Internet makes life easier – or not?

I don’t know why but I’ve been thinking about how studying abroad would be without Internet. I remember I started using Internet when I was maybe 10 years old.. which means 17 years ago! Back then I used it just for playing some online games and chatting with random people (Finns, remember the KissFM chat? :-D). Nowadays I use Internet for so many things. It has become even more important communication mean to me than my mobile phone.

I can chat with my friends almost any time I want, and skype whenever we find time for it. The time difference is making skyping harder than technology. Although I am physically far, I don’t feel that I am mentally that far from my friends because of the easiness of communication. This makes me wonder that how hard was it to stay in touch with your friends and family before the era of Internet when one was living abroad. You were writing letters and postcards and trying to call to your family when you thought they might be available? And you paid a lot for your phone calls?

Staying in touch might had been hard back in the days but you were more free, right? Isn’t that nowadays something what we want too? I guess people going abroad want that nowadays too but there are more distractions than before, thanks to Internet. You want to be at the same time cut out from the “normal world” but then again stay in touch with your people.. right?

Before my takeoff from Finland I was a bit sick of Internet. Being honest, I think it had taken control over me and people around me. It was everywhere! In my phone wherever I went, in my friends’ phones, at home in my computer and at work in the work computer. It is too easy “to just check something quickly” from the Internet and then stay surfing there for hours.

When I arrived to Japan I thought that I’d get Internet on my phone – of course. I would have wanted also a Japanese phone number but when I noticed that the only option was to just get Internet, I started thinking that do I really need it. Maybe this can be my chance to learn out of the habit of checking everything from the internet, and actually look around me and try to connect more with the environment. Sometimes there are moments when I’d like to have Internet on my phone but most of the time I feel relieved that I do not have it. I am more relaxed.

Back to the main topic. How cool and more exciting could this exchange experience be without the newest communication technology? How different would this experience be if I weren’t so easily connected to my home country? I would love to hear stories of people who went to study abroad before the Internet existed.

Anyways.. Guess what I am missing a lot and I can’t get it..

.. Karelian pies and Finnish buns!

Karelian pies, I miss you.

Finnish buns, I miss you too.

I am a big fan of food so I made a list of the things I reeeally miss and can’t get (too expensive or can’t find) here:

  • Karelian pie
  • Finnish style bun
  • All kinds of cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • Dry Apple Cider
  • Quark

But I will survive :-D Going grocery shopping isn’t so awful anymore! Although buying cheese makes me sad quite often. It is possible to find some special cheese but they are usually very expensive. The only cheese that is affordable is the “processed cheese slices” (in Finnish: sulatejuustoviipale) which I can’t normally stand. Thank god we have a sandwich grill…


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