Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What I've Learned: A List

This list is, of course, incomplete.

1) Prolonged exposure to a language will, accompanied by a minimal amount of effort, result in progress. If you don't allow plateaus to discourage you, you'll burst through them when you least expect it.
2) People here regard Americans as, above all else, "friendly" and prone to "small talk" (i.e. loud and vacuous). Thanks, Hollywood.
3) I've never met a Hungarian I didn't instantly like.
4) Making friends is hard, and I'm horrible at it.
5) I'm outgrowing video games, but I still long for when I used to play tabletop RPGs with my friends on hot summer days. Sometimes, we'd even pack a picnic and set up shop in a public park, like a roving band of nerd-hippies. Video games do not require friends, though (see no. 4).
6) It's not hard to take decent photographs if you have a decent camera. I always feel a little weird when people compliment my pictures, as I have very little skill in any of the areas that separate the photographers from the wannabes. I take pictures because it passes the time, and gets me out and about.
7) Despite loving Finland for a whole host of reasons, I don't really feel at home here. Not yet, at least.
8) I love winter, so long as the temperature stays below freezing.
9) Since getting rid of my car before moving to Lappeenranta, I have not missed driving even slightly. I actually consider it a luxury to be able to walk and ride public transit anywhere I need to go.
10) I haven't seen nearly enough of Finland. I'm thinking of traveling somewhere over hiihtoloma, perhaps to Turku.
11) I really, desperately miss working with "at-risk teens". Should I become a social worker?
12) I'm thinking of learning to program so that I can study at LUT.
13) While I decided what the hell I want to do with my life here, I'm going to try and teach English as much and as often as possible. I'd actually like the chance to teach a beginners' course because, well, I'm a freak with a passion for grammar.
14) This describes my current state far better than it should. Not quite sure what to do about it, though.
15) I need to become braver and more adventurous so that I can write interesting things as opposed to self-indulgent things. 


  1. #1: Agree completely. :-)

    I'm not good at making friends, either. I'm not good at initiating things.

    When people compliment my photos, I just take pleasure that they're enjoying them even though I know that compared to professional photographers, I'm nothing. Sometimes I take those compliments just as a "thank you" for having shared those views with others.

    GOOD LUCK with finding out what to do! I remember those years when I was confused on what to do...I'm sure in time you'll find your way...and hope in time you'll feel at home in Finland. :-)

    What do you mean by "interesting things as opposed to self-indulgent things"? Interesting things for whom?

    Number 14. Hmmm...I think I have some blah days, though I'm not sure I can call myself depressed many times in life, though I think I have been depressed every now and then, but it doesn't last too long. I think sometimes it's OK to have some blah days. For me, exercise helps lift up my mood a lot.

    P.S. Maybe you should be a social worker. Why not? :-)

    1. Oh yeah, what I mean by my question is that I think every post you wrote is interesting 'coz I wanna know what's in your head. :-)

    2. I guess I meant things that would be of more significance to this blog's audience. I want to live life more thoroughly so that I can share interesting things about Finland, which I don't think I've done very well yet. That said, thank you for caring about what's going on in my thoughts. I love reading your thoughts, feelings and anything you write, too. :)

    3. Ahhhh...IC IC. For me, mostly I read blogs to get to know to the bloggers. But you're thinking of your audience who want to know more about Finland. Makes sense. :-)

  2. #8 - YES! It got up to around 5 a couple of weeks ago, and everything was slush, and I was cursing it. Not because it was slush, but because when the temp dropped to -10, the *entire town* was an ice rink!
    #9 - YES! I *love* not having a car, I love being able to walk everywhere. If I had a car, I would feel the need to use it, and there is almost *never* a reason to use it.

    1. Yes, the ice after the slush is the worst part of a thaw. It's also not as beautiful, which can get very depressing in such a dark time of year!

      Not worrying about driving/gas/repairs/etc. is just priceless. Not feeling the need to drive short distances is also great. Glad you're enjoying car-less-ness, too. :)

  3. WRT #6, that sounds like a great excuse for me to like indecent photographs: their egalitarian nature.

    Yeah, I'll go with that.

    1. Those poor people without decent cameras have no other choice, and the internet salutes them.

  4. SO SORRY to hear about your great aunt's passing. :-( Voimia kaikille!!!