October 30, 2011

A third of our time here is gone!

I'm still alive. Gypsies did not kidnap me and make me tell fortunes after the last post. I've been busy busy with some outside writing, and as I keep saying, Finland is just too normal! This season is flying by. A third of the season has come and gone. First time in a long time that I am not wishing the time to speed by.

But have some things saved up that might be somewhat interesting. Fresh start in November.

Have to tell you about the crazy Finnish/Swedish rivalry in pretty much everything. They are ruthless!

Well they look cozy here! (source)

I had a really fun Halloween night out with the girls. Well, it was about as much Halloween as Europe gets! I'll have to share pics next week.

Remember this? Well, I didn't get surgery on my hair but they sure butchered the color. Oh how I love getting my hair done at a different place every year! It's like spinning a big wheel full of hair colors, and maybe landing on one that is not a crazy, fake shade. Lady luck was not with me this time.

Not what I look like, but it's what I feel like! If it were Prom and it were 1999, I'd be super styling! (source)

And have I mentioned that we are somewhat stranded in Finland right now?? Our passports with the new, extremely-hard-to-get Finnish Visa has yet to arrive from Helsinki. Gulp.

Also, got this amazing and beautiful bracelet in the mail. 100% of the proceeds go to help the families affected.

"On Sept 7, 2011, 44 lives were lost in the worst tragedy in professional hockey history. A plane carrying crew members, hockey personnel, coaches and players of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team went down, breaking the hearts of their loved ones near and far. In a united effort to show support for the grieving families, hockey wives and girlfriends from around the world have created this website in hopes to raise money for their dear friends"

Get yours here. 

Blogger is telling me this is my 200th post. Yowzers! Ya'll have been around for a lot of 200 random ass, rambling posts?? You must really be bored online ;)

Everyone have a great and safe Halloween! I can't wait to see pictures. I'll be internet stalking today, and see you in November....which is 2 days away, lol.

October 24, 2011

Euro Vision: Gypsies!

Finnish Gypsies
So after the worldwide premier of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, that awe-inspiring train-wreck that some how or another did not win any Emmys this past year, everyone is fairly familiar with the gypsy stereotype. The show makes them seem to run rampant in the U.K. Adamantly refusing to adapt to local cultures and ideals, and being somewhat of a nuisance to those who are forced to live around their clans.

So ridiculous, and so awesome. Reality TV at its finest! (source)

I really expected to see gypsies in Germany. In a country where multi-culturism has officially 'failed', that according to Merkel, I never ran into a clan of gypsies. We saw them in Rome, I encountered large families in Greece, at a distance. But they seemed to be even more of a stereotype. Think Esmeralda of The Hunch Back of Notre Dame.

But it wasn't until this year in Finland that we came across gypsies. I guess the gypsies really stand out here and we have seen quite a few traveler families out and about.

How can tell they are gypsies??

You really can't miss their 'traditional' dress. The women wear hoop-skirts in black velvet, accompanied by an apron and ruffle shirts. The men dress in dark black suits. Along with their olive skin and dark features, something you can imagine stands out in Finland, it all lends to  their somewhat derogative name of Mustalasia, coming from the Finnish word for black: Musta.

Traditional woman's dress (source)

These are the Romani Gypsies, a distinct group that started in what is now northern India. The wandered the European continent for hundreds of years and were nearly wiped out by Nazi prosecution during WWII. The are known to have occupied Finland since the 17th century. Men traditionally held jobs as horse traders, but more modernly are involved in horse breeding, car dealing and scrap metal trading. Women continue their traditional work as fortune tellers or handicraft artists.

Seen here at a fast food restaurant, Hesburger. (source)

Check out this great gallery of Finnish gypsy photographs!

