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Old 4th July 2013, 16:04   #91
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

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I didn't realize somebody was waiting for updates..I surely will update.
Cheers
Hey Avinash,

I am one among frustrated lot in IT industry who loves to travel but still waiting to travel onsite. Let alone onsite, not moved out of my current city in past 6 years . The only respite is T-BHP and people like you who take me all around the world through the trip logs and beautiful snaps. Tanveer took me to Europe, many took to NE India and Leh and you are the one taking me to Finland. Waiting for more mate.
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Old 4th July 2013, 17:03   #92
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Great thread! Loved it! Had to login to vote and comment!
Hope you do have more for us.

Been ages since I have read such a good thread, miss Sam and his travelogues.

Last edited by jkdas : 4th July 2013 at 17:17.
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Old 4th July 2013, 23:27   #93
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

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Waiting for more mate.
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Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Hope you do have more for us.

Nice to know you guys liked it thus far. I do have more to add to this thread. Job takes me all over Europe. Most visited are Norway, Italy, Switzerland and Netherlands.
Leaving on a vacation trip to Italy tomorrow. Will update this thread on return.

Thanks for your patience.
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Old 8th July 2013, 16:35   #94
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Beautiful place. Just the setting of a distant place away from home nestled amongst lakes and mountains makes it a worthwhile read. The pictures do justice.

Glued to this thread. Try and incorporate a bit of Italy too while you're at it

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 8th July 2013, 17:41   #95
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Awesome thread Avinash, excellent read and great snaps as usual. Some how missed it till now. Bought back memories of my visits to Europe. Keep it coming.

Cheers!!!
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Old 11th July 2013, 14:17   #96
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Hi Avinash your thread was a delightful read. Thanks for taking us through this journey of Finland in such great detail. you are one lucky guy to be visiting such a lovely place .
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Old 16th July 2013, 10:30   #97
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Default 15:16

I was in Munich for some meetings.

It turned out to be a very tightly packed day. nothing unusual. Got invited to BMW Welt by the BMW software development team.
Unfortunately I had to turn it down owing to a train I had to take at 15:16 to hamburg. It looks like I should really find another reason
to visit Munich.

Now there is something about 15:16.

This was my 1st time in Germany. Worked with the Germans in the past but never visited Germany in the past. Now that I have,
there is a lot to point to one of the most important parts of German culture - Precision.

I walked over to a station master and enquired about my train timings and the platform.

me - Excuse me, can you please tell me where I can board the 3:15 train to Hamburg?
Station master - there is no train to Hamburg at 3.15.
me - what? I have a ticket. see this (handed my ticket)
SM - your ticket is for the 15:16 train.
me - ok. ok. 3:15 pm.
SM - No. 15:16.
me (puzzled) - yes yes. 15:16 train to Hamburg.
SM - Right here (pointing me to the train on the platform)
me - Thanks. Can I sit anywhere? no seat numbers?
SM- No. You can sit anywhere where there is no reservation.


with this confirmation, I boarded the train in a Random coach. Found a good seat with a good view and started off on my journey.
Very soon I realized that trains and me are not really best friends.

The ticket Checker came by and pointed to me that I was on the wrong train.
This puzzled me coz I took directions and boarded. Turns out there are 2 trains which are joined together and at Hanover, the reartrain stops.
Unsurprisingly I was in the rear train.
Damn, how can I be so committed to doing the same mistake?

me - So, how do I hop over to the next train?
TC- get down at Hanover and walk over to coach 21. this is coach 2.
me - thats a long walk. will there be sufficient time?
TC - yes.
me - how long does it stop? 5- 10 mins?
TC- 3.5 minutes.
me (puzzled again) - ok. If I miss it, can I board the next train?
TC - yes you can.


Luckily for me, I boarded the correct train at Hanover in time and moved on to Hamburg.

Its a different matter that the train did not leave at 15:16. it was 15:21 when it left. It was supposed to reach at 20:49..alas, it reached at 20:56.
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Old 16th July 2013, 10:46   #98
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Default Relocation

and then came the big action point - relocate.

Well, wifey was back in India and I had to go back to India. This time around, we were moving bag and baggage. Which meant vacating the rental apartment we were living in and selling all the stuff in the house and the car. I managed to squeeze myself a few days and flew back. As soon as I reached B'lore, the 1st thing I ever did was place online ads for sale of furniture, Electronic stuff and car. To my surprise, my car got sold the very day I placed the ad. I even managed to sell it for the same price as I quoted.

The rest of the stuff did get sold soon after.

Now, car being sold was definitely good news but then, that also meant trouble. It was not my car any more. I had not given delivery of the car till payment which was to happen after paper work was done. Axis Bank made a mess of the clearance certificate and later it was the RTO work which took time. Luckily the RTO officer was a very nice guy and went out of his way to help us finish the paperwork quickly.

In this meanwhile, I also had to move out a lot of boxes around.stuff that I was going to keep for future and had to be stored in various places. How to move them around in a puny Alto?
One call to my buddies Godfather and Nithin solved my problem. Nithin had an extra Tata Safari 3.0 L which I could borrow for a few days..and man did that help.
Went over to BoltON and met Godfather, Nithin and Frankenstein. It's always fun when I meet these gys. Anyway, picked up the beast from Nithin with a lot of do's and don't's list.

