Kesä 2010

Again its been 45 days since my last blog. There are lot to share, this summer has been very eventful for me. I got a serious infection in eye which still by the way is not properly cured, than on the last day of June i fell off from the bike near the school and broke my elbow which really hampers my blogging and rest of the activities. My thesis which i was supposed to start in July got postponed until further notice. All these events lead a very bitter taste in my life.

Elbow problem…i couldn’t do any sports including swimming for the whole month of July.

Infectious Eye: No sports, no hang outs etc

Thesis: Another summer in waste.

Well now my elbow is perfectly ok and i am doing all sort of physical exercise since last two weeks or probably more. I will start my thesis sooner or later…InshAllah. This was a small account of my summer so far.

Lately i was having some fun time with friends here in Tampere and surroundings.  The whole last Sunday that i spent at home was i think back in July. During the last weekend of July i went to a friends cottage in Valkeakoski (neighboring town of Tampere), she has a beautiful summer cottage next to the lake. Since my elbow was freshly healed than so i decided to make best use of it. I took the sauna at midnight and swam in the lake afterwards which was quite an experience. Boat ride, fishing, sauna and swimming are the highlights of the trip.

Next weekend my German friend (actually she is a friend of previous Swedish flatmate ) was in Tampere, so she called me and we spent the day at VIikinSaari a small island in lake Pyhajärvi. It was an interesting meet up, i realized after meeting her that although we are so different altogether in terms of culture, religion and tradition but we have so much in common. We discusses some serious issue about life and all the things associated with it…sometime i wonder how long will it take for Pakistan to come to the level of Europe and America, i am not sure whats lacking in our part of the world. We have the best brans in the world, some amazing people and yet we are on the downfall. Is it due to the over population, imperialism, capitalism or probably the sincerity that we lack towards our country. Anyways…

Last week was ScaLDS, the first day was in Helsinki and the rest of the conference was in Uusikaupunki. Since i have some friends coming from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Germany so i thought its better to drop in Helsinki and meet up with them. Its been a year since i last met with them. Faizan my flatmate and an active AIESECer who was attending the conference threw an idea that why not we (Pakistan) put up our stand in Global Village which was part of the ScaLDS…i like the idea and came to Helsinki for the necessary preparations. Since Salman was living in Espoo now so he bought all the necessary ingredients for Samosa, Pakora and Biryani…yes these were the stuff on display in Global Village….and oh yes Fawad came all the way from Lapeenranta to help us with the stand.

All went well…

I came back to Tampere the same day and the next day Juhani called me about how about crashing at ScaLDS on Saturday night, he has the car and i don’t have any serious stuff on the weekend so i say a go ahead. There are some AIESECers in Helsinki who are also interested in crashing at ScaLDS so we arrive in Helsinki on last Friday, spent the night at local AIESECers place, went for swimming in Baltic sea the next morning and head for ScaLDS in the afternoon and rest was history…

To put in a nut shell the whole journey from Helsinki to Uuskaupunki is amazing, beautiful Finnish countryside, lakes, tunnels, extreme heat (yes in Finland), the mercury was reaching around 35’C. We played frisbee golf in a very weird golf-park in Uusikaupunki. Visited the slowest (i mean the service) HesBurger in Finland, ate Pizza at a Turkish pizzeria, roam around the deserted streets of Uusikaupunki…this was probably the most random and eventful weekend i have spent in Finland.

Rest is all good, though i have some serious complications with my life. I don’t know how to explain this but i am hoping everything will be sorted out sooner.

Cheers.

Alcoholic Eye and Juhannus

On Thursday 17th of June i started to feel itching in my right eye and by night it got even worst meaning more itching and pain. The first thing I did in the morning to pay a visit to YTHS, to put in a nutshell its a Finnish Student Health Service which is infact quite a good thing for us foreigner. You can have any basic medical treatment for free except that you have to buy the medicine by yourself.

The only bad thing about YTHS is that even though your condition is quite serious they wont refer you to the doctor at first, there is a process first you have to see the nurse and if nurse feels it is something that needs an opinion of doctor than you are blessed to see the doctor. I went there quite early so that i can see the doctor if i pass the preliminary test of the nurse which unfortunately i failed.

