Friday, August 24, 2012

Got new mobile phone

I just got a new mobile phone from my office. It's a Sony Xperia Acro S. I have been waiting for this phone for over a month now. Finally I got it today. What a nice start of weekend :)

My previous mobile's touch screen stopped working last month. I returned the phone to our secretary and my manager told me that I can order a new phone. Our secretary provided me a list of few android based handset. I already knew that a new Sony model is coming in August. So I kept my patience and decided to wait for it. It was released in Asia in the first week of August but it took some time to come to Europe. Last week our secretary informed me that this phone is available to order now. I took the offer right away. At first I thought it wouldn't take more than 3 days but it took a week since it was coming from Sweden.

There are mainly three reason for choosing this phone. Aside from the smart look and high processing capability this handset i) is water and dust resistance which is totally new feature for a mobile handset, ii) has a scratch resistance shatter proof glass (scratch resistance is not new but shatter proof is something new in mobile phone) and iii) has a very powerful camera (12.1 mega pixel and HD video of 1080p). I am not going to tell about other features since you can find those in several other mobile phones. If you wanna check the full specification go here.

For last one month I have been using a very old Nokia phone which comes with button keypad and you can do very basic thing like making call and sending text with it. I was eagerly waiting to taste the new Sony Android phone. However I haven't missed smart phone much for this period. My 25 minutes long bus journey in the morning became more visual - I see more, hear more and also I observe my surrounding more. I hope the new phone will make my life easier but won't help me to turn into a zombie in the street with an earphone on always :)

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A surprise evening

15 August, 2012 was an evening full of surprise. I got a nice gift, nicely wrapped with a rose from my wife. The cover of the gift was also made by herself with the carton of paper :P It was really well made and I liked it very much. She also made a nice cake which I had to cut by myself. The reason she made something special for me is it's a special day for us. One year back on this very day for the very first time I accepted her dinner invitation in her home :)

We were not married at that time. On this day she called me while I was still working. She asked me for a dinner in her place. I was thinking for a while and then I accepted the invitation. I came to her place straight from work. When I arrived she was cooking. When she finished with cooking she told me to wait in the kitchen and went in her room. Surprisingly she wore a sari. If my memory doesn't betray me it was a black one. She came out of her room and I must say that she looked very beautiful. There were Aurthohin music going on in her pc. The nice dinner together turned the evening solemn. After around half an hour I left to catch my bus back home. She came to the bus stop to see me off. We were not so happy since I am leaving her in her place after such a nice evening. I sooth myself with the thought "That day is not so far when we don't have to depart from each other after dinner".

This year Sharmin made this evening special again with surprise. We were listening the same songs and gossiping about the same evening one year back :) We were smiling. One year has been passed - time just flies but good memories do stay in your mind and when you reminisce about those you feel happy :)

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Best EID ever in Finland

Yesterday I have passed the best Eid ever in Finland. Since I have come to Finland this is my 5th Eidul Fitr. The last 4 Eids I have missed my home so much and on Eid day I felt really sad. Well, I still miss my home but in this year's Eid I was not sad. I was enjoying it to the fullest. I talked to my mom over the phone and she heard my happy voice. It all became possible because of my beloved wife with whom I was spending my whole Eid day :)

The first Eid activity started with the Eid prayer. We wake up very early in the morning, around 6:45 am. We freshen up, took bath, got ready and went to the Eid prayer hall together. We met many Bangladeshi folks there. I guess more than 500 Bangladeshi people were present. I was really amazed to see these many countrymen. Straight from the prayer we went to one neighbor's home to have breakfast. Around 20 people were taking breakfast together with shemai, payesh, polao, fish kabab and beef curry. It was a perfect breakfast for Eid day.

Lunch party in Otaniemi was the next activity of the day. It was arranged by the student community of Otaniemi. They ordered food from a restaurant, so nobody had to cook for 60 persons except from the dessert. Saber, one of my friends, prepared the shemai for dessert. We were there for 4 hours - ate a lot, had a great adda and played some card games. From Otaniemi we returned home around 6 pm.

