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Vacation in Kuwait part 1

February 24, 2010

So this thing started in January 2007, when I started to chat in one internet discussion board with a girl from Kuwait.  Ans soon realised that even we are from different countries and cultures we have a lot in common. At some point in 2008 we talked for the first time about the chance of me travelling to Kuwait. We decided to put it to 2010 so I could save money and have longer vacation. Also time was then more or less agreed (end of Feb early March have quite good weather and with two holidays there might be better dicounts).

I reserved flight and hotel in Dec 2009.  And thought everything would go fine after that. WRONG!

The last week didn’t go that well…

About week before I was supposed to leave I went to order the money, but I heard “It will be difficult, but we will try. We tell you on Friday if you can have it on Monday” (I was leaving on Wednesday). Well on Friday I went and luckily I did get the money. But was this the worst set back? No it wasn’t.

So Friday night I went home (had met a friend after the work and spend time with her) and read my e-mails. There was a letter from Lufthansa (that I had planned to use) telling me that due the strike my flight from Frankfurt to Kuwait was cancelled. So to be honest yes I was worried about what will happen to my vacation. Sunday I called to travel agency and cancelled rest of the flights (it’s cheaper to buy return ticket that one-way. Well on Monday I found out that my flights had not been cancelled after all by recieving email from Lufthansa that they had rerouted my flight (the way I didn’t like) oh and that was in e-mail written in GERMAN (thanks for internet dictionaries I could translate what it meant). But I found this after I had ordered new flights. I called the travel agent again and this time (it being Monday) woman I talked with said she contacts Lufthansa and checks what is going on. Well she called me back quite soon and told that LH had rerouted me since I had not been in contat with them but I could cancel my flights and get my money back.

So my flight changed from leaviong on Wed 24th at 9am to Tue 23rd at 5 pm. So I kind of packed in hurry (later realizing few things that I should have had packed).

So on Tuesday as I was checking in at airport (two great friends had given me ride there) I was told that BA flight to London was delayed with about 50 minutes.  Well to be honest I had been bit worried about the flight because it was snowing.  After we got on board (about 40 minutes after plane should have been left) the captain told that they were defrosting the plane (well the snow from wings).  But then at some point we left (I didn’t have watch so I could not tell how much we were delayed). But as time went on I started to worry a bit about making to next flight (I read that you should reserve 2 hours for going from terminal  3 to terminal 5). And I had only 1.4 hours (instead 3.2 I was supposed to have). So I asked that from staff and heard I’ll be fine. And I was I actually did sit and wait for next flight for about 15-20 minutes.

Oh the 2nd plane… OK I haven’t flown much and never during the night nor with big plane as this one. It was really nice. Also it was quite empty. I had whole row (3 seats) alone.  This flight left couple minutes early. After the take off I started to watch “He’s not that in to you” but got too tired halfway the film so I turned it off and started to try and sleep. I did sleep for 1-3 hours (waking every now and then). I woke again about an hour before landing and decided not to sleep and soon lights came on and they started to serve breakfast.

Plane was supposed to land at 6.40 but were landed 6.30am.  After I got the visa and got my bags I took a taxi to the hotel. air was bit grayish but there were lot of green. Not to mention temperature was +18 C (64.4F) so it was nice. At the hotel (where I had naturally forgot to send email about my flight changing) they told me it is possible to have early check-in (paying bit more but so what). While they were looking for a room for me I had chance to go for breakfast. It was great to have fresh fruit as breakfast (and they were good). Maybe tomorrow I will eat more than today but I was tired. So they found me room but it needed to be cleaned so I had to wait for about 30-45 minutes that I spend by hotel computer reading my e-mail and facebook message. From Lulu…

I got my room bit before 9 am also soon someone came to give me extra cable so I could log my laptop on hotel’s internet. FOR FREE! This is really 5 star hotel. I sent message to my parents and a friend (who are and have been so worried about me ) that I was safely at hotel.

Then I slept for while. After I woke up I played little bit FB games. Then I picked up the phone and called Lulu. It was weird hearing his voice for the first time. But her voice (even if it was slightly sick with flu) was great.

