Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"What the f*** am I doing back here?" and some other thoughts.

"What the f*** am I doing back here?"

That was exactly what I was thinking when I was standing at Helsinki's airport with my backpack on trying to see my friend who was picking me up. 

In Vietnam I decided to go back to Finland during the summer and as my last gig at the Escape bar came closer I got more and more excited about seeing my friends again and experiencing at least a piece of Finnish summer. As I got closer and closer to Finland my feelings some how got way more mixed. I mean seeing my friends felt still cool but being back in Finland started to feel a bit distressing. Let me explain myself a bit more. I did visit Finland during the summer 2015 but back then I had enough money to just get back on the road again and that was extremely liberating. 

Now I was in Finland in a situation where I needed to come up with a plan how to obtain some money. I couldn't just hop onboard and fly some where. So, there I was standing at the airport, homeless, jobless but mortgageless. But the most important thing is that despite all the uncertainty about the future I felt content regarding and due the journey. To be honest uncertainty is something I have learned to embrace.

I must admit that being back in my hometown felt really weird and almost discomfortable for some time. Now that I've been here already quite a while it's getting easier. Like all the bloggers&backpackers always tell it's really hard to be back since no one actually quite understands what you have experienced and accomplished. It's also interesting how some people actually feel the urge to understate the things you've done. I didn't expect any extraordinary curiosity but just genuine interest and respect. I mean I have been interested to know how things are here and if/what have changed. I also want to state that I don't feel special or that I have done something greater than others, I have just been away for 26 six months, that's all. Sometimes I do also get carried away with my stories a bit but mostly with people that aren't that dear to me...muahhahaha.

Some people have asked if I have changed during the journey. I have to say that I have. I have never been a big whiner but during my journey I have realised that I actually have no right to complain at all. I've seen such poverty combined to certain happiness that It has kind of blown me away. It's also really interesting how the people who have the least are the most willing to share. Coming from Finland with such high standards of living and safety nets I almost felt ashamed couple of times. I mean I don't need to be ashamed for being born in Finland since I had nothing to do with it but our consuming and wasting life style kind of felt embarrassing at times.

I'm grateful how content I am now with so few items for example. I have never been hugely materialistic but selling my apartment, getting rid of excess stuff and spending 26 months on the road have wiped out even the slightest materialism there was. I just need a bed, a table a guitar and my laptop to have basically everything I need. Okay, I do still need a computer and a guitar so I'm not totally immaterial yet ;)

My journey of course also stripped me from a number of prejudices. I'm not gonna tell the what they were but let's just say that there some. Something that I also gained on my journey was some kind of faith in humanity even though I also lost some of it. I'm actually not sure if I gained it more than I lost. It was dependable on where I was but yes, there's still  a lot of extremely helpful and honest people out there. My deepest respects to all of you and to all the people&strangers that helped me during my journey. There's so many of you that I won't even try to list you.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Final flight

This is my last "close call" story of this epic journey. I woke up in Hamburg and took the subway to the airport. I only needed to change the train once so it was easy peasy even though my local friend was sure that I have to change at least 3 times. What? I was going to a freaking airport. Can't be that difficult. I arrived to the airport in good time like 1,5h hours before the flight. I started checking the departures from the screens and I couldn't find my flight. I was!?! There was one flight to Prague but the departure time was about 5 minutes later than I rememberer and the number of the flight didn't resemble the image that I had in my mind. Why Prague you might ask. It was not the cheapest way to get to Helsinki via Prague but the timing was perfect and and the price was still okay. 

I connected to the airport's free wifi to check the ticket from my mobiles email just to realize that I was at the wrong terminal and the flight actually half an hour earlier than I had remembered. Hahahaaa...I never learn. I guess I should check the time of my flights like a day earlier or so to prevent this kind of accidents. Weeell, I rushed to the other terminal and made it in time even though I had to drop my backpack to a special luggage drop point. Luckily I was early enough at the airport but to be honest my heart beat couple of extra beats when I understood what had happened. 

After having spent 26 months on the road I was going to back to Finland. I'm not quite sure how I felt. In a way I was anxious to see my friends but on the same time I was a bit sad since I knew that this was gonna be an end to my journey, at least in a way. I wasn't sure if I was gonna stay in Finland for good, I still don't know, but I knew that it would at least take a few months before I would leave again. If I would leave again. I'm gonna write more about my thoughts later on but now I'm gonna finish the close call story. 

