OMG Almost one year had passed!!
Wow time flies, FAST!!

Nothing to update about, except I am going back during next month for CNY, for one month, wooooooooooooooooooo.... So, I'll talk with you all when we meet.

Guys, time for massive gathering party!!!

Sorry for not updating my blog for such a long time :\ Moved to a new house and it's closer to my school now woo!! Less commute for me to go to school and town :D The new apartment is pretty good, my room is smaller but I don't need all the space in the world.

Well, a lil update from my January. I went to Lapland in Finland, Rovaniemi to be exact, it's about 800 km north of Helsinki. 13 hours of train, and finally I arrived in ROI. It all looked so white, and cold, from inside the train. It was -27, if you are wondering, and as a tropical monkey as I am/was, I began to worry if my body and clothing can stand such cold. As soon as I step out of the train station, I knew I was in trouble: not enough clothing for the real winter in Lapland. My original plan of traveling to Santa Claus village and outdoor skiing seems pretty far from my reach now. As expected, I caught a cold in the next few days! I had to give up all the plan and just stay indoor enjoying my stay at my friend's. Well the snows were thicker here, the weather was colder (much, I mean MUCH). I didn't do much, except going to the local Onnela club at Saturday night, no luck for northern light either, as the sky wasn't clear, well I'll have my chance, right?

The sunset at ROI was pretty beautiful though, here's a video from ROI for you to watch before I catch the real northern light next time! (I'll be visiting before the winter ends, and I'll definitely be better prepared this time)

I have a guest from Malaysia during Chinese New Year, it was my secondary school friend Shian Yee! I've known him for more than 10 years! During the CNY, we went to the gathering organised by chinese students in Helsinki. We had a nice new year eve dinner, where we made our own dumplings and dishes. It was pretty fun, a nice lil gathering with friends who celebrate the same festival :)

I took Shian Yee to talk on frozen river too. It was pretty cool. It wasn't too slippery as it was covered with snow. I have never thought of meeting Shian Yee in Helsinki of all places, wonder how fast life changed isn't it? It was my first experience walking on ice too, next venture will be swimming in icy cold water!! (Or maybe not, lol) It was also Laskiainen last tuesday, where students gathered at a sledging hill at Helsinki and SLEDGE! It's like playing slides on a snowy slope, using a proper plastic sledge or just plastic bags!! It was pretty hilarious with a lot of custom sledge from other students. We joined the sledging party too, with our own lil plastic sledge. It was pretty intense and fun, needless to say, my butt and thighs were hurting after the activity. My pants were all wet, but my mood was extremely good. It was a fantastic outing :) Well, check out the video posted here to grasp the idea of sledging ;)

A lil update from job application:
I applied to a sequence assembly research assistant position, but due to my own mistake of poorly prepared interview, I was rejected the position, but the interviewer told me that he has another opening for another project, and he thinks I'm suitable for that job, if I am interested, he will choose between me and another candidate he likes. Right now, I need to write a convincing motivational letter to him to show that I am motivate enough to work with his new project.

I am thankful that the interviewer believe in my ability and am willing to give me a chance to work with him. I have finished the letter and will send it to him later today. I will know the results next week if I am recruited by him or not, ah... I just hope everything works out well!

Some pics from Sledging and walking on ice.

Shian Yee making some dumplings

Nice lil new year eve dinner, with dumpling, pekking roasted duck, spring rolls, fish, and some fried cucumber

Yar, the lil hill on the right side was a car buried under the snow

Walking on frozen river on a foggy day

SitSit sledge!

Sauna sledge!!!

I am moving, to a much smaller room, but with 76 euro cheaper rental fees. 10 m2 is a pretty small room, but I don't need a lot of space anyway. So I'll be staying in a new apartment starting January 2010, new apartment, new year, new start, hopefully. The apartment is also closer to my school with more convenient transportation. The laundry is free too so why not?

