Tag Archives: friends


Parikkala welcome

Originally uploaded by Chiva Congelado

We recently visited a friend who moved to a small town near the Russian border called Parikkala. It was great to see her and her family, but it made me realise more than ever that life is about the choices you make: I would never be able to live outside of Kehä III here in Finland, and that trip confirmed my view.

They didn’t know

And were thoroughly indignated when I told my friends the whole story of how difficult it is to get the citizenship of the country where I currently live.  Don't think anything will change, but was definitely nice to have their support.  Without my wife and them, I wouldn't be here, as I wouldn't have understood this culture very much.

Sé que debería dejarlo pasar…

Y por eso lo escribo. El primer fin de semana de diciembre salí con un par de amigos a tomarnos un par de cervezas. En el bar escuché a un grupo de hispanoparlantes, uno de los cuales estaba absolutamente seguro de que era del sur de la Ciudad de México. Como se veían más o menos jóvenes (treintañeros), decidí acercármeles, y con ellos pasamos juntos la velada hablando de política y cosas peores de una manera amena.

Pueden imaginarse mi sorpresa cuando me voy encontrando el blog de uno de ellos, en el cual echaba pestes de mí y de mis acompañantes. Aunque la indignación fue momentánea (al fin y al cabo, qué importa), francamente no me esperaba ese tipo de actitudes infantiles de una persona adulta y supuestamente de amplios horizontes.

Uno no es monedita de oro para caerle bien a todo mundo, pero me voy dando cuenta que en todos lados se cuecen habas. Qué lástima.

Living history

We never notice it, but one way or another we live thorugh history, we are making history ourselves. I started thinking about it when, in a class about Political Environment of Business, I sat next to a Polish exchange student. We talked a little bit about his childhood experiences “behind the iron curtain” and it all was a little eery. I’ve had that discussion before with friends from Latvia, Germany and Estonia.

Then we come to family history. My family has witnessed first hand such events in Mexican history such as the Revolution, the Cristero War, hyperinflation and devaluations and the 2000 and 2006 presidential elections.

We don’t truly notice what is going on until it is past behind us.

Attached to people, not places

My fiancée commented once that I was probably more “international” than she was (if there is such a thing) even though she has lived in 3 other countries besides her own, and in my case it’s one less. I wouldn’t mind moving from country to country that much, as long as the job is interesting, the pay and the quality of life are good and we are together (which of course entails her filling her requirements list as well). However, she referred to a valid point: I’m not attached to the places themselves anymore, but to the people in them. A place is just nature, buildings and maybe a nice view or two, but the people I know (and the people I love) are really what is important.

One example are my feelings to the place where I was born. Even though I consider myself to be healthily nationalistic I don’t have an urge to go back and settle there, but just to see my family and friends. The same is the case with Finland. I’m very grateful for my experiences there, but it’s a place as good as any, what is important are the friends and family there. Belgium is the same story: if it fills the criteria detailed in the first paragraph I’d stay after my studies are finished, otherwise I’m willing to search for something somewhere else.

The problem with freedom, as a friend says is that “you don’t know what to do with it”. I hope that’s not my case.