After the pnone call I went to find a map of the area and take few photos. I didn’t go to swimming pools yet nor the sea but I will at some point.

Then I decided to start writing this blog again. I will be writing more about this vacation as it goes on…

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January 24th

January 24, 2010

Well there is nothing much to write about today apart Arsenal losing and dropping out from FA-Cup. Oh and finally listening Ddub’s Back Rub.

So I rather think about the best day in my life  January  24th 2009.

After I had woken up and had breakfast at hotel I check how to get to my 1st destination that day. Then I left. Making my 1st dream of the day come true. At tube station I checked the route again and started long trip, got bit longer as Jubilee line wasn’t working completely. But in the end I was standing at Arsenal-station. (Yes I had to take the picture of that). Then I walked outside and towards Emirate Stadium. Sadly no match there that day but there was a tour. I loved that one and I during it I fell more and deeper in love with Arsenal Football club.  I took several pictures and videos from there. 

After the tour was over I headed to Armory, with list of the things I wanted to buy.  Surprised that I didn’t spend too much money there (thanks to sales, low pound and discount from the taking the tour). I have to mention lot of people have said to me hoe beautiful my coat is and how it looks good on me … well I’m proud of  it.

I also visited the museum and loved that. I got some old match day programmes as I left  (for donating money to Charity of Season. which I would have done without getting those programmes too).

Then I started my way back at hotel in Greenwich. Reason for choosing this hotel was that it was close to O2. I rested a bit but since I had problem with my adapter I could not recharge my laptop and empty my memorycard. I had dinner at hotel’s Chinese restaurant. Later I realised I should have gone to Pizza Hut (I was really need of something to drink later that night).

I picked my things I needed (camera, ticket money…) and left to O2. On the way there I talked with few other fans who stayed at the hotel (I guess lot of hotel guest where there for that reason). This was my 2nd dream of the day also I was keeping a promise I had made years earlier to myself. IF there is come back and concert in Europe I have to go.  And now after over decade I was going to see them live. They had changed my life when I was teenager, their music was there when I needed it. Also I had got to know some people because of them. O2 Arena is the biggest I have been but my place even it was high it had great view. But I did spend money on T-Shirts and programme.

The warm-up artists weren’t that bad (but I can’t remember who she was).  New Kids On The Block were great. They performed old and new songs and we loved it.  The video of the lost family/friends/others was great making us fans loudly cheer for ones we loved and missed too. Performing in middle of fans was nice thing too.

I have never really understanded people fainting at concerts or felt anything close to that until that final song. I did see red and white shirt there on stage and thought “NO WAY” , Then I swore I was seeing text “Fly Emirates” on front of that shirt.  Hell no. Shirt was on Joe. NO WAY. I am seeing thing that are not true… One of the sexiest men in world wearing that shirt NO WAY.  My love for Arsenal and Joe have just made me see things that are not true. Unfortunately my memory card was full and I could not take picture.

I was really high (on emotions only) and excited about it. I did do my best next few days find picture of Joe but I didn’t (still haven’t) founded.

I was really sad by that time that I hadn’t got ticket to Apollo. I would have been great to go. Maybe next time…

I know this could have been longer but I have written this about an hour. I am listening Ddub’s back rub while I write and Donnie’s voice makes it hard to concentrate…  So I better just give up and let Donnie have all my attention…

Top of the League: Arsenal-Bolton

January 22, 2010

Naturally I have to write about this…

When I was watching fixture lists at summer only reason I noticed this was that Bolton has Jussi Jääskeläinen as goalkeeper. It was supposed to be 1st home match of the season but not really that important match.  Then it turned that we would be playing Champions League Play off match against Celtic on that same day so Bolton match was postponed.

With so many matches (Premier League, Champions League, Carling Cup and FA Cup) rescheduling a match was difficult. Then Arsenal dropped from Carling Cup and soon after that it was announced that Arsenal-Bolton match would be played January 6th.  The match had turned to be bit more important as it was match in hand.  We needed to get points to get closer or stay close to Chelsea and ManU.

But then weather changed everything. It started to snow in London. Couple of hours before the match it was postponed again. As good teams do Arsenal refunded travel costs to all Bolton Fans who had traveled to  London. Then new date was Wednesday January 20th.

