As I write this blog, I’m sat in the sauna waiting for my jet bath to cool down enough for me to get into it. Not too much has happened in the past two weeks since my last update. But my mother has been bugging me to blog so here I am. I’ve been working a lot recently which I don’t mind because its basically just playing and making sure he eats. We are slowly potty training Victor and the other day I managed to get him to use the potty twice! which I though was great. I’ve taught him how to count to 5 in swedish and english and he knows what a bunch of the letters are so I’m really pleased. He understands me more when I speak English to him now too which is fantastic. Last weekend I turned 21 so I guess I should talk about that. Johanna and Calle had a business dinner up in Johanna’s home village on the Friday so we drove up to Jeppo to her parents house and hung out with them. Her dad took Victor and I out for a drive around the village and told me some stories and about how most of the houses are empty and have been for years. We then returned to the house and Magnus had arrived, we chatted about plans for my birthday, his plans for the Stag night and he complimented me on my Swedish, I played with Tilda and Victor for a while before I began to get sleepy. I decided it was time for bed and slipped away and read A swarm of swords for about 5 hours before finally calling time and actually sleeping.
I awoke with a dire need to pee so I got up, dressed and headed to the bathroom. I got as far as the kitchen when Johanna saw me and yelled “ No!! you are supposed to be sleeping, get back to bed!!” and chased me back to the bedroom. I managed to sneak down to the basement toilet before my bladder burst. Once safely back in my room, I was bombarded with everyone coming into my room singing happy birthday with breakfast and presents. Johanna, Calle and Victor got me a string of traditional style pearls with a matching bracelet and Johanna’s parents got me a more modern style black multi string set with matching earrings, I nearly cried. I thanked everyone and gave them all cuddles while trying to hold back the tears. Its crazy to think that people you’ve known for less then 2 months care more about you then people you have known for years. I’m not sure if it says something amazing about them, or terrible things about the people I call my friends. They left me in peace to eat my breakfast which was typically Finnish, ham and salami sandwiches, a strawberry yogurt and a glass of milk. Simple. Once I’d eaten and calmed myself down I went up to the living room where Johanna was waiting for me. We drove up the country roads to Nykarleby to go to Zachris Topelius’ house. Topelius is one of Finlands most famous writers and did a lot for the countries feminists. Such a pretty place, the house was in amazing condition considering its built from wood and is 200 years old. One of the summer workers gave us a guided tour in English which was really nice of her. After the tour we went to this little bakery and ate cakes that looked like frogs (which were amazing! I might add) and drank coke. We talked a lot. I told Johanna about how I wanted to go back to uni and be a teacher but was unsure because of my tattoos. She made me a realise that I didn’t need to worry about them and was really supportive of the idea. We returned to Jepp for lunch cooked by Johanna’s mum, Nanna-Lisa, it was so good! The fins love meat and potatoes! Johanna and I then went to power park for the afternoon while Victor slept. As Johanna is pregnant, I went on the rides alone but in all honesty, I couldn’t care. The rides were awesome and made me feel a little sicky so after a couple of hours we returned to Jeppo and then on to Vaasa.