We invited some friends to our home to have dinner. Some of them couldn't make it unfortunately due to their tight schedule. Finally 9 persons came in the evening. We served chotpoti and jorda shemai as starter. We were gossiping and watching funny videos from youtube. Around 10:30 we took our dinner. For the dinner we had polao, fish kabab, chicken korma, beef curry, prawn with onion, olive pickle followed by zorda and payesh(prepared by Shumanta da) as dessert. Don't be afraid, we prepared everything except from the polao the previous night :)

The guests left around half past 11. We were so tired after a day full of activities but we felt so happy. It felt like a perfect Eid. Both of us did the hard work together and made this happen - Eid with flavor from our home. We were also lucky that it was on weekend, otherwise it would be a bit difficult. For us, the day ended with a tired body but happy heart. This was absolutely the best Eid I have ever had in Finland. Thanks my dear Sharmin to make it special :)

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Rome trip, 2012

Rome trip was executed nicely. Everything went as planned and we returned to Finland on June 1. The trip started on 28 May, 2012. We headed to Tampere by train since we had Ryanair flight from Tampere-Rome(Ciampino). We reached Tampere around 14:00 and stayed in Farzan vi's, one of my friends, place until 18:00. Our flight departure time was 20:35. We reached the airport on time. Also the flight was on time to reach Ciampino. It was almost 23:00 local time when we landed. We took airport shuttle bus to Roma Termini - the main terminal of Rome located in the center. It was midnight by then. We took a night bus N9 from Termini to go to our hotel. We reached the hotel without any problem. It was a big surprise for me to see the hotel lobby is under renovation. I was a bit scared also to think that the whole hotel might be under renovation. But as soon as we went to 5th floor (to our room) after checking in I was happy to see the room. It was a nice, comfortable, cozy room. We were tired enough to go to bed right away and fell asleep quite fast. For the record, we stayed in Hotel Caravel

We woke up early next morning, had buffet breakfast in hotel cafeteria and then headed to Termini to buy the Roma pass. We planned to stay 3 days here, so Roma pass would be quite convenient since it covers all the public transportation for 3 days with 2 attractions included. We bought the Roma pass from Termini and headed to Colosseum. We went there by metro. When we came out of the metro station I saw it right away. There it is, the Colosseum, which I am fascinated about. It stands there still with a strong gesture. I couldn't wait anymore to go inside but I was so disappointed to see the huge queue in front of the ticket counter. Hundreds of people are waiting there. Here the Roma pass paid off. We didn't have to wait in the queue to buy the ticket, we just walked in. We started to explore one of the most famous things created by Roman empire. We were there for several hours, we roam around and took many pictures. I was amazed to see the structure. How could they build such a thing over thousand years back :-O

From the Colosseum we could see Arch of Constantine (Arco di Constantine). We went closer to see closely. From there we went to Roman Forum (Forum Romanum). We were walking inside the archeological areas and saw many things there. I don't remember everything but I can name few such as Arch of Titus (Arco di Tito), Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vesta and the church of San Luca e Martina. These are all linked by Sacra Via, the main road through the Forum. There was also Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine which is the biggest building in Roman Forum. Roman Forum is so big and it was a sunny day which made us thirsty quickly. Good that have have small water source here and there from where you can fill up your water bottle. After finishing the Roman Forum we were very hungry. We went to Termini to have lunch. We took lunch in a Pizza shop and headed to our next destinations which are Spanish steps (Piazza di Spagna), Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi), Pantheon, Piazza Novona and a famous ice cream shop named Giolitti.

We started from Spanish steps. It didn't look very special to me. It's just an ordinary Roman square with a very small fountain. We didn't spend much time there. There were road sign how to get to Trevi Fountain. We walked and suddenly found ourselves in front of a huge fountain. I didn't expect such a huge one. I was so amazed. There were lot of people as well. Many of them were throwing coins into the water. We did the same as well. We spent some time there and headed for Pantheon. It was a bit hard to find the Pantheon since there was no clear road sign from Trevi Fountain. It took us more than 20 minutes to find correct direction.  Finally we found the Pantheon. I liked it. It's a big temple with a whole on top of it. It's structure is so much different than the other Roman temples.

