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So I have been horribly busy...so busy in fact that I can't remember half the stuff I wanted to write! I got a new keyboard for my laptop, check out my extra keys...

¤ £ € å ö ä § ½

hehe...it is a Finnish keyboard...I got used to it pretty quickly, there are those occassional times that I will hit the wrong button forgetting that it is not an American keyboard. :)

Well...here is a quick update about my trip to Helsinki...haha I should do it while I have some free time in between work...work overall has been hectic and nuts. I LOVE it! I have never been so busy in my life...well that isn't true...when I was in the Six Sigma group at Gillette I was consistently busy. I am one of those people who could become a workaholic, simply because I don't have a life. No, seriously...I forsake all for work if I get too caught up in it. I could work almost everyday and find it normal and rewarding *smirk* I disgust myself sometimes. The irony of having that whole week off in between Gillette and my new job is that I didn't start enjoying myself until almost 2 days before I started work...damn I wish I had a longer vacation! Next time I am shotting for 3 weeks to 1 month!

My first 5 days of work I walked right into the middle of the UAT during a project so I focused my time on editting test scripts and test data. The next week off to Helsinki, Finland!

Let's see...

Day 1 - June 5
I flew out of Boston around 6:30pm and landed in Paris June 6, so moving onto day 2...haha...

Day 2 through 4 - June 6-8
I landed in Paris 6:30AM and had to catch my connecting flight at 10:50AM to Helsinki, Finland. Thank god for that...first...they dropped me off in the middle of a runaway...apparently this is normal in Europe...I followed the crowd to get onto a shuttle bus. This bus dropped off at customs...I was pretty sure I wasn't supposed to go through it. To be honest, this is one of the reasons I have never been to Europe, I always wanted to have my first trip in Europe to be in a place where they did not speak English, of course that meant I would have to learn the language and I never took the time for that...*sigh* So I went up to someone and asked where I would catch my flight, he looked at me blankly...I asked him in French, "Do you speak English?" he informed me to go downstairs to talk to someone. gee...I just realized it could be found here ugh...see what I mean?

I finally landed in Helsinki at around 15:30 Helsinki time...fortunately my bag was not lost...unfortunately 3 of the people from my company that happened to be on the same flight as me were not so fortunate. We went out to wait for the airport shuttle, long story short we ended up taking a taxi (taksi in Finnish or Suomea) because the damn shuttle was taking too long! It is quite amusing that BMW's and Mercedes are used as taxi's in Finland...but then again...it is very different there. You don't have to tip anyone because taxi's, serving people, et cetera get paid salaries so it is not necessary and some feel even insulting to get a tip, after all they are doing their job. Of course...things are super expensive in Finland!!! We got to the hotel...finally...and we decided to wait around for the rest of our comrades who had not yet arrived from the States before we went off to the downtown area of Helsinki. Our hotel was really cute, my room had a small kitchen, a sofa, a couple of chairs, a desk with a chair, a tv of course..., a phone and a bed :) I wish I hadn't been such a retard and forgotten drchase's camera :( Or else I would have had pictures or already, alas I must take them to get developed and put a cd so I can post them, so hopefully that will be in the next week or so. We were at this hotel until June 9th...we were supposed to be at the Holiday Inn, but they made a mistake on our reservations so we had to stay at this temporary one until the 9th.

Most of my days were spent at work...I walked around the downtown area everyday and tried to go into places I had never been the previous day. It is truly beautiful there. It is amazing because when you walk down the Esplanade, which is close to the pier on the Baltic Sea people would just lounge around and drink...and they would leave everything just lying around. The next day everything would be cleaned up again! I ate at many different restaurants! ooohh...and I am really not much of a drinker, but they have got the best, best cider. There is pear and apple...my favorite is the pear...I could swim in that stuff it is so good! My favorite party of Finland is that there was 22 hours of sunlight...it was so fabulous...and even the 2 hours of darkness was merely twilight so it was never really dark.

Day 5 through 7 - June 9-11
Thursday and Friday were much the same of working...but on Thursday until Sunday we stayed at the Holiday Inn at Pasila/Böle It was soooooo nice!
For pictures of the hotel


This is definitely what my room looked like

My only Finnish word that I knew at the time was kiitos, which means 'Thank you' and I was using it very frequently, because about 99.9% of the people I met spoke English. So the hotel guy handed me my key and said this works for your lights as well. I gave him an odd look, said "kiitos" and went to my room which was on the 4th floor. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. I walked into my room...and I really had to go potty! But I couldn't turn on the damn light to the bathroom >:( I kept looking around and finally...I found it...duh...right next to the right of the door was a place for me to put my key. I stuck my key into the slot and voilà all the lights in my room turned on! Finally potty time! Anyhow, you don't want to hear about that portion...moving on...

Saturday I woke up very late...my first chance to sleep in! I shouldn't have...that was very bad of me...but Friday was a pretty crazy night and alcohol makes me tired. Friday night wasn't so much a work day as it was a company fun day...we went out to the countryside to this house where we were served food and were taught Finnish games. It was a ton of fun! Everyone drank so much...I believe they ran out of beer...or wine...one of the two. European people can really pack alcohol away! After we returned to Helsinki around 21:00 we all agreed to meet at a bar. We all met ended up at Kapplen, which is one of the bars on the Esplanade. I ended up talking to Antti (he is a lead application specialist) he looked really happy. I asked him how much he drank, he smiled at me goofily and said, "I had 15 beers at the party, 3 ciders, and 2 glasses of wine at the party and now I am on my 5th beer" LOL...I was like WOW!!! And they are able to function the next day like nothing happened it is really funny! As for the kind of person I am when I am drunk I get really happy, hungry, and talkative...haha...

Anyhow...on to what I did on Saturday I went to Estonia :) It was a 1.5 hour boat ride there, I had a lot of fun! The old town of Estonia was absolutely beautiful! Hopefully when I go back to Finland I will be a little more fluent in Finnish then I can converse with everyone in Estonia, Finland, and Sweden if I so desire to hop over there as well! Next time I go I want to go for a vacation and I am dragging David with me! hehe...what else...well on the 12th I returned...to be honest I was sad to return I really wanted to stay in Finland...*sigh* I came back for David though...haha...

Yipes...I've been at this for almost an hour...I should get back to work...hopefully pictures later...

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