The last few days have been interesting, or entertaining at least. I finally got my new power adapter for my computer, and on the way back Meg suggested that we take the 71b bus because it must go the same route as the 71, which stops by our apartment. Much to our dismay, the bus was headed to what we could best describe as...the middle of nowhere. I asked Meg to show me her shame face for putting us there in the rain.
We did make it to a market in the middle of town that randomly appeared in the square. We saw a llama! We also bought seven licorice/candy rope things from a very nice vendor who kindly attempted to translate all of the flavors for us.
Wednesday night was Veronika's 24th birthday, so she had everyone over to her place and made like 6 homemade pizzas that were delicious. We got to meet a bunch of other germans who were really fun. We also dealt with questions from the well-meaning Chinese guy who thinks he knows a lot about America even though he has never been. I was wearing my navy blue nail polish and he asked if I was gothic, haha. He's an interesting one.
Yesterday we hung around the house and eventually made it to the grocery store and bought some real food. Still no cheese though, far too expensive. We at least got some chicken and fish fingers and real pasta sauce. Ahhh the wonders of foreign cuisine. And we got a little basil plant! So exciting. We were planning on watching the Sex & the City movie and calling it a night, but the whole gang came to knock on our door and see if we wanted to come out. Well, of course!
We walked over to the pub that is in Peltolammi (the lovely place with 7 apartment buildings, a vet?, a grocery store and two pubs) and had an interesting experience. Our plan was to just hang out and get a drink. But of course, it was Karaoke night! After hearing some delightfully terrible Finnish renditions of english songs, we decided someone from our group better step up. Elise and Veronika attempted to sing "Mambo No. 5," of which they could really only sing the chorus. Nonetheless, it certainly got the locals in the bar going. Joe, taking himself seriously, decided to do Eminem's "Lose Yourself," which was quite good although maybe not as entertaining. The locals were quite impressed with his rapping and he gained a few drunk Finnish fans. Around 11:30, Meg and I were getting ready to help out our new French friend Basil with "Hey Jude," but unfortunately they were closing and we were too late.
We made our way down to the nearby lake that Meg and I had not yet discovered. It was a beautiful, although dark, walk and we stopped at a merry-go-round and swingset briefly before heading down to the dock. The lake is huge and really quite stunning, even in the dark. We all sat at the end of the dock and Veronika served everyone little glasses of wine as Elise pulled out and lit some tiny little votive candles (Oh, Elise). Not long after, Elise decided she might go swimming. Mind you, this is at about 12:30 am and I would bet that the water is about 45 degrees. Nonetheless, she, Nelly and Veronika stripped down to their skivvies and jumped in the lake! I was sitting there in a sweatshirt and a scarf and there they were, swimming in the lake like it was no big deal. Eventually Gurkan and Basil followed (Basil stripped all the way down because...he is french).
On the way back, we got sucked in by the playground again and basically all took turns on the merry-go-round until most of us felt slightly nauseous. I haven't been on one of those things in at least ten years, but I have to say that it was pretty darn fun. I am so glad that we have so many fun people around to make things exciting even when our living area is not innately fun itself. Sadly, my camera died as I was attempting to document the Karaoke part of the evening, but Elise did take some pictures so credit goes to her on these.