While gypsies are not fully welcomed anywhere in Europe, Finland doesn't seem to be one of the more racist countries. Yes, for those of you unaware, Europe can be very, very racists. I guess so can any closed-minded and ignorant person, no matter where they hail from. But still, gypsies were and still are to some extent discriminated against here as well. People seem to tolerate them around, although I can imagine they still get treated as inferior to this day. The thought from long ago is that they are lazy, not hard working and bring in criminal activity. While some might say this is still true, I think it is an unfair assumption to be born into.

More shots of their dress, and the men in black (source)
And there seem to be quite a large number here. Recent figures put the Romani population at anywhere from 6,500 to 10,000. That is a big chunk for a lesser populated country. To put it into perspective, Finland's nomadic indigenous people, the Lapps, only have numbers in the 2,500's. So it's not uncommon to run into a gypsy at Ikea, the mall or grocery story. I see at least a few a week.

But for me, it is no big deal. I just try not to stare, but I'm nonetheless intrigued at how people living like this are still around. Fascinated might be a better word. If anything, I guess it is just one more thing that reminds me that I am still in Europe!

Doubled that baby up. Euro Vision and a More You Know Monday!

*Information gathered from: Source 1, Source 2

October 21, 2011

People With Two Blogs are SOOO Annoying

Before you get all huffy with me, read on ;)

Sooo, I'm feeling a lack of inspiration lately. Been enjoying hoping around and reading blogs, enjoying working on a few side projects that I've had, and really been enjoying the day-to-day here in Finland.

What I'm not enjoying is the lack of inspiration this 'normal' country is giving me! Way to be too easy to live in, Finland. What am I supposed to do now?! Have I become that, gasp, European!?!

Well, I did go to not one, but two coffee shops this week in the middle of the afternoon. And we recycle more than anyone else in our building. And oh shiznit, we loooove sparkle water. What are we doing?!

Hold on a sec here.

K, I'm back and better. Just wasted some water, talked really loud in public and told everyone in I ran into on the streets that they better start speaking English or they can leave this country.

Phew! I feel so much better now.

'MUURRICAA! (source)

I do have a Euro Vision post lined up for Monday. And I'm sure that after this weekend, I will encounter a few 'weird' things that I can post about. Today is just not the day.

But, um, hello, after the genius posts like Weird Souvenirs Around the World, The Best Halloween Costume, and the now infamous Bidet Post, what can you really expect. Your demand is high, people. ;)

Instead, I'll give a shout out to my other blog (hence the name of the post today),

Someone actually took the leap and submitted a fantastic story to the site. You will not want to miss this inspirational piece. And no matter how corny you might think this idea is, who doesn't love a feel good moment. Those kinds that make you hold back a tear, in a good way.

Enjoy ya'lls weekend!

October 19, 2011

So Not Everything is Expensive Here

Because apparently I can have surgery starting at 35 Euros. And the hubs, well his starts at 25 Euros.

Think Google Translate is messing with me again?!? I was looking up hair salons in the area, checking prices lists (which yes, all services are pretty dang expensive) and kept coming across an option for surgery. Hmmm, if it is an 'enhancement' or 'lift', sign me up! Elective exploratory surgery, just for kicks.....I think I'll pass.

Or even better, I can drive a machine there for only 10 Euro. Bargain!

Good thing everyone speaks English, 'caused I'd be doomed.

And that is pretty much everything to report on today. Sorry, no long rambles today, I know, you are disappointed. Have a great Wednesday, I sure as heck am. The sun is shining, it is still 'fairly' warm here ('fairly' being Finnish standards) so we are getting out of the house for the day!

October 17, 2011

Best Costume Idea EVER. Period.

It's exactly two weeks until Halloween, and while North America is fervently scrounging in bins littered with picked-over costumes at Party City, there isn't much, if any kind of, holiday spirit here. Halloween might be big in the UK (only basing that knowledge on when we used to have British Sky, and there were all kinds of commercials for it), but it wasn't that big in Germany, although still celebrated here and there. A few trick or treaters at times, but mainly used as an excuse for a bar to throw a party.

