Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An eventful year has passed. Goodbye 2013 :)

2013 was a year of lot of events for me and my family. Now we are standing at the last page of this year. I couldn't help writing a post right now, even if it's a tiny one :)

The biggest happening of this year for me is I became a father. We have got our first kid, a baby boy in November. I have told about it in my last post. This single event kept us busy for many months. During the nine months' journey and also after his birth. I think we got busier after he was born. Now a days we don't have enough time to mingle with our friends as before, but we don't mind. We are enjoying our parenthood.

Aside from that biggest event, I also graduated this year. I have finished my masters degree which was pending for several years. I just got the certificate on 20 December in a nice convocation ceremony in Tampere University of Technology. Two photos from that ceremony are given at the bottom.

Now the new year, 2014, is just knocking the door. For this year I am not going to make any wish-list. I would rather try to do things better each and everyday. Don't wanna put some resolutions in a time frame. Let's see how the new year goes :)

 The whole family in my convocation ceremony

 She couldn't help wearing my 'teekkari' cap :P

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Monday, December 2, 2013

The "waiting" is over :)

We have been waiting for so long time. Well, it may be debatable whether it's long or not but I think it's long; long 9 months and couple of weeks. We were waiting for that period of time expecting our first kid to be born. And now the waiting has been over and our first kid, Ninad, was born on Wednesday November 6, 2013. Yes we named him Ninad :)

The whole journey has lots of changes and several ups and downs. Sharmin was going through tough times. I tried to help her as much as I can, but that's actually nothing compared to what she went through. From the beginning I saw how difficult it was for her. Also at the end I watched her going through lots of pain. It was supposed to be a natural delivery but unfortunately at the very end Ninad was not doing very well and the doctor decided to do the operation. I wanted to be in the operation room but they were doing everything so fast that preparing me for the operation room would slow them down. So they didn't let me in. I was waiting in the labour room where the process started for Sharmin. After they took her I spent the longest 40 minutes of my life. Finally the midwife came and gave me the good news - it's a healthy boy and mom is doing fine as well :)

I went with the midwife to see the baby. Sharmin was still in wake up room, they kept her couple of hours there. My first feeling, when I first saw Ninad, was - he is so tiny :) I hold him in my hands and kept him for more than an hour. He was not crying or making any sound, just sleep and sleep. I was tickling his cheek from time to time to see if he is OK. At some point he was not responding to my tickle. I became so worried that I called the midwife right away. It's really strange - just an hour ago I didn't see him, I didn't know him at all; but now I became so worried about him. He spent his first hour of life on my hands and then we went to post natal ward where they brought Sharmin as well.

We had to stay in the hospital for 6 nights after Ninad was born - for his antibiotics and other check up. Then we finally came back home on 13 November. We were 2 when we left home, now came back with this new, unknown guy. I was pretty sure we would know this new guy more and more with time. He is now 26 days old and we already know quite a lot about him - how he smiles, how he cries, how he makes funny gestures and faces at times. I know we will get along nicely and raise a happy family together :) 

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Monday, August 19, 2013

First mushroom picking in Finland

Yesterday we (Sharmin and me) did our first mushroom picking in Finland. We went to Nuuksio National Park to have some cantarella mushroom. Due to our ignorance and lack of experience in mushroom picking it was really difficult in the beginning. We couldn't find any. In fact, we didn't know where to look :P But we saw lot of blue berries. So we decided to pick blue berry instead and got more than half a liter quite fast :)

While picking blue berries a lady was passing by. We saw her bucket half full with different type of mushrooms. Sharmin asked her if she can show us a bit. The generous lady opened her bucket and showed us different kinds of mushrooms and how to know them and where to look. After that we started looking into right places and soon we started to get some. Big thanks to that lady. Finally we managed to get our basket full of different type of mushrooms. Sharmin even got couple of cantarellas :)

It was a nice tracking in the afternoon. We were into the woods for almost two hours. We really enjoyed the time there and finally enjoyed our dinner with fresh picked mushrooms :)

Here is a picture in the bus on the way back home:


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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oulu trip and summer cottage 2013

We went to Oulu on 26 July. It was Friday. We stayed there for four nights and headed to summer cottage on Tuesday. It was three nights in the summer cottage and then we came back to Espoo on last Friday. So it was a week long trip full of activities and fun :)

The journey began with the pendolino train from Helsinki. I met Sharmin and Mohsin in the train station. We got into the train knowing that a 6 hours journey is ahead of us. Unfortunately my seat choosing was messed up and Mohsin has to sit in another compartment. I was very unhappy because it was me who bought the tickets.