It's always smooth ride on a
propeller plane. 
Once we were sitting on the plane it came obvious that were not gonna leave Hamburg on time. Some kind of problems what so ever. This was kind of a problem to me since I only had one hour to transfer in Prague. Being half an hour behind the flight schedule was really getting on my nerves but I just needed to think that there's nothing I could do. I was also thinking about my luggage. If I would eventually make my connecting flight to Helsinki, would they have enough time at the airport to transfer my luggage also. At Prague I literally ran through the terminal to catch my final flight of this journey. Boy was I happy when I realised that I'm actually gonna make it They had just opened the gate once I arrived. Not even close to miss the flight! :D Well like 10-15 minutes or so but still ;D

I arrived to Helsinki on a not so beautiful summer day with my luggage. I walked through the customs as the "seen-on-tv-customs-drug-god" sniffed me on the way. I was in Finland. I mean holy shit, I was in Finland!!!

ps, more to come later on. The blog ain't finished till I say so ;)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Reunion in Hamburg

I don't know why it's so hard to write my blog here in Finland but I owe it to me and to you to somehow complete this blog. Well actually I guess I just stated the reason aloud but we'll get back to that matter later on...anyhow...

I was on my way to the last leg of my European tour 2016. I was gonna revisit Hamburg. I was there first time like five years ago or so and I kind of liked it already then but I didn't do any partying. This time I was gonna visit a friend of mine that I met 2014 in Albania. I was only in the beginning of my journey back then so it was cool and frightening to meet Mr. Tordone now that I have been on the road for two years. I mean this was gain such a case that I told you earlier. You meet someone in different country in a hostel and then you go to his home. What if the chemistry ain't there anymore. Well once again all my worries were in vain. It was so cool to see Tordone again and to pop up few brewskies and talk about what has happened since we last met. 
Me, Johannes and Tordone. Johannes was in Albania with
Tordone. It was so cool to hang with them both.
I know it's for taken and I wouldn't even need to type this but the places do really open up differently when you have a local guide. We went to some familiar spots but I also got to see the "real" Hamburg and the suburbs which was great.  I also experienced the night life this time and I have to say that it was terrific. The Hamburgians ( I have no clue how to call them properly) do know how to have fun as do all the Germans. So many cool small bars and pubs or just a street corner to hang with a corner shop to provide you with the beverage of your choice. We visited the bar where the Beatles started their career though it was too crowded and I was not intoxicated enough to wanna stay there. Another cool spot was also one, if not the oldest and most famous grill for the curry wurst. I felt like Anthony Bourdain, eating a local cuisine and chatting with the locals.

The famous unfinished opera house. 
Brand new and empty subway train station

I have to mention about this one interesting occasion that happened in Hamburg. Most people might have found the following situation a bit agonising but I didn't mind =)
We were having a breakfast or brunch with Tordone as his phone rang. After the telephone conversation he returned to the kitchen and it seemed that he was really struggling with his output,  I mean how to express the issue.
"Teemu, I was just invited to a bbq party on Saturday. I mean were both welcome over there. The thing is that it was my ex-girlfriends parents that invited me. There would be my parents, my ex-girlfriends parents, us and maybe my ex-girlfriend. Do you wanna go? I mean we don't have to go."

Omg lol, what a situation that would beand of course I had never met these people before. I went over the idea in my head for a second or two and heard my self say: "Well, it's free food so I'm in if you wanna go." You have to understand that I was really short on my at this part of my journey and then again I always get a long with people no matter what age or relations.

As it appeared that Tordone's and his ex's approval for the invitation was dependent on the opposing person's presence we actually agreed to join the bbq once we heard that the ex was coming also. Hah! You thought that it would mean trouble for them both to be in the same place. Wrong!

Damn! I have to say that seldom have I been fed as good as I was fed at that bbq and the drinks weren't scarce either. Schnaps and beer. We had such good time and there was nothing awkward about the situation. Happy days!
This is the coolest shirt ever. I tried to buy this
from Tordone but he didn't wanna sell. I
don't blame him for not selling :D
All good comes to an end eventually. I was two flights away from Finland....

