Homesickness…

…is getting worse towards the end. I have to say that I really haven’t felt homesick before. Just random moments when I miss my friends and family but now that the end of the exchange period is closing I feel homesick everyday.

Last weekend it was midsummer festival in Finland so four of us Finnish guys decided to do something typically Finnish. We packed some rye bread and “jaloviina” to our backpacks and headed to a rock music festival called “Rock am Härtsfeldsee”. The weekend was awesome. There was a lot of friendly German metal lovers and I think that we were the only foreign peoples there so we were kind of an attraction. I think most of the pictures showed some parts of male body that shouldn’t be seen in a blog like this so I have only these two:

Most important snacks: (Thanks to our International Coordinator Anneli for the rye bread and chocolate that she brought to us. You’re the best. And thanks to Joni for the Jallu.)

 

Heikki has done a good job setting the tent up:

 

My project at work is going good. I have finished the design phase and the prototype of my design is now being manufactured. I believe that this is the first thing that is being manufactured that I’ve designed. I cannot wait to get it into my hands and maybe if the tests go well it can be seen in a Festo catalog in a few years. I’m happy with the outcome so far so now I just have to wait for the tests to start. As you might guess I am not allowed to tell You any details about the purpose of the project.

One tip for the students who are going abroad: Bring your personal cook like I did. Heikki used to be a cook so he is pretty good at preparing dinner. I also have learned a lot of useful tips from him.

 

 

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Randomness

 “The Oxford English Dictionary defines “random” as “Having no definite aim or purpose; not sent or guided in a particular direction; made, done, occurring, etc., without method or conscious choice; haphazard.” This concept of randomness suggests a non-order or non-coherence in a sequence of symbols or steps, such that there is no intelligible pattern or combination.”

-Wikipedia

 According to this definition, this post is actually everything else then random. The purpose is to tell Heikki’s sister that how is Heikki doing.

Heikki is doing good. Oh and me too.

 -Johannes

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I shaved my balls for this?

Now that I have been in Germany for seven months I think I should tell You something about partying here. First of all You need girls. A lot of girls. If You have a group of guys with more then three people then you have no chance to get in to any of the clubs. I understand the policy but I hate it. Yesterday we head out to a “Mexican party” where we were supposed to meet our friends which were a group of girls. So there was five of us (only guys) and we decided to meet in the restaurant. When we got there the girls were already in and the bouncer didn’t let us there. We called the girls and they came to talk to the bouncer but this dickwipe didn’t let us in. Congratulations! You have the best business idea ever: not letting paying customers in.

Had to get that off my hart. I was so pissed… But for now I would like to introduce You to our current group:

Oscar “Panic”, “Ozzy”, “Midget” or whatever you wanna call him. Don’t let his small size fool you cause this guy carries a huge ego and a bad music taste.

 

Mickey “Chinaman”, “Gentleman from England”, “Midget”, “Duracell bunny” or whatever you wanna call him. He is the loudest man I have ever met. He just keeps on talking and talking. Originally from Hong Kong or some other Asian city but there’s not a tip of Asia left in him. Sorry for the bad pic…

 

And of course Mr. Jiiilänne. With a hangover.

 

And here’s some more photos from our Stuttgart trip.

 

Hugs and kisses back home.

 

 


I thinks it’s time…

…to finally update my blog. I’ve been “busy” (too lazy) to update it for a while but here it comes.

 

I just had a great weekend at the Alps but before telling more about that I will update my situation here in Germany.

 

So I’m officially doing a “DD” and I’m not talking about breast implants but a Double Degree. With Heikki we’re the first ones who does it between HS – Esslingen and JAMK. It recuires at least 60 credits from HS – Esslingen and I already have about 30 from last semester and now I’m doing my internship in a “small” German company called Festo ;). I started working there on the 4th of March and I have to tell You that it’s great! The company advertises itself as a family  company and despite the fact that it has employees as much as in a small country, it still has a warm and kind working atmosphere. Everyone is really nice there and I have had no problems with getting to know the company’s daily routines because my colleagues have helped me so much. This kindness of the company also leads to the story about the snowboarding trip to the Alps.

Before I even started working at Festo I got an e-mail from my colleague-to-be (I’ll call her Mrs. K). She invited me for a skiing trip to Pitztal, Hochzaiger which is in Austria. Snowboarding in the Alps has always been my dream so I decided to join the group. “K” even told me that I don’t have to pay anything from the  apartment and for the travel expenses so as I student this trip was like winning the lottery.