The nurse checked my eye very thoroughly and i explained her that i think(because the symptoms looks exactly the same) this is Iritis(an inflammation in the pupil of eye). I had the same problem before when i was in Pakistan…the nursed noded and paused for a while and the next thing that i have heard from her has made my day. She said

” This happens because you have use excessive alcohol the night before and it will go away with the time ” and thus i didn’t get the privilege to see the doctor.

and those of you know me i have never drink alcohol. I told her the same and she thought i was kidding and she start giggling and at that time i realizes that i need to see a real doctor before my eye get any worse.

On Saturday the pain and the redness in the eye was unbearable so i went to Koskiklinikka which is kind of chain of private medical clinic in Finland. The doctor was too nice, he checked me for about half an hour and at the end he gave me two eye drops and referred me to see the eye specialist in TAYS(the central hospital in Tampere). I spent the Sunday at home pouring those eye drops after every couple of hours, though the pain was reduced but my vision got extremely blurry.

To cut it short i went to TAYS on Monday to see the specialist, everything went fine and i got one new eye drop and an ointment to put in the eye at night. I am going to see the specialist again tomorrow. My eye looks ok, less pain but the vision is blurry and i can’t see much in the sun..otherwise i am doing just fine.

Juhani sent me an email during the week and inquired about my midsummer(Juhannus plan). With my alcohlic eye, blurry vision and zero resistivity for sun i thought its good for me if i stay at home during the weekend. Tuomas called me on Wednesday that he is coming to Tampere to fetch his stuff from his place and he need the keys for his apartment, since the keys are with me so he dropped at my place and took the keys. Even at that point i was of the opinion that i should stay in Tampere for the midsummer because of my eye but Tuomas somehow forced/convinced me to go to the summer cottage of Juhani. Finally i decided that i should give it a try, i will stay inside and won’t do any outdoor activity just to protect my eye.

Juhani’s summer cottage is close to Tampere, we went there. Juhani and Tuomas has made the infamous Seni Sambol the Sri-lankan cuisine. I got a chance to meet with Juhani’s sister and his father, i have met with his sister before but this is the first time i met his father. Both are very nice and kind person. Oh yeah Sathya and Nha was also at the cottage with us along with couple of other friends.

We ate together and than went on for Kayaking. The ride was fantastic though to sit in the kayak is bit challenging but once you are in its all fun. There were two kayaks Me and Sathya were in one and the other was shared by Nha and Juhani and oh yes Tuomas was our official photographer in the boat. Here are some pictures

Setting up the kayak

How to use Paddles? (me and Sathya)

What if the kayak will flip?

We sailed in the lake for couple of hundred meters and than we landed ourself at the “Cigarette Island” and there happens the most funny and beautiful thing. Since we are in the middle of lake in an island so our voices were echoing with the surrounding nature. I filmed the scene but in the video you can’t hear the echo :). Check this out(oops, wordpress is not allowing me to embed it here. If you happen to be my or Tuomas friend check it out at our FB profile)

We returned back, made a bonfire. Juhani sung some songs and as the night get deeper i went for sleep. The next morning Tuomas dropped me off to Tampere and i spent the rest of the weekend watching football and pouring eye-drops in my eye.

Quite and adventurous Juhannus. Thanks Juhani for hosting me and Tuomas…thanks for the ride (though i lost your sunglasses).

Rest is all good….

Small World

While bidding farewell to her, she is moving to Pakistan to work for AIESEC in Pakistan for a year. I just realized that although Finland and Pakistan are two distant realities but we have so much in common.

In the farewell, after eating at the Turkish restaurant we moved to JJ’s house for a small after-party. There me and JK start talking about cartoons and movies which we used to watch when we were kids and to the surprise of all of us…there is so much similarities. Whether it was Captain Planet, HeMan, Thunder Cat, Ninja Turtles or Voltron we were watching the same cartoons while we were growing up. Isn’t that exciting?

Than i asked JK, in which year Lion King was released and the answer was 1994, we talked about the movie and stuff. JK told me that his parents gave him a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of Lion King as a Christmas present and at that point i was shocked i remember my dad bought a same jigsaw puzzle for me as well during that time and i believe it is still somewhere in the store room of our house. The only difference is the picture of the puzzle, i have the one in which Rafiki was holding Simba as a new king, while JK has the one in which the whole pride is standing together

Here is the snapshot of my puzzle.

and i believe this is the one which JK might have.