Monday, September 19, 2016

Almost in Finlaaand...

I was really getting close to the end of this leg on my journey. Finland was almost in the vicinity and I could almost smell the fresh forest air.  But before I was about to fly to Finland there were still a few places to visit. Actually there were more than a few place but I felt the my money situation and schedule tightening. If I was about to enjoy Finland's summer at all I needed to skip quite a few place that were amongst possibilities. My apologies to all those people that but I know you understand and there's always tomorrow....

Wattenscheid, infamous suburb of even more notorious Bochum was on my list again. Nothing fancy or exciting happened there but boy did I eat like a king. Have a look at these pictures and let your eyes feast on that food. Sausages, pork, vegetables, corn, mushrooms! Yummy as hell!

This is one of the few opportunities to feel like a man...BBQ ;D
Look at those beauties. we brushed those with a nice self made
garlic oil. 
Too much food and way too much beer equals a perfect "weekend" get a way before my last stop before Finland. I was off to Hamburg....!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Do you know which inventions that have changed to world for good are from Mannheim??

First of all, once again my apologies for a long delay in updates. I hope that my poetic vein is gonna be more productive in the near future.

Have you ever had the feeling that you don't actually know what the hell you're doing? Hahahahaa, of course not ;)
I was heading to Mannheim to meet up with this dude I met in NZ and I was wondering what the hell I was doing. We spent a couple of days in the same hostel in New Plymouth and now I was gonna spend some days at his place. What if he actually is an axe murderer and is just waiting to get his hands on my liver...with onions. Well I wasn't actually afraid of that but just a bit concerned if the chemistry and the good will that we shared in NZ was lost. What if it was just because of the place and the timing in NZ. I know its stupid to think like this, I mean people do couchsurf all the time. Still with all the reasoning I have to admit that I was a bit concerned.
As soon as we met at the bus station in Mannheim I knew that all my concerns were in vain. It was a joyful reunion indeed.
Me and Inan. Cheers bro!
Not only was it really cool to see Inan again but it was also my first time ever in Mannheim. I know I don't usually tire you with historical facts but now I have to tell you somethings about Mannheim, things I didn't know/remember...okay okay, mostly I didn't know them ;)
Famous water tower and make out park for tourists. Also kind
of my only picture taken from Mannheim :D
I'm gonna give you the top 3 facts about Mannheim that everyone should know.
1)First and the most important. The (in)famous Spaghetti ice cream was invented in Mannheim! Hoooray!
2)The first bicycle was also invented in Mannheim
3)The first motorwagen, a.k.a. car was also built in Mannheim.

Damn those Germans! They've been busy back in the days ;)
Btw, John Deere's also has got their HQ in Mannheim
One cool fact about Mannheim is also that the city centre's streets aren't named but numbered just like in New York. At this point you can already guess which city did it first...buahahhaaa.
I have to thank Inan for giving me all this cool info and of course for providing me with accommodation for 6 days :D It was a splendid stay in Mannheim. I'll be back for sure!

I almost forgot! There was also one other delightful reunion in Mannheim. Diccon, whom I met at Wolfpack hostel in Vietnam, drove to see me in Mannheim. That was also cool.

"To think or not to think"

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nürenberg 2016

I actually felt really sad leaving Linz behind, it's always so much fun to be there. But I since I have my mental schedule to be back in Finland before the whole summer is over I had no choice than to move on since there was still few reunions on my way to Finland.
Me posing!
This was gonna be my second time in Nürnberg but a pleasant revisit to meet my good friend Lilly. Acquaintance from Vietnam like so many of my foreign friends :D

And it was good again. I managed to get my own room instead of sleeping on the kitchen couch. Baam! I had nothing against it. Few days of catching up, meeting new people, barbecuing and so on. I felt like being on a holiday…am I? :D  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Garlic bread and hiking in Linz