The stores here in Finland seem to try to cash in on the holiday, most have small displays of decorations to choose from. Though no one seems to by any of it. And I have yet to see any costumes for sale. Also, it looks like there won't be a team Halloween party either. No one seems to get how important it is to show your creative side, or for a lot of girls out there, their sluttastic side, by coming up with the best costume possible!

Honestly though, when the hubs and I have tried to be creative or pop culture figures for Halloween in the past, no one in Europe gets what we are. They dress up like ghosts, we dress up like Jersey Shore, or Wayne and Garth. We think we look great, they ask us several times a night what we are supposed to be. Whatever, no biggie, it is what it is.

Except for this year. I have a GENIUS idea for a costume. Like an idea that if we were back at home, we would FOR SURE win a prize at the bar. Or at the very least everyone would get it and love it.

Should I share my idea and risk it getting ripped off, or keep it a secret and the whole world not be enlightened by my costume making skills. No really, just ask anyone I went to college with, I was the costume queen. If the party or mixer didn't have a theme, well, too bad, I'm was coming in a costume anyways. Deal with it, haha.

I trust that if anyone decides to be this for Halloween, you will give TexaGermaFinlaNadian full credit as you are sobbing through your acceptance speech for that special award at a bar or party. And everyone there will for sure know what you are talking about, I'm an international sensation, right!?

So, here goes nothing....

Maury Show Test Results Costume

What you'll need...

You actually need three people for this. Two guys and one girl.

One guy dresses up like Maury in his standard colored turtle neck with a black cardigan or button up shirt over combo. Or a half button up sweater. I'd stay away from a black turtle neck, I have a feeling many people are going the Steve Jobs route this year. If you aren't gray yet, pick up some temporary color spray for your hair. Because he isn't named the Silver Fox for no reason. Wait, that's not right. And he absolutely cannot forget to carry around a manilla envelope with 'test results' inside.

Connie Chung look alike optional (source)

The other two, a couple would be perfect for this, have to dress in their trashiest outfits and have spats all through the night about whether or not they are faithful/the baby daddy/slept with their best friend. You've seen the show, you know what I'm talking 'bout.

Super big bonus if the lady has a beard. Why, I dunno, just felt right. (source)

Then, here comes to true genius of the costume, every time someone asks who ya'll are supposed to be, your Maury character says "I'm Maury Povich, and THE RESULTS ARE IN!!! Jim, you are.......NOT the father."

The guy from the couple jumps up and down, screams "I told you so" at the girl, while she buries her head in her hands, or even preferably runs out of the room. Also, this dance is not mandatory, but scores you extra points.

Haha, this video never gets old. Never.

The results can change from time to time, he can be the father, not be the father, failed his lie detector test, cheated with her best friend, had a sex change. Let's be honest, the options are limitless.

Optional costume add-ons:

Crazy, streaky highlights. Arched penciled-in eyebrows. Mullet, suitable for both the man and the woman. Bring along a baby doll that is clearly a different race than the 'father'. You can include  another girl in the action to play the 'best friend' who has also been sleeping around. Also, play up the pre-taped, yell into the camera, rants they always show. It wouldn't be the same without those!

Ummm, yeah, I'd say so....(source)

Maybe this costume idea has been around for some time, but I have yet to see it. So feel free to borrow my idea. And enjoy being the best dressed in town.

As for you lo-osers who don't go with my idea, what are your plans for Halloween this year?! I want to see some great costumes!

October 14, 2011

Euro Vision: Mmmm, shelved, warm milk

I didn't think that my new weekly feature really had a catchy title. Although "Things that remind me I'm still in Finland" is exactly what I intend to write about, it doesn't have that zing to it that I was looking for.

So I borrowed a little gem from Europe's own continent-wide singing competition, much like American Idol, only with more mullets, and came up with this...

Slip on those Euro Vision glasses and see what I see everyday.