The Sunday before (Jan 17th) Arsenal played Bolton away. As that match ended 0-2, lot of fans (I admit me too) were quite positive that winning Bolton home by 2 goals would be possible and maybe quite easy. Why win by 2 goals? Well winning Bolton by 2 goals Arsenal would be on top of the League. With goal difference that is (but Chelsea would have game in hand).

The Bolton away match was bit hard tho. Referee denied 2 clear penalties (but that is not anything new. Because this seasons referees won’t give us even clear penalties because Celtic blamed Eduardo for diving and we fight about it). But still thanks to Cesc we won the match, as we deserved.

Then the Arsenal-Bolton match. Maybe we were slacking bit and Bolton played well. Our defence, midfield and goalkeeper messed up and suddenly Bolton lead 0-2. The way I felt at the moment after the penalty “Oh F*k, now we need 4 goals”. I read others saying they will be happy with draw… I was partly agreeing but still thinking 4-2 is possible.  Then Tomas Rosicky scored, it was really beautiful goal. I really hope my neighbors will forgive me, I did scream (then again it wasn’t 11 pm yet). Hey I love Tomas and I have really missed him while he has been gone. I don’t think he still is at his best. Then on 2nd half Cesc scored making it 2-2. I’ll say what I think about Gallas later. I screamed again. (now it was past 11 pm so I really hope my neighbors will forgive me).  Then there were goals by Tomas Vermaelen and Andrey Arshavin. Again before Arshavin’s goal I read comments about people being happy for getting 3 points and not risking it. Then again Arsenal did get their playing more to style they like to play and are good at. Match did end 4-2 and Arsenal was on Top Of  The League.

I did celebrate that and enjoy it. I had to get it out of my system,  now I can agree with Tomas Rosicky being top of the league at this point of the season means nothing but it is big boost for the team (and fans). For rest of season it is really important to be consistent  and pick ourselves and for fans to support the team when we lose (I am quite sure all teams will lose points maybe matches).

OK so that Gallas thing. It was bad tackle as mistimed and those happen. There was nothing mean or meant to hurt other people. There are worst thing happening too in other teams. Maybe Gallas should have deserved the yellow card but referee choice not to (he saw it). As for Arsenal keeping on playing even the Bolton player being on ground SO WHAT? Did Everton stop playing  Jan 6th after Denilson fell on ground injured? NO THEY DID NOT, and without Almunia’s save they would have scored. Also Bolton had about 3 chances to clear the ball out. The rules say you play until whistle, so why is it wrong or unsporting when Arsenal does that but OK when others do so?.

Also I agree with Arsene Wenger  saying ““What is more funny is that, when we get kicked, some people say before the game ‘we know how to play Arsenal, we have to kick them’ and nobody in the whole country (or world apart Arsenal-Fans) is upset by that.“I am always absolutely amazed that people get away with it. When we get kicked and lose the game, the question I get from the press is ‘oh, you did not fancy that’. But nobody is upset or shocked by it. When we are kicked they find that it is absolutely all right.

I said after the Bolton game if Gallas has injured the player, we are sorry. We will have a look at the tackle and if it is malicious we will come out and make a statement. We looked at it carefully and we saw that it was just a mistimed tackle. That is why we didn’t see why such a story should flare up and make a national issue if the intention of the player was completely right” (quote from Arsenal.com)

Oh also as Wenger pointed out in that interview Arsenal is on top of FAIR PLAY LEAGUE!

Funny thing is though now the team that was supposed to be first out of top 4,  sold the best players because they needed money is on top of the league. (things from press before season)

As we know now Arsenal’s financial status is the best in Premier League (completely healthy) unlike Chelsea or Liverpool. ManU is also having more troubles than us. I just wish there will be that rule that unless team is financially healthy they can’t play in CL.

Also one reason I really love our players is how they deal thing happening out of the pitch. Last August on our first match of the season after scoring a goal (his 2nd ) he picked up a shirt with Daniel Jague’s name and number. Jargue was Spanish player who had died couple weeks earlier. And Eduardo had on his undershirt text about bringin peace in some area. also on that Bolton match after final whistle William Gallas and Bacary Sagna held a black shirt saying “Football fans don’t forget to support Haiti” at front  and same in French on back.