Every morning I would pack the truck fully and drive over to my friends and relatives houses like Santa Claus..drop a few boxes at every stop and move on. This happened for a few days by which time I had nothing more to move.

Phew..Hard work I tell you.

Finally, when all of this was done, met nithin and handed the truck over to him. Thanks Nithin..I owe you one.

Eventually, finished all the paperwork for the car and handed it over to the buyer.
With this, most of the stuff was cleared out of home. Wife and I then finished baggage packing which was already overweight.

It was a harrowing time at the airport for the excess baggage issue but then, eventually we boarded the Air France flight to Paris and thereon to Helsinki. Helsinki to Vaasa was by Train.

As soon as we reached, it was fall and the colors were all looking nice. everywhere it was beautiful. weather was cool and not cold yet.
Well, it eventually did get colder and colder.
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Old 16th July 2013, 12:57   #99
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Default Fall 2012

pix from Fall 2012.

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Old 16th July 2013, 13:27   #100
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Default The White Stuff

....and just when we were trying to get the best of the still good climate, it snowed.


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Old 16th July 2013, 13:31   #101
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

...But, ever since then, the weather hadn't been at its best. In fact Autumn is generally dreaded for being cold, wet and windy. It is definitely all of it.
It snows once in a while and the resultant ice on the road makes it a challenge to drive around. It rained for the most part and remained overcast. The wind chill factor is rather high.
To top it all, my car parking slot is in the open. If the temperature drops to below Zero Deg C during the night, there is frost/Ice on the car and scraping of all of it takes 10 mins and that is being exposed to the cold. this is the most horrendous part.

To Drive around, I have now changed my car tires to Winter tires which have Steel studs in them. It is compulsory from Dec onwards but then, if the situation is bad, one can changeover in autumn itself .Traction has now increased tremendously. I can now drive around confidently.

Before the changeover, the car had its own mindset..it was like being pocessed.

I was turning around a roundabout once. steering was in full lock but the car kept going straight..speed was about 20 kph..
I said Left but car said Straight..I said ok..as you wish and went straight.

on the main road..car said Opp lane..I said no way..but car had its way. Damn I tell you..it was scary.

I had to drive 900 kms when it snowed. Had to drive to Helsinki and back. I saw a lot of cars skid off the road into the countryside. many veered into the median area..as for me, I just got lucky..I guess.

I had no issues.
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Old 16th July 2013, 17:38   #102
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Default Gustav Wasa

Dinner meetings with clients is a regular event. Most of the time I've taken them to places I've never been to before and tried to taste new types of food every now and then.
This time around, I chose Gustav Wasa

this place is run by Vaasa's most famous Chef.
There is no fixed Menu to choose from. Instead, what is on offer is GW7 - a seven course tasting menu. This menu is changed every week and is made with Seasonal and locally available meats and ingredients.

Along with this Menu goes a Wine package with which they serve the chef's recommended wine for 6 of the 7 courses. All different wines to suit the food.
A totally exclusive experience that I'd never had before.

The restaurant even takes care of individual preferences - Gluten Free, No beef, etc.
The Chef then doles up dishes based on these preferences.

Every dish is an extremely well presented surprise. Once served, the waitress then tells what is served and explains the flavors and the choice of the wine.

This dinner is not about quantity but about Quality. This is a foodies experience beyond compare.

The dinner starts with a soup and then followed by 6 courses.

I had the seasons meat - Moose. It is pretty rare to get Moose meat. It was rather different. A bit similar to the Reindeer meat I had earlier.

We then ended dinner with some excellent Desserts.

This dinner also cost a bomb. 800 for 8 people.
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Old 17th July 2013, 00:19   #103
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Default The Difference is the way of thinking

I was discussing about the Cold with a few Finnish friends over a coffee and was generally cribbing about entering a Cold car every morning. I was talking about an application that my Buddy and I used to sell in the US - a remote engine starter with a phone application. One can actually start the car from a distance via phone and also get the heater running. This way, one can walk into a warm car. Sounds good. no?
Well, when I mentioned this to these Finnish guys :

me : Wouldn't it be cool to be able to have the car heating up while having breakfast and then step into a warm car?
Finn : hmm..is that common in the US?
me : not really..but it is something people can buy and install.
Finn : hmm. if that gets famous, then that means a lot of cars running in idle speeds in the parking lots..imagine the CO2 levels in that area. That would be dramatically high. I hope it never gets sold here in Finn.
me : err..now that's a very different way of looking at it.



And this was a Norwegian guy saying this. It turns out all the Scandinavians are rather conscious of the Environment.
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Old 17th July 2013, 01:22   #104
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Default Re: Gustav Wasa

Amazing write up as always Avi. Very well scripted.

Is this some Michelin star place or what?
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Dinner meetings with clients is a regular event. Most of the time I've taken them to places I've never been to before and tried to taste new types of food every now and then.
This time around, I chose Gustav Wasa
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Old 17th July 2013, 08:46   #105
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Default Re: Gustav Wasa

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Amazing write up as always Avi. Very well scripted.
Thanks.

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Is this some Michelin star place or what?
not that I know of. Will check next time I go.
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