The Old Cam and The Sea.

So, today my friend dropped her keys in the sea and we spent the rest of the day trying to get them out. Still have not got them out. First she jumped in, tried to pick them up with her feet and almost got hypothermia because the sea was about 1 or 2 degrees probably. Came back later with a colander tied to the end of a mop (had to cycle about 2.5 miles with this contraption on my back) and fished about in the depths until it was cold and very very dark. SO…will be going back tomorrow with new plans and ideas and renewed hope , although she is now going to do fieldwork for a few days before we go to Russia, so I will have to gather some reinforcements from my block to help get the keys out.

The process of me becoming more Finnish has begun; I’m no longer finding everything so ridiculously expensive, even though the prices are the same. Potentially a lethal turn of events. ”Only 8 euros for this scented candle?! I can’t afford not to buy it!?” Only when I think how much this would be in good old pounds sterling can I be brought back to reality.

After spending hours swearing at the sea as I tried to fish out these keys from its icy depths I feel less happy and friendly towards Finland and the Finnish culture and society. Another reason not to lose your keys in a foreign country- it turns you into a racist.

Missing British comedy such as The IT Crowd and Father Ted. It’s just not the same watching it here where nobody understands it.

Wanted to go to this big island today where there are moose and seals and stuff but then realized it was Sunday and this is Finland, and that means that NOTHING WHATSOEVER is open or functions on a Sunday in Finland. Will have to go another time.

Anyway, I should really be revising for my first ever exam tomorrow. That’s right, I have an exam and in Leicester term has not even started, but here exams are slightly less eternal and binding- if you fail one, you often you get later chances to retake it. But obviously I want to pass this one well the first time.

Already a small part of me looks forward to returning to Leicester- not because I ‘m not loving life here, but just for that feeling of returning to your land after mad and wonderful adventures elsewhere. But I’ve got a whole lot of adventures (and studying Cameron, STUDYING) left to do here before I’m even half ready to go back to England.

Fell off bicycle in the woods and torn a giant hole in my trousers. The lesson-don’t shop at H&M.

Got lots of mosquito wounds. Where there’s lakes there’s mosquitos- oh don’t worry, they’ll getcha!

Went to the Oulu McDonalds, a bizarre ancient chintzy building with chandeliers and statues, but they have coffee, burgers and donuts for one euro each so it’s an invaluable resource. Another to add to the list of bizarre McDonalds I have visited , including buying beer just because I could in a McDonalds in Palermo train station , eating breakfast in a McDonalds overlooking Check-point Charlie and now this one. Not mind-blowing I know, but yeah, I’m from Devon, McDonalds is still a big deal there.

Also, learnt some adorably cute things about this hilariously beautiful language ‘German’, including:

1. The literal translate of gloves is ‘hand-shoes’.

2. Because of the way the sentence is structured you have to know what you’re buying before you tell people you’re buying it. (German functionality *cough*)

3. They don’t mess around with ‘getting’ or ‘taking’ things. You can’t ‘get’ some socks. You can wear socks, you can carry socks…but you can’t simply take or get them. It’s not allowed, apparently.

However any preconceptions about German functionality being boring is utter tosh. German functionality is about not wasting your time  with boring stuff or embarrassment or suffering fools , it’s about getting the job done quickly and efficiently -where ‘the job’ is having a great time and enjoying life.

Me and my German friend have also proposed a theory about what makes some countries’ cultures more eager to learn languages- its more common in countries that are not proud of their history- i.e. Germany ,and for me , England. Yes, I’m not proud of why wherever I go everybody thinks England is great and has been taught that England and learning English is great. But yeah, I would like to try a different Erasmus year where it’s in a different language so I’m learning a new language too.

Might begin to record the outdoor temperature in each blog so I can chart my slow descent into cold-induced madness.

Tried to speak Italian today at lunch and it was difficult and unnatural. Think I should concentrate on one or two languages, instead of trying all of them at once. But which?

When I went to Santa Clause’s village I met Santa himself, and it was quite incredible. The Incredible thing wasn’t any of the Christmassy business, or even Santa, but the man inside the costume of Santa, who spoke perfect English, Finnish obviously, and apparently really good German. And because he and this place are so internationally famous, I should imagine he speaks many many many other languages too. How many can he speak? Where did he learn them? Why? Now that’s incredible. Thought I’d quite like to get a job as Santa one day , if I keep learning languages and get ok at a few. And my day job would be making people happy and distributing Xmas spirit (even in September), that would be pretty neat.

Decided the only way to get the keys back from the sea is to go in swimming after them, even though its 3 degrees today and I can’t swim, so I’m going to try to fashion a rope from some old clothes in the basement so I can lift myself to safety. Going to persuade some hapless individual to accompany me as well, otherwise this may end up being my final blog post ever, ironically detailing my actual demise.

Also , though its three degrees I’m still wearing a t shirt , jeans , and now have started wearing a woolen top- yet the Finn’s are already wearing hats gloves scarves and coats!? What the heck! I’d thought they’d be professional hard-men ,  jogging round in hot pants in the -10’s , but no , even I’m more cold resistant than these guys! Or maybe they just know something I don’t- it’s hard to say. We’ll see.

 

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Cameron (Finland)

About Cameron (Finland)

Cameron has now graduated for the University of Leicester. I am Cameron, currently living in Oulu, Finland for my Erasmus year and studying Geography...Physical Geography (BSc) to be precise. I’ll tell you what it’s like to be me, a 3rd year geography student at the northernmost geography department in the world.

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