Some point in future I will write about interviews at ATVO that I love this season…

Empty spot at weeknight TV (No more Coco)

January 22, 2010

I decided not to write to football blogs in row (I will write one tonight anyway), and this is internationally better write tonight than Wednesday when it will happen here.

I moved to live in this city about 10 years ago and for the first time in my life I had cable TV channels. One channel shows Late Night with Conan O’Brien. I really liked the show. But I didn’t watch it everyday, but last few years I did watch it more often. I really loved all those jokes about Finland he made. He even visited in Helsinki. That show was great (I saw some TV shows he did here too).

After he moved to LA and started to host Tonight show the channel in Finland followed him and started to air Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. I loved that show too. Today sadly the last episode will be aired in USA. 😦 That episode will be aired here on Wednesday next week. After that?  There will be no good evening talk shows. Jimmy Kimmel was aired earlier from different channel but not anymore. Jay Leno and David Letterman are just boring to watch (barely have been able to watch full episodes). So only talk show to watch is Ellen DeGeneres show. But luckily there is internet I can read interviews from there and watch trailers from YouTube.

I do hope Conan O’Brien can get back to TV soon and the show would be aired here too.

I do love Coco and I will miss him.

Football and me

January 17, 2010

As there is still two hours until Bolton-Arsenal match, I was thinking about doing a blog about football (you know the sport known all around world as football, apart in USA) and how I became Gooner.

First I guess I could admit few things from my past (things that I am not proud of). I actually more less hated football in 1990’s (for a year or two). That was mainly because I got really sick of seeing it everywhere. Also I have said I was fan of Manchester United and Liverpool in the past.

I really didn’t care that much about football until 2006.

My first contacts with football was when Finnish striker Jari Litmanen was signed by Ajax Amsterdam. This also made me fan of Oranje. I read and heard lot of Dutch people saying praises on him, and for me hearing foreigners say good things about Finnish or a Finn doing well abroad is great. Also at that time my father was working as captain in a ship that went to Amsterdam and I did go with him few times. I remember 2 great things from those trips. 1 was my dad and I visited in this little shop in Amsterdam. They did sell all these Ajax shirts etc. but they didn’t have one for Jari. Also the seller realized that we were Fins just by listening us and after my dad asked about shirt of Jari. (that was main clue of where we come from).

Also one time as we were leaving from Amsterdam there was a Dutch couple in the ship too. Dutch national team had not done well in World cup or Euro Cup (whatever was just going on). Explanation they lacked a player like Jari Litmanen. And I guess I should mention here that Litmanen had two teammates in Ajax that made me fan (sort of) Oranje (Netherland’s national team). They were Marc Overmars and Edwin van der Sar. But I still wasn’t really watching football.

My support for Man U was because some artists I like were fans of them and also I liked Peter Schmeichel (I had seen Denmark winning Euro Cup in 1992).  So in about 2000 -01 I liked  Man U. But that really had nothing to do with football or club itself.

I easily started to “support” Liverpool when they had Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypiä (two Finnish players). But without those two I would not support them.

I still didn’t really care about football.

Oh another thing that kind of affected my liking of football was in 2002 I went to Ireland. I had watch bit of World Cup matches before leaving for my 2 weeks vacation to country I had started to love. So as I landed the Dublin airport there were all these screens at baggage claim saying “Welcome home lads”. As I got in taxi, the driver asked me if I had seen “those cars” leaving the airport. That was their national team coming home. His voice sounded so proud. Also I remember these big headlines on papers when England was kicked off.