It took one and half hours to reach Tampere and many people got down there. We went to the restaurant cart and spent next 4 hours there. We were gossiping and enjoying the wide green fields and trees so much that we didn't even notice how time passed. So at the end of the journey we were not so regretful for the distributed seat arrangement :)

Gagan came to train station to fetch us. We reached his home around 10 PM. We entered their new home. I took off my shoes and started exploring the house. It's a nice house with a big living room and kitchen and a huge terrace. There is a nice lawn after the terrace. I like it very much :) The first night went without much happenings. We were tired off the long journey, so went to bed early after dinner.

On the second day (Saturday) we went to Oulu downtown to have a look. The weather was nice, thus there were many people roaming around. We came back home, took rest for a while and headed to mini golf course near the beach Nallikari. All of us played and I was the lucky one to win :D The same day we went to the beach and played frisbee in the water. It was fun :)

The next day we were mostly relaxing in the morning. Me, Gagan and Mohsin started playing Tigris and Euphrates in the afternoon. The game lasted 4 hours. Mohsin played it for the first time but he won. After the game we went for biking. The girls were sleeping at that time. We biked for almost an hour. After that it was just being in home and gossip and playing pictioary and another game(I forgot the name).

On Monday we decided to go for swimming. We checked two lakes but Gagan was not satisfied with the crowd. He wanted some place with very less people. So we went to Nallikari beach again because it's a long one and you can find some place almost with no people. We again played frisbee in water, also swam for a while. On the way coming back home we decided to go to Koiteli in Kiminki.

Koiteli is a nice place beside river. There are several grill place. You can take your own food and have a nice barbeque there. I visited this place once before but not in proper summer. During summer it's really astonishing. From Koiteli we came back home and got mentally prepared for the summer cottage. Mohsin got his luggage ready to leave for Espoo next morning.

Me and Gagan dropped Mohsin to Oulu airport the next morning around 07:45 am. We took coffee in a coffee shop and then came back home. After taking breakfast Gagan went to have a nap because he will be driving to the cottage. We already finished our grocery for the cottage while returning from airport.

In the afternoon, around 3 PM we started our journey towards summer cottage. It was a nice 4 hours journey with multiple breaks. We met the cottage owner in his office. He doesn't speak English. Among us only Shanila speaks Finnish, so she was the savior :) She communicates with the owner and he showed us the way to the cottage and gave us the key. He also showed all the facilities. Before leaving he gave us a nice homemade chocolate cake as a part of welcome. We were so happy. The first night was not very eventful. We just walk around a bit, had late dinner and went to bed. Sharmin and me stayed in ground floor. Gagan and Shanila went upstairs.

On the second day we did barbeque, fishing, boating and sauna. Also there was enough time to relax. We managed to read novels during lazy afternoon. The next day (Thursday) was pretty much the same but we were playing badminton a bit. On Friday, we left the cottage at noon. The owner gave us two bottles of blue currant concentrated juice. All in all it was an enjoyable but relaxing cottage trip.

Our train to Helsinki will leave at 16:00 from Kuopio. So we had some time in our hand. So we went to Nilsiä, another small town near Kuopio. It's a nice place with hills and lakes. The combination was great. From Nilsiä we headed to Kuopio. It was 15:30 when we reached Kuopio train station.

The train journey from Kuopio to Helsinki was almost 5 hours. This time it was only Sharmin and me and our seat arrangement was quite OK. Still we went to the restaurant and spent the whole journey sitting there. We reached Helsinki around 20:50 and finally reached home around 21:40. Thus a week long vacation trip, full of activities and fun, came to an end :)

Here goes some pictures:

Playing frisbee on the beach

Now frisbee in wather :)

Mohsin in action in mini golf :)

Tigris and Euphrates. Everybody is so serious :P


Koiteli 2

Fire for barbeque in Koiteli

River flows continuously there :)

Wood art, on the way to cottage

Friends, on the way to cottage

Happy couple, on the way to cottage

Chappel near our cottage. The owner made it by himself.

