some "happy happy joy" type of account of events here, but so far it hasn't been easy...


I really hope things will start going smoother soon. One thing less to worry about is our home.


We got our place at Titirangi suburb at West of Auckland. Its basically a batch, not really a proper house in the middle of the bush. It has 2 floor to ceiling glass walls, so we can see the bush extremely well (and be seen from the bush, if anyone cares to look... :)


The air is fresh and the views are really beautiful there. The ground floor could have some better floor, we're still working out what to do about it. We'll be moving from a concrete box in the city centre to a glass box in the bush mid-next week. How does that sound?.. :)


And this is what we'll see from our window when having breakfast, lunch or dinner... :)

Posted by gkligyte at 09:59 AM | Comments (8)

August 12, 2006

On My Feet


The apartment hunt is on once again. This time we have about 2 weeks to figure out the fine details of local property market, to check out different neighbourhoods and find something suitable. "We" means "I" until Wednesday, when Kaj finally arrives. So far it seems that a much more sensible thing for me to do would be attending a driving school (which I already booked for tomorrow!). I tried to explore the suburbs by bus and on feet yesterday and after 4 hours of determined walking I gave up. This place is so spread out, that it takes some 15min to walk a tiny stretch of a street (maybe 1cm on a map!) Very tiring and inefficient.


So Queen st, the main street in the town centre is my temporary home at the moment. Looks good, doesn't it? :) In couple of weeks there will be a dubious Boobs on Bikes parade going down the same street. What? Here's some funny stories raising a vigorous discussion in the NZ media at the moment:

1) Boobs on Bikes is a parade of topless porn stars riding motorbikes that is scheduled to go down the Queen st (the main street of the city!) during lunch hour (!!!) to promote the Erotica fair. The town council approved it. The public concern circles around the health implications for the girls. Remember? Its still winter here! What if they catch cold? :) Hey, but how about morals, children, that sort of stuff, a lone foreigner asks?

2) A "warrior gene" associated with risk-taking, leading to gambling, adictions and agression has been discovered as dominant in Maori population. A researcher goes out to a conference in Australia and says that the gene that helped the Maori to cross the Pacific Ocean and colonize the Pacific islands can be linked to tendency for anti-social behaviour. Yeah, blame the genes and the whole minority population, these people can't be fixed, they have wrong genes, you know... Has anyone heard about eugenics and funny things happening in Europe during the World War II? Hello?!?

3) Australian researchers found out that working 4-6 hours a day is the key to happiness. "More than 4-6 hours a day will bring anxiety, exhaustion and a poor quality of life". "Its going to require a lot of structural reform, but I think the time is ripe for addressing it as an issue". Yeah!!! Way to go!!! :)

Posted by gkligyte at 08:38 AM | Comments (3)

August 10, 2006

This Time of Year


This is still Finland, I hope you notice. I hope you notice how warm and sunny it is overthere. On this side of the globe its very very cold. Down to +8C at nights! brrr.... I hate winter...


Its this time of year again. I can't believe its only 2 years that we're married. We're so old and dependant on each other.. :)


It was a sunny day and it was nice to out to Suomenlinna for a walk.


Unfortunately we forgot our swimming gear. The water was warm and the sun completely scorching! So I missed my last chance to swim this summer... :(



We had a nice walk anyway.


And found this piece of potentially fatal design. If you can't read Finnish, what do you think this sign means? Nice colours, right? But is it trying to tell you something? Looks like it, but can't really say what, right?


This is how they draw this in Leijonakaupunki. Have they got better designers? :)


I waved Finland bye bye..


This year we had such a beautiful summer!


Its still summer in Leijonakaupunki (as its been since last Ice Age) and our friends are still there. It was extremely nice to see some of them. Yong, Giul and Jo got initiated to the joys of smoked reindeer, rye bread and juustoleipa.


Luca has grown again. He "speaks" a lot and interacts with people all the time (he knows how to gracefully (and demandingly) point his finger at things) and occassionally plays the piano. So clevveeer...


