Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lordi Lordi Aug 26th

(Aug 26) As mentioned before we had only been able to grab 2 hours sleep the night before. This was due to Helsinki’s great night life. This night we chose Studio 51. There was promise of “tonight, crazy night” fun. The story went that a Portuguese man had gone there the week before and managed to have fun with tons of girls by only repeating these two words “tonight, crazy night!” I saw the man, and if that worked, surely I had a universe of fun possibilities. Lots of girls were met but no substantial connections were had. We eventually left due to our need for rest. We had just been at a huge Finnish concert series before the club. The main reason for going to this concert was the famous Finnish group “Lordi”. There were tons of beautiful young Finnish girls there I had a true rock concert experience with a young girl on my shoulders singing along to “hard rock halleluiah!” Great fun. Before this we were sitting on a hill drinking with some other Finnish girls, man do I wish I was still in Helsinki and not in the London/Heathrow Airport. This is really hitting me hard, I don’t want to be finished my journey. I hope to see all of the friends I made again and I hope I learned something about myself and Russia.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The 28th Of August "A kick in de kok"

(Aug 28) It has been an amazing trip. Maybe I will work backwards. I am sitting at the London Heathrow quiet room trying to collect some thoughts; just moments ago I resolved to learn French, for many reasons, all of the female kind. I missed my intended flight. 8am is a lot different from 1:30pm. I don’t know where this number came from, but I would have been on time for the 1:30 flight, funny thing is there wasn’t one. I ended up spending an additional $150 to remedy my inadequacies. This matter really should have been addressed sooner; however I had been trying to maximize the remaining time left abroad.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tallinn on the 27th

(Aug 27) To maximize my remaining time a trip to yet another county was in order. Tallinn was the destination of choice, with 2 hours sleep and 2 friends, Sandy and Luca. We headed for Estonia on the ScandiJet super cat boat. This was the future of boat travel. Like a floating lounge and restaurant it offered a beautiful trip. We arrived in a surprising environment. Toted as a struggling eastern European country by numerous missionaries, I had expected a run down dilapidated city, I was entirely misled. The old city of Tallinn was beautiful, parts of the city dated back to the 11th century. There were towers surrounding the old city wall that looked marvelous. Of course this was the tourist Mecca and prices for everything were grossly inflated to the normal Estonian standard. This city had narrow cobble stoned streets, huge cathedrals, theatres churches and amazing castle walls. We tried some authentic Estonian food “Grandma’s Roast” this was a beef dish with some great side dishes including beats, potatoes fresh garden salad and lime and lemon slices. We took a walk into the modern city that rivals Vancouver for its modern glass skyscraper look. It is hard to imagine that this used to be under the thumb of mother Russia, in fact there were more luxury cars in Tallinn then anywhere else I have ever seen, times are looking up for Estonia if this is any indication of how the rest of the country is living, but I know this is not likely. We were recommended to go to this lounge or as the Italians say “disco bar” called the island. We soon became quite lost. Fortunately for us we met one of the nicest people in the world; this woman that was around 35 walked us to where we could see a beautiful park and see a castle in St. Catherine’s Park. We then thought it time for drinks, and the Island turned out to be a great place, kind of post modern beach meets Yaletown. They were playing progressive funky house music that despite its upbeat tempo knocked Luca out. As we paid our bill, they did an amazing thing; they gave every group a CD with the Island Mix Music. This is a brilliant way to advertise for yourself, they had the address and contact info on the cover in a fashionable way. New advertising media, love it. We ended up boarding our ship again and heading back to Helsinki. Luca and I were both very tired due to the night before.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Last night we proceeded to go to this Uniq bar in Helsinki. It had this amazing ice cavern in it that you had to pay 10e to get into. Well worth it, the bar tables and walls were all illuminated with blue lights, it looke sweet. I brought my video camera and taped some of the exploits. The worst footage was when I was dancing around this girl shaking the camera to the beat, really cheesy.

We managed to get home and then Jarko slept through his alarm clock and missed 4 hours of work on his second to last day. Not only that, but someone also stole his bike tire, which was a true pain in the ass.

