Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 121: Abendessen

Yesterday evening we had dinner together at the castle Esslinger Burg.

Some of us are already leaving Germany so we had our own farewell dinner. The weather could not have been better! +29 degrees and sun shine and the local cold beer tasted like heaven. :P In the picture from the left: Angelica, me, Cristina, Barbara, Alex, Eetu, Attila, Carlos, Fernando, Richi, Chenhao and Monica.

Thank you all for your company, it was really lovely evening.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 120 in Esslingen

I finally went to take pictures of the henhouse nearby.

Yes, they have real chickens just across the street! I have seen them when going for a walk many times. The garden is also really beautiful and taken care of really well. It's located just on the other side of our building and it can be seen from Teddy's window.
I don't know why but the hens seem really enchanting. Well, maybe just to me. Eetu said: "They are delicious!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 118: Finnish Midsummer

On Saturday we had our own Finnish Midsummer barbecue at grillplatz up on the hill. The place was full of children and families when we got there but we still found a free table. The weather couldn't be better: Sun shine and +26 degrees! In the photo: Sina, Eetu, Smiljan, Molli and Anja.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 117: The Midsummer Eve

The Midsummer Eve was really warm day, we had +26 degrees and sun shine.

After school, the laboratory work and writing a report about it, I went to buy some food and then finally got home at half past six in the evening. I started cleaning my flat right away and made it in minimum time! I wanted to be faithful to my own Midsummer tradition so I went out to pick some wild flowers.

I found meadow buttercups (niittyleinikkejä), both white and red clovers (valkoisia ja punaisia apiloita), tufted vetches (hiirenvirnoja) and then some other flowers I haven't seen in Finland and didn't recognize. The sun was ready to set already when I came back after eight o'clock and I got a nice photo from the park on the way home.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 117 in Esslingen

The sun is shining and the birds are singing. It's Midsommer Eve.

And I'm about to leave to school because I have laboratory work in the afternoon. Yesterday I had holiday, though, and I went to the park to enjoy the sun. It was so peaceful: I read an exciting book in the sun and listened to the happy songs of the birds in the woods nearby.

Have a nice Midsummer everybody! Hauskaa Juhannusta! Ha en bra Midsommar! Viel Spass im Mittsommer!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 115 in Esslingen

It's getting worse and worse every day.. Sina was right!

People are going out to cafes and bars to watch the football games on screens. That's really fine by me! The only problem is that there's a screen just next door from my dormitory.. I can hear the REALLY noisy horns all night long and it's really, really annoying. I'm starting to hope that Germany would lose the games so there wouldn't be so much noises.. But that's the only reason for hoping so, I promise! :D

Before going to bed I have to put the earplugs on, otherwise there is no hope of falling asleep.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 113 in Esslingen

Yes, the madness continues..

Now there are even more and bigger flags every where. This flag is from the dormitory next door.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 112: Say Fazer!

Ooh, I got mail from Finland!

A letter, pastilles and chocolate, I would accept this kind of mail more often. :P And by the way, Finnish chocolate, especially Fazer, happens to be the best chocolate in the world. ;)
Thank you Sari!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 112 in Esslingen

3D classes are so cool...

Today I went to the movies to see How to train your dragon, an animated 3D film. It was great! I just loved the leading dragon character who had some catlike gestures. So cute. :)

I know, I know: it's just an animation. But I was amazed by the well structured plot, funny characters and how fantastic the film was visually. I wanna have an own dragon, too!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 111: Köyhät ritarit

It was time to make some French toast, it's Saturday after all!

Last time I ate French toast, in Finnish köyhät ritarit (="poor knights"), must have been a very long time ago.. But I wanted to have something for dessert so I came up with this very simple one. In Finland we call them "rich knights" if you serve them with whipped cream and jam, but today we had only the poor ones without cream. Teddy seemed to like them anyway. :)

The origin of the French toast recipe seems to be in Spain, where this dessert existed already in the 15th century as torrijas which means "toast". The recipe must have come to Finland from our neighbour Sweden because we have the same translated name for it. The name on the other hand comes from the German version and it originates from poor knights in Medieval times.

Some names I found:

French toast (US)
Poor knights of Windsor (UK)
Köyhät ritarit = "poor knights" (Finland)
Fattiga riddare = "poor knights" (Sweden)
Armer Ritter ="poor knight" (Germany)

Day 110 in Esslingen

This time I decided to write about smoking.

