Kicking off the barbecue season

April 19, 2015

Let me present to you, the Bacon Explosion, a dish that will clog your arteries, and send your cholesterol values through the roof.

That would be two kilograms of sausages and two kilograms of bacon.

Some back story might be needed. We’ve had some guests from the US at our Helsinki office, and one of them brought with him the recipe for this awesome dish. And so it had been decided that we had to have a barbecue party on Friday. The food was awesome, and the weather, well, it was dull, gray and cold, as it usually is this time of the year.

The best part of the evening was probably talking and getting to know my colleagues.

Earlier in the week I had a whole-day meeting which was held at one of the rooms in the event hotel Huone. It was rather interesting, both the meeting and the venue, but lets talk about the location. The hotel is located on an island called “Jätkäsaari”, the fun thing with the name is if you’d translate it word by word to English, it would be called “Dude island”, the Swedish name is “Busholmen” which in turn would be translated to “Mischief islet”, it’s kind of cool that almost all places in Finland have two official names (one in Finnish and one in Swedish) and most of the time the names differ quite drastically between themselves.

I’m a bit unsure if I like or dislike the “logo” (or whatever it’s called) for Jätkäsaari, the thing I like with it is that it’s anything but prentious. But I really dislike the font choice, feels like somebody just googled for “stencil font” and went with the first result.

Anyway, I thought the meeting was going to start at 8:15 AM, and I like to be in time for things, so I arrived at 8 AM sharp. As I got there I expected to see somebody else, but it was quite empty. So I took my phone and checked who else was supposed to be there for the meeting, and that’s when I noticed that the meeting was actually scheduled for 8:45 AM, so I had to burn 45 minutes on just walking around.

The island was, until recently, just a harbor, and most of the land was used for shipping containers, but then somebody decided that they should move the harbor and build more apartment complexes, and I can fully understand why, it’s located at the tip of the southern parts of Helsinki, which would give the apartments a great view over the ocean, and I support anything that brings more apartments to people.

Ruoholahti canal, surprisingly similar to Hammarbysjöstad.

Jätkäsaari is located just south of Ruoholahti, which looks surprisingly familiar, it’s almost, a miniature, carbon copy of the Stockholm district Hammarbysjöstad, they’re both relatively young, as in the buildings look modern, the architecture is very similar, and they both have a lot of water with some parks littered around. Hammarbysjöstad was actually one of the areas in Stockholm I’d really would’ve loved to live in, it’s pretty central and seemed to have been a quiet and relaxed area, as for Ruoholahti, I have no idea what kind of area it is, except that it’s very close to the inner city (in fact, I’m tempted to say that it’s part of the inner city).

Helsinki Cathedral

One of those things that I feel is iconic for Helsinki is the main cathedral. I’d even go so far that I think it’s pretty much comparable to what Sergelstorg is to Stockholm. The funny thing with the cathedral is that I’ve never actually seen it up close, I’ve only once seen it with my own eyes, and that was from one of the Stockholm-Helsinki trips back in 2013, where I managed to catch a glimpse of it from the deck of a ferry.

The cathedral from the south, as seen from the senate square.

So I decided that now was the right time to go there, see it with my own eyes, and talk about it on the blog. The building is actually quite impressive, designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, the building is identical from all sides, and from above it’s formed as an even cross.

He died before the completion of the project, and instead it was finalized by Ernst Lohrmann, who made some changes to the building, like the four corner towers.

What speaks to me about this building is it’s prominent location, seated on top of a hill, you get a clear view of the whole building, and the fact that it’s white, a semi-unnatural color, it really comes out as an artwork. Most churches are usually a bit more toned-down, brown or other darker colors hides a lot of the forms of a building, white on the other hand really brings everything out.

The cathedral from the west, where the main entrance is located.

After seeing the church I kept on walking around the inner city. I haven’t actually done that yet, mostly because I haven’t had any reason to, but since I already was there, it felt natural to keep walking.

One of the places that I visited was the book store “Akademiska bokhandel” a shop that I visited once when I was really young, probably around eight years old, and I had this really big backpack on me, and I remember getting really stressed out because people kept pushing me around, bumping into my backpack. No wonder I don’t like crowded places.

Aleksanterinkatu, smack in the middle of inner Helsinki.

Helsinki is a really beautiful city when you take some time and actually look around, most of the buildings look fairly old, a bit like Östermalm, although not as upper-class, but a bit more down to earth, the strange thing is that there’s so many of the old buildings, seeing as Helsinki was bombed during the wars, whilst Stockholm wasn’t involved at all. The buildings are also a lot smaller than the ones in Stockholm. The only thing that I really think removes a lot of the charm from the city is all of the electrical wiring that hangs above the streets, the wiring is there for the trams, so they are needed, but they are a distraction and it feels like they’re enclosing the streets.

Game of Thrones

You might remember me talking about Game of Thrones, a series that I hadn’t though that I’d like, but still somehow ended up liking it? The fifth season just started, and I decided to get HBO Nordic, exclusively for GoT. The first month is free, which means I get the first 4 episode for free, but after that I’ll end up paying 10€ per month, not that expensive, but it adds up with the other services that I use.

Game of Thrones commercial in the shopping mall Forum.

I do wish they (as in the entertainment companies) would just get together and create one online on-demand service which would have all the content, I wouldn’t mind paying 20€-30€, seeing as I’m ending up paying that anyway, but it would be a lot more convenient, instead of keeping tabs on multiple providers. The services that I’m using, or have used, is Netflix, HBO, Viaplay, Xbox Music and Spotify as well as Steam, Origin and Xbox Live for gaming, wouldn’t it just be awesome if all of these would be combined to one service?

Had to put this picture in, even though it doesn’t really have a back story, but it’s probably the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

When I was walking back home from work one day, a noticed a truck parked on the street, the truck, as they usually are, was dirty, rusty and in a pretty beat up state. The truck had a big bumper-sticker that said, “You toucha ma car I fucka yer dog”, I couldn’t keep from laughing, I had a hard time imagining that somebody even would want to touch this truck, and I’m pretty sure the driver was well aware of this fact; adding to the humor.