Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bombay Mix in Oulu

Posted on Jacob's Blog, the Oulu Best Buy Blog and the Oulu CHAFF Blog.

Last Sunday, after our CHAFF get.together at the Coffee House, I dropped in to see Indu, Ashesh and little Karthik. Indu served me two varieties of Bombay Mix, one that she had brought from India and the other that Ashesh had picked up from London.

I have a great love for Bombay Mix and I had located that the Secondhand Shop on Isokatu (next to the Hai Long Chinese Restaurant) has a wide selection of nuts and other delicacies, including Bombay Mix at € 7.50 per kg, Pecan Nuts at € 25 per kg and Brazil Nuts at € 20 per kg. Annikki loves all the three, while I confine myself to the Bombay Mix.

Another shop which also has this great selection of nuts is Herkku Rosa next to the Oriental Shop on Rautatienkatu (the road on which the Oulu Railway Station is located). However, prices here are higher here. They have two types of Bombay Mix, spiced and normal, both at € 9,90 per kg, Pecan Nuts is € 29.90 per kg and Brazil Nuts at € 19.90 per kg.

Do remember that at the Secondhand Shop that whenever you buy € 15 at one time, you can get a stamp on the Customer Card so that on the 10th time you get € 15 back, an effective 10% discount on every € 150 of purchase.

As this is also being posted on the Oulu Best Buy Blog, the best buys of today are at the Tokmanni shop, one of which is at Kaijonharju Shopping Centre (near the University) and at Jukkolankuja on the south side of Oulu. Oranges are €0.89 per kg, Bravo ice cream is just € 0,50 per litre when you buy 2 packets, and Beef Mince is € 1.99 for 400 gm which works out at less than € 5 per kg.

Pornpailin Weber with Annikki and me at the Loykrathong Festival.

On a sad note I have to inform CHAFF participants that the Pailin Restaurant where we used to meet with the wonderful cooking of authentic Thai food by Pornpailin Weber, has finally closed its doors on the 25th of October. We will all miss the wonderful friendship of Pornpailin and also her superb cooking.

The next CHAFF meeting will be on Sunday at 13:00 hours at the Coffee House with entrances on both Isokatu and also the Rotuari Square. Last week the bulk of the meeting was about "Arctic Syndrome" which I had written about on the blog.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Indian contingent due in Oulu

Posted on Jacob's Blog and the Oulu CHAFF Blog.

November 2007 will see a large increase of the Indian engineer population in Oulu. There is a contingent of 20 Indians some with wives and children due to arrive in Oulu during the month.

The first group of 5 are already scheduled to arrive on the 1st of November. The others are waiting for their visas and other papers to arrive.

They are looking for houses, furnished if possible, to rent.

If any of you have any offers to make, please get in touch with me and let me know, as I can put you in direct touch with those arriving.

If they are unable to get furnished appartments, they may need furniture and other household equipment. If you have any, please let me know as I am compiling a list of stuff required against what is available.

Kamu just informed me that he has a good dining table with 4 chairs available for under € 100. We were able to provide a tv, coffee maker, toaster to a young student last week from our existing stock. We still have lots of cups, saucers, glasses, from the summer flea market remains.

This week's CHAFF meeting will be at the Coffee Shop, entrance on Isokatu as well as from the Rotuari Square. Those attending will probably be there after 13:00 hours.

One of the questions that we may discuss this week is the setting up of a Kindergarten, especially for the children who may have to go back to the Indian Education System, which can never be from a Finnish run Play Schools.

This is an enormous social issue and one which needs to be taken very seriously. If there are enough people interested, then we should take it up with the companies, especially the Indian companies, who are deputing their personnel to Oulu.

My recent discussion with the Oulu City Manager for International Affairs was rather disappointing on this front concerning one child, who, because of the pressure we put, will now get admission into an English Platy School by January 2008, after having had to languish in a Finnush language Play School for over a year.

Let it be understood that Oulu, although it claims to be an International City, is far from being International, and the City Authorities neither have the resources or the will to help out those who need their help. They may write nice letters, but that is just not enough!

As was so correctly put by one family (to the City Manager of Oulu International Affairs) which has gone through misery and from pillar to post:

"Thanks you for your understanding.

Teachers in xxxxxxxx Kindergarten asked us to give an application to the yyyyyyyyyy kindergarten.  We gave the application. It was in fact the same application which my wife gave to yyyyyyyyyy in Nov 2006.

They told us that there may be openings in 2008 only.

I think this is too late for us.

We have severe problems with Language issues already now.

Since our native language is not Finnish and our stay in Finland is not confirmed to be permanent, we want to pursue our daughter's studies in English. We are unable to help her with her simple questions due to the language issue. This is getting worse day by day.

May you please expedite this matter and help us in getting some place in yyyyyyyyyy sooner than 2008.

Thanks again for your time."
To solve these problems, yet to be able to meet the requirements of a short stay in Finland, it is imperative that the Indian Style Kindergarten has to be started in Oulu. Annikki and I are willing to help, but the onus must lie on the Indian Companies who are deputing their staff to live and work in Oulu. Expect nothing but lip service and a lot of red tape from local authorities who are just not in the know of what an international environment demands!