This week's entry:
Milk. Oh so warm, non-refrigerated, perfectly good milk.

And now, apparently, with super-human abilities! (source)

While shopping for milk at grocery stores back in North America usually involves strolling down the nipply aisle (that is the official name for the fridge section) and reaching your hand as far back as you can into the cooler to get that 'fresher' milk in the back. Check the expiration date, and if you have a week's time, that milk is yours!

Here is what we do in Finland. We walk down the dairy aisle, past the coolers and stare at the shelves full of room temperature, no-need-to-refrigerate-until-opened milk. Yep, just sitting on the shelf along with canned goods, pasta and other non-perishables. Oh, and with the eggs, 'cause eggs aren't refrigerated here either.

The hubs and I usually pick up a full carton of milk, that would be 12 single liter Tetra Paks, and head home. A few boxes go in the fridge to cool but the rest sit in our pantry until it is time to drink them. No, we don't drink them warm, just store them that way.

Fancy schmancy, right?! (source)

I've found that North Americans are really creeped out by this whole process! It started years ago when I worked a summer on a sailboat in Greece. I did everything from helping to sail to cooking breakfasts and lunches. One of the passengers informed me that we were out of milk. So I started digging into the storage areas around the galley and pulled out a few more liters of milk. The look of horror on their faces! Even though they had been drinking the stuff the entire time, they all refused to have any more milk that trip. Babies ;)

I'm not really the milk drinker in the family, but I will have to say it doesn't taste that much different that regular ol' cold milk. A little creamier, but that is it.

According to Wiki, because you know I didn't just pull this out of my butt, it is known as Ultra-High-Temerature (or UTH) processed milk. It involves the sterilization of food by heating it for an extremely short period, about 1-2 seconds, which kills the harmful spores in milk. The milk is then air-tight sealed in packs and has a shelf life of six to nine months. Other than that, it contains the same amount of calories, calcium, although minimal amounts of vitamins can be lost in the UHT process.

Why do it this way rather than just having good ol' pasteurized milk (and unless you are living on a farm, drinking from a cow's teet, you ain't drinking fresh milk)??

Well, for starters, it saves tons of money by not having to use the high costs of refrigeration and cooled transportation needs.

Want to know something evil??? You have probably been drinking UHT milk for sometime and not even realized it. Many milk products in North America use UHT milk, such as McDonald's McFlurries, creamers and milk served on airplanes. Muuaahahahaha! We tricked you!
'Hahaha, I got you idiots. Booya!'  Man, Tetra Pak is gangsta (source)

I can see it now, 'Sales of McFlurries Plummet!'

As you can imagine, even the thought of UHT milk isn't popular in the United States. While the process and shelving is perfectly safe, many Americans just don't like the idea of warm milk being delivered to their grocery store.

But it doesn't even seem weird to us any more. Maybe I need to take my Euro Vision glasses off once in a while :)

Have a great Friday!

And for a feel good moment, check out this heart warming story I came across yesterday. Tears are in my eyes just thinking about it!

October 12, 2011

Wacky World of Souvenirs

So even though we aren't scheduled to head back to the U.S. until March, and fingers crossed hopefully even later than that, I like to start thinking about what fun things and mementos I want to take from each place we've lived. I have beer steins and glasses from Germany, seemed like a no brainer. And we will definitely be sporting the dirndl and lederhosen for as long as I can tell.

But what to bring back from Finland?? As mentioned in my last post, gotta pick me up some Marimekko goods and make a keepsake or two fashioned out of their wildly bold fabrics. I wouldn't mind some kind of fur, maybe a small bedside rug. Don't hate me 'cause I don't hate fur. I do hate the mistreatment of animals though. That's obviously a subject for another time.

