Feeling At Home in New Places

Shopping List – US

Whenever I go to the US, I try to get to the following shops:

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Posted by admin - December 27, 2010 at 20:17

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Shopping List – UK

Here is my shopping list of favourite items from the UK:

  • Heinz Baked Beans (staple diet of students)
  • Jelly Babies
  • Lockets (proactive help against colds – great for joggers)
  • M&S iron-free shirts & dress shirts
  • Real bowties
  • Cufflinks (although this is a US site… there used to be a great store in Greenwich that did churchill & yellow submarine cufflinks)
  • Extra peppermint chewing gum in packs (great if you have drunk too much & do not want to vomit)
  • T3 greatest gadget magazine (but I now get this on subscription)
  • Rigby & Peller bras (for the wife, not me – all sizes & suitable for the queen)

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Posted by admin - December 27, 2010 at 20:12

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Beating the Darkness

One of the things that is really hard for Finns, let alone foreigners is the darkness over here.

When I was living in France and commuting to Finland, I would notice that if I stayed over the weekend in Finland, my energy levels would be lower than if I had spent the weekend in Finland. When I went back to France, I would feel almost forced to sit in the sun all day just to recover the energy. You really do not realize how important the sun is to your life until it is not there.

Using google, I found out that this is called SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Funnily enough even people in Seattle get this!?

As I still travel quite a lot, I ended up buying a portable model from Philips: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light. In short, it works (follow the instructions though). A year later we also bought one of the traditional energy lamps, but this is still really, really good.

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Posted by admin - November 7, 2010 at 18:52

Categories: Finland, Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

Mobile Hotspotting

A few weeks back, we stayed over in France. The guy renting the apartment to us did not want to provide us internet, so we were forced to look at other options. We did not really find the answer, but to help other people out, here’s some of the things we did.

McDonalds – was the nearest free wi-fi and also air conditionned, so quite nice in the hot temperatures.

Orange PAYG – the lady who sold me 50EUR credit clearly did not know what she was doing, as she said it would only cost me 1 EUR per day. 5 hours later I had used up all the credit.

JoikuSpot – ok, I did have to give this up very quickly, as it was clear it was going to cost too much.

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Posted by admin - October 31, 2010 at 13:40

Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Mobile Living, Tech   Tags:

Translation Services

I was watching BBC’s Click yesterday (second only to the Gadget Show). They were covering translation tools. Living in Finland is a really good test for these tools, as not many of them will support it. Anyhow they mentioned 2 companies: Jibbigo (unfortunately on iPhone and not covering Finnish) and ETCACO (does cover Finnish). ETCACO does 2 devices – both seem pretty good, but also pretty expensive: iPod like device and flagship device (with or without handheld scanner).

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Posted by admin - October 31, 2010 at 13:21

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Skiing in Finland

Best place to see all the ski resorts in Finland: http://www.ski.fi/hiihtokeskukset

If you ski with a buddy and want to tour round Finland, the card is well worth getting.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 18:29

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Pubs – Finland

🙂 it’s a well cited joke amongst my friends that anywhere I go, I usually try to find some good pubs. I’ve deliberately delayed adding this post until I had a few more in the pot. But here is my list for Finland (mainly Helsinki area):

Aussie Bar is a good place which gets very lively after 22h, especially at weekends. This was my local for a while when I was working in Finland during the week. Also does Sky for the football freaks.

Molly Malone’s in Helsinki and now in Vantaa. Molly’s is one of the best places I know to meet new people, enjoy live music or disco – plus there are the regular IESEAF quizzes.

O’Malleys at the base of Torni is superb for live Irish music – on a Tuesday if I remember correctly. Good view of Helsinki from Torni as well.

Teatteri on Esplanadi is a very chilled place. It’s good on a Thursday to listen to the music and sip your gin and tonic.

Crazy German bar that I cannot remember the name of, but near Esplanadi. A small bit of Munchen beer festival in Helsinki.

Kaarle. I need say no more – great place.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 18:21

Categories: Feeling At Home in New Places, Finland, Mobile Living   Tags:

VOIP Calls – Part 2

So whilst looking at roaming sims, I thought I would also see if VOIP call technology or services had been updated. As well as the previous VOIP Call services I listed previously, I found 2 new ones (for me anyway): http://www.rebtel.com and http://www.jaxtr.com. Both work in roughly the same way (and there are other services that do the same thing too). Doing a quick browse it looked as though rebtel was the one that had been out longest – but it was a close contest. Of course both have iPhone and Android applications to simplify the process.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 18:07

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GPS Watches and googlemaps

We spent our vacation in France. The great thing about France are the big specialist shops over there – especially Decathlon. Whilst there I bought: Keymaze Kalenji 700. This fabulous watch (mainly functional, not beautiful) allows you to define a route in googlemaps via the client and then upload that to the watch – which will then tell you when to turn right, left, etc. The battery is rechargeable when plugged in & when recharged will run for 8 hours on GPS function. I’ve already used it a few times and it is great.

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Posted by admin - October 11, 2010 at 16:21

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Finnish Language Links – 1

If you have ever lived in Finland, you will know the language is more encrypted than a 512-bit AES https session. Below are some of the links I have found for learning Finnish for free: 

http://opettajatv.yle.fi/teemat/aine/816/817 = supisuomea
http://yle.fi/selkouutiset/ = selkouutiset (5 minutes, finnish news read very slowly and with transcript… can also get podcast)  

http://areena.yle.fi/ohjelma/Selkouutiset./feed/podcast
http://areena.yle.fi/ohjelma/Selkouutisten+viikkokatsaus./feed/podcast 
on itunes search for selkouutiset

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Posted by admin - August 27, 2010 at 15:44

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