Grab yourself new music!

On a lazy Sunday I decided to widen my music taste and get in contact with my old friends. Just out of curiosity I asked what music they were listening to or found popular in their country. A lot of ballads and dance hits as well as some interesting local bands were uncovered. Even though I'm pretty much highlighting the pop genre in music industry, I must say there is more to music than just that. Enjoy!


I hope someone found a new favourite because at least I know I did! Bye xoxo


PARIS part 1!

Paris. The city of love. A place where I'd always wanted to go.

Even with a tour guide from hell, to say the least, our three two and a half  days in Paris were awesome. A group of around forty Finnish teens squirreling around in the Parisian underground, barely able to spot their trustful leaders' pink EF t-shirts among the huge crowd.

The arrogant French guide was walking somewhere miles away. To top it of, the first thing we saw in the underground was an orchestra playing fast-paced music by violins. This really was a comedy scene to die for!

This is when we got a bit too tired of waiting for the Eiffel tower. It was around 1-2 hours of queuing, plus all the hassling around a stolen wallet of our friend's and what else... Anyway, the Eiffel was worth all the waiting.

We heard that some had got stuck on the third floor because the lift wasn't working. Luckily they got out after about a half an hour and we all finally returned safely to the hotel at around 2:00 AM.

And here is some of the art near the Pompidou centre. Wow. Too much to say about this beautiful place called Paris. All I know is I've got to get there again.


French taxis are crazy

Okay, so maybe getting around in a new place isn't the easiest possible thing. Especially under some circumstances it can get a bit... interesting, to say the least.

It's 10:45 PM. Strolling around the beach with the Finns, I just realise I haven't really seen my room mates or neighbours anywhere. Apparently we all just missed the 10:10 bus, so we have to go home by taxi. This is when I start to feel a bit left out, since the other girls are together and I'm alone sitting at a carousel. Luckily one of my friends calls me and tells me not to move anywhere, they can pick me up from that place.

I saw familiar faces through the window. I feel absolutely relieved. It's great to get into the taxi after all that waiting. Not that I couldn't have waited for longer, but I was starting to feel quite lonely and it's dark. I realise that the taxi is slightly full and count quickly that there are 7 people now sitting in a 5-seat car. No big deal, I guess. The driver is a polite, young guy who just laughs and asks if everything is okay. Of course everything is perfect, we are in France!

Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding - I Need Your Love (Remix) French taxis drive fast. And I mean it. To make matters worse, the roads are short and have roundabouts at the end of each one. Opened windows, music blaring on full volume and neon lights on both sides of the road. Then again I just think about the moment. This is what summer should feel like. I might never go back this  place so I have to enjoy every moment of it. It's lovely how the taxi driver keeps talking yelling to us, asking where we come from etc. I love little small talks in another language, even if you're not so good at it. The local people can be so sincere of your language skills.

I smell trouble coming. Everyone notices straight away some policemen at a roundabout, not far from our home. And no one can miss their long looks since there are three sitting on the front and four at the back in the car.  Just after a few minutes we continue normally until we hear merde and are stopped by the police. Party's over now.

All I understand of the polices' and taxi driver's conversation is that the driver says it's an emergency and he's really sorry. After some time (feeling like eternity) we find out, that the driver has to pay some fines. It think we all feel kind of guilty. Luckily the fines aren't so high, because all us girls are underage. I don't know what that has to do with it. My Swedish friend and I hop out and wait for the taxi to pick us up again. Surrounded by some policemen, standing on the side of the road it all looks like we've done something wrong. Luckily everything ends well.

I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles. At least in France. There's always something new to learn!


A Few Words about Monaco

Oh, Monaco. The place famous for its Grand Prix, Louis Vuittons and expensive yachts. We spent our first Saturday of our language trip in this very place. It was kind of weird to go to Monaco, because of a funny little coincidence: we visited Monaco already in May with my family!

Nevertheless, I had an awesome time in Monaco again. I got to do things I didn't have time for last time, such as visiting a beautiful shopping centre and exploring the exotic gardens. We were simply eating our little snacks on a bench in the garden, which overlooked the sea. It was just breathtakingly beautiful.

Those seagulls came across pretty disturbing, because they were extremely tame and were standing right next to us... ugh

Anyway, feeling a bit busy as high school started again last week... There's so much to do again!

I'm really happy now that I'm part of our local newspaper's youth. This means I'll get to experience the everyday life of journalists, write some articles for the newspaper and also decide some of the contents of the daily paper. Yay!


5+1 self-evident things I learned during my trip

I think I've never traveled for three weeks, let alone traveled a lot without my parents. My language trip made me realize some important things. Oh and here's some photos on Saint Raphaël by night.

1. Have the courage to ask for help
Seriously, people will help each other if you're lost. I can't even count the amount of times I was lost all by myself or with my Swedish friends. I wouldn't have made it home without talking to gazillions of other EF students and asking strangers to show directions to different places.Yes, I had a map but I didn't know where my home was. Neither did I know where our bus stop was. Nor the school. Basically I was lost pretty much all the time... Oh well.

Once we had to ask a woman at 1:30 am the way back home. My roommate and I had walked for almost two hours already and were exhausted. We were glad how clearly this woman explained the route to us and was really friendly, even in the middle of the night. She wished us good luck and made sure we understood her directions in French. We really do owe her.

