Tag Archives: yliopistokatu

32: Kummi Family

2 Oct

Well my kummi family were lovely, the day went well – despite my nerves! Kummi means ‘godmother’ or ‘godfather’ and we also have a ‘kummi’ student who helps us move in and settle into Oulu. While I have only seen mine twice other people have gone on trips with their kummi and meet up regularly for activities.

My ‘kummi mother’ picked me up from my apartment and took me to her daughter’s place downtown. They were both really friendly and we chatted and got to know each other a little. Her apartment is great, very spacious and modern, I was quite envious!

Then we went to their family home, just me and the mother, and met her husband and two cats. We sat down to an afternoon tea together and it was great, she had made so much food – blueberry pie, reindeer meat rolls, cloudberry compote with leipajuusto, it was delicious. We chatted for a good few hours and talked about the place and my hometown and my interests, and drank lots of cups of coffee.

My ‘kummi father’ dropped me off at my apartment and I said farewell. We haven’t any definite plans but we have discussed the idea of ice-fishing and baking together which will be nice.

With all my extra energy from the copious amounts of coffee I went for a brief bike ride to a nearby lake. My camera doesn’t do the colours justice, but it was beautiful.

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Day Fifteen in Finland: Student Living

15 Sep

Things I love about my apartment block: the sauna upstairs. Things I hate: being halfway up the stairs and getting plunged into darkness.

The lights are timed and once you hit the switch they only stay on for a couple of minutes.Often there is someone close to the light switch who flicks it back on, but other times I have to carefully make my way to the top, keeping the light of the switch in view.

Aside from that, there are very few negative comments that I have about the place!

The Yliopistokatu apartments are right across from the university and are surrounded by trees and wide cycle paths. My apartment was refurbished 2002 – 2003 and it looks relatively nice on the outside and inside – clean floors, a working lift and a laundry room on the ground floor. The doorbells are a little odd, they are like the bells you find on reception desks that you ring to get someone’s attention. Often I can’t tell if it’s my bell that’s being rung or next door’s.

Inside the kitchen in very small, partially because I share with only one other person and partially because the lunches are so cheap on campus that everyone expects you to eat your main meal there. It’s roughly 2 euros 70 for a main meal, as much salad as you like, three slices of bread and a glass of milk/water/juice. The food’s not bad either. Very hearty and very warming, perfect for a cold day!

Above the sink we have a handy drying cupboard, which is like a washing up rack but it’s tucked away neatly so that the drying dishes don’t take up any extra space. The real downside is the lack of cupboard space, and I have to keep my food on a shelf in my wardrobe, but there’s a really big fridge-freezer which kind of makes up for that.

My bedroom is very large, much bigger than my own at home, and painted white, with a large window – presumably to combat the dark, cold, depressing winter days. The view is of trees and the local kindergarten. In the daytime I can hear the children laughing and playing, all wrapped up in their winter snow suits already.

Right around the corner there are three (yes three!) supermarkets, a pizza place, a post office and a craft/stationary homeware shop. I believe there is also a pharmacist. They speak English in the post office, so once you’re here you can go and ask for a form to register your address (apparently this is important if you want mail, but I’m not sure how true it is because I’ve received two letters already) and send some¬†souvenirs home. I bought my nephew a ‘I heart Suomi’ bodysuit and a Moomin book and my sister a Moomin tin from the local supermarket.

About a fifteen minute walk away there are is also a Prisma, a hypermarket with everything from tvs to skis, another food place, a bank and a gas station.

Perfect location!

Update: I totally forgot to mention another perk of the place: you can do your laundry AND drying for free! All you need to buy is the detergent/fabric softener/whatever you choose to do your laundry with. No more waiting around for machines  either: you simply log onto to OmaPSOAS and book your washing machine and dryer. Brilliant!

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