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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

I decided to write here some of my thoughts on presents for loved ones, be it Christmas, birthdays or other occasions. My principle when buying presents is very simple: keep it simple and don’t complicate yourself. For the people I know and sometimes acquaintances I have the following rules:

  1. Keep it minimal. Buy few things but usually quality ones. I sometimes buy just one, maximum two items but I take care that the quality is very good. For example, handicrafts, handicraft shops or fairs are perfect to buy presents. The presents can be also food.
  2. Ask the person. I do that almost all the times in order to avoid buying unnecessary stuff or stuff they don’t like. The can tell me few things and I choose something from those things. Of, course it might now be a surprise but I prefer to offer them something they will really use instead of a disappointing surprise. In case you don’t know the person, money can be a very good idea. At least here, we do that quite a lot. I also received money for my birthday and I didn’t mind because it came in really handy, for example I once loaded my bus card for a month during winter.
  3. Presents don’t always have to be things. I got this idea from my friend who invited me to a cake buffet. You paid a certain sum and ate as much cake as you wanted. You could invite your friend to a restaurant, a concert, a trip, a movie etc. Experiences can make the best presents sometimes.
  4. Gift cards. Different shops have gift cards for different sums of money. This is a bit similar with money offering but it can be used only in that certain shop. It works great for people you don’t know that well and it could be for a shop with a wide profile of products so they can choose from. Gift cards saved me from situations where I was invited to different occasions by people I didn’t know very well. It is an honor that they thought of me but sometimes it can be challenging when it comes to presents.

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In the shade of the recent unfortunate events and finding this article online, i decided to write my piece of mind about this matter. Few days ago, i opened my facebook at the sad news that the singer from Linkin Park has died. I did listen a lot to this band while in high school. I never knew though that Chester was suffering from depression. I was sad to hear that but i got sadder and even angrier at the way people talked about depression and suicide. People dismissing depression as just a phase, not a real illness and one can just get over it.

I never suffered from severe depression so i can’t even talk about it but i would never ever dismiss it. Depression is a very serious illness with severe consequences and it destroys lives. I’ve met people suffering from it and what it struck me was actually my incapacity to help them. Because depression is a serious disease and needs specialized medical attention. As a friend you can be supportive but never dismissing. That is one of the worst things you can do, be dismissive. Although to be honest, sometimes i wish i could do more for them than just tell them to be strong.

But, now to be honest, i wasn’t shocked. I was angry, i was sad but not shocked. Because i have gone through the same thing, that means people dismissing and judging me for my illness. And my illness is physical not mental. So, if i was judged because of a chronic physical illness, i can’t even imagine how much shit people with mental illnesses get.

I’m suspected of a chronic auto-immune disease that has no treatment for the moment although I’ve might have had it (according to specialists) since i was a teenager. Because it is understudied, the delay in diagnosis could take up to 20 years and in my case i have not yet a clear diagnosis because i need surgery which for the moment i’m foolishly postponing it because i’m shit scared of it. The only treatment for now is hormonal and surgical which doesn’t sound glamorous at all. Unfortunately, i had to put up with lots of condescending attitudes from people starting from the “it can’t be that bad”, “you are exaggerating”, “it’s just a fuss”, “it can’t be that serious” to people who downright attacked my medication saying that it’s not natural, i’m destroying myself, i should try voodoo medicine and not trust doctors and then explaining to me the side effects as if i am some stupid kid who can’t read the labels or understand them. Funny thing is i don’t even know most these people personally.

Here are some guidelines for these people who like to play the know it all specialists:

  • If you are not sick or never been sick, you have no idea what i’m going through. So before opening your mouth to say stupid things, think. I never open my mouth to give advice to a person with severe depression because i have no idea what they are going through.
  • Are you a doctor? No? Stop giving medical advice. Of course, suggestions are always welcome but don’t talk like a know it all.
  • STOP JUDGING MY MEDICATION! I have been to a doctor for that and i’m sure that after years of studying, they know what they are doing. Much better than you ever will. In my case, the pills i am taking are the only ones who can make me function and keep my illness under control (for the moment). When you find a cure or a better treatment for it, come and announce me. Until then shut up. I know very well what i am taking, i know it has risks and side effects, i know what those are. I’m an adult, not a two year old toddler. Do you think i enjoy taking some pills which have risks of cardiovascular disease, blood clots and other charming side effects? No! We have no choice for the moment.
  • Take off your tin foil hat and stop blaming some conspiracy stuff and big pharma. Yes, i know companies are greedy but without some of the medicines we have now, some of us would be dead. There is no secret maybe but i usually hear this rhetoric from anti-vaxers who see everything a conspiracy out there to get them.
  • Voodoo medicine aka homeopathic. Tried that honey, it didn’t work. I have nothing against it but following the logic of big pharma what makes you think there aren’t the same kind of people who would like to make a profit selling sugar water to desperate people? I do take some supplements along with my medicine but relying only on supplements would be very foolish. I do have some friends though who gave me very good hints (tested ones) from people with same symptoms as i. I appreciate that a lot and of course i’m going to try them. But under no circumstances they dismissed conventional medicine.
  • There is no magic way out, there is no magic pill to make us healthy. Instead of being judgmental, don’t say anything at all if you have nothing supportive to say. I will give you a hint though, what i usually tell my friends who are struggling with an illness. I wish them all the best, to stay strong and if there is anything they need just ask. That’s it. It’s very easy not to be an asshole. 🙂