When we arrived home, I quickly skyped with my parents as they wanted to see my wonderful face on my 21st. We chatted and then I got ready to go out to eat. We went to Strampen, ate great food, drank nice drinks and chatted utter shit. Johanna wanted to know what my “type” of man was so she kept pointing people out to me for me to say yes or no too. All of the guys she picked out were nothing what I would go for, especially purple underpants boy. I did spot a babe in a white V neck and leather jacket so I pointed him out and she was shocked as he had quite an innocent face and no visible tattoos. We laughed, drank more and Caroline joined us. Magnus called and informed us that the Stag do were heading to Ollie’s and that we should join because most of them were to shit faced to know what was happening so we jumped in the car and headed up. Once we arrived Caroline insisted on shots, and more cider was drunk. I was introduced to the guys on the Stag do, one of whom I spent a lot of the early evening talking to. They tried to get me to let them set me up with the only single guy there because he “needs a decent wife!” To which my response was “I wouldn’t make a decent wife” while taking shots of salmiakii. I chatted some more with Magnus and did more shots, Calle thinks I ended up doing about 15 while him and Johanna were still there. They left at 1am and I was left with the stag do and Caroline. We drank more, had a dance and Caroline introduced me to a couple of guys that she new. One of whom insisted on buying me a drink, we stood chatting for a while, and then he randomly started speaking in Swedish to me knowing I didn’t have a clue what he was saying. Caroline was just like WTF and he said something to her and her response was to just grab me by the arm and walk away. Once away she told me what he said and I was thankful for being saved. We ran into another couple of her friends and were talking with them for the rest of the night. One in particular. We did some strange warm shot thing because its typically Finnish, Caroline warned him to behave himself and left us alone. We chatted and had a bit of a dance and a cheeky kiss. soon enough it was time to call it quits as the bar was closing. I decided I wanted to walk home because it was super light and really nice weather. So I headed off and was joined by Jalle.Some drunk man heard us talking English and started ranting about how he supports Sheffield united and I couldn’t help but laugh at the poor man. We walked, talked, kissed and said goodnight and goodbye. I fell into bed at 4:30am, awoke still drunk at 9am and managed to force myself to sleep until 12:30pm. We went to lunch and ate our weight in steak.
Last week we didn’t really do much of any interest, I bought a load of new clothes. I met a bunch of other international people, students at the university and people doing internships here for the summer. We went to a jazz and blues event in the city and went back to one of the guys house to watch the Euros on tuesday and then on Wednesday a different group of us went bowling and for pizza, its safe to say I am no longer good at bowling. On friday I was supposed to go play beach volly ball but I’m a dick and got lost. This weekend I stayed at home while they went up to the summer cottage. I love hanging out with them, I really do but I’m just scared they are going to get sick of me being around all the time. On friday night I made chicken soup and I had my first bath since being in Finland and it was amazing. I also watched the EnglandVSweden game, so good! The Swedish commentators were loving talking about Andy Carroll. I went in the bath at just after midnight and got out after 3am. Bliss. I got up at 12pm and went for coffee with Jalle at 1pm. We hung out for a couple of hours then he walked me home. I spent the rest of the weekend chilling out and watching Sons of anarchy. We actually had a schedule worked out for this week too which was really nice. This week has been kind of boring. We’ve done the park a lot and thats pretty much it. We are slowly but surely getting there with the potty training, yesterday morning I changed his nappy in the bedroom and was blowing raspberries on his belly when he suddenly got up and said “Victor måste ha en pissa i pottan” which means he needs a wee in the potty. Its the first time hes said that he needs to go to the potty so I guess it was a bit of a breakthrough. We had the mother and baby group over, its a group of mothers that were pregnant at the same time and we had ice crema and I played with the children while the mothers talked baby talk in svenska. Last night I had a huge catch up with Bee which was nice, I also told him something I’ve never told anyone and its nice knowing that someone else knows so I can talk about it with him if I want.
This evening we are heading up to the summer cottage to start celebrating midsummer. If the weather stays nice I’m gonna head out on the kayak and mess around. Tomorrow we are spending the day and night with Mina and Jonas at their cottage. We will be eating, drinking, sauna and hot-tubbing (is that even a word?) to celebrate something to do with the sun, anything for a party! I’m in charge of making dessert so I’m going to make Eton mess because its a typically british summer dessert. Johanna has told me that I need to make sure I drink for the two of as seeing as she can’t. I might not make it back in a fit state. I recieved an email from another au pair in Vaasa last night, shes from Scotland and lives up where Johanna is building the other houses. I’m excited at the prospect of having a native English speaker as a friend, plus, depending on the kids ages, we might be able to have play dates, which will be really good for Victor. I’m currently sat on the porch enjoying the sun with Frank Turner playing. For the first time in a long, long time, I’m really happy. I think coming to Finland was one of the best things I have ever done.
Since my last post nothing major has really happened. I was left completely alone with Victor for the first time, Johanna usually works from home so I’m not usually alone 8-5 with him, but she was at the factory at some meetings so I had him 8-5 for two days. We then spent the first weekend at the summer cottage which was awesome, it is my new favorite place in the world. Last week was much the same, the weather has been amazing so we’ve been out at the parks loads, much better then being in all day. The Finns made the Brit watch Notting Hill for the first time. Lots of ice hockey and eurovision were watched.