Last couple of weeks had been pretty interesting. I went to the sauna world record, which was pretty awesome! I didn't become the official Malaysian representative though, someone else had already taken that spot. It didn't matter though, I still got to participate and enter the sauna room. It was fun! I got the ticket to the lunch and after party too, which were pretty amazing. Got to chat with people from different nationalities. At night, I went to the after party with some people I met from the sauna event. It was at Fabric, and it was one of the best clubbing scene I've ever been in Helsinki. Granted I haven't been to many clubbing places, but Fabric's pretty cool with different theme section. I had a blast!!

As you know I went to Tampere for the tricking gathering. I was overwhelm! There were a lot of ridiculously awesome tricksters from all over Finland and some European countries. The battle was sick! I finally had my first taste of tricking gathering and to be honest, I think I would have more fun if I have considerable tricking skills. But yar, first time's first time, hopefully I can become stronger before the next spring gathering, have to train harder to improve!

I was pretty hooked to sauna recently. I think the cold weather definitely contributes to that. After my capoeira class or gym session, it's a very good idea to go to sauna and then take a shower and go home. The heat from the sauna usually keep the body warm for about 30 minutes. So I won't feel too cold when walking outside to the metro or bus station.

Biology book exam result was out! I'm glad I got a 5, that was a big surprised!! I had a tough cookie this period though, machine learning is killing me, I really consider dropping the subjects. Almost all my coursemates already dropped it. It's still too difficult for us to take it at the current level I guess?

But other than that everything's fine. It's getting darker everyday, makes me feel tired easily too. I'm really thinking of going to Lapland this winter break, I'm concerned about money though. I can see the beautiful northern light aurora if I'm lucky in Lapland. The christmas lights should be very beautiful there too. But we'll see. I'm still a broke student so can't have too many plans...

Until then, later!!

Everything has a first time
Sorry I haven't been posting a lot. October is kinda uneventful for me, mainly studying and exam and such. Speaking of exam, I had my first exam in Finland at the end of October. I have to say, I don't like the exam part of my student life, of course lol. Took 4 papers 4 days in a row, my first paper was python programming, which was ok, theory question. I didn't do as good as I thought I could do though, I still have a slight chance to score the highest grade, depending on my programming project. 

The examination system works like this:
Normally the full mark for the entire subject is 60 marks. To get a minimum grade 1, you need to score 30 out of 60, that gave you grade 1. To get the highest grade, which is grade 5, you need to score 50 out of 60 marks. So, >35 = grade 2, >40 = grade 3, >45 = grade 4 and >50 = grade 5.  

Which lead me back to the title of my post for today, I score my first ever grade in Finland, and that is grade 1 from Human Genetics lol. This is also the worst result I ever get from any exam. Well, tough luck, but it was only my minor, so it doesn't matter too much lol. On the other hand, I also score my first ever grade 5 in my major subject, Bioinformatics, wooo!!! Now that's the subject that matters. I need to do well in my major subject if I want to get a chance to work as a researcher here.

Enough of exam talk. I went to the sauna for the first time last week, which was pretty good I must say. I think I'm going sauna more often lol. Can't help it when the weather is really cold, which lead me to another first time, my first real snow in my entire life!! It started snowing 2 nights before, and continue to snow yesterday. We had a really good view lol. I'm loving the white Helsinki. It got warmer this morning though, so the snow melted. It's snowing heavily now again, we might get some good amount of snow tonight :) I heard  there won't be as much snow during December, and in January we will have permanant snow, which is cool, it means I can play the ice skating!!

I also went to trick for the first time today which some tricksters from Helsinki. We will have the entire floor for ourselves for tomorrow night from 5-7, I can't wait, it's going to be a blast!! I'm going to Tampere Tricking gathering next week too, my first travel out of Helsinki and my first ever tricking gathering, ahhhhh the excitement!!!!!!

Alright before I got over exicited, time for me to go and cook me a meal, later!!!