 

walkinmyshoes

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I thought of writing this article after I got fed up with the endless articles about birth rates declining and the constant blame put on women because they choose to pursue higher education. I thought that we left this behind many decades ago but as I can see this is the number one scapegoat most people around here prefer to point at. I won’t get into the importance of education nowadays because when it comes to pursue one, it’s each to its own, I would say it better to have one than none at all.

The ones who are usually barking so much on the subject are men who complain about their poor peers who remain in the countryside, choose to stay out of school or pursue a professional school and then remain single because those “damn harpies” choose careers and move to the big cities. They usually come up with apocalyptic future scenarios of old spinsters, damnation, cats and loneliness. In addition to that they are also complaining that these women are too picky, too stuck up and that nothing is good for them.

My first thought is, then why don’t you go and get an education yourself? Why are you jealous on a person who wants to build a future for themselves and their world doesn’t revolve around yours? Because believe it or not, you are not the center of the universe and no person owes you anything.  You miss the good old days when women were barefoot, knocked-up in the kitchen? Then be prepared to have a super income because nowadays you can rarely manage on one salary. The biggest problem with these people is that they live in the past, in a world of fantasy.

Being dependent and relying on a guy (of one’s free will) is perhaps the most stupid thing you can do. But again, I also guide myself on “the best person to rely on is yourself” philosophy. You never know when the other one will kick you in the curb or you know, misfortunes happen. I was also taught wisely by my parents that it’s better to have your own finances and never rely on anybody.

Nobody stops you from studying and earning a degree if you want. Not in Finland where (for the moment) there are no tuition fees. But some people don’t want higher education and others are not meant for it. Which is fine. But stop complaining and blaming other people for your incapacities or laziness. And stop blaming the system that it favors girls. If you really want to achieve something, no system will stay in your way. I saw proof with my own eyes and of both genders.

Blaming women that they are too picky is rather shallow I would say. As mentioned before, nobody is entitled to like you. These women have their own preferences, own personalities and own minds and they’d better be picky if it is about something so important as sharing life with somebody. It’s better being alone that be with somebody just for the sake of being and then realize you share nothing in common or even hate each other.

As for the profession part, these “critics” must live underground because lots of us are not hunting for a profession. For me it is a deep insult to hear that I’m a stuck up academic bitch who doesn’t even look at blue collar workers. Profession has never been an issue when I connect with another person because I look at that person as a human being not at a profession. One of my top priorities is mutual respect. If that is missing, I’m sorry to say but it won’t work. I never looked down on any person because of their profession (sadly I can’t say that was mutual, I’ve been humiliated many times while working blue collar jobs). Professions can change but the dynamics between two persons is much more complicated and I doubt that a profession or education has so much to do with it. My partner didn’t even attend high school and I have two MA’s and I must say that it would be quite a shock for these people who can do nothing more but judge. It’s true, I did hear nasty remarks from some that how can I be in a relationship with such a person, pointing out the fact that I’m superior because of my education. Needless to say I cut any ties with these people. If you can’t respect people I care about, I don’t have any obligation to respect you. An MA diploma doesn’t make me superior in any way but the fact that I respect people the way they are and not judge them like you do, yes, that makes me superior to your judgmental ass.

And before blaming women that they are like this and like that and don’t pay attention to you, take a look at yourself first. Do you think somebody would like to be with a person who does nothing but blame others and likes to dictate how others should live? Because I wouldn’t. Before demanding things from others take a look at yourself. Are you worth it?

 

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Then he approached me so much, I could almost feel his breath on my face: “Yes, you have brown hair and eyes but you are way too white.” Said this dude after hearing where I am coming from.

“I can see you girls are of another race”, says my friend’s neighbor while we were walking together in the neighborhood. We are white Caucasian just like this neighbor.

“Are you Italian? You have brown hair and the shape of your nose is weird”. I hear at a seminar. No I’m not Italian, but close enough. I really don’t want to make conversation with you because you are rude. You just don’t comment on a random person’s outer appearance.