My alarm bell rang at 4.50 in 15th of March and I took a bus to Festo’s parking lot. From there we started the journey with 4 German guys that I had basically never met before (I was introduced to two of them the other day). At 9 o’clock I found myself drinkin beer and eating würst and ham horns for a breakfast. I’ve never felt so German :D. Here’s a few photos from the trip.

I wouldn’t want to be the one who drives this home… Spotted it in a gas station on the half way to Austria.

 

 

Second day of snowboarding. As you can see the weather was absolutely amazing.

 

Rok rok.

 

Excited.

 

First time in a gondola lift also.

 

All in all it was an amazing trip. I wanna thank my colleagues from the bottom of my heart. Some of You were a bit worried if I’m not enjoying because I don’t understand German that well but there was always somebody who spoke English with me if I wanted and everyone was really nice to me. I’m really looking forward to be working with you some more during these 6 months that I’m still here in Germany.

 

And now some random pictures of crazy exchange students.

 

Mr. Dimitri and me. My good friend from Russia. I wish to see you soon. I hope it’s ok that I put your picture to my blog 😀

 

Mr. Bartender Jiiiläännneeee. (That’s what German pronounciation of Heikki’s last name sounds to us Finns.)

 

Heikki has a booboo in his foot. He broke it during the celebration of Finnish independence day :D.

 

Mr. Ruben. Our only non Finn in our Project group. He did a great job with the project!

 

Me and Heikki looking a bit hangoverish at Trumpf company. We had our labs from the module “Laser material processing” there. Learned a lot about laser shit.

 

I think now it’s good to finish my post and go to sleep.

 

Greetings to everyone to Finland. Miss you so much <3

 

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Holidays are finally over…

…and it’s time to start focusing on studying again. The best part about that is that I have only 4 hours of school per week because almost all of the courses ended before Christmas :/. So now I’m trying to focus on training. I asked an offer from “Fitness First” gym for half a year and it’s about 50 € per month + a starting fee for a student so I think that’s ok. I’m just really fed up with the Hochschules gym.

I was in Finland during holidays. My plan was not to go there and the main reason for that was the following: About a year ago we were saying goodbyes to Francesca in Jyväskylä’s train station because she was leaving back to Italy. I met one guy from our school at the station and he said that he’s returning to Germany to continue his internship after Christmas holidays. I have never seen a sadder look and at that moment I decided that if I go to study abroad I will not visit home. Well about a year after I found myself at the Jyväskylä’s railway station thinking about all the great times that I had during holidays. Christmas with family, new years eve with my other “family” (pyjama party!) and friends and all the free time just watching movies or going to the gym with Niko (never had quite as intense trains as with him). So basically coming back to Germany wasn’t the most pleasant thing to do, but something made it better.

When I arrived and checked my mail I found a letter from my neighbor in which she told that she had found a package for me laying on the mailboxes. I got the package from her and she invited me for a dinner with friends. So tonight we had a great dinner with Korean, Finnish and German people. The food and the company was great! It cured my home sickness a bit. And of course in the package there was chocolate, salmiakki, comics and a letter from my dear godmother so that helped also.

 

Thanks to my family and friends for making my Christmas holidays so awesome. It would been easier if you would just been assholes so that I wouldn’t miss you a bit but I think it’s impossible for you. Love you.

 

-Johannes

 

 

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Visiting Francesca and Martina in Münich…

…and seeing them after a very long time.

I met these two wonderful persons in Finland almost two years ago. We met during “Vappu” in Jyväskylä’s “Kirkkopuisto” which is, well, a common place for young people to celebrate :D. After that we hang out in Jyväskylä quit a lot but of course the time came when they had to go back to their home countries.

Here we are finally united!

 

On Saturday we wondered around Münich which was crowded… After that we went back to Starnberg where Francesca lives an headed for a restaurant. Here’s me and Martina enjoying great German beer. Notice the “Stam1na” shirt in a really fancy restaurant :D.

 

The next morning Francesca cooked us some pasta, which was really good (she’s from Italy) and we headed out to Starndberg lake. The weather was awesome. To proof that I have some pictures.

 

After a relaxed weekend I went back to Esslingen as a new, recharged person.

Thank you Francesca and Martina <3 And we will see soon 😉

 

-Johannes


Finally…

…a road trip to Italy including Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstain.

First I would like to introduce You to our group:

“Audi man”, Toni. Oldest and wisest. Likes to ride his bicycle and of course to drive our rented Audi.