First time leaving my footsteps in the snow

Some view from the outside of my apartment

First touch of snow!!!

Life 2
Hmm someone reminded me that I should post more things about life, and make it sound less like a travel journal, so I'll talk about my life more from now on :)

First final exam starts in 18 days!!! ;_; I don't know what's the examination format here. I hope I can pass it. There are so many strong people here, I need to step up my game. I feel like I couldn't keep up sometime, why is that???

The weather is freaking cold lately, I guess summer is officially gone, and it was only September... I need to wear my gloves to go out these days. Ben&Yen, I should have taken the gloves you gave me last time lol. It was 3C last night, I guess it will get colder and colder soon. I miss the warm weather already...

I am surprise how well I settle down here. Clothes, food, accomodation, commute. I eat at student cafe every day for lunch. I cook my own breakfast and dinner too. Breakfast would be sausage + boiled egg + cereal, mostly just cereal though, if I have a morning class. Dinner is mostly noodle/pasta/pizza. I need to learn how to cook some new stuff. I am pretty bored with my dinner already ;_;

One important thing to travel within Helsinki area would be having the transportation booklet from the railway center. It is so important, I cannot survive without the booklet. It contains almost every travel details of the public transportation line, time table, stops, etc. And journey planner is your friend, it's not your best friend, cause it can  be stupid sometime. So I rely on those two things to travel around here. Oh and finnish people are pretty friendly in general, they always help when I'm lost

My housemates pretty ok. They are pretty friendly, and been helping me to settle down. I have one housemate who works 3 jobs, and he has his own fridge and TV set in his room = = I will need to get a job soon, after my first final exam. He said he can probably help me with that, which is pretty cool :) I need my money to live and travel!

Oh and there are parties every thursday night, which is cool, but I won't be going everyweek lol, I'm not a party animal. I will be going to Capoeira class every week though, 4 times a week, it's pretty fun and interesting, and hard! I joined a parkour gathering last time too, and I nearly dislocated my shoulder when doing the training :( I will be more careful next time. 

Oh and I got a free loan of ePC from my department, how cool was that! Now I can carry it to my class everyday and let my heavy notebook sit on my table in my room :)

Happy Mooncake Festival, I want to eat my mooncake!!!!

Moi moi!!

School starts.
Sunny Sunday.
I think I'm slowly settling down. Furnitures are finally here, my room at least looks a little comfy.
It's getting dark at 8pm, you know autumn is approaching. Soon the leaves will turn yellow.
I don't usually go to party, especially since school starts and I have some assignments and study to do.
Capoeira is really interesting and hard to learn. I think I'm going to stick around the class for quite sometime.
Studying for 19 hours this period, self study on Monday and Friday. First wet lab this Tuesday, should be interesting.
Some things that I do, and chase after...
New Life.
Go getter.

Sauna Party?
Yesterday was, hmm.... interesting lol. I took part in a Finnish students orientation activity, and I was the only non finnish speaker there. I was informed by Elvira about this activity, and she strongly recommended me to take part in that. So my evening started with joining a group of fuksit (newbies) walking around the helsinki city completing different station quests. We were asked to do some pretty weird stuff, like swimming naked in the lake (hahaha, not me though), asking the signature from 30 strangers, asking a boiled egg from any shop, exchanging a plastic fork with something useful, etc. Well, it was ok I thought (barr the naked swim part). The tutor at the naked swim station was probably the most hilarious. He smoked a cigar and yelled at the people in some  finnish language which I couldn't understand. But try to imagine a man having a cigar in his mouth and a glass of red wine in his hand, shouting "Hello bitches!! Come and give daddy a kiss on the cheek!"
I'm not lying, after he finished speaking, every group members stepped forward and kiss him on the cheek lol!!  And then the naked swim challenge began, and so on and so forth.