2. Don't be afraid to talk in another language
Boy, how lost I would've been if I hadn't had spoken French in my host family. I don't know how much my host mama would've understood English because we didn't speak it at all. And I'm extremely happy about that. It is good to have an easy conversation in another language, keeping it simple is the key. I was happy, that I understood almost everything my host mama said and she understood me. Well, at least after some minutes of thinking what to reply to her...

It's important to keep in mind, that foreigners don't usually expect you to speak their language perfectly. You never learn if you don't try. I think I made more than enough of mistakes but it doesn't matter. I realized that when I was in a hurry or had to explain something very important, I spoke French much better. Maybe it was because I wasn't really thinking what I was saying. The words just came to my mouth and I hoped that I'd be understood, haha.

3. Live the local manners
Now this means respecting but also imbibing the culture as much as you can. Even if it involves eating white bread and crisps every single day. I just noticed I've never loved rye bread as much as I do now! Also the bathrooms and kitchens were slightly different in France. I found it weird, that I actually couldn't wash my hands in the toilet. You get used to it, though.

Maybe watching the television, listening to the radio or going to the movies can offer a new side of the country. I went to see Man of Steel, of course dubbed in French and ended up sleeping half of the time...I guess I'm not that much into action movies then!Watching Money Drop in the host family almost became a tradition. It was always on from 7pm, which was when we had dinner time. I learned some new words from that show, because it was so easy to follow. Thank you Money Drop French edition!

4. Take care of yourself 
For real, I can't even imagine what could have happened if I hadn't called my roommates constantly. We were always calling to each other about what bus we are taking. Also all the meetings in the cities were only told to us by word of mouth. It was up to us whether we remembered them or not. I was probably one of them who remembered the place and the time, but didn't know how to get there. 

5. Prepare yourself for surprises!

That's to say if you travel with EF. You never knew what you were going to do in the evening or afternoon. Some activities were cancelled or sometimes they changed places. It was annoying, but there was really nothing you could do about it. Once I had to go home in the middle of the school day to change clothes and get my bikini. We were going to a beach called Roches Rouges, which was a bit far away. Anyway, if things are not going the way you want, you shouldn't complain. Staying positive all the time is important. Especially if you're on a holiday, it's meant to be fun!

+1 Remember to use sunscreen!
"I never burn myself" yeah right, that's what I thought also. After I had burned my chest I decided to use a lotion with SPF 10. It actually worked. I didn't burn anymore but I still got a good tan!


EF Activities - accrobranche

© Finnish EF leader, except the last photo
Climbing in the trees on a summer day - what a way to spend a day! Rope and tree climbing became one of my favourite activities during our trip. It's something I definitely want to do again! The only thing which made me a bit sad was, that we couldn't do to the course which would've had gliding over a lake. Perhaps it would've been too dangerous or too expensive, I really don't know. Well, the next time I get an opportunity to try climbing and gliding again, I'll take a more difficult course. Maybe the Canary Islands offer these kind of nature adventures. I really hope so!


New friends from all over Europe

My three weeks went as fast as a lightning. I made absolutely wonderful friends from many countries, who I'll probably remember for the rest of my life. I'll be thinking of you with joy, when I'm in a retirement home. Hahaha, thank you so much everybody, I love you. I've always thought, that it's such a richness to have friends in other countries. 

During my trip, this feeling only grew stronger. It's always hard to say goodbye but it just might be worth it. Amongst hundreds of people around Europe, all the cultural differences nothing else but emerged. It was amazing how united I felt with the other Finns. Our language is so weird, that many people wanted to learn it. In favour of teaching, I got to learn some extremely important Italian and German phrases
The roomies! Martina, me and Tora.
Swedish people and me going to the beach!
The SUOMIURPOS. Our little group consisting of two Finns and an Italian. Don't ask why.
The roomies! The two Italians have gone missing though :-(
 My Spanish friend and me in the classroom. She gave me a beautiful bracelet after the three weeks. I thought it was so sweet. Te echo de menos, Mariña <3
The Danish, Swedish and Finnish. Heyaaa!


Free art for everybody! Cannes part 1

Today we went to this city which is famous for its film festival, Cannes. Despite the fact that we were driving right next to the coast line on high mountains with thunder and massive lightnings very near, our trip was a success. At least we're still alive, haha. For the first time here it rained today pretty heavily but it didn't last for very long. These are photos of the art we found outside. It looked so  cheerful because of its colours even on a cloudy day.(which was by the way perfect for wandering around the town) We didn't have to go to an art museum this time!


Haunted city - fort royal at St. Marguerite

The first reaction after we finally got through the gates was: this place is definitely haunted. My friend and I tried going to this place on our own but the man at the ticket stall kept saying we need to be accompanied by an EF adult. Since when were free sights only for adults? We had to get our leader with us! That's the very reason we didn't have time to explore this weird place properly.

Anyway, it's said that a movie based on a true story was filmed on this island in the prison. It sounded so interesting but we never got to the prison. As if we weren't frightened enough already, there was a bunch of french kids eating right outside one of the buildings. Apparently they were staying the night there and these haunted buildings are still used as accommodations. Now that really freaks me out. Us Finnish girls decided that the kids had to be ghosts.