Аз живея

Finnish things that surprise me

It’s already three weeks of me in Finland and so far no real cultural shock (besides trying out salmiakki). Still, there are plenty of things that make me knit my eyebrows.

The shower in the toiletshower_in_finland

This can be found in every toilet. Its use is controversial – „No, it’s definitely not for washing yourself“, „I think it’s for cleaning the floor“, „It’s for body use, of course“, „Maybe to wash babies in the sink?“ – these are possible responses to an object so wide-spread that everyone should know what is it for, imho. I look forward new explanations.

 That solution for plates storagePlates_storage_finland

This is genial and I see it everywhere in the kitchens. An elegant and practical way of keeping the plates after washing them. Finland should export that one too, besides the education system.

The security

Bikes without locks and jackets left in a wardrobe outside of a lecture room at the university. My suspicious Bulgarian side tries to stay alert.

Everyone speaks almost perfect English. Still, Finnish is the official language.

Foreigners

This was in Maestratti, the Finn’s version of Bürgeramt. On the numbers machine, I was too lazy to get the difference between one and two, so I took one. The friendly lady to which I went said „Oh, excuse me, for Finnish social number, you need to take number two“. Okay…I googled the words. „Foreign things“. Mmmkay.

The coffee culture

Finland has the highest coffee consumption rate in the world and it’s no wonder with the lack of sun half of the year. But the filter coffee people drink here on daily basis would never make Agent Cooper happy. The quantity matters, not the quality.

Agent Cooper is not happyAnd a goûter culture doesn’t really exist – on an official coffee breaks coffee is served with salty things.

What do Finns identify with?

Out of love for languages, I went to a free Finnish lesson organized by the church. I sat together with some refugees, most of them already speaking pretty well. A language lesson is never just a language, it is a way of learning what matters for the country too. So, „Hän on“-exercise, „He/she is“, the teacher shows us pictures of people, we have to guess. First: a random blond guy in a suit. Wrong, it’s Mikka Hakkinen. Second: Barack Obama. Hm, really??? Then, Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Then random cartoon figure, I guess from the Moomins. Yes, 10 points for Gryffindor. Next: random blond guy number two, in Formula X costume. Kimi Raikonen, I say, I have heard this name at least. The teacher smiles happily. Last picture: the pig from angry birds. This one was known by everyone, well done, Finland. What I missed – a Nokia phone. But the exercise was for people, not objects.

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