The interesting part is: I didn't know we are going to the sauna place for the sauna after party (lol!!!) Damn, I've never been to a sauna before, and sauna is a pretty common activity in Finland. Damn, do I need to go to the sauna too? Does everyone need to go to the sauna??? You know, everybody has to be naked inside...

So I boarded the bus with other students to the sauna place. It was a pretty cozy place. The tutors booked the whole place to host the after party lol. A tutor came and talked to me and asked me to join them for the final mission: running naked around the residential area and then go to sauna (O_O''). I really felt like I was ready to accept the challenge that time

Or not, lol.

I didn't join the sauna after all. I stayed at the sauna place for sometime though, chatting with other finnish students and tutors. The most common question was probably :"Why Finland?". I really don't have any particular reason actually, I just came... The tutors and students are really friendly, I got to talked to some people and understand the finnish sauna culture better lol. It was interesting, it's not like party interesting, but it was, erm, eyes opening lol. 

So yeah, a sauna party without a sauna, maybe I'll try it next time.


We'll see lol, bye!!

oh yar btw, there's a challenge for every freshmen for the sauna party:

level 1: running around naked at the neighbourhood

level 2: running naked to the train station and wave at the passenger

level 3: taking the train to the main campus, speak to the campus guard, then speak to the police, and take the train back to the sauna place (naked)

and I heard nobody ever completed level 3 task (of course!!!! loolol)

Random Recap
Capoeira class was interesting! Two classes per week, Wednesday and Sunday. I think I am going to check out the Helsinki tricking group too, should be fun!  
Internet's working, finally!! To celebrate my about my Internet availability, let me post some pictures :)


at SiSit, can you spot me? my hand is visible and you might see my vintage jacket lol

fireworks show at helsinki harbour

picnic at suomenlinna

the very first Finnish beer I had

food from unicafe, unlimited water + 1 juice/milk + 1 plate of salad + rice/potatoes/beans/noodle + unlimited bread, 2.50€, no take away, by the way haha

my empty room, I didn't even have the ceiling light with me when I first moved in

alright then, later!!

And then school starts
Still no internet for me yet, sigh. I'm starting to get very frustrated, why didn't they check the condition of the room before offering it to me?? <censored>!!

I just found out that I will have my classes spread across four campuses for this semester, and most likely five starting next period lol, call me for more info about a day trip across helsinki metropolitan area.

At least opening carnival and night party was really fun. I just took part in the traditional Finnish SitSit activity on the street of Helsinki too haha ( It was really cool. We ate and sang finnish and swedish songs. Normally a proper sitsit would last for about 5 hours. However, for a demo version, a half and hour sitsit was pretty good for me. Opening party was crazy. 3 parties in 5 days now lol. My past six days were scheduled like party-rest-party-football-party-football. I'm really tired lol. School starts, no more party (frequently) for me. I will have probably 5 subjects this semester, about 21 hours of study. I'm starting to settle down too I guess. A totally new school system for me, gonna take some time to get used to the new environment too. Well at least they don't have the attendance system for the lecture classes, so I'll just concentrate on my tutorial exercises and do some self study at home/school.

on a side note:
-I've decided to join the Capoeira class here. Good work out to brush up my tricking skills. First class probably starts this evening?
-Oh and there will be a pubcrawling activity this October, mang it will be sooo expensive, but I wana join ;_; what to do???
-Nice weather today :) It's about 20C
-Oh and you can't trust the weather of Helsinki, it's more emotional than a PMS girl
-Public transportation system in Helsinki is confusing, check the journey planner everytime

I'll probably write a series of survival guide in Helsinki here, depends on my free time.


highs and lows
short update on my life:
- second host was really good, help me to get through all the official stuff 
- getting to know some really cool people
- play my first football in finland lol
- two orientation parties in 3 days

-housing housing housing housing, damn i wish it's easy to settle down
-internet's not working
-orientation course is a lil disoriented lol

will update more once i get my internet working


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