Its this time of year again in Leijonakaupunki. The ghosts are once again having their holiday from hell. Its the 7th month, the Hungry Ghost month. This would have beed a perfect occassion to see a Chinese Opera (they are staged everywhere to entertain the ghosts), but it was too short a time for me to be able to arrange that.


In the 24h stop over in Leijonakaupunki I managed to see a lot of people 1) the reindeer party, 2) coffee with my ex-colleagues, 3) a round of students projects, 4) lunch and happy shopping session with Fity and Jo, 5) more of happy shopping without Fity and Jo... :)


I was very happy to be in Leijonakaupunki again. Such a wonderful place, I thought, so relaxed and clean. It kind of got back to me only on the plane to NZ after I watched the Discovery documentary about Leijonakaupunki history. A few times the main politicians made some comments that got my hair up: "Leijonakaupunki girls (the national airline steuardess) have to be on the right side of 30s" says LKY, the Father of the Nation.. Hmm.. After preaching for months and years about aging population and encouraging people to employ older people and elderly? "I'll pin down my political oponents", LKY again, the image juxtaposed with the oposition party leader's futile efforts to sell his book to the weekend shopping crowd. "I think, the Speakers Corner works very nicely, as there are very few speakers", GTC, the senior minister declares his understanding of democracy... Ach... Its nice to come visiting and shopping, but I'm so happy to be out of there... After watching the documentary, I got a really bad taste in my mounth...


Its also this time of year in Leijonakaupunki. I left the city before the big whuha happened, but nevertheless I witnessed the expression of national pride (or national angst?) in the field of these moove media cows. The post in the background says that Moove Media congratulates the nation with the 41st anniversary of Independence. And see what? Most of the cows are neatly knocked down. I can imagine that a bunch of youngsters (or were they frustrated foreighn workers?) had a joyful kung fu exercise session here...


I had 6 people (including 2 small people:) seeing me off to the airport from Leijonakaupunki. Considering how many people saw me off in Finland, I'm better off in Leijonakaupunki.. :)


And this is the only picture that I managed to take so far in Auckland. I'll do better, I promise! :) Miss you all!

Posted by gkligyte at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2006

Baby Fever


We have a new relative! A fresh little girl niece. So fresh, that she doesn't even have a name yet! Marjut calls here Mini. For now.


Congratulations to the proud owners of this pretty bundle! :) Btw, its Lars, Kaj's brother, and Marjut, who got her. Lucky, aren't they?


There were more reasons to be happy this week. Luna turned two! She was born just before we left to Leijonakaupunki (this thingly that I'm holding in my hands is Luna, who would believe that?!?) Just look at her now!


I was relieved to see, that the socks that we brought, fit Luna all right.


And yes, another fresh baby! Eliel is almost a month old. Whats going on with our friends?!? :) Another extremely pretty face! Mariana and Timo are collecting a series, I think, Eliel perfectly fits the collection started with Alma (girl in the green dress)...

face_painting.jpg Luna and Alma are getting a total make over - some birds and stars, the moon and the sun on their faces. There must be some primeval instinct of painting one's face, otherwise I can't explain why the children get so seriously excited about that! Mariana with the whole family is going to Argentina for over half a year, I'm sure Alma will cause traffic jams in the streets there, she's so blond!


Among other attractions of the day was Kaj's hair. Or should I say, the lack of it? After shocking everyone with his artisticly messy hair (first question my sister asked was "what's wrong with your hair?" and when Kaj asked what's wrong, she said "there is hair"), Kaj gets another round of surprised people clapping hands.. Always looking for attention...


The change is quite extreme, I have to say. I'm still not quite used to this... :) But... It will grow... :)


Last weekend we still made another round to the mökki, visiting Kaj's sister and brother again, collecting our stuff to be shipped to New Zealand. And I'll be flying off on Saturday. Wish me luck!

Posted by gkligyte at 12:54 AM | Comments (1)