We might be 6000miles away at that time having the same Jigsaw puzzle, but 16 years later we worked in the same Executive Board of AIESEC Tampere. Indeed a small world

So it is…

First Facebook was banned in Pakistan and than few later YouTube receives the same. Well its an interesting debate but i think this blog is not a good place for the discussion.

Well today was bit of random day, woke up at 4am courtesy of a horrible nightmare which as a matter of fact was something really interesting…details later. At 4am it was so bright that i first thought that it is 10 and i feared that i have missed my laboratory session but fortunately that wasn’t the case. I tried hard to resume my sleep but to no vain….

Somehow i managed to carry myself to school at around 10, attended the laboratory session and than one lecture and spent the rest of the day in library. For some reason i was taking some random pictures all day and here they are.

Whiskey bottle in the closet of my desk in library

Indy Car...found on my way to the school

Thats why i was in the library

Since sun is so rare in this land of lakes so i thought its good to spent some time in the meadow of TUT which by the way is a great place to hang around on a sunny day. I took some photos of the campus while laying on the grass.

Tietotalo

and one more

This was around 6pm, i went back inside the school and start exploring some wee stuff on RF-ASIC and Communication Circuits, it was around 8pm when i was about to pack up JJ called me and ask if i am interested in Disc Golf and the answer was a definite yes.

We went to näyttämönpuisto to play Disc golf and the place look stunning, i remember in Pakistan we spent thousand of ruppess and travels hundred of Kilometers to see a place of such beauty and in Finland places like these are all over the place and näyttämönpuisto is just few hundred meters from my place. Here it is

Näyttämönpuisto

and for the third time i managed to beat him, who actually a semi pro. Here are some bits and pieces of Frisbees…

But the highlight of the day was this poster/flier i found in nearly all of the public notice board of the university. My sympathies are with you my friend, hope you will find it soon.

Rest is all good.


I am…

Picture the scene. It is late in the night a day before his flight. Two proud parents are seeing their grown up kid to go off on his first ever excursion across the continent into a new world.

The proud, bearded and highly, almost psychotically, suspicious of young men father says “Look, son, I know you’re grown up man but for me you are still a kid, you are going into a world that is totally new for you, an independent world where you have all the freedom and luxury but remember one thing don’t go crazy in this new world, don’t forget your roots, culture and tradition eh? Be a little bit sensible if you can”.

The son says “I will!” and off he goes.

Eighteen months have passed, after an amazing experience in the land of cold, in a truly wonderful country the grown up kid is making his mark. An unforgettable journey is in progress, everyday is a new day, every passing moment is a new experience. A experience the grown up kid has never thought of, there are times when he feel that he made a wrong decision by coming here and there are times when he feel how unlucky he would be if he wouldn’t come to this land of lakes.

After all those experiences which the proud parents can only imagine, the grown up kid is reflecting one of the conversation of his parents

“I hope he has good sense in Finland”.

“Oh me too”.

“I hope he shows restraint and a bit of cop-on when it comes to adopting a new life style,a new culture ”

“I too hope that”.

“At least we’ve shown him a good example all these years” (you certainly did)

and the conversation ended on a note that one day the grown up kid will return with his head held high…in pride, in dignity. The grown up kid knows there are certain fears which the proud parents have in mind, rest assured the grown up kid is coping very well with those fears…he is still untouched by the fame and spotlight of this exciting world. He is well connected to his roots, tradition and his moral values.

Rest is all good.

Getting Married in Finland

After receiving some serious hammering and appreciation on my last blog, i think its time to move on to some funny aspect of life circling around Pakistani students in Tampere.

If you are going through this blog in a hope that i will share some tips, techniques and tricks of getting laid in Finland, i think its better that you dont waste your time here and go there.

Anyways, this whole thing started after this. In order to celebrate English victory i invited everyone(through FB) to have a small party at my place, at the end the party wasn’t held at my place rather at his place.

The attendees were me, him, him, him, him, and him and so the debate started. I can’t sum up the whole evening in this limited space of blog but i will share some of the key moments.

Apparently the groom was me and him. So they talked about.

