This has been an extremely international year for us.

Some old and many new friends around the world came to visit us and we were travelling in three continents this year.

Gerda's friend had a surprise b-day party here in Helsinki and we got to learn how to make spätzle taught by a native Austrian visiting from Graz. We had nice night playing cards together w/Palles nephews. She was exemplary guest. As we arrived home, there she was sitting in a sofa corner enjoying a book. I like that! When you are on vacation you are allowed to take it easy. We were following extremely interesting presidential election counting that Sunday night enjoying the spätzle meal.

Palle and I, we were in Beijing in March. Met amazing people there as well. So nice, educated HC and CS people! WE stayed in a hostel cloze by the Forbidden City and had interesting dinners w/ Dorothy H (got to visit her home as well), Li X with whom we toured the open air market and eyewear shops as well as the temple of Heaven grounds

Maggie took us to a dinner with her sister and husband. And Zboo, that crazy Manchurian man, talked us Finnish with amazing ability. With him we ended up hanging around a lot. The biking around and karaoke was left out from the literary this time, but I'm looking forward to do it next time we'll meet.

Seven crazy Swedes (some old friends as well as some new acquaintances) were partying hard the whole weekend here in Helsinki in May. They were all around the flat. It was a pleasure. But I admit, when they disappeared on Sunday, it was a haven. No more half naked men everywhere your turned your eyes.

Some impact that visit must have had as we went for a weekend in Uppsala soon after that. To be honest: Palle was attending a Nordic forest conference the follwing week. But it was a great reasonn to visit the fabulous town where we had met 13 years before. So many nice friends to see and moments of joy to be experienced.

The summer season started with visitors from Iran. Nasrin and Mehdi had been on a nose-job-symposium in Tampere and stayed couple more days here in Helsinki. Aubergine got new forms in our grill. Delicious! I keep on looking good airfare-deals to Teheran.

We had more visitors from Sweden when Jens and Thomas from Uppsala came here for a weekend of fun. Got to experience the sunrise in Porkkala as we took an outing with them. Amazing.


Lotty and Janne from Holland (originally Palle's mate from his dark youth ;) from Vaasa and a lovely wife from Ecuador) were staying with us and we enjoyed delicious meal in Sea Horse.

Sandie and Jennifer were ex-Peace Corp volunteers on their way out from Kazakhstan and ended up staying in our place on their way from visiting relatives in Sweden to see Santa Claus and continuing to Baltic States. Our second/third meeting in Morocco was cancelled, but I'm sure we'll meet again. Not so long time ago Sandie wrote that she has applied for a job in Belize. That is something I call a possibility.


Ciro & Claudia from Sicily visited Finland for couple of weeks and stayed with us before and after their driving around Finland. We had the most delicious time together, enjoying mökki-life in the city of Helsinki. We were their first HC hosts and even Claudia who was a bit doubtful, became a huge fan of Hospitality Club.

As they were in Finland we were in Estonia driving around. Had the absolute best time w/Agnes and Kristjan both in Tartto and Haapsalu. We were young again.


Academic visitors kept on coming. Eero L. from New York, New York was attending thespian conference (organized by PPO member Eeva M) here in Helsinki and we got to experience well behaving young man with ancestors from Finland.

In September I visited my friend Paula in Münich. I was in pretty bad shape then, extremely tired. But we succeeded meeting these fabulous CS people in the countryside. Vicky and Andy opened their home to us and made fabulous knödels from local products and showed us around. We hiked to a mountain hut. I was about to die and they were breathing almost normally. Must have something to do with everyday exercising, or with the lack of it. Even though it was September I got to experience Oktoberfest. Been there, seen that.


We visited New York and Annapolis in October and got to enjoy our share of great hospitality. Palle met this Moia previous year in the flea market as she had been visiting Russia with her friend Laurie. They ended up having a dinner in our place and we ended up staying in Laurie's place in Upper East Side. A fabulous experience. We shared some meals with Moia as well. And went flea market hunting early in the morning.

It was 1991 when we had seen the last time with Julie, my "sister" from exchange year in San Diego, California. Now, after 15 years, we met again in her wonderful home in Annapolis where she lives with her husband Clayton and daughter Meredith. It was a long time dream come true to get to meet them all.

An old friend Tiitta moved to Hanoi, Vietnam with her two fabulous males Pekka and Toivo due her job in the UN. To get to follow up their settling down to their new, totally different hometown, has been interesting. Skype ann blogging are wonderful things!

Agnes and Kristjan were part of my autumn as well. I went for a couple days break in Estonia to Tartto. On my way back stayed one night with Janar and Lynn in their fabulous new home in Tallinn. As Agnes got her Masters degree from Turku, Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! They came to stay for a night in our place this time. Wonderful reindeer was eaten and great findings were made in the Waltteri flea market.


There were over 100 visitors this year at our annual X-mas card glögg. Loads of regular attendees but delightful amount newcomers. I baked four hams, almost 20 kilo's of meat. And it pretty much disappeared. Amazing. I wonder if we'll do it again next year.

Thank you to all of you, those who are mentioned as well as those who are not. It has been a fabulous year in many aspects and let's hope there are more of those to come.