My next reunion was one of the most anticipated ones for me. It was gonna be my third time in Linz to visit my brother from a different mother, Dan “The Man”. Since it was my third time there was not gonna be any sightseeing, just catching up, chilling and maybe, just maybe some beer enjoying. I met this guy quite a few years ago in Scotland where we ended up bumping into each other couple of times and that’s when we knew it’s our destiny to stay in touch ;) My pal had been through some rough times and that’s why I was even happier than usually to see a big smile on his face when he came to pick me up from the train station. “Let the games begin!” And what a friend I have, he brought a bottle of Cava with him to the station. We were supposed to drink it right at the platform but the plan had only one flaw. The lack of a cork screw. After a well intended and a worthy try that nearly demolished the cork totally we decided just to go to a bar and ask for them to open it and so we enjoyed to bottle between mighty concrete block houses. Cava is still cava no matter where you drink it ;) It’s with whom you consume it! 
Me and my hippie friend, Daniel
Besides the usual beer drinking we were actually on a quite active mode also. Daniel called his parents if we could use their camper van for a couple of days and so we headed for the Austrian back woods. Due to bad weather and lack of proper water proof gear we only did one hike but it was so good nevertheless. We had couple of beers with us, some sausages and bread rolls for a perfect picnic snack at a beautiful mountain lake. Unluckily there was so much fog and rain that I couldn’t get a proper picture of the lake. The memory remains though unless I lose that specific brain cell ;) 
This is not the lake mentioned above but it is a lake nevertheless.
Hey! I've had a beer in that Gasthaus on the back ground. 

Btw, Daniel will be a great wife someday for some one. He makes amazing food! Especially the garlic bread (which is not that complicated, I know) was amazing. He did it twice just because I requested it. The first one was really good but the second one was heavenly. You know, some people avoid garlic and onions when they're going out. We used a whole garlic for one loaf of garlic bread so me and Daniel ended up eating half a garlic each before we headed out! :DD Stay away you bloodsucking vampires! And I’m not even gonna start with the Schnitzels he prepared for us. Damn Daniel, if you were a girl I would have definitely made a move. Muahahhahaa. See you some day somewhere again!
The hike picnic. Look, I have a cold dog! 
"Yayyyy! It's water!" *Splash splash* Sometimes
Daniel can be a bit childish, unlike me...
Josef, it was also really good to see you again! I hope next time we actually have a better opportunity to catch up ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to speak Russian! Lessons 1-3

This is me asking for directions in Russian! Thanks to my tutor Elena. Now I won't get lost in Moscow...or Russia...

Back at the Old Continent! Yar!

Having spent some quality time in Bangkok it was time to head back to Europe. Last time In Europe was in October 2015 when I flew from Frankfurt to Taipei. This time I was flying to Vienna via Abu Dhabi. I don’t usually give a shit which airline I’m using, I just want to get from A to B cheap and safely with my luggage. I have to say that my experience with Etihad Airlines was quite brilliant. When is the last time that you ate with actual metallic cutlery in a plane? Service was top notch and the food was slightly better than the average in flight meal. I can highly recommend! 

Change of planes in Abu Dhabi and I was in Vienna around 7am 8th of July. My first reaction: Where’s everybody? What has happened? Did aliens finally abduct 90% of the population? 
I mean after SEA Europe is just one empty concrete world. It’s been a while since I have felt as strange as I felt that day. I was walking in the suburbs of Vienna and there’s just no one there. I mean I guess they were all working or something like that. The other side of the coin was the easiness of everything. I mean I know the foods, the transportation, how people act…It was like being back home but far from it…hard to explain. 
Me and Kathi
Anyway, it was time for my second reunion of my European tour 2016 but Kathi, an Austrian girl whom I met in Vietnam in 2015, needed to work till 5pm or so. Luckily she had a friend staying at the place where we were gonna spent the first night so I just needed to wait for her to wake up. After couple of hours and a lot of coffee me and Kathi found out that she had not even spend the night in that apartment and I needed to go to the other side of Vienna to get the key. I was a bit annoyed to be honest but then again originally I was prepared to wait all the way till 5pm for Kathi to finish her work so I was kind of happy just to get a shower and a nap after two long flights from Bangkok.
One nighter in Vienna just to catch up and the next morning I had one thing I had really missed in SEA. Proper western breakfast with fresh rolls, cold cuts, ham, salami, cheeses. OMG. I was in heaven to be honest. I don’t think I have made that much approving grunts and sighs in a long time :D Must have been kind of annoying to Kathi ;D
Austria's only and never used nuclear power plant.
I find it quite interesting the they actually built it and then
deiced to have a referendum whether to open it or not.
You crazy Austrians! =)
I’ve been to Vienna before so I had told Kathi that we don’t need to spend anytime over there and therefore we headed to her home village, Zwentendorf. Countryside! The volunteer firefighters were having a festival to raise some money for equipment in this 4000 resident village. Beer, vine, food, music, the basics. 
My fellow Finns, have a look at these prices.
Outrageous! It's too cheap!
Wild boar and deep fried chicken. Good!

