1. Technological Superiority

    I am very jealous of the ease with which technology integrates into the everyday life of the average Finn. It's not obvious from the get-go, but becoming mobile is very, very easy over here--provided you already have the necessary devices.

    Allow me to provide an example. The past two years …

  2. The Quiet Finn

    There exists a stereotype about Finns--one that they are quiet, antisocial and dislike people. If you search for "Finland waiting at bus stop", one of the first results is this:

    Image

    Personal space is a very big deal over here.

    And like most stereotypes, there's nugget of truth to that--for example …

  3. The Rural Metropolis

    After a harrowing 24-hour transcontinental journey and a week to recover, I'm back stateside and in Camarillo. I'm drinking a can of root beer, and marveling at the fact that, for some reason, such a delicious beverage has avoided making its way overseas (or at least into Finland).

    Today, I'm …

  4. Frigid Fishermen

    Welcome back everybody! I hope you all had a happy New Year's Recovery. I am now back in Jyväskylä and have found some time to recount an adventure I had a few weeks ago.

    Remember when I mentioned filleted fish two posts ago? Well, when I was visiting Kaisa's parents …

  5. Snowy Shots

    marttiini_819017_deluxe_spike_more

    The piikki

    I don't really have any interesting Christmas-related observations this year. Though I did just watch Kaisa's neighbor fillet some fish that he'd caught this morning. Apparently, properly filleted fish costs about 20 euros per kilo at the store, and what he'd caught came out to 6 bags with …

  6. Time and Space

    It's that time of year again, dear readers. No, I don't mean the time of year where we drink ourselves into an eggnog-laden stupor before frantically going out and buying a Christmas Tree at the last minute, though it is that time of year. No, it's the time of year …

  7. And That's a Wrap

    So, my intention was to make this post about a month ago. Then I was beset upon by the specter of procrastination and somehow managed to never get around to it. After writing nothing for weeks, I realized at last that it was probably because I had nothing more to …

  8. Tripping Over My Words

    You thought I was done, didn't you? Think again!

    So, I've been back for two weeks now. I'd say that's long enough to have re-acclimated to being in the US again. So with that in mind, today's post is going to be a language lesson. Obviously, when visiting a foreign …

  9. Northern Lights

    So, picture this. You live in a country that's cold and dark all winter. You get about five hours of dim light once a day, and the temperature rarely, if ever climbs above zero degrees (32F). What's a Finn to do?  Why, create all manner of lights fixtures and sculptures …

  10. ...and a Happy New Year

    Photo of the Jyväskylä harbor

    "New Year's in Jyväskylä"

    Happy 2012 from the future, everybody! I am currently sitting on the couch about 5 hours before midnight, but this post is automatically scheduled to post itself at 12AM on January first, Finnish time. So by the time you read this, I will have likely done …

  11. Freaky Finnish Foods

    ...or not, as it turns out. Finnish fare is actually fairly simple, possibly even plain, depending on your point of view.

    "Even more delicious than it looks."

    Moose

    Let's talk about moose-the-animal for a moment before we look into moose-the-food. Moose are apparently incredible plentiful here in Finland, to the …

  12. Good Morning, America

    Photo of high noon in Finland in Winter

    "High noon in central Finland"

    Merry Christmas morning, everybody. It's noon right now, and I woke up about half an hour ago. I looked out the window, and this is what I saw.  Gotta say, I'm a fan.

    Also, a quick anecdote: yesterday, I was introduced to a proper Finnish …

  13. The Little Things

    "Fully-decorated Christmas tree!"

    Hyvää joulua! That is, Merry Christmas! I've been enjoying the hospitality of the Hirvonens for the past day and a half and right now I am so stuffed, I'm having a hard time budging from the couch. In fact, I've just been informed that dessert is being …

  14. Stockholm: Not Just a Syndrome

    I'm back! Enjoyed some time sightseeing in Helsinki, enjoyed the ferry/cruise/thing to and from Stockholm, and met a few of Kaisa's friends.

    Monday afternoon, we wouldn't be able to board the ferry until about 3PM at the earliest. So we decided to spend the time wandering around Helsinki …

  15. Amsterdam, Helsinki and More

    Amsterdam

    So, my first thoughts upon (finally) getting off the plane and seeing the Amsterdam airport: Wow, this is a nice airport.

    My thoughts five minutes later? This isn't an airport! It's a mall with airplanes and security screening on the side!

    American airports, get it together. Not only is …

  16. And We're Live

    Fri 16 Dec 2011, 17:35:00

    Test, test. Is this thing on?

    Good. I'll be using this blog to keep a record of my trip overseas for this Christmas.  I'll make an effort to update it semi-regularly but...well, no promises.

    Right now, it's 9:30AM, and I woke up at 7:45. Not sure when …