Due to a schedule misunderstanding twice, I missed one class on Monday, and had to change a class because I found out a class I really needed met at the same time as another one. Talk about annoying. There's nothing worse than sitting in an hour and a half class and only thinking about all the stuff that you have to go and do. I'm the kind of person who has to do stuff immediately, so when I'm forced to stay in one spot I get really antsy and I can't pay attention. It's one of the downsides to hyper-focusing, and though it can help to finish projects, it can also be a hinderance.
All the classes are fixed now though, and I officially don't have classes on Friday which is perfect considering the fact that every party that seems to go on in Tampere happens on a Thursday. I'm not big on heavy drinking and partying at clubs, but when I do want to indulge I don't want to worry about going to class the next day. It's not fair to the professor and other students when you come in to class hungover.
So if you're a friend of mine on Facebook you've already seen this picture, but I wanted to add it in here because it helps to explain something super important about Finland. We live near the water, it only takes me like, two or three minutes to walk down to the lake, and this is totally an outdoorsy town. People like walking around the lake, running, biking, hunting for mushrooms, all those kinds of things. Why is this important? Well, it's because I'm about to draw a huge parallel! Tampere, in a sense, is a lot like Maryville, just a lot bigger. Sure they've got public transport here and sidewalks, but Tampere feels like a really big and really spread out Maryville.
It's nice in a way, I mean, I know I'm safe and that I can get help with anything if I need it, but it's also not exactly what I wanted when I signed up for this. I get antsy back in Maryville, I want to do things, I want to go out and go to museums and plays and everything. There's a Moomin museum, and a few other museums and theaters (I actually went to the Moomi museum and a dress rehearsal of Evita thanks to my Finnish friends), but I don't know, it's still not big enough for me, not busy enough. Maybe it's the culture shock talking, but on the other hand I know I've felt content in other foreign places. Limerick was pretty small (though I still adored it), but I remembered really liking Dublin, and of course I adore London. I also really liked Salzburg though. I don't know, I'm not going to think about it too much. I do love it here, it's very peaceful, but maybe it just feels too familiar to me.
The good thing though, is I've made quite a few new friends here, and you can never feel lonely or bored or anything while they're around. Here's a picture from last night when we had a bonfire and tried to see the northern lights. The bonfire went out quickly (the students who set it up really don't know how to make a fire but I didn't want to be that person), and we didn't see the northern lights, we we still had an amazing time and it was totally worth it all. I keep forgetting to buy marshmallows so me and the other American students can teach everyone how to make smores. I'll remember one of these days though. There's a really weird brand here that is the most patriotic thing I've ever seen, but it's cheap American stuff, so it's kind of nice. I can show my new friends some of our 'weird' and tasty traditions and it barely costs me 5€!
Which reminds me, so far these are the things I've looked for and either I could not find, or they are not like what we have back home: BBQ chips, Mountain Dew, Fritos, Chex Mix: Muddy Buddies, McDonald's chicken nuggets, Mcdonald's spicy mustard.
I've added the two McDonald's things and I just wanted to point out that no, I did not pick to go to McDonald's, one of my Scottish friends did, but you never say no to fast food after a night partying and knowing you have to walk home haha ;)
Which brings me to the food category of my life here. Wow, WOW! I might have mentioned it before, but it's outrageously expensive to eat out at most places here. Like, we think it's a little pricey to do a 2 for $20 deal or my favorite 2 for $35 deal at Chili's (you get 2 margaritas, an appetizer, and entree, and a dessert ;) ), but that's nothing compared to the prices here. The pricey food has lead me to eat at home or in the cafeteria since it's only €2.60 which means I'm eating a lot better than I usually do. A banana or a croissant for breakfast, lunch in the cafeteria which automatically comes with a salad and bread as well as your entree, and either I cook or one of my friends does in the evening. It's actually funny, I barely eat processed food here. Like, I had a frozen panang curry dinner and it was pretty good, but like, a week or so later I had frozen fish fingers and frozen french fries just as something cheap and filling and I couldn't really eat it. I enjoy some chips every now and then, and I just had my first Mountain Dew in Finland today, but it's definitely not an everyday thing, and I really like that. It's reasonably priced to eat healthy meals here, and I love experimenting with cooking. When it comes down to it, Finland, or at least Tampere, is a healthy eaters paradise haha!
Wow, I had no idea how long I'd babbled on for, I guess I'll leave you all until next week. Should probably start studying for my first Finnish vocal quiz anyways.