A post-mortem of my first month as an expatriate.
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Merry Christmas from Finland
Here's a Christmas present for you all, from slightly in the future. After the break...
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 …
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:
Personal space is a very big deal over here.🔗
And like most stereotypes, there's nugget of truth to that--for example …
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 …
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 …
A More Rustic New Year
So it's 2013 and it looks like we're still here. The Mayans were wrong, so let's celebrate! And that's exactly what I did last night. Allow me to take you on a directed tour of a suburban Finnish New Year's celebration. And note that I only say suburban because the …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
California Here I Come, Right Back Where I Started From
Ladies and gentlemen, I have reentered the country! With surprisingly minimal difficulty, too. My customs agent was distracted, and I guess I didn't look suspicious. I could have lied my butt off on my declaration form and gotten off scott-free as long as I had some daring master plan to …
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 …
...and a Happy New Year
"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 …
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."🔗
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 …
Good Morning, America
"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 …
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 …
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 …
Amsterdam, Helsinki and More
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 …