 

“The typical Finnish guy”, Otto, in the words most positive meaning. Likes to hunt, drink beer and swears like the devil itself.

 

“The polite Mexican”, Kike. When you see Kike you know that you’re going to have a good time. Always smiles and never offends anyone. We were lucky to have him with us on our trip!

 

First about the preparations. On Friday 5th of October we decided to leave and after checking the prices from internet we went to local car rental company. We had made the first mistake already :). They had only two cars for our purposes left and they were quite expensive. If we would’ve called them a week ago we would’ve gotten a cheaper and more compact car, but we took the diesel Audi A4. Good thing about it was that it only took about 5,5 liters/100 km.

In the car rental company’s website we got the impression that the cars have unlimited kilometers but this Audi didn’t have, so extra 20 cents for every km that went over 900 km… Our first plan was to go to Genoa and from there to Venice but we had to make our trip shorter. So in the end it almost looked like this (on our way to Esslingen from Innsbruck we visited Liechtenstein also):

 

First night we spend in Bergamo, Italy. The hostel there was cheap and good. The town sucked. We arrived there about 11 p.m. and the town was already sleeping. We were really hungry and wanted to taste some Italian pizza, but the only place to get  it was a local bar. You might guess what the pizza tasted like – spicy and shitty. Only purpose of it was to get us drink more.

The next day we head out to lake Garda. It was awesome. South side of the lake was a tourist hell but east side was a bit better. We stopped for a swim and finally had some good pizza.  Here we are on the shore of lake Garda:

 

After spending a wonderful day just relaxing we aimed the Audi logo towards Innsbruck – the famous ski jump town. From there we found again a good and cheap hostel (later we heard from the locals that the hostel was rumored to be the place to get “spare parts” to hospitals :D).  The evening we visited an Irish pub, drank some Guinness and had a great time getting to know some of the locals. We even visited someones birthday party :D. Here’s a picture from the hostel. Luckily we all had our kidneys still in place in the morning ;).

 

To summon this up it was a great weekend with great guys! Only bad thing was that on the way back to Esslingen we got into a traffic jam. It took about 2 hours to travel 40 km.

Now I have to start a “meeting” with my colleague Jussi via Skype :). We’re about to talk about big plans and dreams that some of You already know about. I assure that the rest of You will hear about them too. Next blog post will be about my last weekends trip to Münich. I’m trying to get it done ASAP.

 

-Johannes

 


The best weekend so far…

…but first I’ll tell You something about the week before. Our teacher had her birthday on Tuesday, so we decided to surprise her. We wrote on the board in many languages “Happy birthday” and someone of us had even baked a cake for her. And of course when she came in we started singing. Here are some pictures of that.

 

On Friday we had our last intensive lectures of German language. Teachers arranged us a breakfast; everyone brought something typical German breakfast stuff like eggs, ham, cheese, marmalade, bread etc.

From the left (only the ones who look into the camera) Macarena from Spain, Juan from Spain and me from Finland. Thanks to Antonio from Spain for this picture (and for the rum coffee on saturday night;) ).

 

So, about the weekend itself. On Friday evening we decided to check Volksfest out. It’s similar to Oktoberfest but a bit smaller and not so much tourists. We heard a pro tip that in there it’s easier to find tables and – of course – get a beer.  When we first entered the party area I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like a huge amusement park except that it was bigger than I’ve ever seen – and it was mobile. All the beer tents were also huge and mobile even thought they looked like fixed from the outside. And when we entered the beer tents we couldn’t stop smiling. I had no big expectations about this kind of beer fests because I just thought that they would be crowded and it would be really hard to find a place to sit and get a beer. Well I don’t think like that anymore. It’s really hard to describe the atmosphere in the tent so I’ll just say to You that visit one of these!

And of course pics or it didn’t happen:

First 1 litre beers.

Lederhosen.

“Dagen efter.”

Aaand here we go again.

“Finnische spezialiteten.” Flamed salmon (and blond girls).

German family.

Dirndls. Blame Heikki for the bad picture :). Or my phone…

Some more dirndls. Wait…what?

And of course after party and some rum coffee at the apartments.

 

After that weekend we had school from 9.30 a.m. till 8.30 p.m on Monday… It was kind of hard to stay wake in the class. As Tarzan would say: “Nice”.

We’re still planning on that trip to Alps. And München. Maybe You’ll here from them later.