To be honest, I got pretty drunk that night. It was just so cool to drink good and cheap wines&beers with nice people and enjoy some wild boar. There’s definitely some good aspects on being back in Europe.
One of my all time favourite pictures, on my right the mayor of
Zwentendorf and on my left the chief of the fire department.
It's good to have friends in high places! ;D
We went back to the festival the next day and the chief of the fire department (the dude in the precious picture) kept shouting "kippis" every time he saw me. Kippis is cheers in Finnish and I taught it to him the previous night. It was so funny to hear it every half an hour with an Austrian accent and always when I was least expecting it. I almost crapped  my pants a couple of times. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bangkok baby!

Night bus from Nha Trang to Saigon and straight to the airport. Flight to Bangkok and so there I was. Like my friend asked me: "Dude, after spending, I don't even remember, how long and this is your first time in Bangkok?". Yes. The first time. There's several reasons why I haven't gone there before but I'm not gonna list them here now =)

Bangkok was the first one of many reunions to come on my way to Finland and I had gotten good instructions from my friend how to get to the hostel from the airport. Everything went smoothly all the way through customs and luggage retrieval. I knew that I would have to take a skytrain to get closer to the city centre but there was no signs what so ever telling where the skytrain is. At that point I realised that there's two airports in Bangkok and my instructions were of course how to get into the hostel from the other one :D Well, no problemo, as a seasoned traveller I decided to ask for help. Can you believe it! 45 minutes in a bus and some wrong turns and found the skytrain. (Don't go undergrounds if you're looking for a skytrain...duh). After the train I was supposed to take a water taxi. Of course the problem was that there was a shit load of people trying to do the same and the boats were totally full and then I was told that they stop operating within the next 10 minutes. Me and my backpack made the decision to get to the hostel some other way...I was actually so annoyed that I decided to walk the whole 4.6km that my map applications showed as the distance. Why was as I annoyed you ask? Well without the flight ticker problems described in my previous post I would have been in Bangkok around mid day. Now I was there way later. It was also dark and it started raining. Also the tiredness might have something to do with it having spent the previous night in a sleeper bus.
Morning coffee!

It actually started raining so heavily that I had no choice than to take a taxi. Of course the taxi driver didn't even recognise the street I was trying to tell him. First he couldn't read the text from my mobiles because he didn't have his reading glasses and then when he finally decided to put them on he still didn't know the street. With my map app I kept on giving directions to the driver and I finally managed to find the hostel. 
"Hmm...this is art. I get it now!"
But soon was gone the tiredness and annoyance when I met the first of many reunions to come, Elena. I met Elena at the Escape bar and at some point we realised that were gonna be in Bangkok about the same time and for me it was a great flight hub on my way to Europe. I also love having my "personal guide". She already knew Bangkok and since I mostly travel alone and make all my own decisions I was more than happy just to follow her "blindly". I actually almost felt ashamed of being such a lazy bastard but then again it also felt kind of great. 

We hit couple of really nice music bars and I have to say that the music was awesome. There's one thing that I've been complaining about the Vietnamese drummers as long as I've been there and that is the total lack of being able to deliver just a steady beat. I don't know why but it seems that in Vietnam drumming means to do as much as possible at all times no matter if the singer is in the middle of his/her verse or if the music just doesn't need a fill at that point. I also want to buy every drummer there a metronome. In all my time in Vietnam I don't think that I've heard even 4 bars in a row without a fill or a change from hi-hat to the ride and I shit you not. It's just unbelievable. So in this blues bar and I was just amazed by this local (I think he was) drummer who did all the right things. I even sent Bob (the lead singer of the Escape bar band) some footage of this guy just to make him believe that there are still drummers in the world that listen to the music :D