First of all I don't like the smoke, I really hate the smell of cigarettes. It is forbidden to smoke inside the cafés and restaurants (but not at the beer festival it wasn't) here too, but advertising cigarettes is allowed. I have seen the ads for example at bus stops.

On the streets they also have these cigarette automatons all over the town where you can buy your cigarettes by inserting your coins to the machine. I can not help wondering, does German people smoke more than Finns?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 109 in Esslingen

What could possibly be better way to start a day than a cup of coffee and real, Finnish rye bread? Nope, nothing gets better than that! Thank you, Teddy, for bringing me some proper bread from Finland. :)

Well then, what is one of the worst ways to end the day? Power cut!! Yes, we had a total power cut in our student dormitories yesterday evening, but only in every other room which was really strange. It started after 7 pm and we got electricity back around 3 am. So sorry folks if you didn't see me online last night. :/

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 108 in Esslingen

After the Farewell Dinner I was invited to have same cake with Monica and Pei.

It was Monica's birthday cake, although her birthday was already in the end of May. :) Well, we had a small party for her anyway, Pei and I even sang "happy birthday"!
The raspberry cake was sweet and delicious and still partly frozen, hihi! :D

Pei had a pile of guitars at her room and I was wondering what where those all about. She told me she had been playing guitar in this band, which was touring in Germany at the moment. The guitars were in her room just for storage while the band was having some holiday before going back to Singapore. Pei showed me some of the guitars and the cutest one was definitely the Japanese "soprano" guitar!

Day 108: Farewell Dinner

Dear blog,

today we had the Farewell Dinner organized by the International Office of Hochschule Esslingen. It was a meeting for all exchange students, contact persons, coordinators and people from the International Office, our German language professors and our German History professor.

It was really nice evening and a good change to meet all exchange students for the last time. Of course we are still going to be around for some weeks, but the lectures are over and only the exams are left. I didn't get the feeling that the study period is ending, though. But maybe that's a good thing, I think I am not ready to say goodbye, not just yet. ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 106 in Esslingen

The football madness continues.

Everybody is talking about the games.
It's really hard for me to understand the big fuss over the football matches. I don't know is it because I am a Finn or because I am a girl or just because I'm not that interested in football in general. I don't know. But on the other hand it's interesting to observe all the people who are into these games.. How mad can it get? :D

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 105: Pan pizza à la Laura

Food blog alert, again! :D

Today I made a pan pizza. I don't have an oven in my room, so I needed to be a little bit creative with this pizza making.

First I made a normal pizza dough and shaped it as big and round as my plate. Then I put the base of the pizza on a warm pan and waited until it was cooked. After that I added the toppings: tomato, tuna fish, pineapple, cheese, feta cheese and basil.

Then I put the pizza to a microwave oven for few minutes and the cheese was nicely melt. But the base of the pizza was still too soft so I cooked the whole pizza on the pan again and it was perfect. Nothing is better than homemade pizza, I must say!

Day 105 in Esslingen

Okay, so on Friday the football madness begun.

Whole weekend I have heard all kind of noises from the parking lot downstairs. All the students from the buildings have been watching the game from a screen in the party room so I have heard the TV-commentaries, applauding, cheering, shouting, yelling and especially annoying horn blowing and honking.

Today I even saw the flags hanging outside the dormitory windows. On the streets I have also seen German flags in the car windows, some have even four of them! Never before in my life have I experienced this kind of sport madness..

Day 104: Strawberryfestival

Saturday was also the day for the 15th Strawberryfestival in Esslingen.

One of the pedestrian streets here in Esslingen was covered with red carpet and both sides of the carpet were full of small stands, small beer gardens, live music and also all kind of activities for children.

The festival was full of strawberry decorations, I saw people wearing strawberry t-shirts and some wore even strawberry costumes!! The stands were full of stuff with strawberry pictures on them; clothes, house decorations, purses, jewelry and so on. Of course you could also find strawberries in every form you can eat. I bought fresh strawberries with yogurt and with a cup of coffee I ate a piece of strawberry cake which was cut from the famous, huge heart/strawberry shaped cake.

It was so funny festival, people were smiling and sun was shining. Sehr schön. =)

Day 104 in Esslingen

Peaceful moment.

On Saturday morning I went to the market square and decided to visit the two churches near the square. First I went to see a small and simple church, the Münster of St. Paul, which is the oldest completely survived Dominican monastery church in Germany. On the other side of the church I found an elementary school Waisenhofschule, which is so surrounded of other buildings that I had never seen it before! Even though I had passed it many times.

