Suomi – Day 2

I have to go to school this morning, and I hate the feeling of  near-helplessness that overcomes me as I step out of my room, because I don’t know how to get to school, and even though I know it isn’t far from where I am, there are so many buildings around, so… I find an Indian girl getting her bike, and I ask her if she knows where my school is. Bless her heart, she actually walks me all the way to school. We’re supposed to have a welcome meeting today, but unfortunately I get there over an hour too early and I have to fight sleep while waiting. I don’t have access to the internet yet, because I don’t have a username and password, neither do I have access in my room, because I do not have a LAN cable.

I won’t go into details of the meeting, I’ll just quickly skip to the lunch that comes after. Chinese restaurant, because the school cafeteria hasn’t opened for the year. The food is awesome, to be honest. I hope the cafeteria food wouldn’t completely shatter my euphoria though. For starters, we have some soup, which is really good, then the main course is rice with different platters of sauce – beef, chicken, fish. I have ALL of them, while engaging in a nice discussion with the Finnish people at my table. For dessert (or maybe it was intended to be part of the main meal, I have no idea), we have fried balls of chicken (they look like puff puff or croustillon) and chili sauce. I have to find this restaurant again sometime.

After lunch, we go with our coordinator (I think that’s what she is to us) to open a bank account, since we need one to be able to pay our rent and almost every other thing. The first bank we go to, Nordea, asks us for letters of recommendation from the banks in our home countries. I will not put down my thoughts on this policy, before someone finds me and fines or deports me 😐 We eventually find a nicer bank, with a nicer lady who attends to us, we complete the paperwork and then we are asked to return later to finalize things.

At night, my classmates and I have pancakes (and music, games and drinks) in the kitchen on someone’s floor. Wait, have I mentioned that in this my new apartment, the keys are not normal keys, but those magnetic cards that are used in hotels? This is scary, because if you forget your key inside your room and call the people responsible outside normal work hours, you would have to pay 35 Euros. Just for context, 35 Euros would buy me 2 really nice dresses. Also, this your key can only open the door to your floor, the door to the kitchen on your floor,  and the door to your room. If you want to visit someone on another floor or in another building, you have to call the person to come open up for you. Smh. Oh and the kitchens get closed for the day at 11.00 pm. LOL. One cannot have a hot chocolate night cap in these parts then, is it? On a less funny note, I cannot figure out how to use the cooker in the kitchen. Very weird stuff, and this means I have been surviving on Rice Krispies, McVities biscuits, and muffins. Also, the kitchen setting here is a bit different from what I’m used to: there are all sorts of kitchen utensils and condiments that are just there for people to use (left over by previous tenants, I suppose), and there’s even a mini bar (I think those bottles are empty though, I haven’t checked). This is very disturbing, because it means that people can leave dirty dishes in the sink, which they have already started doing. I almost cannot cook when the kitchen is dirty, but then I wouldn’t want to be washing stuff that I didn’t use either. These people had better fix up, and fast.

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