96. Move to the Countryside

After a few financial scares kicking me in to action (a certain NZ government department that seems to have cut their monkey-training budget and just employs monkeys with NO idea messing with my student loan and even McDonald’s not considering me for employment) I decided to get a little creative with my job hunt. On the search for a babysitting job, I came across an Au Pair matching website and got talking to a lovely family that lives just outside of Aarhus. Next thing I’m living out in the country!

Some have critiqued such a choice, particularly moving in with a relatively unknown family. Certainly you have to approach these sorts of things with reason and caution, for example the single Dad with a baby advertising for an au pair and ‘personal assistant.’ Who knows, could have been a lovely guy but there were alarm bells there. Or the families who specify they only want someone from the Philippines so they can take advantage of the difficulties getting jobs and visas by overworking some poor girl. Anyway, I think I’ve struck gold with this particular family. So far it has proved to be an amazing way to truly immerse myself in the culture, learn a bunch of things I never would in a dorm, increase my Danish vocabulary, and most importantly they treat me like I am part of the family.
It has also provided a great opportunity to learn about Danish food and customs, try out recipes of things I have discovered on my travels and just generally enjoy having a proper kitchen! So expect a whole lot more cooking posts.

The downside is i am now about an hour out of town, but commuting has been pretty good for getting my readings done before class. And I only seem to have classes a couple of days a week most of the time so it isn’t too much of a tax!
Living out in the country provides for some beautiful views too, some of which are featured below. I feel awfully European when I cycle through the beautiful green fields to get to the bus stop. Any romantic illusions are, however, shattered by the fact that as we approach spring/summer, it is that time of year where farmers cover their fields with animal excrement…

88. The Tram Museum

On the walk between Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium and Sibelius Park, I saw a strange looking building with huge doors. Just as I was standing there pondering what could be going on inside, a tram came rolling along, and the huge doors slowly swung open. It was the tram depot! A huge grin spread across my face as the Thomas The Tank Engine Theme was all of a sudden in my head. With a musical skip in my step and plenty of nostalgia (I’m beginning to think I’ll never grow up) I carried on towards the park.

A few hundred metres down the road I noticed a sign that had the words ‘free’ and ‘gallery.’ Having had great success in galleries in the Design District I thought I’d check it out. Turns out it was actually a Tram Museum. I couldn’t help but laugh as I recalled a most hilarious (but only retrospectively) moment in Geoghegan family history. My father is probably responsible for my love of museums. He seems to not be able to get enough of them either. Being an engineer, the day we drove past the Train Museum on a family road trip, he couldn’t resist stopping to check it out. I think it was somewhere near the Waiuru Army base, and we were halfway through a ten hour road trip from Coromandel to Wellington on a stinking hot day. The absolute last thing anyone wanted to do was extend the trip for an extra hour, let alone inside a building that not only wasn’t air conditioned, but had a multitude of steam engines going at full boar. It was like being in a sauna with a jet engine.

So we have this hilarious photo of the most disappointed, angry, unimpressed facials, as we sat outside roasting whilst waiting for Dad to stop oooh-ing and aaaah-ing over train engines at the most boring and uncomfortable museum ever. I believe he still gets reminded every time anyone else in the family wants to go somewhere he doesn’t “Remember the train museum? We’re going to that art gallery.” “You’re taking us shoe shopping to make up for that time you took us to the train museum.”

And there I found myself in a tram museum cracking up laughing! Dad would have loved checking out the old trams of Helsinki, learning about the transition from horse-drawn trams to electric ones. In amongst the old carriages there was a big huge description of how people were annoyed at ticket prices, like it was the only place in the world where people complain about public transport pricing or something. It was actually pretty interesting and had a really nice cafe, and a big stage in the middle where they were setting up for some kind of gig later on. Unlike train museums in New Zealand, I would definitely recommend the Tram Museum in Helsinki, and maybe even take my Dad there and lose him for the next four hours.