Tag Archives: shopping

Elisa equals to afternoon of queuing

Yesterday I returned to the office after holidays. More about the feelings on the Post-holiday blues blog…

Anyway, after writing this post the amazing thing was that the return wasn’t that bad at all. The moment I stepped in the door of our office I remembered that I actually liked my job and my colleagues! Rather simple.

Also there was no caos or stress awaiting me, only suntanned colleagues and a relaxed atmosphere. So, today it was a lot easier to ride the bike to work in the morning.

Although my old anxiety remains, the one that tells that one these days I have to try something of my own… but till that day, and The Big Idea of what I actually want to do, my work is just fine.

However, the only setback at the office was that my work mobile phone (Nokia Lumia 800) had died during the vacation. No sign of life. This meant afternoon of queuing at Elisashopit in the centre of Helsinki. Elisa is one of the two big tele operators in Finland (the other one being Sonera).

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I spent about an hour waiting for my turn, with lots of other people. This wasn’t the first time I was doing this in my life, and it’s equally bad when you try to call to Sonera/Elisa customer service. The waiting times are amazingly long! Once again I asked myself the eternal question: why?

This problem has been going on for years so it’s kind of a national joke already. Everyone knows that the service is very very slow.

So would it be a completely unrealistic idea to hire at least one more person for every shop to serve the customers? This would surely make the customer satisfaction rates go up and in the end everyone would be happier – especially the poor customer service staff who have to listen to all the complaints.

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Post-holiday blues… back to Helsinki

Returning from holidays is a funny thing. You never know what feeling to expect. Sometimes it’s just wonderful to be back home, have a good shower, fill the fridge with your food and lie down on the sofa going through all the photos from the past weeks in the sun. Doing absolutely nothing.

Last night was like this for me, after returning from a wonderful 2-week island hopping tour in Greece.

But this morning I opened my eyes, spent some seconds relocating myself, and when I understood that I was back home in Helsinki and that tomorrow I was to go back to work, I felt a cold shiver going through my body. Even if I like my life, work, home and Helsinki.

Then I almost got into tears while sipping my coffee and thinking that this was it (I tend to be a bit dramatic sometimes, as my boyfriend well knows). I thought it’s goodbye to freedom, sun and warm weather. Welcome another year of routine, coldness and darkness. Days that pass by without leaving a trace. I got scared and sad, just like that.

Of course I rationally know it won’t be like that. Every day brings new and good things, and I have lots of plans. For me, a new year starts in the autumn, not January 1.

I also feel this year will bring positive changes and adventures with it. For a long time, I’ve been up to starting something “to call my own”, apart from the day job. I already work as freelance journalist and do communications projects but this has been very unorganised and casual.

Now I want to concentrate myself on what I really want to do and put my full attention into it, hoping that some day it’ll carry far.. the typical dream, I guess. 🙂

Anyway, for all this and for some unexplainable reason today I felt anxious and sad. My boyfriend understood this and took me for a walk to see something I like: Helsinki with people and action.

An empty city on a Sunday morning is depressing, but luckily we encountered all this…

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One of the best places of Helsinki in summer mornings is Hietsu, the huge kirpputori where people sell things they don’t need  – but someone surely does!

You can make discoveries and the atmosphere is friendly. There’s also the inside markethall Hietalahden kauppahalli, which has reopened its doors after many years. Inside you’ll find fresh (but very expensive) vegetables, nice cafes and restaurants. I recommend Soppakeittiö, which sells big portions of yummy soups, changing daily.20130811-142643.jpg

Another thing that cheers me up are spontaneous ideas that people have to take control of the urban space. Like this note someone had left near Ruttopuisto at Bulevardi:

“Thank you Helsinki for these years and wonderful moments. Rest in joy. I will be back.”

20130811-142650.jpgI love bump into events that I didn’t know about – it gives you a feeling that the city is alive! Today we found a big International Market at Kamppi, where people from all over (well, mostly from Italy, Germany, England and Finland) had come to sell their products. Apart from food you could by clothes, jewellery and typical “festival stuff”. 20130811-142702.jpgAs part of my new, even healthier life that shall start next week, I finally bought something I’ve been recommended many times by my friends.

Arctic Chaga powder (pakurikääpä) is a fungus growing on trees and a superfood that’s becoming more popular in Finland – and abroad. I bought this pack from a nice lady from Lapland who repeated all its health benefits.

Thousands of years of Chinese medicine and many studies can’t be wrong, so I spent 20€ and bought 73 grams of the powder. This small amount should last for a long time. Tonight I’ll try cooking the stuff and tell more about it a bit later!

Enjoy your Sunday, wherever you are! Now I’ll go for a small run: another thing that is guaranteed to perk one up.

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Crazy Days in Helsinki

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The entrance of Stockmann in Helsinki. Thousands of people coming and going. Credit: Suomen Kuvalehti.

Today it started – “Hullut päivät”, The Crazy Days in Helsinki. The streets are filled with people carrying yellow plastic bags with ghost images and people ask you whether you have already been “there”. Some announce that they hate it and would never go there (even if most of them have been there many times and will keep on doing it).

All this started as a marketing trick of a big traditional Helsinki department store, Stockmann. The first Crazy Days was organised in 1986, and nowadays it’s held twice a year for 5 days.

The event works so well, because there’s a clever psychological catch. Normally, Stockmann is considered quite expensive and posh, so during these 5 days “anyone” has the chance to feel a bit special and buy products that would normally be too expensive.

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Typical Hullut päivät bags, Helsinki. Credit: Yle.

Today I worked from my dear home office day and stayed in pyjama till early afternoon. Despite this, I really was working quite hard… In the afternoon I had to get dressed and go to my boxing lesson. And after jumping around and kicking the sack for an hour, my boyfriend called – from Hullut Päivät. So there I went. I have some strange, perversive love with this event. I hate the rush and people pushing you around but there’s something mysterious that draws me to Crazy Days…

Balloons and stuff. Buying is so much fun...

Maybe it’s the tradition. I remember Hullut päivät from my childhood, all the typical sweets and products that they still sell – only during these five days. It’s a carnaval! People queuing at 7am for getting cheap flight to Peking, London, Mexico City… whatever happens to be in the offer. They really sell everything from food, electronics, books and clothes to cars, boats, jacuzzis and trips to China. New items are revealed every day, so you never know what you might be able to buy. Well, even if you read it all in the catalogue.

In the end we spent a couple of hours wandering and looking at things. My boyfriend bought three CDs and I tried to find some cosmetics. But I’m becoming more selective – or stronger perhaps, as in the end I noticed that I really didn’t need anything. Well, till we found a tomato plant that we definitely wanted for our home! Probably we’ll have to back to Crazy Days before Sunday, as in the end we got too tired and confused and forgot to buy the thing…

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