Lastnight were the Finnish fireworks competition. They were alright, not quite the synphony of fire level but not bad. Were were drinking in the park with a bunch of friends and met up with some young Finnish girls. After this we went to Molly Malones which is a classic Irish bar. I had a few more rounds, and ended up wasting money on the blackjack table in the bar. I don't think they should be allowed to take that much money from people who were drinking. After the bar shut down at 4 am, me and Mat randomly met up with This young couple Juhana Tikkanen and Leena Mari. At this point in time we had a few to many drinks and were down for whatever. There was a huge line for taxi's so these guys offered to take us to a place where we could find one. We ended up going to their place which was very far away, and stayed up all night telling stories and drinking. They were very unique. He was 28 she 19 and they really worked well for each other. The funnyinst part of the evening was when leena pured beer on me, and I didn't retaliate do to Juhana's request. I was choked, and she knew it. to set things at ease she sat down and poured a bottle of beer on her head. I loved her after that!!

But I go to St Petursburg in 4 hours and I havn't stated to pack.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dr. Tollet is really an interesting guy, when ou can get words out of him. He used to work for Cableworx, which turned into Nokia. He can speak French, German, Swedish, Russian, English, and Finnish. I really have been challenged to get my act together when I am surrounded by motivated people. Cheryl is really a fascinating girl, she is a complete academic nerd, which I find soo attractive. She reads books on string theory, runs, plays tennis, and rebuilds old motorbikes for hobbies, not to mention she is really cute. I will make some efforts to spend more time with her. I went for a jog with her through this park area, and we found this inflated tennis dome that costs 10 Euros to play each game.
This Dr. Tollet decided to do a case study in addition to the projects that were are assigned, this seems like an unorganized waste of time, but I will try to get something out of it. The more I read about the Russian people, the less I would ever want to to business there. They seem so backwards, unmotivated, uncompromising, mistrustful, and ignorant of logic and facts. With this combination, it is no surprise to me that they are not a successful transitional economy. Hungary for example is able to switch from communism to capitalism with greater success. It may be due to the scale of the country, and adapting their manufacturing to a demand model, and learning how to market products to increase demand. I can almost see things changing into a more western business model within the next 50-60 years, as this generation is able to shake off the historical baggage that is weighing their economy down.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Today was the first day of class, it is going to be a long week. This teacher Dr. Ingmar Tollet is a relic. He is borderline old folks home, he will talk for a moment and then pause for at least 5 seconds, and in the meantime everyone is fading out. I looked at my classmates at one point in time and 4 out of 10 were sleeping. I myself was fading in and out of consciousness. The entire experience reminded me of church, the eternal fight to make an effort to pay attention, but the inability to be more interested in what was being said over what you brain could imagine. This is the mad that will lead the study tour through St. Petersburg, I hope he becomes more engaging. He is a smart man with years of amazing experience, but he is literally over the hill.
The ten people in my class are from everywhere in the world. They are all around 28-35 years old and engineering students. Cheryl and Joanna (Asha) are in my class, I knew them from Kwantlen. I have to hang out with them for the next two weeks. Cheryl is a driven girl who is a vegetarian, she runs every morning and is as skinny as one can possibly be. She is interested in history culture and is a self proclaimed geek, she is kind of cute, I would like to get to know her more closely. Asha, is young 19 in both age and mind. She is nice but a bit of a ditz. I am sure we can have a good time in Russia.
Today me and the boys climbed the highest point in Helsinki (really just a hill) it had great views of the city and of where we live. We brought a bunch of beer to the top of the mountain, and figure out a way to play hot-crossed-buns with our bottles. The video is hilarious, or maybe so after you have had a few.
I have to read 30 more pages of home work tonight, or sleep, hard choice. The projects I chose are multi national trade in Russia -Baltika brewing, and doing business transactions in Russia Vs West. I may join the girls and do one project and a big exam

