Tag Archives: friends

Visiting old friends in Turku – yes, we’re getting somewhere!

Last weekend I continued my small road trip through Finland and visited my “old” university friends in Turku. It’s always a big pleasure, as we used to be very close while studying and nowadays we meet too rarely. However, the positive thing is that we’ve remained so close that the conversation continues from where it was left the last time. That’s a sign of a good friendship.

As to City of Turku, everything looks the same. There are some improvements, though, as the city seems a bit more lively now. Friday night there was an event in the old Brinkkala quarters were local psychedelic bands were playing – not exactly my kind of music, but the idea is great!

We also visited Naantali, a little town near Turku – where they say the sun is always shining. And it was also this time! To me, Naantali is one of the prettiest towns in Finland, it has a special maritime atmosphere in the summer. No wonder that the summer house of our president is situated there. And Moomin World, Muumimaailma, a big amusement park built around these sympathetic fictional characters.

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Aura River – the heart of Turku, the old capital of Finland. Now with some huge ducks (plastic ones).

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Turku public transport offers you many choices!

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“Luckily everything is fine.” A writing in the bathroom of one of our favorite bars, Kuka.

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Visiting the old quarters of Naantali is like going back in time. This street is called “Cat’s Tail”.

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The Church of Naantali. Especially I liked the sandglasses – maybe for controlling that the priest didn’t talk for too long? 😉

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And old time picnic in the park of Naantali. So pretty!

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While men take photos of themselves with expensive cars, I wanted to be photographed with Moomin train in Naantali.

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Lunch in Naantali in one of the restaurants by the sea.

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In the night, we visited a wonderful birthday party in an old school building converted into flat. The photo could be named “Mosquito”. (And not the only one…)

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Dancing the summer night away…

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The first blueberries of the summer found at my friend’s backyard. Superfood for free!

However, the most interesting thing in Turku is to follow where all my friends are heading in their lives. During the student years nobody really knew what we wanted to do with our lives, where to work, whether to have children or not and all the typical choices. So we spent many many long evenings in cafes and bars thinking and talking… like we still do!

This weekend, while sitting in Cosmic Comic Cafe, where we always end up, we started to think whether we’ll ever feel like adults and mature persons? And if that’s a good thing anyway… Someone suggested that maybe it’ll happen when (and if) we ever have kids. I doubt it.

On the contrary, I think that we have already matured a lot, we just don’t notice it. In the end we have come far from the university days, we have chosen to follow some paths and closed some doors on the way, too.

Some friends have got married – and even divorced – some have got children, some are still single but have got a permanent job and an own flat. Some are still doing their thesis or working on whatever they find. One friend is going to Nepal to do voluntary work.

Old friends serve as a mirror to my own life. They know me from many years ago and in many cases they have great suggestions about what I should and shouldn’t do. The best thing was that, while sitting in a bar having a beer and talking of this and that, one friend suddenly said to me that, even if I’m not very happy with my job etc., I look very good and seem a lot more happier now than during our student days. That was a nice thing to hear – and I guess it’s true.

So it’s completely OK to become older and wiser – as long as your friends are getting older with you. 😉

PS: Sorry for the varying quality of the photos: I had iPhone and my boyfriend a real camera…

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Smaller dreams in Turku

Last weekend I visited some old university friends in Turku, the old capital of Finland. There I spent 5 years studying my Master’s Degree, having endless coffees and beers with my more or less ambitious university and hippy NGO friends wondering what to do with our lives. Well, I guess we still don’t know…

Those were very good times, but I’m also happy to have finished with the studies, moved on to work in Helsinki and achieving so many new things in my life.

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Icicles covering Logomo, Turku Centre for Modern Art.

Going back to Turku is a small nostalgia trip to the past. The same dear friends, bars and restaurants… well, those that are left. It is also a bit disturbing to notice how everything stays the same in the city –  most of my friends still do the same things as we did back then, 10 years ago.

Some have finished their studies and are now working while others are still struggling with their thesis. Some have kids now and are “established”, building their own houses. Some just hang around and work the minimum possible to survive and lead a stressless life. The rhythm in Turku seems quite much slower than in Helsinki, even if the difference in the size of the cities is not that big.

It was good to have long talks with my friends, whom I haven’t seen in years. And I learnt an important lesson. I, who complain a lot about my career, life in general and “the little I’ve achieved in life so far”, should actually STOP complaining right now.

In Turku it is a lot harder getting a job, finding nice new friends or get a new, good boyfriend. So life can easily become monotonous and you loose your faith in that “anything is possible”. As one friend put it “my dreams are smaller than yours”. This made me wonder how can you ever compare the size of dreams? Aren’t all the dreams equally important and big – for the person who dreams them? I hope so.

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