Archive for March, 2007

March 23rd, 2007

Busy on travelling

Just reserved a flight to London a week before Easter. I’ll travel on business, and Sanna and Aapo will follow on leisure. We’ll be there for four days, from Saturday to Tuesday. And then on the next Thursday, we’ll fly to Milan.

This will be an adventure, as we’ll be in Finland only about 36 hours — two nights and one day — between the trips and we are travelling with a toddler. Aapo might get really agitated due to constant travelling and make our life quite difficult.

Fortunately, we haven’t over-scheduled either one of the trips. In fact, in London there is not yet anything (except my business stuff), and in Milan we’ll shop for a couple of days and then rest the remaining time — maybe a visit to a musem or two.

Cheapish looking clothes

Next is a British originated store chain that seems to sell quite rubbish clothes. At least the stores that I’ve visited in the Great Britain and Thailand were all looking really cheap.

Next in Central World Plaza, Bangkok, Thailand
The clothes are sort of trendy, but on the other hand lack enough details and features to really stand apart from the crowds — in positive aspect. If you are running low on money, this might be a good place. Otherwise, I would go somewhere else.

Next, 4 Ratchadamri Road (in Central World Plaza), Bangkok, Thailand

Fusion Asian

Coca is a bit mixed restaurant experience on the top-level floor in huge Central World Plaza. The restaurant looks like a Japanese joint, but serves food all over the Asian continent.

Coca in Central World Plaza, Bangkok, Thailand
The food itself is good, as usual in Thailand, and dirt cheap compared to Western countries. The service is onge again polite, but it could be faster — waiting for food feels really strange in an Asian restaurant.

Coca, 4 Ratchadamri Road (in Central World Plaza)

March 18th, 2007

Saturday’s sushi session

We haven’t been “cooking” sushi that much lately, and finally decided to correct the state of affairs on Saturday. First, we visited Stockmann’s grocery store in Tapiola to buy the ingredients, such as tuna, salmon, spring onion and so forth.

Making of sushi was once again relaxing, doing things together as a family — albeit Aapo doesn’t help that much yet, except in carrying dishes to the table; in which he is quite talented for being less than two years old.

We had prepared a separate portion for Aapo: sushi rice, some carrots boiled in chicken soy broth, some fried salmon and cucumber. He was hungry and started eating before me and Sanna; we were still chopping the rolls and carrying dishes to the table. After we sat, Aapo provided the biggest eating related surprise in a year.

He first demanded a roll. We tried to explain that he is eating the same stuff as we are, but to no avail. We first gave a cucumber roll as a tester, and thought that the seaweed would be a bit too much for him. The roll disappear fast and then he demanded more. The next roll was a carrot roll that was eaten as fast as the previous one. We gave a salmon roll next, and were pretty sure that it would be too much. Raw fish is sort of yucku, as it is slimy and cold. It went down, too. After giving him a tuna roll that he ate with good appetite, we stopped counting the rolls and just gave him what he requested… Only nigiri and fatty rolls pieces weren’t given, as they are a bit too big for youngsters.

We can order just sushi for the whole family next time we go to a Japanese restaurant. I’m feeling somewhat proud of being father of two year old sushi eater…

Huge museum complex

WeeGee is a huge museum cluster located nearby Tapiola center, about ten kilometers from Helsinki downtown. The former printing house contains five museums, including Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA, a toy museum, a clock museum and a couple of others.

Lobby at WeeGee in Espoo, Finland
The building is a sight itself, one of the best works from the 60s in Finland. It’s made from concrete, but the superstructure of the building is so light and airy that the ceiling looks like hanging in middle of air. This effect combined with huge windows looking to a small forest makes you wonder that the building wasn’t converted earlier.

The biggest museum in the house is EMMA. The museum is currently (2007) the biggest art museum in Finland with floorspace over 5000 square meters. The permanent collection focuses on Finnish artists, but there are also some international flavours and the exhibitions are top-notch — Malevich and his suprematism being the first when the museum opened the doors late 2006.

The other museums are worth a stroll, and children love the toy museum and engineers love the clock museum. Others will probably feel entertained, too.

There is also a small café and a bookstore on the ground floor, accessible also without tickets., Ahertajantie 5, Espoo, Finland, +358 9 8163 1818

Clothes and nursery stuff

Mother & Child is a children apparel specialist store in Central World Plaza shopping mall. They have a good selection of nursery items, such as talc for diapers, bottles and so forth — so go there, if you forgot to pack something essential for your little darling. They stock also toys.

Mother & Child at Central World Plaza
They have also a good selection of clothes with quite okay prices. Bangkok is not the cheapest place for buying children clothing, but sometimes the prices are really competitive. The service is, as almost always in Thailand, excellent. We got an extra travel size talc bottle when we bought a t-shirt — these little gimmicks make you feel special.

Mother & Child, 4 Ratchadamri Road (in Central World Plaza), Bangkok, Thailand

March 11th, 2007

Visited London

Last week was mostly spent with planning a visit to London, being there and recovering from the trip. Travelling can be surprisingly hard, especially if you are running from a meeting to meeting.

I flied there through Copenhagen, where I had just enough time to notice that there is nothing worth buying at the airport except dark chocolate. I arrived at Heathrow, a nice exception from the regular Stansted flights. The hotel with decent room was located at Baker Street — aptly called Sherlock Holmes hotel.

The first two days were business as usual, got to see glimpses of English way of building offices and met people. On Thursday, I had a meeting nearby Farringdon station. I hopped onto a tube train on Baker Street station and after one station noticed that I’m heading to the wrong direction. I happened to be on Metropolitan train and on fast track, so I had to wait almost 20 minutes before the train stopped on a station on zone 5. I was so furious to myself that I almost couldn’t contain myself.

I almost made the same mistake again by rushing into a waiting train on the other side of the platform — fortunately stopped to think for a moment, checked the destination and went over the tracks to the southbound platform. I just missed the train, but the next train arrived quite soon.

Despite my 45 minutes extra time in tube, I was late just about 15 minutes…

The rest of the business day want smoothly and we had very successful meetings. The trains, however, were against me. Stansted Express was late due to a signalling fault at the airport, so we stand in a queue (or a herd) for about 45 minutes before boarding the train. After another 60 minutes of standing in the train, my heels were killing me.

Fortunately, we had still enough time to check in, go through the security (on the fast lane — some gold card perks that I won’t have anymore next month), buy something to eat and sip a coke or two at the lounge.

I arrived back home at 1:30 on Friday morning and fell asleep less than in a minute after hitting the bed.

Clothing for smaller ones

If you travel to Thailand from any colder country — like say Finland — in the middle of winter, you might find it hard to buy any suitable clothes for your children for the trip. Fortunately, you can solve this problem by visiting Ovo in Central World Plaza shopping mall and buy quite inexpensive and stylish children clothes suitable for Thailand’s warmth.

The selection is good for both girls and boys, and you should find at least a couple of t-shirts and shorts worth buying. The staff is very friendly and they speak enough English to make shopping a breeze compared to some other Thai shops.

Ovo, 4 Ratchadamri Road (Central World Plaza), Bangkok, Thailand