During the 4 days that I spent in Bangkok we went to some museums, ate a lot of street food and drank local delicacies like fermented rice wine. That stuff really hit's you btw :D

Toy museum! Funn-Y! 
Star wars minions! Super cool!
I guess these girls were just coming from the spa behind me..
I really hope they live nearby.
I guess I have to say something about Bangkok in general at this point. For me the biggest surprise after Vietnam was that everybody was driving cars, not scooters. I don't know why I had the prejudice/image in my head but I was really surprised how modern Bangkok is. The food was good and prices acceptable and there's lots to see but the place is way too touristy for my liking. I mean I had a really good time, thanks to my "guide" Elena, but I understood exactly why I have been kind of avoiding Bangkok all this time. I will probably go back some day to explore more but this visit was more like a reunion than exploring. 
This is the best picture there is of me
and Elena. ;) (Sorry E, just had to post
Oh yeah, and happy birthday Elena, one more time. It was a good night! :D
This is me asking for directions after accidentally finding
ourselves on this god forsaken street!

Monday, July 4, 2016

I really, really hope Buddha/karma/what ever weren't trying to tell me something....

This is a story how buying as simple item as flight ticket can sometimes be total pain in the ass:

I was browsing for my flight ticket for today, 4th of July and found kind of a perfect option both time and money wise. I got all the way to the stage where you have to pay the ticket. No problemos, use the credit card and get the ticket, or that's what I thought.
My mastercard got declined. Ok, these things happen sometimes. I try my other credit card which also happens to be a mastercard. Yeah, you smartasses, I shouldn't have two of same kind, I know but since my bank decided to change my visacard to a mastercard without me having anything so say about it and being abroad...Well as you can guess my other credit card got declined also.
I contacted my bank and they replied within 10 minutes to tell me that everything is fine, has to be a problem with the website.
I decided to postpone my flight ticket purchase and try it again the next day just in case there was somekind of problem with the connection or what ever. But the next day was exactly the same.

Okay, I knew that there is a that company's office in Nha Tran so I was like, okay, no problem, I just go to the office and buy the ticket the old fashioned way.

I find the office and get to the point where I have to pay the ticket. "I'd like to use my credit card please." Then I notice that they don't have the credit card reader device but they use the same web-page that I had tried multiple times....Duh...

Well no problem! This is exactly why I took some cash with me. Hooray for my brains.
"Can I pay with US dollars?"
"Yes, dollars are fine!"
"Nice, here 110" dollars" (the ticket was 108USD...of course the price had risen meanwhile I was trying to purchase it for couple of days)
"Errr....I can't give you dollars back. Do you have exact change?"
"Okay....okay...what if you keep the 100 dollar note and I pay you the 8USD in Vietnam Dongs?"
"Yes, that is okay"

I give the lady a 200000Dong note to cover the 8USD. Then she picks up my 100USD note and says:"Sorry sir, I can't accept this note".

I'm like what the f***?!?

There's was a 3 mm long rupture/rip on the note. Other than that it was like brand new...3mm long rupture on one of the sides.

"Really, you can't accept a perfectly fine 100 USD note?"
"No, maybe you have another one?"
"Yes I do have another one, back at the hotel...."
"Maybe you come back with that one?"
"No thank you, I won't be coming back. Thank you for your service. I will choose another airline. Good bye"


142+ gigs later.

142 f***ing shows in consecutive days at the Escape bar plus some other gigs like a wedding gig and some solo performances. I only "managed" to skip 3 show. One because of a food poisoning, once we had no drummer so Bob sent me home (I was totally fine with that) and the third time I was doing my visa run in Cambodia. Of those 142 gig I played mostly bass. The last about 20 were me playing acoustic guitar with the drummer, Mr Chuoun except some days when we had some visiting musicians. I have to say that I have grown as a person (hell no, just kidding) and as a musician (this is actually true) thanks to Bob's rock 'n roll high school.

