As of now, the normal students life has begun. Lectures, Exercises and Deadlines. But, there were also some interesting things!
Photo by Hugues Verlin, taken in Tallinn
Directly after the orientation week, the exchange students went on a trip to Tallinn. Besides sightseeing, the main reason to travel two hours over the sea was to buy some cheap booze. Alcohol is expensive in Finnland. Seriously. And that's why all the exchange students buy it in Tallinn. And not only the exchange students. On the way back, the ferry was not just loaded with people. But with at least one package of beer cans per person as well. Some brought suitcases, and many of them even had a hand truck for easier transportation of the exorbitant amount of booze. There was one guy walking in front of me who always ran into other people, because he couldn't brake his hand truck on descents. Such a chaos just for saving money and getting drunk.
The freshman committee at Senate Square in Helsinki
A few days later, there was stadisuunnistus. Stadi - city, suunnistus - orienteering. It was a checkpoint crawl with some interesting tasks like sing a song, write your own song, search for Legos in warm spaghetti or playing air pong golf. We had a good time fulfilling all the crazy tasks the Finns gave us.
One could actually observe some true finnishness at this event. There was a checkpoint where you had to build a line out of your clothes, as long as possible. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to guess what people did.
Path through Nuuksio national park
Last weekend we went to a trip to the Nuuksio national park. It is not that far away, you can get there by bus. It was a real pleasure to see the finnish syksy, the autumn. The leaves start to turn yellow, red and brown and everything gets more colorful. The nature looks even more beautiful than before. Finns have a word for this time. It is called ruska.
There are free campfire sites in the national park, we just had to bring some meat and a lighter. And you are allowed to camp everywhere. We stopped at a campfire site for lunch, and ate some sausages with Finnish bread. The campfire site was at a really nice location, on a small island on a lake. There were some benches around the fire where we could sit. That was a really cool day, it was nice to go hiking again.