Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Round of 16 in the world cup


We went to see the match between Spain and Portugal from big screen in Madrid. There was great atmosphere and a lot of more people than in the match against Switzerland. Before the kick off atmosphere was raised with various well known Spanish songs and everyone was singing along. During the match middle fingers were shown to Portugal players but Cristiano Ronaldo got some support from the fans of Real Madrid. Normally you cannot see many girls in football matches but in the national team matches almost half of the viewers are girls. After the won match people were singing various songs and playing bull fighting with the cars. Singing echoed in the whole train station while waiting for the train.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Castle of Sforzesco

This weekend I have been in Milan. We had reunion with the Erasmus friends and we were eight. It was great to see after long time. Everyone else went already home but I am going back to Madrid tomorrow. We walked around Milan and tried some Italian foods. In Italy it is popular to buy hand made Ice cream from gelateria and then enjoy it in the street. I learned interesting things about how italians communicate. It is fine to speak on other people when they are talking and it is not rude it is just sign that the other person is very into the conversation. Another thing is that someone might just start reading a book but still wants to communicate with you. For finnish person it is a sign that the other person is not interested and does not want to be talked to.

Thursday, June 24, 2010



Midsummer was celebrated yesterday in Spain. Here was also big bonfire like in Finland. After the bonfire had almost burned down people jumped over it. Midsummer party is not as important as in Finland and it was here much more peaceful.

Few days ago there was a big free concert and half of the people watched the concert from the screen because there was not enough space to see the stage. The performer was popular Spanish group called Estopa but I did not like it much. In general I do not Spanish rock/pop music. It was great to here Spanish people singing along the must popular songs.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tourism and experiment in Madrid

Palacio Real

Estanque del parque del Retiro

Today I went to Madrid with Ana to do sight seeing. Madrid is known of pickpockets and I have heard that some Erasmus students have been the robbed. I wanted to make an experiment by putting wallet with no money into my back pocket and see if my wallet would be robbed. We were walking in the touristic places but I was not robbed. I would like to repeat the experiment and use also metro.

Park Retiro is very beautiful and popular among people. People go there to picnic, jogging, rowing into fake lake or take a walk. Palacio Real is the old house of the royal family of Spain. We also saw other parks and sight seeing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reply to an invitation

When you ask from someone in Spain that would you like to come to an event next week you will get almost always positive reply. Finally when the event is you will see that the person you invited did not come and did not even advise you for cancelling. You have to always advise also in the same day about the event you told last week. Then it is possible to get a negative reply no matter how excited positive reply you got last time. In Finland yes means yes and you will get reply like I do not know if someone is not 100% sure that he is attending.

I remember that Spanish teacher taught us to reply for questions with excitement even you could not make it. For example like this, "I would love to come but I have to study". On the contrary in Finland it is common and just fine to say just "No, I cannot come because I have to study".

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fan zone

Fan zone next to the Santiago Bernebéu

Spain played their first world cup match against Switzerland and lost it. We went to see the match to Madrid next to the Santiago Bernabéu. There was two big screens, activities organized, free marketing material given by the organizers and 20 000 people watching the match in the fan zone. Atmosphere was better than in the match of Real Madrid which I saw despite Spain lost and match was not as entertaining as the match in Santiago Bernabéu.

Now you can see more Spanish flags in the street picture than normally. In Spain only one match each day is shown on free television channel. After the group phase all the matches are shown on pay TV. If Spain qualifies their matches will be shown on free TV channel.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Credit earning goal reached

The principal building of the university of Alcalá

I have now reached the goal to earn at least 50 ECTS credits during my exchange period. I have earned now 53,5 ECTS credits and still waiting results of few exams. Campus Europea exchange program promises recognition of studies abroad but I will find out that after showing my transcripts to my university.

In Spain there is a habit to celebrate graduation before you have actually completed the career. Students might still have exams after the graduation party or be waiting still some results. When they do not pass these last exams they have to continue still studying until next exams or even a whole year. For me that seems quite strange and I did not get any explanation for this celebration before you have finished your career.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Yesterday I had my last exam which means that now I am on holidays. I had never before made exam on Saturday.

Yesterday my floorball club had 10th birthday. Matches were played between different teams and after the matches we had dinner in a restaurant. These were my last matches and I said good bye to my teammates.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


In Spain all the kiosks are held by Chinese people therefore kiosks are called "Chino" which means Chinese. They are open during all the holidays when other places are closed and they keep doors open until midnight. Chinos sell illegally strong alcohol after ten o'clock when supermarkets are not allowed to sell it anymore. Alcohol is hidden so people have to ask it from the counter and then they bring it from the stock. Everyone knows about their illegal business and it seems that the police cannot do nothing about it. Tobacco is not sold in supermarkets you have to buy it from the machines in bars or from shops specialized only for selling smoking products but also Chinese kiosks run little illegal business by selling cigarettes.

Monday, June 7, 2010


After being nine months without drinking fresh milk I decided to buy one bottle to try it. Instead of fresh milk I have been drinking milk which is kept at room temperature before opening. I did not know before Spain that there is milk which can be kept out of the fridge. Expiration date is two weeks in fresh milk and few months in the other milk. Fresh milk is two times more expensive than the other one. I did not notice big difference in the taste so I will keep on drinking this cheaper milk last month.

Drinking milk is not as popular in Spain as in Finland. Here water is much more popular drink with meal. In Finland all the children drink milk with meal and it is considered unhealthy if children choose water instead of milk.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Special curtains


In Spain special curtains called "persiana" are pulled in front of the window to make house dark. I asked from a American guy translation for these special curtains but he did not know any word. I saw also persiana in Italy during my visit. Spanish people have wondered how it is possible to sleep if you do not darken the room with persiana. Before coming to Spain I was used to sleep also in a room which is not very dark but lets see if it is possible after sleeping months in a very dark room.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I have ran in to the little conversation few times in the streets. During this year I have been asked few times by strangers about my floorball stick and they always think I play with skates. They can also see that I am a foreigner so they naturally ask where am I from. When I have replied Finland they have said "oh, there is the volcano". Then I have to correct that it is Iceland where the volcanoes are.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Flight booked

Today I booked my flight back to Finland. I will be returning on the 5th of July. First I will take four hour flight from Madrid to Riga, change plane in Riga and fly two and a half hours to Kuopio. My estimated arriving time is 23:00. Price of the flight ticket was 216€.

I could not find anyone to rent my flat in Finland and I do not want to be paying rent of two flats therefore I am returning even I would have enjoyed to stay more time in Spain. 35 days left in Spain.