Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hernekeitto; Finnish Pea Soup

For the past few weeks I find myself in a very strange diet. Not because I lost my appetite but rather I kinda challenged myself, or i think i did, to learn and eat differently. I have been using the oven to cook my meals and some what adding cheese and yogurt to most of my food. haha! I think by the time I reach home my parents won't be able to recognize me. Nah, of course i'm kidding, I'm still the same or at least I hope I look the same xD

Well, I shall not blog about my failed attempt of trying to bake potatoes (:

This is a traditional Finnish meal. It consists of pea soup and a pancake. They are normally served on Thursdays as a preparation for fasting on Fridays in the pre-reformation era.

It's a small portion but it is very filling! The pancakes are normally eaten with cranberry sauce or other jams depending on individual preferences.

The pea soup whereas, is cooked with some meat. It's also common to add some onions, although I'm not a big fan of onions, in the pea soup

It is delicious and I'll try to cook it some day xD Normally in my university, you can notice long queues from the Finns just to get a taste of this delicious meal! Wait till you try the black sausages,Mustamakkara, or the salmiakki ;S

Finnish Black sausages,Mustamakkara. 'YUMMY!'

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wakey wakey!

I noticed my blog has shifted from words and pictures to videos. Maybe I should go buck up on some simple video editing skills.

This video was taken in Bonn,Germany! Thanks to Venja who was super kind to offer her place to us (: I really had a good time over there, learning simple German and tasting the local delights there!

German Bread, full with fibre and it's really delicious just on its own unlike Guardenia!

This was something very new to me. It's milk rice. They cooked the rice with milk giving a sweet taste to it!

Some vegetarian broth we had for lunch. Can't remember the name, I think it was something kutchen

Bonn's a beautiful town, it was the capital before the west and east Germany united (: Danke!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Con Jobs in Italy

No doubt Italy is a beautiful country but I personally feel that the people there aren't as friendly as the other countries I have visited. Maybe because that there is too many tourists around until the locals themselves are fed up to spare some time for us? Oh well, nevertheless I'll share some encounters while I was there.

Con Job: Human Statue
Threat level: Low
Description: They try to earn an extra buck from passers-by who are impressed by their stationary state. Well, occasionally you would be lucky to see them twitch; I mean after all they are human.

Statue of Liberty

Cowboy wannabe

Prevention: You can actually take photos of them without paying anything. Those human statues won't suddenly come alive and bug you for tips. If you are feeling generous, don't hesitate to reward them!

Con Job: Acting Gladiators
Threat Level: Medium
Description: They usually strike their preys in groups. They target innocent looking tourist, asking them if they want a photo with them. Well of course, they won't mention that it comes with a price making you think they want a photo with you.

Not hard to spot them if you watch the movie 300.

Prevention: The easiest way to fend off these people would be rejecting their 'kind offers'. However, if you still want a photo with them, I would encourage you to negotiate a fixed priced with them before flashing your cameras. Also if you want a photo with them, try to take it with a huge group of friends so that they will not come up with exorbitant prices.

Con Job: Flower Boys
Threat Level: High
Description: What would a romantic country be without beautiful flowers? These flower boys also work in groups. They target women specifically, forcing them to take their flowers. I have seen with my own eyes that they shove the flowers into the ladies' hands and afterwards offering to take a photo for them.

Lurking for their next victim

Con job in process

Prevention: Never fall into their trap if they insist on you taking it for free. We all know that nothing comes free (: Just show an uninterested gesture to them and they will hop on the the next lady they see on the street. I don't know how much they will charge if you take a stalk of rose but do let me know if anyone of you know!

Con Job: String Man
Threat Level: Medium
Description: There will be a man going around asking if you wanted to see something. He will be holding a few strings and will later ask you to stretch your arms out. When you do so, he would tie a knot around your wrist and finally cut it off. At the end of it, he would ask for a dollar for the 'little bracelet' around your poor wrist.

I'm sure there are tonnes of con jobs out there. Just remember to becareful and beaware of these things (: I'm sure you won't want your holiday to be ruined by these crooks (:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Travel Tips in Italy

Previously, I was writing on how to avoid pickpockets and now I'll be sharing on how to survive in Italy, food wise.Before I continue, let me give you a little background on the F&B in Italy. Do correct me if I'm wrong! Thanks!

