(Posted October 2011)

The warm summer days are just about over, as the winter sneaks back in. I did get my hospital bill. not cheap, yet, not quite as expensive as I would have expected for the full unsubsidized cost. As instructed by the hospital, I went to a KELA office (Finnish social security) to try to reduce the fee down to the municiple cost I’m entitled to. It’s not an instant process, as I’d be handed a couple forms to fill out. For the moment, the bill has to be payed while I wait for a KELA card. I was under the assumption that I wasn’t eligible for a KELA card, but the man behind the desk, assured me that I was. That, no, I’m not eligible for many of the social benefits, but, yes, I need that card to get the difference reimbursed. Fingers crossed that I will get the money back. As many have told me, in Finland, if they say you’ll get it back, then you’ll get it back. But I can’t be but a bit skeptical, as once that money leaves my hand I have to assume it’s gone for good.

Well through the first half of the first period, courses here move at a fast pace. Not even done with your last assignment before the next one is waiting for you. In a way this is good, as it’s just six weeks and you can forget about. Similar to a Summer session at an American university.

The most interesting course I’m taking at the moment is Interactive Systems. Where we are studying how to design systems with user interaction in mind. As well, the university has provided us with Android based smart-phones (my first smart phone :] ), to aid us as we develop our project.

As for my bike, after my nice little accident it needed some repairs. I tried looking at fixing it myself, but without the right tools, it simply couldn’t happen. I went to take it over to the bikeshop where I got the bike, and walked into a a nearly empty store to a man who simply said, we don’t repair bikes anymore… as it seemed they were liquidating all inventory in the store. Another student suggested I visit these guys out , a sort of a university bike club that helps with repairs. A couple hours over there, new brake line, tread replaced, couple adjustments, and back out with a working bike.

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