When I googled "Finnish Souvenirs" a few weird results came back. And it got me thinking...what are some of the weirdest souvenirs out there?? I'm not talking about those cheapy, generic souvenirs that might as well have been made in China, not Mexico. Although I do love all those naughty ones out there. Ah, nothing says 'Hey look everyone! I got wasted south of the border.' like a this little treat from Cancun. Kid friendly, too!
Sorry, buying something in 2001 does NOT make it vintage. You can purchase it here: eBay


So I did a little internet researching, because I can't really afford to travel around the world in search of tacky souvenirs. Although, wouldn't that make a great show?! I would be perfect for that one. Travel Channel, call me!

Here are the weirdest of the weird, or maybe just what you wouldn't expect, authentic souvenirs from around the world that I happened upon

This is a long one, but you are going to love it!

I'll start locally. When I googled Finnish Souvenirs, classics like glass products, such as Iittala and Arabia, and reindeer products popped up. But so did a company called Fiskars. They make scissors. And the website was trying to convince me that I should bring back scissors to all my friends and become the coolest kid in school. I don't know about you, but if some one went somewhere exotic and brought back some scissors, I might be pretty disappointed.
Scissors make a good weapon when you are mad at someone for giving you scissors (source)

Ever heard of Cheburashka?? Nope, well then you have obviously never been to Russia. But with those crazy visa restrictions to get in AND TO GET OUT (no really, have to have a visa to leave, scary), I don't blame ya. This adorably fur-matted creature was created in 1969 and is basically the Soviet Mickey Mouse. But at least if you brought back at Cheburashka figurine or doll, it might have some value. Avid collectors search worldwide for rare and unique dolls.

I kind of love him (source)

Speaking of adorable, who doesn't love Guinea Pigs?! I just love their big ol' faces and eyes. So cute! Apparently Peruvians are pretty fond of the little guys too. That is, once they have been deep fried and are served with french fries.  

Warning, you can't 'undo' the next photo. 

Wow. (source)
I'm sorry I'm not sorry. Relive the tale of you chowing down on one of America's favorite pets by bringing home a stuffed Guinea Pig for your family to enjoy for years. Or until the pelt rots and all the hair falls off. "Our pet's heads are falling off!"

Pretty bird, pretty pretty bird. (source)

Oh art lovers, how you love roaming the world in search of those awe-inspiring masterpieces. Rome is surely at the top of any art enthusiasts list. And while you are there, why not pick up a priceless work of art. After all, it looks great in your pants. When we went to Rome a few years back, these were just becoming all the rage. So tacky....yet the hubs may or may not have a pair. Is this NSFW?? Sorry.

Guess what famous Michelangelo statue's naughty bits are under there! (source)

Ok, the next one comes from Beijing and does NOT involve killing or eating any beloved animal. When you think of China, you think of the giant panda. While those dang-ged trade restrictions have you backed into a corner when trying to export a live Panda, they are loosening up on the restraints they have on shipping Panda Poop. Yep. Panda Poop. A breeding base for pandas in China is turning dung into a for-profit business by shaping the excrement of that adorable creature and turning it into odor-free souvenirs. Who doesn't want a bookmark or a door stop or even a panda figurine made from poop!?!?

Man, that souvenir looks like shit! (hahahah, I am laughing so hard at my own jokes) (source)

I'll say it again. Panda Poop.

Just had to make sure we were clear on what we are talking about here. You can further read about the process here.

While you are in Asia, why not hop on down to Cebu in the Philippines. Not only is the town known for its generous and beautiful people, but also for purses that are able to breath in both water and air. For some reason or another, a popular item here is the frog purse. Just imagine how styling you could be with one of these at the club! Ladies, you know you want one. Dried out frog carcasses with zippers for mouths. Isn't that like the exact definitely of haute couture?! No?