Plus the countless questions of where I am from and what I am doing here, some followed by suggestion to dye my hair blonde so I could be more like the locals. The fact that I speak the language fluently and I had no cultural shock whatsoever upon moving to Finland does not count. Now I should alter my looks. What next? Am I supposed to spend few thousands euros to get that weird nose fixed, too?

I am well aware of the fact though that my skin complexion worked in my favor here because otherwise I would have got nastier remarks and I think even faced violence as some of people I know did. But was negatively amazed to see how far people’s ignorance and stupidity can go. If you have a problem with the simple fact that a person has brown hair and most of people around are blonde then you don’t deserve the slightest drop of attention. To me this mentality of “change your outer appearance to blend it” is the most obvious form of following the herd. And I’ve never been good with that. It never crosses my mind to ask people about their background when we first meet and it’s definitely out of the question to make comments on their outer appearance. There are plenty of other subjects to open a conversation with and saying one of the above denotes lack of imagination.

Yes, I heard the excuse “but we are a small country and blah, blah”. That excuse would have worked maybe 50 years ago. It’s 2017 so snap out of it. People are moving around and I really hate to hear somebody playing the naive card “but what are you doing here?”. There are very few reasons why a person would choose a country and I’m definitely not interested in any of them. If they mentioned it fine, but I wouldn’t ask. Because it’s not my business.

As for dyeing my hair blonde to “fit in” let me tell you something: I would definitely hate having blonde hair. First, I really love my natural brown hair and I rarely dye it because there is no need to. If I choose so, then I would choose a color which is close to my natural one because blonde doesn’t fit me at all. Second, dyeing my hair blonde would take a significant toll on it because of the bleaching treatment, not to mention that I need to do that every time my hair grows because it looks hideous to have it half of two colors. I really don’t want to pour chemicals on my head and destroy my hair because of some people’s ignorance.

 

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The women harassment scandal that has taken Europe “by surprise”, has been also present in Finnish media. I don’t follow the media regulary but i couldn’t help notice some offended persons who started blaming Finnish men and saying that local men here are also harassing women. I took this kind of statement with a grain of salt and i’ll explain why.

I have been living in Finland for over 6 years. I’m coming from a culture who is very macho and sexual harassment of women on the street is part of our routine. I wrote here about the harassment i had to endure in Romania on several occassions. It started when i was 10 years old and it continued up to the time i moved away. Everyday. Insults, obscene remarks, touchings, gropings, threats from unknown men on the steet. I started suffering from uncontrolled fear and anxiety, sometimes i wouldn’t leave the house and i would avoid groups of men by crossing on the other side of the street. Sometimes i would call my dad, my cousins or one of my male friends to come and pick me up or accompany me. I had to plan in advance my itinerary: only lighted streets with people, so i could be safe.

As any woman, i was also blamed for the way i dressed although the people who know me, do know that i wear mostly manly clothes and the only dresses i have are covering my legs. I stopped wearing any kind of dress even an inch above my knees while i was in Romania. (And i’m far from being voluptous, i look more like an ironing board :D) Of course, my masculine outfits didn’t stop the unwanted remarks. I was usually called lesbian, satanist, satan’s whore and everything that has to do with hell (perhaps because of my rock band t-shirts and black clothing). And it did make my life a hell. At one point i couldn’t stand being around people anymore just because of this. I hated when somebody touched me even by mistake and i turned into a very agressive entity.

And then i came to Finland. And in those 6 years i have been here, i didn’t even hear a remark about my body or the way i looked from unknown persons on the street. Nobody shoted obscenities at me, nobody touched me. At least no Finnish guy. Ever. I don’t say that sexual harassment from Finnish men is inexistent just because i haven’t experienced it but what is happening now is basically throwing lots of dirt in Finnish guys because immigrants from certain cultures view women as objects.

As coming from another culture where gender equality is well behind Finland, i see this problem from a different point of view. And the majority of these people who came here are from culltures where women don’t value almost anything. It was to be expected and i’m actually not shocked at all by what is happening. But i’m very worried. Because i moved to a country where i thought i could find my peace of mind and where i’m not being yelled at, insulted and touched on the street. From my own experience (and i really don’t care what others think) Finnish guys are gentlemen. Yes, somebody might not offer me a seat or don’t hold the door for me but i don’t care about it. It is enough that you don’t insult me or shout obscenities or touch me. It is enough that you see me as another human being and leave me in my own peace.

And you know what else worries me? The fact that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

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I’ve been planning for a while to write this post after some attacks (more or less personal) about some methods of treatment and prevention i choose. I am not a hater of conventional medicine (as some called me), in fact i do use it and had benefits from it. What i do hate is the whole money grabbing idiots behind it with total disregard for the actual health of the people and the nowadays medical system which is collapsing. These two put together, you get a disaster of massive proportions when it comes to health.