The other church I visited is Stadtkirche of St. Dionys, the church with the twin towers. After visiting the small St. Paul's church this one looked enormous! It was really peaceful though. There was some kind of rehearsal going on and I sat down to listen to them playing classical music. The other was playing cello and the other one small organ. I took a short video so you can hear a little bit of the music they played and you can also see how big and glamorous the real church organ is on the balcony.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 103 in Esslingen

Free friday!

There was no laboratory work today at school because of a small fire in the laboratory. So I didn't have school today but I woke up at eight o'clock in the morning anyway, it was too warm. In the evening it was still +26 degrees.
I went for a walk in the afternoon and found some new small roads where I jogged and admired the landscapes at the same time. The sunbeams felt nice on my skin but the wind felt even nicer!

Day 102 in Esslingen

The second International Friends Stammtisch was on Thursday evening.

We sat outside in beer garden Karmeliter because the weather was warmest ever; +31 degrees!! Two long beer tables were full of both local and exchange students and I had really nice time. After the sun set they lit lanterns in the beer garden and the atmosphere was cozy. =)

In the photo: Timo (Finland), Ricardo (Mexico) and Sina (Germany).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 101 in Esslingen

Stealing cherries!

Such a warm day today, +29 degrees and my head is exploding because of this heat. In other words I have a headache.

Well, on the way back home from school in the evening I saw a cherry tree growing over the fence of a house. I couldn't help myself; I reached out my fingers to the branch and just stole some cherries! Haha! They were yummy. :)

Day 101: The Workshop

Wow, over hundred days in Germany!

Today was the presentation of our Workshop group at school. Our topic was Delegation and we had prepared a lesson of an hour and a half for other students in our class. We didn't want the audience just to listen our speeches and get bored but to think about our topic themselves. We had three stations that the other students had to visit and complete the tasks we had made for them.

The structure of the Workshop was very different from the other two Workshops we had already had, but in my opinion it worked really well. =)
In the picture there is our group and our professor (from the left): Carlos, Benjamin, Micha, Sebastian, prof. Wynne, Christian, Eetu, Martin, Angelica, Mikko, Attila and me.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 99 in Esslingen

I finally took a picture of these strange things there are in the toilets at school.

They are hand dryers. I had never in my life seen this kind of design of them before! It looks so... engineeric! :D I think I just made up a new word, but what I meant was that the machines look like really futuristic to me. The design is so different from the other hand dryer models I have seen before.

But still, the basic function is the same: air blows your hands dry.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 98 in Esslingen

Another warm day in Esslingen.

I went out in the afternoon to read my new book and to enjoy the sun. After an hour I had to find a shade, it was too warm in direct sunlight. A little later it grew cloudy, but the temperature didn't change, still +27!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 97 in Esslingen

It was really warm day again: +26 and totally blue sky.

In the afternoon we went to the nearest park to enjoy the sun with Teddy. The sun was really burning, it felt so warm! We listened to Finnish music and read books, Teddy even fell a sleep while I was making garland with wild flowers. Cute? =)

Day 96: Cocktail Party

On Friday evening Barbara had a Cocktail Party for her birthday last week.

Dress code for girls was clear: wear a dress or a skirt! There was welcoming-Pina Colada for every girl and a short drink for every guy. If a boy wanted to have a long drink, he should have arrived in a dress! Unfortunately none of them did. :)

The party was on the roof of Barbara's dormitory and the view and the sun set was really beautiful. After the dark it became a little bit cold though, the day had been so warm.

Day 96 in Esslingen

On Friday I met my international friend Sina.

We did some shopping here in Esslingen and spoke German all day! Well, I tried to speak German at least and Sina was the most patient German teacher I have had. :)

The sun was shining and all parks were full of people. We also went to a park to eat ice cream and while we were there we saw a man walking on the rope! It looked so easy, but I guess it needs a lot of practice.

We ate dinner at döner-place and on the terrace we saw a mouse! See for yourselves from the short video.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 94 in Esslingen

Cider, finally!

Teddy found accidentally one French brand of apple cider today from our nearest grocery shop. Cider. Wow.
I don't even remember when was the last time I drank cider; Germany is totally beer-country, as you know.

Of course we had to open and taste it right away this evening. The only problem was that, well, I wasn't able to open the bottle! I tried to open it many times, Teddy tried to open it many times and finally after minutes of trying and taking pictures, he succeeded. :) Tasted like fresh apple juice.