After the Pantheon it's time to find out the ice cream shop Giolitti. Again we had difficulties to find correct direction but this time it didn't take long find the right path. It was a big ice cream shop with many different flavors. Both of us took cone with 3 flavors. They tasted really good. We were heading to Piazza Navona with the ice creams in our hands. Piazza Navona is a big square. There were many street artist performing portrait, caricature and so on. We also decided to have our caricature for 10 euros. Unfortunately we were a bit tricked by the nice sketches hanging beside the guy. He was not very good and I was disappointed to see our caricature. It looks like he wanted to do our portrait but couldn't get it right :( Anyway this was the last place in our itinerary for the first day. So we returned to the hotel.

For dinner we went to Termini again and found a Bangladeshi restaurant which looks quite nice. We took grilled chicken with naan ruti. It was delicious and fairly cheap. We came back to hotel with the pleasure of a satisfactory dinner. We already decided to choose bus for our means of transportation so that we can see the city better. Rome at night seemed beautiful. Here goes some pictures from the first day:

Waiting in Tampere airport

On board, on the way to Ciamnpino, Rome

In the hotel lunge, I was so disappointed to see it's under renovation

Felt better when we went upstairs

I was happy to see the nice room :)

Nice comfortable, cozy bed

 Another corner with tele

I like the basin so much and couldn't help taking a picture :P

Morning view from our hotel balcony

We started our exploring from Colosseum

Another view of Colosseum

The highest part of Colosseum

From the top of Colosseum

Another side from Colosseum

Arch di Constantine from Colosseum

From the highest gallery you can go in Colosseum

These are the skeleton of some animals died in gladiators' hands

Souvenir shop outside

Arch di Constantine

Inside the archaeological site where the Roman Forum was built

The hot sun on top made her thirsty :P

The Roman Forum

Piazza di Spagna

Spanish steps, a big fashion show held in this place every year

Typical Roman streets

Piazza di Trevi, Fontana di Trevi

Throwing coin to make sure you return

I did the same :)


The famous hole on top of Pantheon

I guess this is the skulpture from Bernini which Robert Langdon was talking about in Angels and Demons

Italian ice cream (gelato) bought from the famous shop Giolitti

Piazza Navona  

The second day started the same way as the first day did - buffet breakfast in hotel cafeteria :) We had plan to visit Vatican on the second day. We believed our hotel receptionist and took the bus from hotel since she told us that it goes to Vatican. Soon we realized that we made a wrong choice when we got off from bus. It's quite far from Vatican museum. We had to take another bus to reach there. We had our tickets bought online already, so it didn't take long to enter into the museum. We started from one side and after walking more than an hour we revealed from the map it was only a small part of the whole museum. We became anxious whether we would be able to finish it by the day. So we started walking faster. There were lots of famous paintings and sculptures. At some point it started to feel a bit monotonous but still fabulous. I liked the sculptures made of marble most. There were lots of other variations.

We had our lunch in one of the museum's cafe. We rested our legs a bit and started again to finish the museum. When we finished it was almost around 5 PM I guess. From the museum we walked towards St. Peter's Basilica. This is the largest basilica in the world. it took around 15 minutes walk from Vatican Museum. The basilica is really big. Also the yard in front was like a football field. We did roam around and took some pictures. Then we decided to come back since those are the only ones in our itinerary for the second day. Also it was getting late. So we returned to our hotel. I was so tired that I fell asleep after taking a shower. We went to Termini again to have dinner, it was quite late already. Still there were many food shops open but we had dinner in the same restaurant with a different menu. After dinner we roam around the center for a while and came back to the hotel. Here are some pictures from the second day:

Going to Vatican Museum, that is the wall of the museum

Sending a post card, later I came to know that it was for me :P

In front of the famous two layer stairs in Vatican Museum

One of Micheal Angelo's work. There were hundreds :-S

From the terrace of the museum, you can see the top of St. Peter's Basilica

With Anubis :)

