Saturday, December 15, 2007

Latest published articles

Posted on ALL our major blogs - my Jacob's Blog, the Oulu CHAFF Blog, the Mumbai Cathedralites Seventh Heaven Blog and the Delhi Stephanians Kooler Talk Blog.

Annikki was Chairperson of The English Club of Oulu almost 2 decades ago. We were also the first Life members of the Club. The Finn-Brits Magazine is the publication of The Federation of Finnish-British Societies under which English Clubs function all around Finland to promote the English Language and the cultures associated with English speakers.

Cover of Autumn 2007 edition.

The magazine decided to do a special feature about Oulu in the Autumn 2007 edition and they asked us for a couple of articles.

The first was an article about the Chamber of Assistance for Finns and Foreigners which was founded by Jacob and a few friends a couple of years ago. The article was authored by the present CHAFF Monitor, Ildikó Hámos-Sohlo, along with Jacob.

The second, a highly controversial one was authored by Annikki and Jacob about the lack of Free Speech in Oulu.

Hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Online Spice Shop from Oulu

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

About six months ago a long standing Indian resident of Oulu, Atul, informed me that he was planning a Spice Centre in Oulu. There were a couple of physical Spice Centres in Oulu in the late eighties and early nineties, but Indian food was not so popular then and there were just a handful of clients as us.

Sadly, Atul did not let me know about the progress.

Findian couple Helena and Atul, who are behind

Last night, when we had a meeting to set up a new Indian Group in Oulu, Atul mentioned that his Spice Centre was up and running and that it was on the internet.

The online shopping experience, which is offered in both Finnish and English, is simple as Atul has the alternate option of using a post or bank account besides a credit card.

I, for one, do not use credit cards, so this means I can happily shop online using my direct online banking facility.

The pages are clean and neat and quite unusual in the way the spices are offered. Atul is also attempting to promote Indian cooking as he has started a recipe page, but at the moment there are only two recipes online.

I tried to log in, but found all buttons related to this process inactive. But it is not necessary to log in to shop!

Hope you have a great shopping experience in

Let us wish Helena and Atul all the very best in this venture.

Am I a pastor?

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

I was returning home yesterday from a meeting at about 10 pm, when, quite close to my residence I saw an African man standing at the pedestrian crossing, map in hand, in a biting blizzard, obviously trying to find some address.

I pulled up the car and asked him where he wanted to go.

His hand and the map were shaking in the bitterly cold wind making it impossible to understand where he wanted to reach. I asked him to jump into that car.

The X on the map was too large to tell what the exact address was, so I asked him whether he had the phone number of his friend. He pulled out a phone and found the number - but as he had no credit in his phone account, he could not dial. So I asked him for the number and dialed.

The house was not more that a few hundred metres from where we were.

I dropped him off and handed him over to his friend who had come down to greet him.

In the process, I asked this young man where he came from - which was Ghana, and his name - which was Peter!

He in turn had only one question for me - which had me in splits of laughter - Was I a pastor?

I assured him that I was not, but I was a participant of CHAFF, which is where common folk in Oulu help one another!

What did this act of kindness cost me? 5 minutes of my time and one phone call charge!

Was it worth it? In my humble opinion - Certainly!

Have you done your good deed for today? :-)

Our last meeting on Sunday concentrated on problems of newcomers to Oulu, especially education and housing. I have some excellent flats at Puolivälikangas for rent, so contact me if you are interested - and fast!

Remember to inform Ildikó (or me) if you will be attending the dinner at the Ravintola Marrakech the coming Thursday (13th December) at 18:30 hours. Registration is imperative.

Also do remember the English Language Christmas Carol Service at the Oulu Cathedral, this Saturday, 8th December at 16:00 hours. All are welcome.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Noodle House Opens

Posted on the Oulu Best Buy Blog and the Oulu CHAFF Blog.

At the stroke of midnight heralding a new December, NOODLE HOUSE opened its doors to the public. They did brisk business right until the last customer left at 04:30 am.

Not being a night bird, I visited the fast food counter an hour before they opened this Saturday afternoon. I was fortunate not to be swallowed up in the rush as I tasted their premium dish.

I then took 3 of their 8 selections for the family to get a taste of this new Chinese cuisine centre. Their take away boxes can be used directly in the microwave oven. Unusual containers with an interesting colour combination - red and black!

In my earlier blog entry I was wrong with the prices. It is € 8 for the meal with 2 vegetable spring rolls, a Chinese salad and a drink of Pepsi. Without the drink, the cost is € 7.50.

The common level of spice is medium. But they add a very spicy chilli fish oil concoction if you want the dish spiced up. Portion size is medium.

Remember, the ingredients are not listed on their board, so if you do not eat octopus, prawns or pork, please tell them when you are ordering!

Verdict: Good food and very courteous service - vital ingredients for success!

Other CHAFF News:
Saturday 1st December till Saturday 14th December: Exhibition of stones from the collection of Matti Moisa at the Haukipudas Library.
Sunday 2nd December: 13:00 to 15:00 hours: CHAFF Meeting at The Coffee House
Thursday 6th December: Last date for registering for CHAFF dinner at Ravintola Marrakech on 13th December.
Saturday 8th December 16:00 to 17:00 hours: English Carol Service in the Oulu Cathedral. ALL welcome
Thursday 13th December 18:30 . 20:30 hours: CHAFF dinner at Restaurant Marrakech.
Sunday 15th December 13:00 to 15:00 hours: CHAFF Meeting at The Coffee House.
Sunday 22nd December 13:00 to 15:00 hours: CHAFF Meeting at The Coffee House.
Sunday 29th December 13:00 to 15:00 hours: CHAFF Meeting at The Coffee House.