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What a long day. I just arrived in my new flat in Helsinki. The school I am studying at, Evtek hooked me up with a student to pick me up at the airport and show me to my place. The guy that picked me up was named Jarco, and he is one of the few Finns that plays Lacrosse. It just made it over here 5 years ago, and he only began playing a few months ago, however he is on the national team (small pool of people) When we arrived, at the apartment, Mat and Martin from Kwantlen were finishing the clean up of the apartment. They did leave their impressive beer bottle collection, in order that I could add to the collection, a task I am well up for. But maybe not tonight, as I am recovering from my reunion with my English friends that I met in Australia. The day started early, I couldn’t sleep, I was woken at 3 am buy a gigantic snoring Italian woman that made it her personal goal to ensure that I didn’t sleep. So instead of waiting till 10 am to meet Michelle, I went walking around London at 8am. I hopped on the Bigbus your. I was wanting to stretch my legs and walk, but the weather was shit, so I thought I needed a bit of guidance. The tour was very convenient, it took me to the national museum, where I saw my favourite painting that I can’t remember what it is called. There are these two merchants with this amazing paining style that makes their body seem surreal. There is heavy use of symbolism throughout the painting, there is a lute with at broken string, “discord” and my favourite part was the elongated skull along the bottom of the paining. At first I couldn’t make out what the shape was, but when I moved to the right side of the paining the perspective corrected itself and the skull became clear.
I saw Trafalgar square, with Lord nelson overlooking the area on his massive pedestal, the Canadian consulate, and numerous fountains. I love the rich and blatantly celebrated history of London, they truly know how to honour their hero’s. I saw Westminster Abby, Big Ben the parliament buildings, the London eye, the tower of London, and took a canal tu up the Thames. All in all, it was a good ay of exploring. Michelle and I didn’t manage top meet up, I did get her email address from a note she left, maybe I will look her up back home, maybe not. She was quite fun. I passed out for an hour, and then realised that my English mates still needed to connect with me. These guys are a riot. They are from Redding, which is like the Surrey of London, but the Canadian surrey, not the real English …. never mind. They are uneducated, racist drink too much and know how to make a Canadian boy in a strange land feel at home. We went to all this dodgy pubs to get a few pints before we went to TigerTiger. We were in Soho, which we found out is the shady/gay area of town. The club wouldn’t let us in because we didn’t have girls so we met up with these girls from Manchester, who were really hot and drunk, it was as if the heavens had opened up and said “have fun my blessed lad, to night you get some English muffins” but of course I loose them as soon as I get in the club trying to get a drink. Ahh well, I got to hang out with my drunken boys for a while, glasses became smashess, I must not have liked the music, because that tends to happen when the music turns south. I didn’t have my game together, I missed out on meeting any girls, but I realized that there were no quality connections to be made at this time anyways. So we end up leaving at around 2:30 and wandering around looking for a strip club down some of Soho’s dankest alley ways. Alas, it really became apparent that this was a waste of time and that it was 3 am and I was needing to be up at 6 am to catch my plane. So we hired a Somalian to drive us back to our place for 15 quid (32 bucks) I thought I didn’t have any money, but Phil paid my way, I need to send him some cash, because I found 15 quid the next day in my wallet. We managed to sneak them both into the hostel at 3:30 am ad crash for a few hours. The attendant must have been oblivious because he told us to be quiet, and didn’t catch on that these people hadn’t paid for the night. The next morning was a rude awakening, I really need to catch some proper sleep soon.. But not tonight, I will give her. After a nap, maybe.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I am here in London, and I have only ventured a few blocks from my Hostel. I forgot the shadiness of these places, however I wasn’t carrying $2000 worth of toys the last time I arrived. This city is unlike anything I have experienced, yet it seems so familiar. It is defiantly a multiethnic hotbed with a predominance of Arabs. The architecture is beautiful and the streets are clean, the block around the hostel screams of history, one can only imagine the events that have transpired blocks from this place. All of the buildings make full use of their Victorian styling at night with halogen spotlights highlighting the layer exterior of most of the buildings. If I were not soo jetlagged, I would be out exploring every nook and cranny. The room I m sharing has only Italians in it. I made dinner with them today, and peeled a tomato for the first time. Their pasta sauce had salt oil onion, and tomato in in. Honestly I prefer the bastardized north American version. These guys all come from Sicily and can hardly speak English. I feel ostracized when I hang out with them for too long. So I looked elsewhere for companionship. I met a nice Dutch girl who worked at reception. Her name is Anaje or something like that. I met a dancer from Vancouver, she is cute but only talks about herself, how boring. I may go to the market with her tomorrow in hopes of getting a little action now, or back home. I plyed cards with Michelle and the two beautiful French girls. We played asshole for 3 rounds and we didn’t change positions until I let the cutest of them beat me in the last round. I will see what tomorrow has in store for me, but I want to take full advantage of what the day could offer.