'OH I just can't find anything in this dang purse' (source)

While this next souvenir was intended to do a world of good, it can seriously be a danger to your health. After the tremendous volcano eruption on Mount Marapi, Indonesia, volunteers and activist began collecting the remaining ash, bottling it, and selling it worldwide to raise money for those affected by the volcano. Good plan, right?! That is, until you read the warning label on the bottles. "Warning! This ash, contains hazardous material such as silica which is very sharp which can puncture the lung tissue." Yeah, I'm not exactly sure I want to remember my trip to Indonesia by spending a few days in the ICU.
Um. No. (source)

A friend of mine actually brought this next one back from Mongolia to share with her 'friends'. I quote the term loosely, because we weren't that good of friends after she tricked me with "this really yummy, awesome Mongolian candy."  :) It was Aaruul, a curdled milk, dehydrated and thoroughly dried in the air and hot sun that is beyond popular in Mongolian culture. It basically tastes like you found some old cheese in a hot, garage refrigerator, and even though it was 100 degrees outside and the cheese was months past its expiration date, you decided to put it in your mouth. Super yummy.

Oh god kid, don't do it. DON'T DO IT! (source)

And last, but certainly not least, a trip to the outback wouldn't be complete without some kangaroo sightings. And now you can bring back a piece of that adventure AND get to those hard to reach places. That's right, a kangaroo back-scratcher. Those tiny little claws get right in there to relieve the itch.

It'll get those itches, mate! (source)


I know some of ya'll have been to these places, and you can argue that they aren't the most popular souvenir, you can argue their authenticity, but you can't argue their ability to make one awesome blog post, right!?


Have any to contribute? Ever seen, or worse, received, a really bad and tacky souvenir?!

October 10, 2011

Finnish Icon: Marimekko

Time for a Finnish icon.

Maybe you've heard of Marimekko. Maybe you have seen the patterns but don't realize what it is. Or maybe you already live in it's crazy style. But I certainly know what I am bringing back with me this year. Marimekko tableware, fabric, bedding, bathroom decorations, clothing, I love it all.

How awesome and unique are these prints?!? (source)
If only we had a house to decorate it all with :)

But when we do, my semi-vintage style will be fronted with hints of Marimekko design here and there. And why not get the 'original' while we are here?!

Food would taste that much better off of these (source)

Marimekko was founded in 1951 in Helsinki by husband and wife team Vilijo and Armi Ratia. It originally started as a oilcloth factory that, unfortunately, didn't quite make it. The couple regrouped and converted the factory into a garment plant and convinced a few artisctic friends to help with graphic designing. The line started producing wildly colorful fabrics and was eventually turned into clothing, bags and interior decorations to help sell the textile. And there you have it, the most iconic designs out of Finland was born.


 Highly successful in the 60s and 70s, Marimekko somewhat declined in the 80s and early 90s after Armi Ratias death. But the company was bought by Kirsti Paakkanen in the early 90s, after which the brand started growing, strengthening and profiting exponentially. Concept stores can be found worldwide and the brand and famous bright prints are sure to be timeless.

Fashion icons like Jackie Kennedy and Sarah Jessica Parker in Marimekko (source)

Nothing like adding a little punch of color to your wardrobe and house!

And I just found out there is a factory outlet less than an hour away. Booyaa! I know what I'm getting for Christmas. Now, how much can I smuggle back to the U.S....
And that is about as 'girly' as I get on here :) That was kind of a "More You Know Monday", right??

I've got a great little piece in the works. So expect a fun travel tid bit later this week. So, start your week off with a good ol' heart warming feeling! And have a great Monday!

October 7, 2011

Thanks for reminding me I still live in Finland

So, happy Friday!

But not happy Frackin' Friday.

I can almost hear your collective sighs of disappointment.

(for your noobs, here is what Frackin' Friday used to be all about...)

You see, I have turned into one of those Americans. Those semi-fabled, snooty, 'I don't speak your language so you better learn English quick' kinda gals. And I hate it.

Probably doesn't help that I wear this shirt everyday...

