Here we go again on to the next month: JULY! July is usually when summer starts in Finland, like starts properly with nice weather and actual sunshine. If I recall it correctly July wasn't too bad this summer in Finland, however I would not know since I spent all of July except 5 days at work... hehe.
The two pictures above are both from work: spinach soup and a piece of bread was a pretty standard lunch through all of July, I mean it is good but at some point you grow a bit tired of it... The other picture is "The Big Raid Stand-Off of 2016"... I will explain. Me and my work friend Johanna (we have been working together for two summers now) were in charge of unpacking a big delivery that we just got and well it is a small store and getting everything to fit is always a struggle, basically we play Tetris every day. Anyways we got a big delivery of Raid (which is like insect spray) and neither of us wanted to try to get them to fit in the basement so we left the raid with notes on them, every time I went to look at it there was a new note saying "Property of Lina, don't touch" or "Puss o Kram (Kisses and Hugs)" or something like that. It was a gruesome stand-off but I won, I cannot remember why though? I probably got another task which was equally daunting....
Finland also has incredible sunsets all through the summer, the next day more flabbergasting than the one last night. It is really remarkable. (Really I should get paid for this, Finland? come on help a girl out) (I'm helping you out...)
Both of these pictures where taken at my friends house in Svartbäck where we, not to my recollection but apparently, spent some evenings and had a pre-party before we headed out clubbing to the one nightclub that we have in town. Actually there are two of them but the other one is for the winter months... aka. Imma be spending my Christmas Break there hihihi.
The beginning of July also marked one of the highlights from last summer and something I had been looking forward to all year long: My American host-parents + their daughter visiting Finland! This was their first time in Europe and therefore first time in Finland (well their daughter had been in Europe but not Finland) and it was a pretty tired bunch of Americans that I picked up from the airport. Keith and Cheryl had had quite the hassle getting to Finland as they got to the airport only to find out that they had no tickets !! After fixing everything for hours they finally got it fixed and ended up just a couple of hours late in Finland!
They were in Finland only 4 days but we managed to pack it full of activities anyways and they got their own cottage right by the ocean with the best views of them all so I think they were pretty happy hehe. We then took them boating, first to the farmers market on Saturday morning and then to Hangö (the southernmost town in Finland), we introduced them to Finnish food: fish fish fish fish fish. (<3) I also took them on some sightseeing tours around my neck of the woods, fed them Finnish ice cream and even managed to take them on a Moose Safari = Driving in Bromarf, I think we saw 10 Moose all together on their short stay!
They were very lucky with the weather when they were in Finland and I was so happy to finally show them around and repay them at least a little little bit for all they have done for me. After Finland they flew to Switzerland to meet up with their next foreign daughter and then on to France and the third one before heading back to The US. Quite the trip!
A rainy Friday after that I headed straight to Hangö after work to meet up with Mom, Soffan (my friend) and her mom Anna. We have a long standing tradition of doing things together as a group, be it traveling, dinners, theatres etc. This time it was dinner. We went to HSF in Hangö which had been re-made that summer, a new concept and new look.... And t'was good. Oh so good. We all ate duck breast with different kinds of sides, I had parmesan sprinkled home fries and a lovely sauce + a glass of bubbly and a red wine that tasted like heaven. It was the most perfect dinner, the best thing I ate all of 2016, and the best way to make a rainy Friday better. Ahh.
July continued with loads of work, luckily I really enjoy my work and the people I work with so there is not one day that isn't filled of laughter. :) July was a month of work but also a month of after-works... hehe. Me and Johanna took it upon ourselves to have a drink every now and then after work (more often than not was the motto), one of these evenings after a particularly long day at work that stretched into overtime we went to Skatafe (in Padva) and as we got there we learned that our meal was already paid for by our boss! (If that isn't a sign of how good my job is then what is?)
Other than that I, as per usual, enjoyed the amazing Finnish nature that surrounded me as I lived primarily in Padva all of this time. I mean look at that, imagine standing there in the middle of the trees with no sounds of people or traffic, just the sounds of nature. T H E R A P Y.
You think we didn't drink at all in July did you? Well alas my friend, this is Finland in the summer which means that since most summer cottages don't even have running water it is perfectly acceptable to drink a lonkero when you are thirsty, no matter the time or day. However you are right in noting that I did not go out and party much that month, all due to me being old and working a lot thus making me tired, I did however spend some lovely nights at Alban (a restaurant/bar by the harbour in Ekenäs that is only open in the summer) and we did go out too, after another pre-party in Svartbäck. (The picture on the right) From this particular pre-party I have probably 50 pictures like the one on the right, where we have tried to get a nice group picture but the weird blob on the right messed it up... Gosh, some people...
Saturday the 23d of July marked the first CRAYFISH PARTY of the season! A long standing tradition in Finland, and my gosh what a good one it is. We gathered at a barn in the middle of the forest with 20-30 people, ate crayfish, sang snapsvisor (literally could not find a translation for this maybe drinking songs will suffice?), played beer pong and had an absolutely smashing time. I was supposed to take it easy, preferably be sober but ended up drinking everything in sight... hehe. It was super fun and so nice to see everybody after being rather anti-social all of July.
The reason to why I was supposed to be sober during the crayfish party was because we had a big yard sale in Padva the day after that and the whole Lindqvist clan was supposed to be there and help out... Well let's just say I arrived a bit late and a bit groggy but still helped out a bit...
Other than that work continued in July and some mornings were better than others when I got to start the day with Finnish coffee (literally nothing is better than that) and some greek yoghurt with freshly picked berries from the forest. Freshly picked from 2 meters away. So. Incredibly. Good. oh and with a view of the ocean of course. #visitfinland)
July ended with some sushi in Ekenäs on the docks surrounded by my favourite people. As July ended it meant that August was just around the corner, and now August ladies and gentlemen was a month full of well everything, but mostly alcohol. Oh and incidentally it contained the best party weekend of the year: PADVASTOCK 2016. Stay tuned people, stay tuned because August was bitchin'.