That is hell of a bath-tub :-O

Me in front of the bronze Herculis statue

The circular hall designed(even the floor) by Micheal Angelo

Mother of beasts

Just a purple bowl made of marble. She wished if she could take it home :P

The most ancient bell ever found

Aztek warrior in festive attire

Some very old skulpture found in America. I forgot how old it is :(

Trying to touch? :P

Just as the boy, I was also exhausted :-(

Another shot in front of the stairway

In front of the exit door of the museum

St. Peter's Basilica

The obelisc in the middle of St. Peter's Basilica

The third day also started in the same fashion. We didn't have many places for this day. We wanted to be a bit relaxed. Though it turned out to be a tiring day. We started from Santa Maria Maggiore. It's very close to Termini. It's one of the four Patriarchal Basilicas of Rome. We didn't spend much time there. From there we went to St. John in Lateran which is the most ancient church in the world. It's a big one and the surroundings are also nice. We spent about an hour in this church. Then we plan to go to Piazza Venezia. This was not in our itinerary but when we reached there we felt that it would be a great miss if we wouldn't go there. The piazza itself is not very special but the ministry of art and culture is located beside the piazza and that is really nice. It has museum and you can even go to the top of the building. Also there is a tower starting from the roof and if you go to the top of the tower you can see the whole Rome. We also took that ride to the tower. It was worth 14 euros for both of us. We were very tired that we skipped Mouth of Truth (La Bocca Della Verita) which is located in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. We planned to visit Trevi fountain once again in the evening. So we came back to hotel to have some rest. Unfortunately we were so tired that we fell asleep and couldn't wake up early enough to go to Trevi. So we went to center and found another piazza near by and went there before we have our dinner in an Italian restaurant. We had dinner with pasta and lasagna. I liked the food. After dinner we were roaming around for a while, had cappuccino and returned to hotel to spend our last night in Rome. Here goes the pictures from the third day:

Third day starts, in front of the hotel

Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four famous basilicas in Rome

Other side of Santa Maria Maggiore

In front of Piazza di Venzia, the building is the ministry of culture and heritage

It's just a picture, we couldn't figure out where it is in Vatican :(

Trying to be kid again :)

On top of the ministry building, in Piazza Venezia

Rome from the top

St. John in Laterano

People are climbing holy stairs only on their knees, fyi, we didn't :P

The most ancient church in the world in St. John in Laterano

Granting excuse of Pope :D

An African tourist group in an interesting uniform inside the ancient church :)

Tomb of some pope (I forgot)

Pope mathay pathor felse ;-(

In the evening, in front of our hotel

This was our hotel in Via Cristoforo Colombo

Piazza di Republica in the evening

I was sleeping deeply in that afternoon, still look tired

We couldn't manage to visit mouth of truth, so just took a picture from a souvenir shop :P

A steak house in city center. From the cow I am pretty sure the steak would be nice but we didn't eat there.

Rather we went to an Italian restaurant and ate lasagna and spaghetti

Happy to see the food on the table :D

It was too late to have coffee. The shops were closed, unhappy face :-)

Finally got a coffee shop called Moka and had late night cappucino

Just got a nice gift (the cap) from Sharmin

Our pizza shop for 3 days

The next we had return to Finland. Our flight was around 15:00 and we planned to be in the airport by 14:00. After taking breakfast in the hotel cafeteria we checked out around 10. We went to Termini again because airport bus will leave from there. We still had two more than an hour in our hand, so we were checking out different shops. I got a nice cap from Sharmin as a gift. You will see it in the last picture. When time comes we bought pizza for our lunch and got in the bus. At first the bus driver didn't want to allow us with pizza but we assure him that we won't open it inside the bus, we will eat it in the airport. So he agreed to let us in but later we figured out even if didn't open the pizza box it spreads its nice mouthwatering smell all over inside the bus :P We didn't wait long after reaching the airport, we finished our pizza and passed the security check right away. Then it's only boarding and coming back to Tampere safely. Well we did return safely and that's why I am writing this right now :) This is my first trip abroad with Sharmin alone. I enjoyed it a lot and it will be a memorable trip always :)

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