No, I don't. And DON'T EVEN get me started on the re-tards that say this biznaz.
But dang it, Finnish is hard. And without some dirt cheap community center program available here to teach me Finnish (Volkshochschule, best thing ever in Germany!), I am S.O.L. So, I study some online. I have an audio learning tool for the basics that I listen to when I run. And for some reason, all the Finns at the gym think I am weird for saying 'Basic Expressions', 'Ordering off the Menu' and 'Making Friends' while on the treadmill. No really, I say repeat the sentences out loud.

Kaamea ilma!

Because I have a feeling I will need to know how to say "What awful weather" in Finnish.

Anyways, when I start feeling pretty confident in a phrase, and I go to the store/restaurant to use it, I am answered in English 99.9% of the time. Shit, you guys, I am trying to learn your language, play along!

And when you ask someone "Sorry, but do you speak English?", they either answer "Yes, of course." Or "A little."

But no, they don't say "A little" like they only know a little. It is more on the lines of "Good day, ma'am. And what a fine day it is. My English is somewhat insufficient these days. I am completely embarrassed. But if you could be a little patient with my grammar and syntax, it would be much appreciated".

Not even close to "A little".

Are you feeling sorry for me yet?


Sooooo, because I don't know Finnish and, sadly, don't know how much I am going to really learn, other than the basics, I have to start a new feature here. Something to replace Frackin' Fridays for the time being.

Once a week I am going to find something to remind myself that I am, in fact, living my life in a foreign country.

Let's call it: Things That Remind Me I Am Still in a Foreign Country. That's a working title.

You might be thinking, Ok Texa, seriously? You have to be reminded you are in Finland? Well, some of the times, yes! This is our life here. This is our day-to-day. And it starts to just feel normal after a while.

So, what kind of things am I talking about?

Well, it could be that 90 year old lady rocking the leopard tights. The funny description on a menu (we all know about that one now). Or even things that I find around the house.

Like this.

Things That Remind Me I Am Still in a Foreign Country: Number One

The bidet in my, and in EVERY, bathroom in this country.

It is that baby there, just hanging over the toilet. We don't use it, and we don't usually leave it there. Because it would just hang out there with all it's grossness OVER OUR TOOTHBRUSHES! Gag gag gag. Seriously, though, I don't even like touching it. It creeps me out.

Oh, fine westerners who might be clueless on how to use it, I of course have a picture showing how to correctly use a Finnish bidet.

But, because of the ridiculousness of the picture, it's seriously just a pube short of NSFW, I will link it out. But you really, really have to check this picture out.

So we usually don't even touch it and just leave it it's holder that is in the shower. Because the shower is right there as well.

See that drain, that's our shower. No elbow room in this joint. Wait, no doors or shower basin in this joint either. That is somewhat typically Europe for ya. We make due, though. But that should totally count as number two of things that remind me I am still in Europe. Small showers.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go remove the bidet so it doesn't drip on my toothbrush (try to not physically gag while reading that sentence, I dare ya) and then I'm off to soak my hands in bleach for the remainder of the day.


Have a great start to the weekend, you non-bum washers, you.

October 4, 2011

And it was just slightly over 1000 miles away

Holy schnikes!

I just realized that I missed Oktoberfest this year :( It ended yesterday.

And this mess was on a Monday!
Yes, ended, even though it is just NOW October. All those festivals back at home are fakes and phonies starting up in the 10th month. The real Oktoberfest starts in September. Because anything worth doing German, is worth doing backwards.

They should really trademark that saying :) Love ya, Deutschers!

For three glorious years, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the world's largest fair. I met a lot of fun people, really got a feel for Bavarian culture, experienced worldly and mind provoking things, got shit faced with 6,000 of my closets friends in a massive tent.

Hey, yesterday's post had the words "chubby breasts" in it. I can say "shit faced".

Don't lie, all you pervs who missed yesterdays are jumping back there to see what I am talking about!

Parents, ya'll still reading??
Anyways, good times.

