Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Amsterdam

Amsterdam's Chinatown
Originally uploaded by Slice.

My latest column for Sonera´s Ellit was published today. I must say that I am quite satisfied with it. I wrote about homesickness, home trousers, experiencing living abroad and the impact of a social void.

Sun is shining, trees are blossoming and I am heading to Helsinki today. Yesterday evening I was watching a Saturday Night Live DVD of Adam Sandler. He is soooo funny.

The title of this post is the slogan of the city. I love it. And as a comment on it: I feel that I do more and more. And as Ronald McDonald put it: I´m lovin´ it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Greetings from Petteri

Used Cars OK
Originally uploaded by
Todd Klassy.
Hello all. My name is Petteri Berentsen and I live in Rotterdam. I am a 28-year-old man working in the automobile industry. My hobbies are orientation, cross-country skiing and watching rugby and pool on TV. I have no children. I have red hair and blue eyes. My favourite music is yoddling but I also adore rap such as Eminem. My favourite artist is Rufus Wainwright. I am very warm.

This text was inspired by one of the funniest blogs I know, Vahatelma. You can write your own text (please share it with the other visitors) following these instructions:

- Name (your second name combined with the surname of your closest neighbour)
- Hometown (the city that you visited last by train)
- Age (add to your real age the number of broken nails)
- Profession (for women it is your mother, for men your father)
- Hobbies (the hobbiest that you could NEVER EVER tolerate doing)
- Number of your children (if you pull your hair, the number of hairs you have in your hand)
- Colour of your hair (colour of your shirt)
- Colour of your eyes (colour of your trousers)
- Music taste (the genre you cannot stand)
- Favourite artist (whose song did you hear last)
- The adjective describing you (write your second name and the word "adjective" on Google and pick the first adjective you get)

As Graham Norton once put it:"It ain´t intelligent but it sure is funny."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Reasons to like El Pres!dente

Originally uploaded by

After realising last week that I am totally out-of-date with pop music developments (I had never heard of the nr. 1 artist Juanes on Finnish record charts), I have now started activating my knowledge. Yesterday the project continued well by seeing El Pres!dente at the Paradiso.

I love them because:
1. I nearly met them (my friend and I came accidentally in from the back door and asked the band members to step aside so that we can go and see the band...)
2. Their music is sort of Scissor Sisters meets Aerosmith meets The Bee Gees.
3. They have two female hipster members in the band, incl. the drummer who looks like an Asian version of my friend Johanna in all her coolness.
4. They fit for parties, gym and cycling.
5. They totally woke me up today (thanks to 15 minutes of cycling, their new album and my precious iPod).
6. They are from Scotland so they have a superb accent.

Great! And Flickr never seems to fail - I found a pic of the album cover.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Political tagging

Originally uploaded by amsterboy.
I spent marvellous three nights over Easter in Barcelona. As the plane came out of the clouds over Amsterdam yesterday, I found myself wondering why all the people of the world would not live in countries with lots of light and +20 degrees.

I had to take a picture of this tag on a wall in Barcelona. This wasn't something I would expect to see. A tag praising the man behind the ruling theory of the separation of powers in a democracy (legislative, executive and the judiciary). A very up-to-date remark, must say. I would love to meet the person behind this and hear the motivation.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Originally uploaded by KnowWonNose.
Old test, repeated happiness. I have always had an obsession on tests on the Internet. It does not take much to make me spend even 20 minutes filling a useless test. Don't know what that tells about me. Too much I guess.

Well, I did the Finnish test on mental age again. I was so proud of my result: 17. Based on the statistics on the site 95 per cent of the 28-year-old people who have done the test have scored higher than me.

Great. This made me so happy. As I have tried to tell myself for a while already: it is not that serious. And this reminds me of a situation a few months back when three Estonian 15-year-olds guessed that I was 23. I guess my therapist (if I had one) would call this an age crisis of a nearly 30-year-old.

I have had the Mary J. Blige song No More Drama in my head for two weeks now. When it comes to the message of that song, my reaction is clear: as if.

Friday, April 07, 2006

What’s in this burger?

I had yesterday a hamburger at the Finnish competitor of McDonalds, Hesburger. I did not expect to find this on the tray under my fries: an advertisement for a Christian camp (see pic). Some quotes from the advertisement:

Step in to the Bible village! (Astu sisään Raamattukylään!)

On the road of the Bible village you will meet familiar figures and everyone of them has their own story to tell. (Raamattukylän raitilla tulee vastaan tuttuja henkilöitä, joilla jokaisella on oma tarinansa kerrottavana.)

They also tell that on the green fields they have The Arc of Noah, a musical play about the ”persistence of mothers and caring that crosses boundaries”.

I freaked out. I do not wish to see religious advertising in a hamburger restaurant. I first thought that the advertising space had been bought by Vivamon Raamattukylä but the ad also has the logo of Hesburger in the lower right corner. I would love to know what is the thinking behind this.

Here is the full text in Finnish:

Uusi, mielenkiintoinen retkikohde kaikenikäisille avaa ovensa. Se sijaitsee erinomaisten kulkuyhteyksien varrella. Ikiaikaiset kertomukset heräävät eloon upeissa järvimaisemissa yli 30 hehtaarin kokoisella alueella.

Astu sisälle Raamattukylään!

Vehmailla laitumilla laiduntaa lampaita ja aasi, pelloilla kohoaa Nooan arkki ja vanhassa vajassa toimii viehöttävä nukketeatteri. Raamattukylän raitilla tulee vastaan tuttuja henkilöitä, joilla jokaisella on oma tarinansa kerrottavana.

Suurteltassa nähdään musiikkinäytelmä, joka kertoo äitien sinnikkyydestä ja rajoja ylittävästä välittämisestä. Vehreässä omenapuutarhassa lapset voivat päästää luovuutensa valloilleen. Kahvila Pienen pojan eväät tarjoaa virvokkeita. Välillä voi kiivetä kahdeksan metrin korkeudella sijaitsevaan Ystävyyden Majaan tai poiketa Maailman kotaan.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

This is no Scandinavia

Helsinki railway station
Originally uploaded by LHOON.
Currently in Helsinki having a week of holiday. A friend of mine from Amsterdam just texted me telling that it is getting warmer and warmer. Well, not here. It was snowing yesterday. Cold and sludgy.

I realised once again that we are not part of Scandinavia. Our way of being and the way our cities look like is much closer to the Baltics or Russia.

I am not complaining, just stating it. I kind of like it. The amount of fur hats in Helsinki is quite amazing. I mean in April.

Oh, and I forgot to link my most recent column. Well, problem solved.