Exploring the World

Winter lights

Winter lights

Lights at the airport bringing some light to the dark season. Reindeers and snowflakes.

Winter fun

Winter

It started to snow, finally. Winter is now here.

Winter arrived! (?)

Well, first the Autumn storm hit the Finland and it was a nasty surprise to wake up at 3am when the wind started to howl in the corners. On Saturday morning I was surprised to see that the wind also brought some snow with itself. And it didn’t melt - we are still having some snow on the ground and temperature is below freezing point most of the time.

Did the winter arrive so easily or is it going to warm up still?

Feeling of winter

It is getting more and more cold these days, this morning I drove to the office at 7am and my car temperature meter was showing +1 Celsius (33.8 Fahrenheit) degrees only. It certainly is feeling cold now.

Yesterday I got the winter tires changed to my car and it is ready for the first snow to arrive. With my typical luck it will take weeks before we actually see that happening now when I am prepared. They were predicting snow for the Friday in the beginning of this week but of course the weather changed slightly during the week.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Sun is rising at the moment and I took a picture through my office window.

Autumn

It has been quite cold in the recent morning, you can see that the winter is slowly arriving to Finland. I think at the moment the coldest morning during this week was when the temperature meter in my car showed +5 Celsius degrees (41 Fahrenheits) at 7:00am in one morning. It has however varied quite a much in different days, some mornings I have been able to see temperatures like +9 Celsius degrees (49 Fahrenheits) so we are in the middle of the season when the nature tries to figure out whether to turn into a winter or to stay in the summer for awhile still.

Have been quite busy but I think my photo gallery is progressing well, in the future you should be able to browse all the interesting (interesting according to me) photos from my various travels or other situations online. Stay tuned … I will post more information on that later.

Otherwise the life has been busy as usual, end of the year is coming quickly and everything needs to be finished before that. Nothing unusual in that area, quite fun actually. I am always good at working under pressure :-)

Visa

It is quite amazing how fast one can get a visa - I sent my application and passport to the embassy on 3rd of October and I received it back on 10th of October. Embassy received that on the 4th of October and sent it back to me on 9th of October. That means the processing time was amazing three and half working days. Most probably something less because I doubt they spent that time processing my application.

Very impressive. Well, now I just will be waiting until November for my next trip to Shanghai. Everything else has been taken care already; I have my tickets and my visa.

Random thoughts ...

First of all - most of you already noticed that this site got a new refreshing look. I didn’t do anything special, just spent few hours for looking a new theme and finally found one. Green is more relaxing isn’t it? Also I managed to find the problems related to mobile blogging and photos being posted in wrong way (knock on wood, hopefully all the problems are gone now). Naturally the fix required that I edited most of the photos to have the correct formatting then we can say that I had really nice weekend :-)

You noticed while ago that I just spent another weekend in Shanghai. The first time was last year after the very lucky pricing error by Scandinavian Airlines. Back then it was just a quick and fun trip to do - lot of points to get and I was able to get a clue what kind of country China actually is. Many people tell me that you haven’t seen China if you haven’t seen Beijing but so far I can say that Shanghai is one of my favourite cities in the world (San Francisco, be afraid). And after almost a year I went back.

Shanghai is actually very interesting city, it is very modern and fast growing (they managed to build two skyscrapers next to my hotel in a year and also a new terminal in the airport) but it is also full of history and culture. And of course the whole Chinese culture brings something to the picture as well. I have been thinking myself as a cosmopolite but I wasn’t expecting that I would feel so home at Shanghai and so quickly. I was thinking that it must be at least a little bit of culture shock not to understand anything as most of my trips so far has been to countries where English is used quite a lot. But no, I was mistaken - I still remember how fun it was not to understand anything. I didn’t run across any problems so I didn’t get a feeling how it would feel if I would have to explain something. People were really friendly everywhere to the person who couldn’t understand anything and who didn’t know practically anything about the local culture.

I will certainly visit Shanghai and China also in the future. :-)

Mooncake

Mooncake

I found out that you can actually get the traditional Chinese confection in Tampere also. According to Wikipedia, Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during Mid-Autumn Festival. I tasted quite many different mooncakes today and I found out that I certainly like those.

Music

Band playing

Nokia on the Rocks happening in the local pub. Bands formed by Nokia employees perform once in a while in the local pubs together.