I went to a hockey game last night. The Chinese National Women’s Ice Hockey Team against The Blues of Finland. The Blues have only two players who haven’t yet played on Finland’s national team. Needless to say, The Blues were a very difficult team to play and China didn’t fare well. More pictures on .Mac
I also took some pictures of practice the other day. It was more practice for not only the hockey players, but for the girl with the new camera. It is definitely going to take me a while to get the hang of it.
I met a couple of Chinese nationals who are working or going to university here in Finland. A nice bunch. One guy works at Nokia, one girl is getting her masters in business and will be working for a Canadian insurance firm in China. They all had heard about the game from an article in the local paper. We had a great discussion about some of the differences of living in Finland versus China. One of the main this is about how safe Finland seems to be. I still didn’t want to go walking too far in the woods alone today, but it is true. I feel pretty safe here–just not from wild animals.
So Finland is looking a lot like Maine. It really is. Big pine trees, birch trees, lakes, rocks, empty highways. Of course, here the cities are a lot bigger, and it has actually been warmer and there is no snow right now. There might be some snow before I leave. I had one sunny day where the batteries for my camera were dead. I falsely believed there would be more. I would take pictures, but they’d seriously look black and white even in color. The sky is grey, the lake is slightly darker grey, the trees are black or white and are wet from the mist. The green is that dark green of winter that almost looks black. There is still some green grass though, which is a bit strange, but I guess not too unusual since it is misting and above freezing. The temperature has been hovering around 0˚C for most of the trip so far. Needless to say, I’ve been napping a lot. I do feel bad for my friends in Rome and London as their forcasts don’t look much better than mine. Actually, London seems colder with the windchill.
I took a walk today in the mist around the lake. It was good, the air is crisp, the path well maintained. More a pond than what I think of as a lake. There sure are a lot of lakes and ponds around here.
The people around here are nice enough when you talk to them, but aren’t really friendly types. I think I had more words said to me today while walking around the pond than I have for the whole trip. The trouble is, that they may have been telling me I was going the wrong way on the path, because it didn’t sound like the typical “Hei.” I just said, “Hei” and kept going. It was too late to turn back and as I said.. it wasn’t really that far.
I’m actually at the Sports Institute of Finland. It seems like it would be a great place during the summer. Lots of trails, golf, swimming, ice hockey, tennis, everthing you can think of basically. You’d think I’d be doing a better job of getting out and about. Instead, I’ve been watching hockey and learning how to use my camera. I’ve been getting my exercise climbing the four flights of stairs to my room because the elevator is a little sketchy. Some men were working on it the other day and it still doesn’t make me feel any better about it. I think it has something to do with when it gets to the fifth floor—it jolts as it is breaking.
Maybe Maine should build one of these big recreation/conference centers.