Christmas in Finland and new year

So we went to spend our christmas to Finland. Like I already mentioned in my previous post, I got a cold and unfortunately I started to get better only the last day of being in Finland. The night before the flight was just horrible and the day of traveling was so tiring and uncomfortable because I think I had a fever... Anyways our flight went well, if we don't count one glass of fallen blueberry juice all over my husbands stuff, and we arrived safely and even a little bit early to Finland. We tried traveling in the first row of the economy class and the legroom was really spacious! Only bad thing was that the noice of motors was pretty loud in this part of the plane. I was really happy because finally we were traveling together. After almost 9 hours flight and 3,5 hours drive with a bus and a car we finally arrived to my mom's place and we couldn't do much else than just head to sleep.

23th we didn't do anything special, just rested at my mom's home, went to buy some gifts to family and friends back in Korea, visited flower shop to get some christmas flowers and drove around of the small city where my mom lives and where I used to live part of my chilhdood to show it to Yonggun. Because of the time difference I woke up already at 4am and this habit continued the rest mornings of our trip too, we woke up always at 4-6am, and unfortunely were also tired really early. My mom is really into decorating her apartment and like I expected, it was really pretty and christmasy and gave the needed christmas feeling to us. I didn't take real camera with me so the pictures of this post are just quick shots with my phone.

24th, the christmas eve, is the main day of christmas celebrations to most of the Finnish families. In the morning time we went to visit my dad, who lives right next to ocean, and had some rice porridge as a breakfast. Rice porridge is really common christmas time food in Finland. We spend the day with my father and his girlfriends family and opened first presents. We didn't get snow for the christmas, instead the weather was really pretty and sunny after last nights storm.

In the evening we went to have really traditional finnish christmas meal, something that Yonggun really anticipated to eat, to my mother's aunt family who lives in a countryside, right next to the place where I used to live my childhood. We had a meal with my family from my mother's side and after that we went to my aunt's home to have a coffee and open the presents. Right now we don't have any small children in our family but because of Yonggun they had hired a Santa Claus to visit us. In the evening before heading back to home we visited cemetery and lit up a candle to my grandmother's grave. It's also a finnish tradition to visit the cemetery in christmas time and fill the graveyard with candle lights. 

The rest two days we mostly just rested at my mom's place. 25th my aunt's family came to eat and spend some time with us and 26th my dad and his gilfriend came to have a coffee with us so we could see each other again before we needed to leave back to Korea. We also needed to visit an emergency room in a hospital because of me. Nothing bad happened, but like I mentioned before I suffer from motion sickness and unfortunately I had dropped my medicines to the airplane or to the airport when we arrived and my medicine can be purchased only with doctor's prescription. Luckily they were really nice to me and gave me two pills for free so I could survive of my flight!

I also tried the new medication, kimite patch, and it didn't give me any scary side effects or withdraval symptoms, maybe just some tiredness. I think it worked, but it wasn't as effective as I hoped it would be so I want to keep my old medicines available just in case, together they were good combination and my flights were less nauseated than usually. Eating is hard for me in a plane so after eating I started to feel nausea and took the pill, after that I was fine the rest of the flight. In my previous flights I have started to feel nausea again after every 3 hours. Flying feels still uncomfortable for me, but with the patch I didn't get as much motion sickness than what I would get without it.

Animals were making our christmas happier and warmer, my dad and his girlfriend have the cutest Chinese crested puppy and persian cat, and my mother's boyfriend has a tiny dachshund.

Our christmas was lovely and worth of the long traveling time even though we couldn't spend many days in Finland. My family and my husband could finally meet each other and like I hoped, my family loved him and they got along really well even though my family doesn't speak english so they don't share a common language. I think it was also a good time for Yonggun because he said he didn't had experienced christmas like this before. Hardest part for me is to leave my young siblings behind and I know that it's hard for them too, they also really liked Yonggun. I also miss how easy it is to communicate in Finnish, without needing to think what the other just said or how to answer, when the words just come out of your mouth automatically and you have much more options of how to express yourself. After all it's good to be back in Korea too, Korea is my home now.

New Years eve we didn't do anything special, Yonggun's friends visited and we went to sleep before the year turned to 2016. Next day I went to buy books for me because I want to try to read now when I don't have any homeworks to read. I should also study some Korean so I bought some new Korean text books too. 2015 was challenging but one of the best years ever of my life so I'm also really hopeful for 2016. Last year was filled with changes and new things, this year will be more about adapting and getting used to of my new life. I want to continue to explore Seoul and Korea more, too.

I also got my grades and I couldn't be happier with them, I'm actually shocked how good they are! 1 is English debate and presentation, 2 is understanding culture (basics of anthropology), 3 is theory and practice of international relations, 4 is Korean politics, 5 is understanding of Korean thoughts, 6 is future studies and 7 Minerva culture class. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the amount of A+, even though I knew I worked hard. I'm also super thankful to my professor of debate and presentation, because I wasn't good, I tried my best and probably did a little bit progress, but I was so nervous that I don't think that my speeches were good enough. Honestly I don't think that my grades will look this good ever again, but I will continue to try my best and I must start to study even harder. These are the results of my first semester in University and they are the best grades I've ever got in my life. Same time I feel guilty, because I know that for Korean students it's much harder to get similar grades with me even if they would be better than me because of the unfair grading system based on a curve. If I would be graded similarly, I don't think that I could do it... International students are graded just based on their own performance, and that's how everyone should be graded.

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