This past weekend at the cottage was so relaxing, we arrived at about 1pm, got the sun loungers down to the beach and chilled for a bit, Victor got sleepy so the 3 of them went for a nap and left me on the beach with my kindle working my way through A swarm of swords I was out in the sun reading for about 5 hours which was crazy and left me with a lovely sunburn, I currently resemble a pink panda from my huuuuge sunglasses. We then started to cook and after we ate Johannas brother Magnus joined us. We had a few beers and chilled on the decking then it was time for sauna. The ladies went first so Johanna and I went up to the cottage to get our towels and such, when she kindly informs me that she’ll be naked and asked if I had a problem with it, to which I said no because nakedness doesnt bother me aslong as I’m not the naked one! I threw on my swimsuit and we went back down. It was strange her being naked because she’s my boss but that the same time she does feel like the big sister I don’t have. We chatted and sweated for a bit and then it was time to cast off the winter furs as its called in Finland. Which basically means you get nice and hot in the sauna and then run down and jump into the sea. So I did. I jumped into the sea. And guess what I did? I smacked my foot on a rock just as I was going under the water and opened my mouth and inhaled a load of water. Well done Amber, you utter tit. So I climbed out coughing and laughing at myself and returned back to the sauna Johanna noticed a bruise on my foot and started to worry about me, which was really sweet. We returned to the main cottage and it was the mens turn.
They sauna and swam about 3 times and while they did Johanna, Victor and I chilled on the deck some more. A Woodpecker started pecking and the noise scared Victor and he literally just jumped onto my lap and buried his head in my neck so Johanna took photos of us. This happened a few times because the pesky bird kept coming and going. Soon enough it was time for Eurovision so we returned to the main cottage. We laughed, took the piss and did little dances. When a terrible song came of I would go out and take a few more photos. Loreen of Sweden won, which was a given, such a good song! We awoke at around 10am and had breakfast and decided at stay the day too as the weather was amazing we were in no rush to return to the city.
Johanna and I broke out the kayaks and went around the island. I did quite well considering I haven’t kayaked in about 10 years, I cant steer for shit! I was always better in the canoe anyway. we returned to dry land and once again it was Victors nap time. I again lay out in the sun reading and Magnus returned home and Carolin e joined us to fish. We sunbathed some more and after we ate I went out in the kayak all by myself which was cool. I nearly tipped over when a goose flew near me though, the cheeky bugger! After that it was time to go home after a quick stop for ice cream. That bring us up to this week which has been quite chilled. I have Victor all day today and tomorrow, then off on friday, on saturday I’m joining them on a trip to a wildlife park if the weathers good and on sunday its a 10 year olds birthday party. Whats really awesome is that they really have taken me in as part of the family, Johanna was saying the other day that I am family now, that they are so glad to have me and that they wouldn’t know what to do without me, which was so nice to hear. I’m sleepy so its goodbye for now. I promise I’ll update this more!
So I’ve gotten myself behind with this already! doh! To be fair, it has been a busy week and a bit. The week stared with a trip to the factory which is in Vammala which is about 3 hours south, in between Tampere and Pori. Johanna, Victor and I got up early on the monday and began the drive down. Vammala is quite pretty, more of a landscape then Vaasa, more hills and such. We arrived, got lunch and went to the apartment to get Victor to have a nap, I joined him in napping. We then went to the factory after the workers had gone home for the day, I took some photos on the machines with Johanna and Victor got to drive the forklifts with mufa. Then it was time for food so we got a pizza and chilled out at the apartment, I had a bad head so I went to my room and read a ton of A clash of kings. Tuesday I woke up at 5am which was quite frustrating but I managed to sleep an other hour or so and then read my book till victor and johanna awoke at 8am. Everyone went to the factory and I stayed at the apartment because I didnt fancy getting lost in Vammala since its only Finnish speaking. Instead I whacked on the music channel on the TV and scrubbed the apartment. Johanna was amazed by how different it looked. Victor and I played while Johanna went to a couple of meetings and then it was time to head home.
