SPRING!

AHOY AHOY! It’s been ages, so thought I should post something on the old exchange blog! I’m currently sitting in my living room blasting 80’s music as everyone is out and I am home alone, which is an incredibly rare occurrence, so making the most of it!

Since I last spoke to you I’ve been to Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Croatia and now am poor but its ok, I am adapting to a life where I live off bread and pasta, thank god for the 2.60 euro university cafe buffets and all it’s vegetables and salads, otherwise I would be incredibly malnourished! My trip was rad, I won’t go too much into depth because I’ll be here for hours, but was super fun! I spent most of the trip with a cold which was not so fun, but self inflicted so don’t feel sorry for me, I partied a LITTLE too hard in Budapest. It was ok in the end and I had a very nice and relaxed rest of my trip which is what I had initially wanted before I went away anyway! 
There was about a 3 day duration on my trip where I think I literally said about 10 words simply because I went to small cities and it’s off the peak season and there was just no one at the hostel, like NO ONE. So as someone who likes to be around people and talk a lot, this was quite confronting at first but in the end good and found ways to entertain myself, as seen in the video below:

https://vimeo.com/163443554

(password is “katscool” I realise that there is probably not much point of posting a link requiring a password to a public blog, where I then give you the password, but not many people read this and I am okay with the internet being aware of my daggy-ness! So enjoy my bad dancing around Europe, I was met with a few strange looks when people spotted me.)

Some pics!

St Patrcik’s Day in Budapest, they even dyed the water green…
An island in Budapest which has a 5km track around the edge! #arunnersdreamcometrue Until now I hadn’t really run in super public areas and couldn’t help myself in overtaking every single person I saw in front of me, after running again for the past few months I was fit enough to actually do which was nice, but was sore the next day.
Picturesque city of Ljubljana in Slovenia (took me a good 3 days of being there before I could spell that properly, and a local person told me my pronounciation was “pretty good”)
One of the most picturesque places on my trip #slovenia
Mostar was beautiful, but the energy of the city was intense and quite emotionally draining. You can very much feel the presence of the war from the 90’s in the people and there is still a lot of divide and tension in the city. But of course the war was not so long ago and will take a long time to recover from. That bridge was only rebuilt in 2001.
Traditional Croatian dish which is effectivelty layers of crepes and inbetween each layer a lot of cheese and cheese sauce, it was amazing…
“The Museum of Broken Relationships” this was probably one of the most depressing museums I’ve ever been too, it was really interesting to read and see, but at the same time made me sad and want to leave. Basically, people donate items that come from a relationship that fell apart and it’s sort of used as a way of I guess letting go of that relationship and with the item they donate comes with it a little story about the relationship and why/how it ended. Some were funny, but most were about when the partner had just run off or been cheating on their partner, there was even a suicide letter, so yeah, was super heavy…
I spent easter here with an a couple I had been hanging out with for the last few days. We sat on big lounge chairs all afternoon and drank cider, was a wonderful day. My poor fragile Finnish winter skin suffered and was quite burnt the next day. (Dubrovnik)
The single day on my trip where it rained.
Zadar! My favourite city on my trip! This is called “greeting to the sun” it’s this big reflective circle, as tou can see, and reflects the sunsets each night! I made friends with two french guys and we sat here for a good hour or so drinking beers, which was great! (I’d recovered from my sickness by the time I got to Croatia as you can see)

Coming back here after my trip, Helsinki really felt like home and I missed it a lot. Things that I hadn’t expected to miss I found myself realising I had once coming back. When I first got here I found it so strange that everyone just kept to themselves and didn’t interact with strangers or make eye contact with you on the street or engage in small talk of any form. But I’ve come to really like that now, it’s so peaceful. You can just get on with your day and just talk to the people you actually want to talk to and care about and not have to have pointless small talk about the weather or how your day has been to the lady working at the till of the supermarket, who you’ll probably never see again. The peacefulness and quietness I really missed and felt instantly calm when I arrived back again.

I had quite an intensive workshop straight away after coming back which was so awesome, quite exhausting and a shock to the system after 3 weeks off, but a lot of fun none the less! I am going to miss this University so much, it’s so amazing and all the teachers are so inspiring and they offer the best courses and workshops and I am learning so much and feel so much more inspired than I ever did at Swinburne. I don’t plan to do a Masters, but if I ever did I would definitely come back here and recommend this university to anyone studying in a creative field. ANYWAY, back to the workshop! So it was all about space and how we interact with the spaces around us and then sort of about installation art/art and how we can create meaningful things with the things we make and where and how we place them in the environment around us so they compliment eachother and work together to convey whatever meaning we are trying to get across. The guy who came to teach it to us flew over from Poland and was such a funny man and had a good sense of humour, so we got along well and he was thoroughly amused with my project concept. I wont go through the whole process of how I reached my final result cos is probably not so interesting to you, but I did a campaign about safe sex and STI’s and the slogan was “always cover your trunk” and then the idea was to make big installation condoms that you would put over trees in public spaces. The poster and photoshop mockups are SUPER rough because it was only a 3 day workshop and the focus was on concept rather than outcome, but here you go!

Installation on the harbour of Helsinki
Campaign poster

So that was a fun 3 days and my teacher told me at the end he liked my project the most and was really happy with that I had done which was nice!

Then I had another week off lol but had to work on a project for my masters subject I am doing, cos it’s all very self driven, which I am not so good at, so trying to get lots of that done! Am making a travel guide for Iceland, so it’s educational for both my uni subject and also good research for my trip #winning. Then the rest of the week I spent partying and hanging out with friends which was lots of fun as always! It’s gonna be hard to leave this place, am having such a fun time here! But of course it can’t be forever, so just making the most of it while I am here! 
Then this week I have another intensive workshop on games design which is SO FUN! We literally just learn about how to make games (more card/board games) and then split up into groups and make up our own games and then test eachothers and then do again each day and yeah, is great! My brain is fried at the end of each day, but is a lot of fun!

Yeah I mean that’s a brief rundown of what’s been going on lately, there’s been so much but they are the main things that come to mind for now! Anyway, till next time!

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