Then came next world cup 2006.  This is what changed my life completely. After chatting in a discussion site with a Dutch girl I found my likeness of Dutch football. Who also were playing there. SO I watched the Dutch team playing, still liking EvdS but now I also noticed new player. He looked great. Really, I just loved to watch how he played football and well he wasn’t bad-looking either. I really liked the goal he scored. Because I was working there were matches that I saved on my DVR  and watched next day after the work. Well I have never watched the 2nd half time of Portugal-Netherlands. I saw the result of the match and I couldn’t watch it after. Anyways that Dutch player I had started to like. I googled him and watched videos of him from YouTube. That all lead me to his clubs website. So it was Robin van Persie that lead me to Arsenal. By September I subscribed Arsenal TV ONLINE, so I could listen the matches live and later watch the highlights. I soon started to really love the team and how they played. And this lead me to for first time becoming a fan of football club based on the way they play rather  than someone else liking the club or just a player or two. Sure I became fan because a player but I do love to watch Arsenal even when my favorite players aren’t playing.

In Euro Cup 2008 I was supporting Netherlands and Spain. I was dressed with my Oranje-shirt or Cesc shirts.

So far I have been in 4 football matches in my life.

First football match I have been was Real Madrid’s La Liga match in 1997 or 1998. I was in Madrid for EU Lingua project. We were given chance to go see the match and I really was excited because I had heard a lot about atmosphere in football matches in Spain. I wasn’t that much in to football back then. Which was kind of good thing, since our seats were so high that I saw nothing. After the match I knew Real Madrid had won (but how many goals was scored no idea). Also a player from opposite team had got red card.

2nd match was lot better. I was able to see what was going on. Also it was a draw (I was really afraid of visiting team being way better and maybe winning by 4-7 goals). It was in September 2006. So it was also first match after I had started to be interested in the sport. Finland even scored 1st goal. Also I saw 2nd red card in my second match. Also I enjoyed to boo the team I dislike (I really hated them after world cup couple months earlier). Oh who were they? Portugal.

3rd match was in September 2007. This match was a dream come true, I had been planing this for a year or so. Spending a week in Amsterdam was fun. I love that city (but I want to go to Rotterdam too). The match was Netherlands-Bulgaria Euro Cup qualification match. As I had decided years earlier I spend more money to get good seat where you could see the match. So we were on row 02. The atmosphere was much better than in Madrid or Helsinki. De Oranje won the match. I guess I could admit that I didn’t look the match whole time. There were times my friend said “The ball is opposite side” my answer was :”But Edwin is in that side” or “Well Robin is over there”. I even got a nice pic of RvP.

4th match was a month   later. It was cold evening in October. To be honest after that match lot of people said it had been boring match. No goals for home team nor visitors. I guess if I had been sitting somewhere else I might agree with those people. I was sitting tho straight across from Spain’s bench. This was a friendly and Spain had not brought their best team but the player I wanted to see was there. Even if Cesc Fabregas spent 1st half time on bench I didn’t care, I was watching him. Now and then I watched where he was watching to see what was happening with the match. During half time Cesc was on pitch warming up with couple other players. I really loved to watch him with the ball and all those tricks he did. On 2nd half he got to play and I was playing watching him play more.

Now my dream is to see Arsenal play. Maybe someday I will do that.

“Suite Para Dos”

January 16, 2010

To learn how to get YouTube videos here and with one of persons I really like. Here is a video that I love to watch. Every time I watch it I will understand more words (my Spanish is not so good).

This is one of the videos with Mikel Hennet Sotomayor. I will be posting more videos with him (him being part of Spanish band called D’Nash). But here instead of singing there is bit of acting. Even if you don’t speak any Spanish you will get the idea of the story.

Suite para dos

Hello world!

January 16, 2010

This is it then. After thinking about this for long long time I decided to start my blog.

Not really sure what this will be like but I’ll give it a shot.

Mainly I think I will be writing about things that I am interested or what happens in my life.

So you might find something that you like one day and nothing interesting on next.

So what are those things that I am interested in…

  • Arsenal Football Club (lost my heart to them few years ago and falling deeper each year)
  • National Football teams of Netherlands and Spain (Finland might be there sometimes as countries with Arsenal player) Especially during World and Euro Cups
  • New Kids On The Block
  • D’Nash
  • Westlife
  • few other band and artists around the world
  • Traveling around the world and getting to know other people and cultures
  • Twilight -saga (the books and movies).

There might be lot more as time goes on but as you see there are lot of different things.

Oh and as for football I might post negative things about clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City & United and Hull (as I don’t really like those clubs). So if you really can’t stand anything bad about them just skip those. 🙂