-Johannes

 

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Visit to Kessler and Heidelberg…

…were amazing. I’ve been to Kessler also in February, but when there’s an opportunity to visit the oldest sekt factory in Germany, I’ll use it every time. Sekt is sparkling wine which is made in Germany – kind of like Champagne is sparkling wine which is made of specific grapes which are produced in  the Champagne region in France. First we had a tour around the factory, which is pretty amazing because it’s inside  the oldest stone build house in Esslingen, and then we got to taste different kinds of Kessler Sekts.

Here’s a picture of us having Sekt. From the left: Me, Haksoo from South Korea, Marko from Finland, Toni from Finland, Mickey from England and Otto from Finland.

 

The next day we had an intercultural training. We were basically talking about differences between cultures so that it would be easier for us to understand each others. Lot’s of interesting stuff came up. We talked about stereotypes and ways to greet friend and a teacher.     For us Finns the meeting with a teacher is not nearly as formal as in other countries. Everyone seemed shocked after I told that I could even go for a beer with some of my teachers :).

Here’s a picture of me and the lecturer. On the board you can see stereotypes and common things that we thought about different countries. About Germany we wrote things like punctuality, lederhose and Hitler.

 

On Saturday we went to Heidelberg. The trip took about 2 hours by train so we had to leave at 7 a.m. Everyone was pretty tired from all the “fun having” last night. Some of us slept only two hours :D. Here’s a pictrue of Toni, Otto and Heikki from the train. You can also see Monika, our international coordinator from Hochschule Esslingen who has done a great job guiding us into German everyday life!

 

Heidelberg is a historical city with university and up to 35 000 students live there during the semester. I think it’s my favorite city from now on. Only bad thing was that there were thousands of tourists and of course everything was expensive. Main tourist attraction was the castle in the hills. Here’s some pictures from there:

Haru, Heikki, Siradhep, Ruben and Kike on their way to the castle.

 

Áron, Otto, Toni and Heikki listening to the tourist guide. They seem VERY interested :D…

 

Here’s a taste of the view to the old city. Thanks to Otto from this picture!

 

Here’s the inner yard of the castle.

 

Here’s the biggest wine barrel in the world. It was in the castle and it can hold up to 228 000 liters of wine which lasted for 10 months in the castles  inhabitants use. It was ****** huge! On top of it you can see Heikki, Toni and Áron. Again thanks to Otto from the picture!

 

And here’s a view from the castles balcony.

 

Here you can see the massive structure of the castles walls. Unfortunately I didn’t hear that why is this tower broken…

 

After the tour guide we went to circle around the old city. Main purpose was to find a place to eat and maybe drink one Hefe. The tourist guide told us that there’s a place for students to eat cheap and we found it. It wasn’t even that cheap but the food was really good and there was lots of different things to eat. I think that I liked the food so much because it was very similar to Finnish food. Also the campus area was amazing. Here’s a picture from the diner. There was also a bar where you could get Hefe for 2,75 €.

 

Oh, and one picture for Jussi. If you want a good pipe then send me 345 € and I’ll buy you a Porche Design :D.

 

Now it’s time to start making myself useful. Next week we might rent a car and go to the Alps. You might hear from it later ;). Lot’s of hugs and kisses for those, who feel like deserving it :).

-Johannes

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Visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum…

…for the second time. I did my first visit there in February 2012 but I went there again because… well I was said that it’s a compulsory. But it was a good visit anyway. I’ve noticed that in Germany  the teachers think that a student, no matter what his/her age is, is not an adult. The classes that I’ve been in allow only two absence and I think that there’s no such thing as academic freedom in Germany :).

But to the point. Here’s the museum outside. It’s been designed by Dutch architectural company  UN Studio and it was opened on 2006. One of the guides said to us that if you check all the places inside you walk 5 kilometers.

 

From the visit I have a special photo for Kossu. He had one of these and it was exactly the same color :).

 

Although, I think the price tag wasn’t quite the similar…

 

There was lot’s of technical details for example how different engine parts are made. Here is a good picture that shows how connecting rods are formed step by step. The manufacturing method is forging that “gives the components an efficient fiber matrix”. These connecting rods belong to a V6 diesel engine.

The museum doesn’t only show/tell the history of Daimler-Benz company, but also the main turning points of the worlds industrial development. It’s a really interesting place and even if You’re not interested in cars, You should visit there if possible.

 

Oh sh*t my laundry is in the machine… Got to go. Bye!

-Johannes

 

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