1. How to arrange the reception?
2. What will be in the menu?
3. Since this will be a Pakistani wedding, so how do we transport the guest?
4. A suggestion was thrown that we will use TKL BUS#13 for this, its the infamous bus that runs from TUT to the center among many other but its frequency is high as compare to others.
5. Since its a bus so we need a driver who should have a traffic license for heavy vehicles and fortunately we have one in our social circle.
6. Is it feasible to get married here?
7. What are the consequences?
8. What dress should the bride wear?

and it goes on and on.

I think they forget to discuss the most important thing in the whole debate, the bride. Yes the bride, there ain’t any and i don’t see any one in near future. They talked about all this without the most critical ingredient 🙂

Time to move on.

Loosing My Religion

Updates:

************************************
1. Before reading this post please keep in mind that i am in no way criticizing Islam(Nauzobilah). Please try to differentiate between Islam and Muslims.
*************************************

Just to make it clear, i am Alhamdolilah a staunch Muslim and will remain to be so but i am a different one. I don’t know how to sum up this post but i will try to put my thoughts in a very meaningful and easy way so that everyone of you will able to understand it. I will quote “Dawud Wharnsby” that this is a true story, it may upset some of you but its too bad.

Note: Some of the text in this blog is an excerpt from a friends blog.

Yes we all are Muslim, really. Who is a Muslim? For me If you identify yourself as a Muslim, you are submitting your will to a certain scholar’s interpretation of the religion and even among these major interpretations lies a vicious and evil contest of who has the right password for the gates of heaven.

I think this is a common belief among us that we(muslim) all go to Heaven because we believe in one God and consider Prophet Muhammad(Peace be upon him) as the last prophet.

Apparently, you can lie, cheat, rape, steal, bribe, hate, be dishonest, not give rights to the poors, confiscate women rights, be a disgrace to humanity in terms of intellect, be a disgrace in terms of moral value, be a disgrace in terms of social value, not care about the poor, not be tolerant, be arrogant and still be a Muslim. HOWEVER, if you taste alcohol, indulge with the opposite sex or criticize Islam, you can’t be a Muslim. I say: let people be! What? How dare you say we are wrong? Alhamdulillah, we are the believers!

I am a believer too, brother, I just believe in something different! and that’s the whole point of this blog i am loosing my religion that i was taught back in the land of pure.

Now think of it being a Human not a Muslim, does it make any sense to you? To put my neck on the line…it doesn’t make any sense to me. Label me with all the term Zionist, American agent, non-Muslim (kaafir), whore, etc. I am happy to take it.

Why we feel every time that there is a need to justify to the masses that Islam is the best religion and the Muslims are the purist soul (since we don’t drink alcohol and don’t indulge in pre-marital sex)? Can we stop for one moment and think about ourself.

All of you have heard of this classic theory “I love you as long as you don’t have an opinion”. Again to put my neck on the line i would say Muslim scholars(well i have nothing against Dr. Zakir, who am i to confront such a great scholar. He is truly doing a great service) impressively talk about logic, reasoning and science but only as long as these ideas don’t challenge their beliefs. Muslims love their wives and daughters as long as they don’t leave the house without permission. Muslim governments love their public as long as they don’t have a voice. “Dear wife, I love you… as long as you don’t leave the house without my permission” “Dear daughter, I want to send you to school to ‘educate’ you, but if you ever go against our *values*, I reserve the RIGHT to break your jaw and to marry you off.” “Dear citizen, you are free to do whatever you want, as long as you don’t go against us.”

How is it not hypocritical to look down upon other religions, mock them, find flaws in their books but scream “foul!” when other people find (apparent) flaws in the Quran? How is it not hypocritical to scream “foul!” when France bans the burqa but proudly expect western women visiting the Muslim world to dress “decently”? If burqa should be allowed in France, bikinis should be allowed in Mecca. I don’t mean that burqa should be banned; I just mean that bikinis shouldn’t be banned. How is it not hypocritical to protest against the ban on minarets in Switzerland (minarets, not mosques) while the construction of churches remains forbidden in Saudi Arabia, the capital of the Muslim world(Check out this and this)? How is it not hypocritical to talk about tolerance and peace and not voice your protest against the brutal murder of Dutch filmmaker van Gogh in the streets of Amsterdam? How is it not hypocritical to voice such strong protest in favor of Palestine (which I agree with completely) but not care about the genocide in Darfur, of Muslims by Muslims? How is it not hypocritical that everything is admirable as long as it doesn’t criticize you? What are you, a fuckin’ 5th grader?

Think about it…