Wooden door, nicely crafted

Our cottage

Golden light of sunset makes the cottage even more beautiful

Rear balcony, I liked the table

View from top floor

Another view

Girls watching sunset from the deck

It's Sharmin and me. You may need a magnifying glass to see us :P

Gagan and Shanila are canoeing

I was trying single row

The expert swimmer doesn't need any life vest :)

  Nilsiä, doesn't look like Finland at all

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Friday, July 26, 2013

First ever summer trip to Oulu

I went to Oulu many times before. So many times that I lost count :) But I never went there in a proper summer; either in winter, or in autumn or in spring. This is the first time I am going in summer :)

We, Sharmin and me, have decided to visit Oulu in this summer couple of months back. Mohsin also showed interest when he heard about it. So finally we are going as a three persons team. I am going to leave office after an hour and will go to Helsinki train station straight from here. It's going to be a 6 hours' long train journey. Ahhh!!! Like Sheldon and Gagan I love trains :)

We will stay in Gagan's place 3 days and after that Mohsin will come back to Espoo and We four (Me, Sharmin, Gagan and Shanila) will go to a summer cottage near Kuopio. We will stay there 3 more days and then will come back to Espoo next Friday.

There are many plans for this coming week. For sure we will have lots of fun. I will try to give update when I come back :)

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sailing among Espoo archipelago

I have had my first sailing experience yesterday among the archipelago in Espoo. It was one my colleagues, Seppo's sailing boat we took. We started from Kivenlahti and sailed around the Baltic sea for a bit over 2 hours.

On Tuesday morning we got an email from Seppo asking us about going for a sailing afternoon in his boat on the very next day. It was a very short notice because you cannot be sure about the weather in Finland several days before. Well, it was early enough for me and I decided to go. Few of our other teammates were also interested, so we were finally 5 in total - Seppo, Jarmo, Aulis, Mika and me. The primary plan was to sail for a while, stop in one of the islands, have a barbecue and then come back to Kivenlahti.

I was very excited about the trip since I heard about it. The next day I went to work with jeans and T-shirt, took my baseball cap and sunglasses with me. We left office around 16:00 and went to the harbor in Kivenlahti where Seppo keeps his boat. It was a very sunny and warm afternoon. Within 10 minutes we started the boat.

At the beginning the boat was running by engine. After around 15 minutes we were far enough from the harbor to get enough wind to put the sail on. Jarmo was with the wheel. Seppo stopped the engine and put the sail on while me, Mika and Aulis were helping him. He can handle it by himself but we were interested to participate in the activities :)

When the sail is up the boat was running with a speed of 5.5 knot. Sometimes there was heavy wind and the boat was really leaning on one side, almost felt like it's going to flip over, but the captain (Seppo) assured me that it's normal. So no need to worry because it wont flip over very easily.

After around half an hour of sailing Jarmo told me that I can take the wheel and try to control the boat. I was excited; bit afraid at the same time because I have no prior experience. But they assured me it would be fine. So I took the wheel and it was very thrilling when a heavy wind hits the sails for the first time. It felt like something is pushing the boat in one side but you have to do jig-jag movement to keep the boat in steady position and pace. Of course Seppo and Jarmo was assisting me continuously.

There were many boats passing by and all of them waved at us. It's a custom while sailing. I learned the proper way of waving :P Also, some good piece of information like boats who are sailing always get the priority over boats running by engine. So if you wanna get priority turn off the engine and put up the sail. Of course you need proper wind support :)

When we were thinking to stop in some island, suddenly, the weather became gloomy and we noticed few drops of rain. One part of the sky was really dark, so the sea may get a bit risky. So we decided to come back without stopping anywhere. We turn back and headed to Kivenlahti. At the time of return we didn't get good wind support. As a result, we had to rely on the engine several times. To be honest, it's much more fun with sail than with the engine :) I was with the wheel until we came very close to the harbor again. Seppo took the wheel from me to moor the boat.

It started raining when we came back to shore. It was a right decision to come back at that time but of course it would be interesting to stop in one of the islands. However, it was a spectacular experience for me - I had great fun, enjoyed it to the fullest. Additionally, it increased my fascination for boat to next level :)

Here goes some pictures of the day:

Kivenlahti harbor

This is Seppo's boat. He is already on board. Jarmo and Mika is on their way

Me with Aulis on the front side of the boat

Leaving the harbor

The boat is running with engine. Jarmo is with the wheel.

