Friday, June 15, 2012

Maternity package from KELA

Today I had my appointment with a nurse, who besides checking if everything goes fine with me and a baby also gave me a signed paper which will allow me to sign for a maternity allowance. It was for me not that obvious, that I can apply for it, cause I've never worked in Finland. But here it is not related with employment. I think if you do work you can get more money, I will get a minimum sum, but still. And it comes together with a maternity package. So you can choose either a package or money, but when I looked what they offer in that package I didn't have any doubts, what is a better option. Look here. And because this year Helsinki is a World Design Capital, the box itself will come with a picture, which won the design competition, look here. The maternity package is something really cool and unique in the world and it has a long history in Finland. It started in 1930 and was intended for the lower income parents, but after the second world war, when, well, first of all it was shortage of everything and second so many men died and there were plenty of single moms, it was extended to all mothers.

The "why?" question

It started just recently. Wanda wants to now "why?" About basically everything she sees around her. Like yesterday when we went to a nice park on an island (Tervasaari). To get to the island you have to walk along the little marina - now full packed with boats. So she saw the people around those boats. "Why they are standing over there?" "Because they probably want to get to their boat." "Why?" "Maybe they want to have a ride, go to the see." "Why?" "The weather is so nice and they enjoy spending time on their boat". OK, she's watching them, than she sees a lady walking on a pier. "Why is she walking there?" She sees people lying on a lawn. "Why do they lie there?" She sees a dog's playground and there are some huge wooden dog statues. "Why there are those dogs?" And so forth. Sometimes it's fun to answer her questions, but sometimes I feel I get lost and I feel a lack of more explanations or just no more creativity in finding a quick and simple but still sufficient answer. Oh, and she found her old book "The very hungry caterpillar". She used to love this book, but we didn't read it for ages. So I started to read it to her. "In the night in the moonlight a little egg was lying on a leaf" (this is just my not accurate translation form my Polish version of the book, sorry for any errors). And my little daughter immediately asked: "Why?" "Why what honey?" "Why is was lying on that leaf?" "Hm, good question, I don't know actually, where the egg came from and how it got to that leaf, they don't tell us this fact in the book, but let's read what's next". The caterpillar is very hungry and eats constantly. On Monday he ate one apple, but he was still hungry. "Why?" "Because...." etc. etc. It was really funny to read the book now, cause I realized that this book is definitely for younger kids. My girl is already too smart to take such facts for granted :) And it's cool that we can now really discuss things. Another curious period just started!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

White Nights in Helsinki

Now we go. No one can beat us! :) If you remember my gloomy mood in December from not having sunlight at all, now you can be sure I have plenty of it now. As for today the official sunrise and sunset times are as follows: 3.56 and 22.45. Unfortunately I don't have many opportunities to enjoy those long days, but it's weird to go to bed when it's light outside. Yesterday I went to town to meet with my friend and it was also quite a funny feeling: going out for a drink (non-alcoholic in my case) and going back home while the sun was still quite high on a horizon. But it's beautiful! And if you have a chance go to Helsinki in June, but don't forget a wind- and rainproof jacket! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

appreciating my simple life

Yes, appreciating and no complaining what we have in our life. What I've got in my life now. Couple days ago I thought about spending some time by my parents, in Gdansk, in their apartment. And the only thing I was thinking about was the memory from the last year, when I couldn't sleep through the night only because of the horrible noise coming from the early hours from outside. And from the heat in the room, cause the windows are to the East. So, either I had noise and sleepless night but some fresh air or I had the heat and a little bit of quiet time. And my problems with falling asleep cause some drunkards were screaming outside coming back from the party. And the traffic jam all around the city, so wherever you want to go it takes you forever and it's impossible to be on time. And today in the morning my husband said if I remember Old Delhi and the atmosphere there. Oh yeah, I do remember very well, but I guess in a totally different context then he does. Because whenever I think about that place and whole Delhi in general, I think how hard the life there is, how hard it must be for women like me. With the noise, with the crowd, with the heat all year round. And when I compare my quiet, safe and comfy life here in Helsinki, I'm really happy to be here and now. I think how high is the standard of living in this country, how easy and uncomplicated the life is. You don't have to be extremely rich to have this high living standard, to have nice and quiet apartment and nice neighbors. And still I'm talking about living not in the best and most expensive part of the town. Of course you have in Finland such incidents as the shooting in Hyvinkaa (a small town near Helsinki), what was so horrible and sad but still the Finnish citizens consider themselves very happy and Finland was ranked recently the second happiest country in the world (first is Denmark - no wonder actually). So, if I complain on the cold weather or snow in April or +10C in June it is just to say something and not to be all the time so ridiculously joyful and too American :). And it is also for the people in Poland (tongue in cheek), who just need to complain all the time about everything (and especially how poor they are).