Basically a simple meal at a restaurant will cost you around 15-20 euros without taking into consideration of service,tax, tips etc. They also have this weird system where take away food is cheaper as compared to dine ins. My friends and I almost bought a cup of coffee at a cafe until we realized that we had to give a tip to the waiter if we dined in. Not that we were stingy, just that we had a tight budget (:

If you are looking for something cheaper and more affordable, you can buy kebabs or pizza slices from convenient trucks. They are practically everywhere and the prices are rather similar. Kebabs could cost you 3-4 euros while a slice of pizza is around 2.50 -3 euros.

Well, if you are even more tight on your budget, I would strongly recommend the Roma Sandwich to you! It's healthy and nutritious!

This was how we fed our stomachs for a few meals when we were in Rome. Not because we wanted to save on food but mainly because our hostel didn't have cooking facilities so we went vegetarian (: MOE should give us more money so we won't have to eat Roma Sandwich all the time :P Dedicated to all backpackers and travelers

Monday, April 18, 2011


Just a glimpse of my trip. I'll be updating more in a few days time!

Hope to share some lubang I found out with the European train systems and some other cheat codes to travel around (:

Monday, April 4, 2011


What are signs of spring?

Cloudy and rainy days?

No more sub zero temperatures and ice starting to melt?

Doesn't work for Finland's extreme temperatures. It may fluctuate back to sub zeros or even a sudden snow storm. That's Finland. Unpredictable and boring (:

How to avoid pickpockets

I'll be heading to Italy in a few days time and I've heard tonnes of stories on pickpockets over there. I even had a senior who lost her passport over there and had to fly back all the way to Malaysia just to get her passport done again. So i really really do hope nothing unpleasant will occur during my trip. I came up with some measures to hopefully protect myself.

1) Item: Wallet & Handphone
Venue: Front pocket
I will be placing my wallet in my front pocket, which i always have, to increase the sensitivity of touches. Well, it is proven that my vital and more sensitive area would not be the rear end but the front. I suppose that it is the same for everyone XD

2) Item : Passport and Cash
Venue: Little pouch strapped round my waist facing the front
I've two compartments for my pouch. I'll be placing my passport in the smaller compartment which is not easily accessible. For the bigger one, my camera will be there. I will also be distributing my cash all over the pouch, into other smaller compartments, *touch wood* if I anything happens.

3) Item: Clothes
Venue: Backpack
I will be distracting the thieves attention to my backpack. I have a small lock which my dad gave me and I will be locking the zips together. Here's the tricky part, my bag's zip isn't working really well, so I'm going to push my zip all the way to one end. Also I'll put placing my socks and undergarments at the most accessible area for them. hahahah!

My little lock at the side

Dad even labelled my bag so that the thieves can be friendly to me

Above all these measures, I'll be parading this everywhere I go


Euro Trip here I come!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Europe Part 1

Travelling is like a drug.

Before trying it, you hesitate and weigh the pros and cons.

During it, you have mixed feelings but once you reached the peak, you would want to do it over and over again

After it, you'll regret because you blew your budget

And the cycle continues because you think it's worth it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Go Green

One thing about Finland is that it is the total opposite of whatever I have been experiencing all my life. One recent event would be Earth Hour. I received tonnes of facebook events trying to raise awareness by switching off our lights or doing our part for an hour to save mother earth but over here in Finland, there was barely any hype on Earth Hour.

This is because, virtually everything in here is green. I recently changed the light bulb in my room and had a simple chat with the serviceman stating that the bulbs here aren't as bright as the ones back in Singapore/Malaysia. He told me that these bulbs are energy saving bulbs and I should be happy that I have lights in my room. Even the corridors to my apartment are sensored based lights.

Did you know that supermarkets here do not provide plastic bags when you shop? If you need one, you could buy them or you could just bring your own bag for your groceries. Well, if you came to my room, I store loads of plastic bags xD

There's also this cool recycling machine which I want to share with those back home.

Basically after drinking your cans you keep each an everyone of them because they can earn you a quick buck

You can find these recycling machines in all supermarkets and shopping malls.

And you just insert your cans/bottles into the machine.

After you are done, you just press the green button and you will receive a receipt. With that receipt you can use it as a cash voucher or redeem it for cash. How cool is that. 1 normal 325ml can is worth 15 cents (Euro which is around 26 sg cents, 60 my cents) and 1 can of soft drink is only 90 cents. Now tell me joker won't recycle. I've seen people lugging huge carts of empty cans and bottles just to recycle at the nearby supermarket.

I should bring this concept home. Whee