Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Random Tuesdays 07/30/2013

Red Rocks Park, Colorado in 2009

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Finland through the eyes of an almost American"

This morning's Helsingin Sanomat had column written by Tuomas Niskakangas, a Finn who has lived in the U.S for the last 3 years. I found the column "Miltä näyttää Suomi melkein amerikkalaisin silmin?", which describes Finland through the eyes of a self-proclaimed "almost American," really interesting, mostly because when I moved back to Finland after being gone for almost 6 years, I saw Finland somewhat similarly than Niskakangas. (I'm assuming) Niskakangas lives in the DC area, which I'm not that familiar with though. Also, I don't consider myself as American in any way, although some of my Finnish friends beg to differ.

from weheartit.com

Here are some of his observations (please excuse the obscure translations) and my comments as a Finnish remigrant:

One sees very few obese people, there are a lot of 'slightly round' folks. -> I've also noticed that we don't have that many obese people here in Finland as they do in the U.S. I nevertheless think majority of Finnish people are of normal weight. Statistics may disagree with me.

People drink milk and alcohol. Lactose or the lack of it is mentioned everywhere. -> Very true. It took me a couple of family dinners at my husband's to realize that no other adult member of the family drank milk! I switched to ice tea like the rest of them, so that they didn't have to serve milk just for my sake :D

Children's parks offer free food. The parks also offer free entertainment for kids, which is something American parents would pay a lot to receive. -> Parks don't offer free food where I live, but they do have events for kids that are invaluable! The community park nearby where we live is awesome, they even have a kiddie pool during the summer!

There are a lot bicyclists, and they all seem to be going somewhere. They wear helmets and carry stuff and kids. -> Agreed and I think it's great! No one in their right mind rides bicycles outside parks and paths in Nebraska. I did, and got harassed daily.

Public trashcans are almost always full. -> Have not noticed this, but the public trashcans in Finland are a lot smaller than the ones in Nebraska.

Taking care of business at government establishments is surprisingly fast. It doesn't often cost a thing. Public services get a grade A. -> Why I love Finland: things get taken care off! I think one might need to live outside of Finland for a while to realize how efficient Finland is. I love the honesty and efficiency here.

27C is considered hot. Summer is beautiful. -> I wholeheartedly agree, lovelovelove Finnish summers. It's not too hot, but it's warm enough. And I love the long days!

from weheartit.com

And here are some observations by commentators:

Finnish roads are in bad shape, full of potholes. -> Disagree. Commentator has clearly never lived in Nebraska where you might lose a small child in one of the potholes on the public roads. Not kidding.

Finnish stores have poor selection and high prices. -> I think we lack variety, but I love the fact that you can mostly trust Finnish food. In the U.S you have to check the packaging to make sure it is what its says it is and not just an imitation of it.

Finnish food is tasteless smash and porridge. -> Umm, disagree But perhaps it may seem bland if you are used to all the artificial flavorings in the U.S.

Most of the commentators focused on commenting about U.S rather than Finland, so I skipped the rest. Those who can read Finnish, do check out Tuomas Niskakangas' article yourself. I would love to hear your thoughts on the issue as well!

p.s I wrote this at work and I can't change the font for some reason :(

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Random Tuesdays 07/23/2013

Summer night in Helsinki, Finland in 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tvärminne Zoological Research Station

I mentioned in a previous entry that I was fortunate enough to receive a thesis scholarship from my university. The scholarship paid for room and board for a week at a zoological research station in Hanko, southern Finland.

I can't begin to explain how blessed I feel that I was given this opportunity, I got lots of thesisizing done during that week and resurrected my motivation to finish my Master of Arts degree. And Tvärminne was a gorgeous place to spend the week too! Here's a photo flood of my stay:

Arriving at the station

Tvärminne is a protected nature reserve


Main building

Gorgeous views from the cafeteria

The food was delicious and I loved looking outside while having my breakfast, lunch and dinner there.

One of the buildings at the station

My abode

I had a nice sized room for myself

Here's the blogger/graduate student herself :)

And here's a photo flood of the gorgeous surroundings. It was so nice to just go for walks in the morning, no rush. I walked 45mins one way and never saw anyone :) The only time I met other people was when we had meals at the cafeteria.

The only negative thing about the place was that there were a lot of snakes apparently. I hate snakes. But lucky for me, I didn't see any :)

I'm so grateful to my university for offering me such a great opportunity!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2013

First all, please excuse me for the long absence. It was not really planned, I've just been working, thesisizing and sleeping. But I've had some time for fun as well :)

Tuska Open Air Metal Festival is a summer tradition for me and my high school friends. We've been going to the festival for years and this year was no exception.

Here are some photos of Tuska Open Air 2013:

Here's the lineup, we were there for all three days

So we had these lovely accessories :)

The Festival was held at Suvilahti, Helsinki

Bolt Thrower

We were lucky; the weather was amazing the whole weekend!

The slightly eccentric King Diamond

Our tired festival crew heading home on Friday, although I guess technically it was Saturday already

It was a gorgeous night in Helsinki!

We missed seeing most of the bands of Saturday, since we were hanging around at the beer garden, but here's Testament. 
I remember these guys from when I was in middle school, so they've been around for ages.

Sunday's headliner was without a doubt Nightwish.

All in all an awesome metal-filled weekend, can't wait for next year's Tuska!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Random Tuesdays 07/16/2013

Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum in Cheyenne, WY in 2009.
Cheyenne Frontier Days itself is an outdoor rodeo held annually since 1897 in Cheyenne, hope to go someday! I love the rodeo atmosphere, even-though I have some reservations about rodeos in general.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Random Tuesdays 07/09/2013

Hanko, Finland in 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Random Tuesdays 07/02/2013

Near Bald Point State Park, Florida in 2007