To put things short, i have been harshly judged because i use some non-conventional methods of prevention and treatment. These include plants, nutritional supplements (mainly vitamins and minerals), plant-derived unguents and unprocessed food (i cook my own meals and use as much as possible basic ingredients).

Sometimes is hard to understand why some people are so agressive because i’ve never shoved C vitamin tablets down their throats and i never lectured anybody on the way they eat. If you consider your stomach a trash can, that’s not my problem. If you manage to get all your nutrients from food, good for you. I can’t because of some personal issues i won’t reveal here. (I doubt that most of people manage to get all their nutrients from food taking into account modern diets and soil depletion among others).

But why some of us slide on another route when it comes to health? I lost my hope when it comes to conventional medicine. I had so many unpleasant experiences in the last time with the medical establishment that i had to look somewhere for treatment out of desperation. When you have to wait 3 months to get an appointment with an M.D. and 6 months to see a specialist and when you finally get there – they send you home and advise you to take ibuprofen because “there is nothing to worry about, you are too young to have anything serious”. No further tests, nothing. Of course, there is the private side but that’s way too expensive for me. And no, i’m not going to homeopaths, osteopaths and other shit – those are expensive, too. (Although a massage therapist would be more than welcome.)

Everytime i complain about tiredness and gut problems, the diagnosis came in a sec…knocked up. Those supposed PCOS problems i have? Don’t worry dear, shit out some kids, they will disappear or just shut up and accept your fate as a woman (no joking, a doctor actually told me that). Pain in the chest, breathlessness, arrythmia? Oh, it’s all in your head…young ladies like you cannot have heart problems! Shall i mention the dentist who refused to write me antibiotics after i had my wisdom tooth extracted because “there is no need” and in 2 days i went back with an infection of massive proportions? I can continue of course but you get the point.

Few summers ago, i used to work in a health center. I was having my lunch break and i was so pissed because my back pains were getting worse and couldn’t sleep properly. A nurse around 50, comes in complaining about some shit, she sees me and adds: “oh, you young people know nothing about pains!” I gave her the most horrific look while imagining smashing her over the face with the metal decorative plate placed on my right side.

So when you have to wait that long and deal with medical staff’s shitty attitude what do you do? You fucking try other methods that you have access to and hope for the best. In some cases, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do and natural cures don’t work. I treated my supposed PCOS for YEARS with natural methods and i got no result. Other small things i managed to treat myself like the extremely painful warts on my footsole which disappeared in one week with tetterwort. Gut problems were resolved by taking probiotics and digestive enzymes and by avoiding white flour products. I usually do nothing to my colds because they go away on their own. I’m not a fan of medication and i usually avoid taking it but when shit hits the fan i have no choice. Like with my wisdom tooth infection…i woudn’t have managed without penicilin. I also use non-conventional treatments because i don’t like going to the doctor for every small thing. It’s not worth waiting 3 months when i know i can treat it myself and the doctor would also be completely useless…probably would give me ibuprofen and send me home. (I have to mention that in Finland almost everything is prescription based so you have to see a doctor.)

So next time, instead of barking at me for using non-conventional treatments, think that 3 months is a long waiting time and ibuprofen is not a wonder medicine. Some of us take matters in our own hands and proceed with hope. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s better to do something than nothing at all.

P.S. Of course, there are the idiots who attack you because you use conventional medicine which in their opinion is evil and the “natchural” way is the only way. 2 individuals (i never met in my life) actually jumped at my throat a while ago when i mentioned i use BC pills.

For these (and the judgy-wudgy types in general) i have a special message:

my-middle-finger-salutes-you_fb_1201062

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Healthcare is not for free

I was roaming around a Finnish group, reading some discussions about healthcare system. At one point there was a woman who mentioned the costs she had to pay when going to the dentist and to the doctor in general. She is not born in Finland and she mentioned that. Well…that made some of the Finns in the group to show their teeth and say the classical “but you should be grateful, we have free healthcare!” Just after the woman mentioned that she has to pay for it. I followed the discussion thinking that she might use the private sector which is indeed very expensive. No, it was the public sector she was talking about.

Now i have to think at those characters that jumped at her throat with free public healthcare. I have to say the same as the respective woman: public healthcare is not for free. As far as i know you pay everytime you visit the health center and it’s about 15€. It’s not an enormous sum but it is money. How can you say that it’s for free when you have to pay? Even if is lots cheaper than the private sector 15€ is still money.

The only “free” healthcare i’ve got was at the university but we still have to pay the annual student fee for it. So it’s not that “free”. And dentist costs, not much, but it’s still not “free”.

So instead of saying we have free healthcare, it would go better the we have cheap public healthcare. As long as you are patient to wait 3 months for a doctor’s appointment and lucky enough not to have some serious disease which would require expensive treatment.

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