I genuinely cant remember what we did on wednesday or thursday, I suck. They might have been the days where I hated everyone. On friday I took Victor out to the park and we played for ages, I discovered he likes to swing with someone swings on the swing next to him which it great because it give me an excuse to go on the swings! We returned home to eat and nap which was nice. Caroline came over to Victor as she was just back from Thailand, she brought me back some lovely earrings which was really nice of her. We hungout and talked all afternoon, we actually have quite a lot in common which is nice. Then on friday Johanna and I went to the shops to get somethings for Victors birthday party and ended up getting a few bits and then getting food. The place we went was pretty cool, it was some strange rock/metal bar and restaurant. The food was awesome and the girl that won Swedish idols, Amanda something was on the table over from us. After the food Johanna decided she just wanted to go home and lay on the couch and finish the shopping in the morning before the party. We got home and I managed to go to my room and get my kindle to read a bit before the Canada Finland game and Johanna tells me I’m going out with Caroline and that she’ll be here in less then an hour.
So I got my first glimps of Vaasa night life. We first went to her Universities SU type thing and watched Finland get their asses handed to them by Canada, talked a load and then moved on to her old work, a bar called Oliver’s. It was quite nice apart from the music, that was a bit hit and miss, when we walked in it was playing Bieber. I was introduced to people, some nice, some were complete arses. We then moved onto a reggae club which was pretty cool, met more people, laughed at peoples dancing and then it was time to sleeps.
Saturday brought a hangover and an early morning to prep for the party. We returned, prepped, ate chinese food and napped. More prep in the hour before the party. I then spent the rest of the day running around after family members with my camera until it was stolen from me by Johanna’s brother and I got cornered by the steps with him insisting on taking my photo, he successfully caught my derping and continued to chase me saying “pretty girls like you should be used to having their photos taken!!” The party came to an end, the boys built a highchair and the girls did the cleaning up. We all settled down and watched something on the TV and I got lots and lots of cuddles from Victor which Johanna kindly caught on camera.
Sunday arrived and I wasnt too well so I stayed home while they ventured to their parents houses for mothers day and announced that they are pregnant again! With twins! So twins will be arriving in December which will be a challenge but hey, nothing in life is easy. Monday was my day off so I went into the city and went shopping. I bought my dad some licorice vodka stuff and I bought myself some bits. Over all the week was quite good, I had a couple of days where I felt a bit shitty but that was because of stuff that have nothing to do with Finland which is good.
This week has been quite hectic I guess. After the mass cleaning of the house and the people coming to look around we just kind of chilled which was nice, just hanging out and things. I went for a bike ride for a few hours and got myself nice and lost while the Fam headed out to some to see some friends. I took a bunch of photos which you can see on my flickr (http://www.flickr.com/himerus_eros) and I also skyped with my family for like 3 hours which was crazy. On sunday morning we awoke nice and early and went for a bike ride over to Calle’s brothers house, had brunch and just chilled in the sun. Victor went on the trampoline for the first time and loved it. On monday I went shopping with Johanna and Victor in preparation for the nights BBQ to see in the spring for the 1st of May. I spent the evening drinking pear cider and playing with the children occasionally joining in with the adult conversation. Tuesday consisted of eating until we popped. We went to this restaurant and it was just crazy, so many people. I tried a few new things too, including salmon, crayfish and reindeer so that was quite an experience. I wasn’t brave enough to try the shrimps though, the thought of them makes me feel sick! Wednesday, Thursday and Friday have been quite a mix really, He’s been in a bit of a strop this week and even the parents have no idea why. On wednesday we went fishing at Calle’s brothers house and caught quite a lot of fish considering the net was only in the water for about 3/4 hours. Thursday we went to the open day care which Victor loved because we went on the bus. Yesterday we went to the park in the morning and town in the afternoon where I met the most beautiful man I think I’ve ever seen, 6”6, half south african, half finnish, football player and completely beautiful. We also watched the ice hockey which was fun. Victor has started answering me when I ask him questions in english and everyone keeps telling me that I’m picking swedish up really quickly and well. Today I’m working 3-9 and the weather is terrible so I really don’t feel like going out so I’m just going to chill and read A clash of kings.