View of archipelago

Far enough from harbor to get the wind. Time to turn off the engine and put the sail on :)

The first sail is up

Both the sails are up and catching nice wind

Me with the wheel :P

The crew, except from the captain. He was busy taking this picture :P

Came back to harbor again

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Relaxing trip to Stockholm

Last week Sharmin and me had a trip to Stockholm. It was again a boat trip with Vikingline. The main reason for this trip was to apply for machine readable passport for both of us. There is no Bangladeshi embassy in Finland. From Finland, the nearest embassy of Bangladesh is in Stockholm, Sweden. Since applicant's biometric information is needed for MRP we had to go there in person. Another reason of visit was to go to my cousin's home. They have been living there for almost 30 years. My cousin was eager to meet Sharmin and that is why we decided to give a visit and stay in their place

Our appointment in the embassy was on Tuesday, 11 June, 2013. We started our boat trip from Helsinki on Sunday afternoon with Vikingline Mariella. The weather was extremely nice. This is the first time for me to stay on the deck for hours. We had dinner in the restaurant. Also had a nice sleep at night since the sea was calm.

We reached Stockholm the next morning. My cousin's husband came to the harbor to fetch us. We reached their home, had a nice lunch and gossiped with my nephew, Mugdho. Unfortunately Sharmin was having breathing problem due to the cat they have. I didn't know she has a cat allergy. Anyway, we had to visit the doctor in the afternoon. We also roam around Stockholm downtown after that.

The next morning we went to the embassy of Bangladesh and submitted our application forms. Mugdho was accompanying us. We went to a Thai restaurant for lunch. The food was really delicious there. After the lunch we went to see the Vasa Museum. I liked this museum, specially the ship was spectacular. It felt like I was standing in front of The Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean :P We spent half a day there.

On Wednesday afternoon we took the return boat. It was the same boat as previous. This time the weather was even nicer. We spent several hours on the deck and saw the sunset in the sea. Had dinner in the restaurant and enjoyed the music in the dance hall. The next morning we took buffet breakfast in the boat. It was a nice breakfast with so many different kinds of dishes. This trip was a done in a relax way - we didn't go to many places and we didn't run at all. At the end, it felt like a nice holiday trip :)

Here are few pictures:

 On the deck on the way to Stockholm

 Lunch time :)

 Ship Vasa

 Near Stockholm downtown

 Beside a lake in Fastra Strand

 Me, same place :)

 Sunset from deck, on the way to Helsinki

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Finn-Bangla cricket tournament, 2013

Cricket is not a popular sport in Finland. However, it's extremely popular in our country, Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi immigrant here in Finland are very much eager to play cricket but it's only possible during summer which is unpleasantly short. Still few enthusiastic people wanted to have a tournament among different cities in Finland. As a result, the first ever Finn-Bangla tournament took place in Tampere in 2012.

In the first tournament 4 cities participated - Tampere, Espoo, Pietarsaari & Jyväskylä. Espoo became the champion beating Tampere in the final. This year also people were interested and Espoo organized the second Finn-Bangla cricket tournament which took place in Olari (inside Espoo) on 8 June, 2013.

This year the idea was not just having the cricket game rather having some other activities so that most of the people can participate and enjoy the event. It was a whole day event with over 150 people. The weather didn't betray us, it was a bright sunny day. We arranged several events, such as musical pillow passing, spoon-marble race, mina-bazar (small fair where they sell their homemade snacks) for the ladies. For guys we arranged basketball and 100 m race. There were also race for kids. At the end of the day there were raffle draw, prizes for all the events and dinner. Aside from above mentioned activities there were 4 cricket matches. This time Tampere won the trophy beating Pietarsaari in the final. Espoo lost to Pietarsaari in their first match and secured 3rd place by winning against Helsinki.

The day was packed with many events and activities. Finally everything went well. We could execute everything how we planned. At the end of the event people were giving positive feedback and expressing their gratitude to us for organizing such a colorful event. I was part of the organizing committee, so I felt good and all the hardships I went through before the program were paid off :)

Here are some pictures from that day:

 Tent, organizers' corner

 Team Tampere

 Team Pietarsaari

 Team Espoo

Bowler in action

Batsman in action

 Part of the organizers

 Twin :)

 Small fair by the ladies. There were many delicious foods.

 Beginning of marble race

 100 m sprint

 Fastest runner among us


 Tournament trophy

 Prize giving ceremony

 Tournament winner, Tampere :)

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