Btw, my farewell party was awesome! Here's some pictures from the festivities. 
Here's me and some local posse and Bob of course. Ms Thuy
aka Boss woman on the right. 
And here's the new band replacing the huge void I caused
by leaving. =) Beautiful Mrs Marie.
Tomo on the background. Makes delicious Japanese food at
his restaurant Ichi. Go see him if you go to Dalat. 
Bob, me, B.Nana (yes she is still alive and kicking) and
Boss woman.
My good pal Tuan with a huge bana...huge grin on his
Some Russian beauty! Muahahhahaa
Me and Martes aka the Flying Dutchman.
I'm at the Ho Chi Minh's airport writing this and waiting for my flight out of Vietnam. I just arrived here from Nha Trang. God damn I don't like the local sleeping busses aka "coffin busses". I'm just way too big for those "beds" in every dimension. So not much sleep last night but at least some.

What did I do in Nha Trang? That is a good question indeed! You probably wont remember a dude called Reyman (aka a El Reymundo) but I played with him at the Escape bar before Bob came there as his substitute when Reyman moved to Nha Trang. So I just wanted to meet my buddy in NT. It was a blast.  We did some jamming, ate a lot of delicious Philippine food (thanks to my man Joseph who cooked twice for me and Reyman) and drank way too much beer :D Thanks to everyone in Nha Trang for the hospitality! I wanna see you again one day! 

Me, Joseph and Reyman

This is one way to spend a night in Vietnam. Jamming in a small restaurant. We carried the instruments and the amplifiers there on scooters and started playing :D Thanks to all my Philippine&Russian homies. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Some pictures from Escape Bar.

Me&Mr Chuoung 
Me&Bob having a staring contest 
Erick from Canada on the left. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


My beloved friends and readers. 10 more gigs at the Escape bar and then I'm gonna be on the road again. So wacky pictures and hopefully cool stories on the way again soon. 
Not that I don't appreciate my time here but I can't wait to be on the road again. Mostly because I know that I'm soon gonna see a lot of people that I've met during this journey and on my previous trips. Multiple reunions coming this way and not to forget the fact that Im actually heading back to Finland. My poor liver :D Oooopppps, haven't I told this to my Finnish friends yet....well now you know. I don't have a date but before the summer has ended, that much I can promise. 

As usual, I don't have anything exact planned but I do have some kind of "roadmap" in my head at the moment but anything can change of course. I try to keep everyone posted as much as possible but at the moment it's impossible to give any exact dates, just rough schedule. 


Monday, June 6, 2016

2nd anniversary baby!

Two years ago this day exact day I was at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland waiting for my flight to Düsseldorf and writing my first entry to this blog with a glass of sparkling wine. I was in the beginning of an great unknown. I only had my first destination decided and after that I was gonna go with the flow. That's what I've been doing ever since till this day. I've been to 19 different counties on this journey (so far) on two continents, Eurasia and Australia. Some of the countries twice. I've fulfilled one of my travelling dreams and spent two months in the beautiful New Zealand even though I wasn't sure if I'm gonna ever get all the way there. Luckily my friends pushed me towards that decision. I've been to countries that I had never even thought about going into, for example Albania, which happens to still be one of my favourites on this trip and I ain't kidding. 

As I am writing this entry in Dalat in my usual cafe I must say that I also never thought that I would be working as a professional musician in Vietnam. This is the reason why I didn't want to make plans in the beginning. If I had had my trip plotted and flights booked I wouldn't be here now enjoying quite a relaxing life. Everything good has come to an end nevertheless and so is my bass players career here in Vietnam coming to an end, at least for some time. But I won't go to that topic more than this on this entry. 

I don't know exactly what I wanted to say to you my dear readers but when I woke up this morning I just felt a strong urge to write something on this glorious second anniversary day. 

I guess one of the feelings that is on the top of my mind is how blessed I am to be able to do what I've been doing for the last two years. I understand that I belong to a extremely small minority who are actually able, but also, and maybe even more so, willing to live a life as a drifter/expat/backpacker. Because in the end my current life style is more about will than the possibility. It's way too easy to think up excuses why one couldn't do the same. This is not for everybody though. Most of us need the security of knowing what's gonna happen in the future. I instead enjoy not knowing what I'm gonna do or what's gonna happen. More than anything, this journey has strengthened my self confidence. I know that I will always somehow manage and survive. 

If you didn't raise a glass for my birthday, please raise a glass for me for my second anniversary (and even if you did for the bday)! I know I'm gonna do some glass raising today....muahahahhahaaa.

Teemu "Oooops, I played a wrong note" Paananen.