There was that one time that my bad German finagled our way up on stage and and we danced with the band. In front of 4,000 people.

In a barrel.

That rose some odd feet into the air and stayed there for several long German classics.

I did not realize this picture was blurry until the next day....

Another time when I met Vincent Chase. Nah, he doesn't have a real name.

And one instance where I shouted over hundreds of people "TITO'S VODKA!!!" because anyone who went to college in the Lone Star State knows what I'm talkin' 'bout. Its a very cough, reputable, cough, vodka from Texas and someone was wearing a hat with the logo and I just knew we were meant to be life long friends.

Oh, and last year when the flippin' train split into two at a stop - don't worry, it is supposed to do that - and we were on the wrong half and traveled about 100 km in the wrong direction. Oh that was fun....you try sleeping in a train station in a dirndl.

Random post, I know, but I had friends that went this year (and if you reading this, miss :), I would love to see a post on it!) and it made me realize that I never wrote about Oktoberfest. I re-started up my blog last November, so I missed out on recounting all those fun times I don't really, actually remember.

I have no idea who these people are, but thanks for gracing my photo. Sheesh, this is just getting bad.

Looking back, we really did have a good run those three years.  But I fear that I cannot tell any more stories here without hurting my reputation too badly....

...says the girl who writes about truck nuts.


October 3, 2011

And...I'm Spent

I'll tell you one thing, Finland really isn't helping me out much with writing material!

Sure, sure, Finland sounds more 'exotic' than Germany. I mean, you probably know someone who has been to Germany, or maybe even had the opportunity to see the beautiful country with your own eyes.

But hardly anyone has been to or knows much about Finland. Which at first was a great thing for the blog in my mind. I thought "Aw man, people are going to love all the foreign stuff here!"

Until I realized that Finland is not that different than North America. The people are friendly, they mostly all speak English, they are helpful, blah blah blah and all that other boring stuff :) Sure, the random Euro coffee shop or occasional language barrier might bring you back to reality. Not to mention the inflated prices. But other than that, I might as well be back in Canada!

So dang you, Finland, for being so 'normal'. Sheesh, now I actually have to brainstorm things to write about. That's no fun.

But until my mind wakes up today (the haze and gloom of late fall/winter and heeerrreee! blech), I will just recap the weekend.

With the in-laws in town, we had an excuse to do the few touristy things around the town. Climbed up this in-the-middle-of-nowhere tower and saw the whole surrounding area. Quite beautiful. And eerie. We were the only ones out there. We like to take the folks to places that are completely random. 

And we also ate our way through the town. One thing the hubs and I love when his parents come to visit, is all the great food we eat while they are here.

Except for maybe this menu. Which does have some fun descriptions of the dishes, such as "Generous pieces of smoked salmon crowned with crayfish..." and "marinated chicken breast with gentle mozzarella frosting." Mmmm, mozza frosting. Every cake should be so lucky.

But then there is of course the highlighted section below that got us giggling. And I don't dare write it up on the blog, google hits would have a field day with that one!

Rando McRands a lot. Learned how to use one of these. No, actually I learned what one of these did. Somehow did not slice off a finger and opened a can with it.


And one last thing that makes it so hard to 'weirdofy' Finland. They freakin' love TexMex and everything Texas. No joke. Every grocery story has a large TexMex food section. Salsa, tortillas, taco supplies. And restaurants try to cash in on the action too. Here is a photo of a promotional menu at a place we visited on Saturday. Everything really IS bigger in Texas! Love it.

Although our server did not seem too impressed when I enthusiastically told her that I was from Texas. Like, hello, lady, that is pretty rare. There are only 25 million people in the world able to say that!

Wait a sec...carry the one....divide by the largest common denominator. Then those numbers would make it 5 times more likely to be from Texas than from Finland.


Even their hit songs are about U.S.A.

No, not THE U.S.A., just U.S.A. No 'the's are needed here.