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Invitation: Finnish UN Association of Oulu

Message inviting Oulu CHAFF participants to an UN Event:

"The Finnish UN Association of Oulu (Osyky) celebrates its 30th anniversary on Wednesday 24th of October at 6 pm in Restaurant Tervasoihtu. (Oulu Marketplace Salt House 24)

We will have coffee and cake and talk a little about the history, present & future of our association.

Everybody is welcome to celebrate with us and to get to know Osyky!"

"Oulun seudun YK-yhdistys täyttää tänä vuonna kunnioitettavat 30 vuotta.
Juhlimme kolmekymppistä yhdistystämme YK:n päivänä keskiviikkona 24.10. klo 18 alkaen Ravintola Tervasoihdussa, Torinrannassa.

Ohjelmassa kakkukahvit ja historian siipien havinaa. Kyseessä on hyvin vapaamuotoinen tilaisuus (lähinnä kahvittelun ja
vapaamuotoisen seurustelun merkeissä) ja kiinnostuneilla on mahdollisuus
kysellä OSYKY:stä sekä tulla mukaan yhdistyksen toimintaan.


Osyky:n puolesta
Päivi Hirvonen

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

CHAFF - plenty of new faces

The CHAFF meeting this week was at the Ravintola Marrakesh which dished up some nice interesting food.

This week we had some of new faces.

I had three guests - Jijo from Kerala, Vivek from UP and Suresh from Andhra, three engineers in Oulu from Nokia, Bangalore.

Ildikó's aunt from Hungary, Marita, was another new face.

Lauri, Sunil and Nisha, Mervi and Brent, Ildikó and Ilari and another half a dozen older faces made up the crowd, along with me.

Next week will be the more informal meeting at the Coffee Shop at 13:00 hours.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

First CHAFF Coffee Shop Meeting

Ildikó's new style Coffee Shop Sunday afternoon CHAFF Meeting at Pakkahuonekatu 16 (entrance on Isokatu) started with a nice group - Ildikó and Ilari, Pekka and Maritta Keränen and their son, a newcomer from Turkey, P. Burcu Guner, who has attended a CHAFF meeting when she was a visitor to Oulu last year and has now come to study in Oulu University, and myself. It was great to have David, our Irish friend, behind the counter.

I had to leave early as Annikki and I were off to Liminka to see a newly opened Antique Shop (see the Oulu Best Buy Blog on Tuesday for a report on this). Annikki found something she liked there.

Also Ildikó and Ilari were off to collect linganberries somewhere in the marshes around Oulu.

The Coffee Shop is large and spacious. It should be an ideal meeting place for our non-luncheon CHAFF meetings. We are not intruding on anyone's space and one has a great deal of freedom.

Next Sunday, Sunil and Nisha are moving home. They have no heavy furniture. We need about four people to help make the move. Those who want to help, please contact me for the time and so that I can pick them up. Should take an hour or so if we have four people, two at the loading end and two at the unloading end. Probably two trailer loads. From Saristonkatu in the City to Kuivastie in Tuira.

We could time it so that we can do the move and then be at the Coffee Shop by 13:00 hours!

I am excited as the refurbished Rabbit is ready to get on the road again. Nassar has done an outstanding job! The Rabbit will be on rescue missions again this winter! So stay tuned for its exploits.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CHAFF Meetings - New Schedule

I just had this email from Ildikó.

Dear CHAFFists,

Thank you to all those who enriched our first gathering of the new era CHAFF last Sunday at the Restaurant Marrakech. We had a good time getting to know each other, having good food and enjoying each other´s company. We also agreed on the following schedule for the coming CHAFF-meetings:

Our CHAFF-meetings will be held at the known time, Sunday 1 pm.

Once a month we will gather for a full lunch at Restaurant Marrakech, Kirkkokatu 55. I´ll let you know the next date for our Sunday lunch there in time. For these lunches, I ask you to always sign up in advance by sending me an email, so that Miriam and Said will know for how many of us to prepare their delicious food. The details about the next lunch will reach you soon.

Otherwise, we will meet every Sunday at 1 pm. (apart from those we spend at Marrakech of course) at Coffee House, Pakkahuoneenkatu 16. There is no signing up necessary for these coffee meetings, as there is always enough space at that time and day of the week to fit us in. You can consume whatever you wish, there won´t be any pre-ordered meal or drinks in these coffee-meetings.

So, until further notice, we will meet this and the coming Sundays at 1 pm at Coffee House. Please do not rely on me and my husband Ilari always being at the coffee meetings, we are both busy sometimes and not always in town.

Remember: CHAFF does not need me to be CHAFF. The meetings can be held without any problem and lots of fun and helpful hints and tips even with me or Jacob not being around. The lunch meetings will be organised by me personally, so for those I´ll be around always.

Have a nice week, don´t fuss about the rain - see the beautifully coloured leaves instead ;-)!

Take care

Ildikó Hámos

What I would like to add is thatyou should look at this Oulu CHAFF Blog for any announcements, requests for assistance, offers to help, items for sale, etc.

You can send me details and I will ensure that they go up olinr as soon as possible.

If you need anything special and would like to meet up with a set of people, let me know, and between Ildikó and myself, we shall try to organise the private meeting.