Nothing major this time, just a few random updates. There are a few things I really love about this time of year. Sure, the trees are all exploded in various colors from yellow to red, and the frosty morning air wakes me up faster and more effectively than any coffee. The days are nice and warm in the sun (since when is my definition of "warm" about 13C/55F!?) but sunset comes so quickly already - the sun sets around 7:00 now, but by December we'll be seeing daylight only from 9:30 to 3:30. It never struck me that people might actually need to take vitamin D supplements in pill form during the winter months until I saw the little bottles lined up on the shelves.
I finally got tired of buying only food and tickets to metal shows, so I did a little shopping. There's not much that's affordable beyond the secondhand stores, but the Swedish company H&M (which even has stores in the States now) is the closest thing to reasonable. Otherwise, be prepared to goggle at 200€ shoes, 400€ coats, and 250€ scarves at the high-ticket department stores. And ordering online isn't the answer either - customs intercepts and makes you pay taxes on things ordered cheaply from elsewhere. So H&M it was, and I found a couple of reasonably priced necessities such as socks, a jacket, non-metal-band shirts and for some reason, scarves. People are seriously into the scarf look here, so I thought I'd get some scarves and non-white socks in order to blend in a bit. Now they won't know I'm from the States until I start talking... but thanks to signing up for as many Finnish courses as I possibly could (I literally have some kind of Finnish practice five days a week), I continue to chip away at the language barrier piece by piece. It's going to take some time, but I'll do what I always do: set a goal and just trudge slowly in that direction until I arrive.
I've borrowed some Finnish films from a friend, two of which have English subtitles (Pitkä Kuuma Kesä and FC Venus) and one that doesn't (Kaasua, Komisario Palmu!). The only time I miss my television is when I have a movie to watch! Relaxing in a swivel chair just isn't the same. Hopefully I'll get around to watching them this week. Mainly I've been doing a bunch of reading for my classes along with the books I've borrowed from the library, which has left little time for movies.
Some interesting events coming up with the heavy metal club: Wednesday is some kind of "sauna and board games" event, which sounds like a great way to spend an evening to me. It's even right in my own apartment neighborhood, so it's nice and convenient. Early next month is a heavy metal cruise, for which the university metal clubs from various cities around Finland have teamed up to basically rent most of a cruise ship, lined up several metal bands to play all night, and charge only 5,50€ per ticket. The first time Christine and I tried to sign up, it had sold out within the first couple of days, but we just got word tonight that they had reserved more cabins! As if the regular cruises weren't drunken floating Disneylands already, but now with a ton of metalheads it should mean maximum hijinks. Earlier that same day is a shooting outing organized by the student tenants' association, so that particular day should be extremely awesome. The advert mentioned "air-, powder-, and spring weapons" so I'm not sure whether that includes actual guns or not, but either way; projectiles! Yay! Good times ahead...