Things I miss from Finland

I have always been adapting easily to any environment and I do take pride in not being the home sick type. I was 18 years old when I left to work in France in a hotel in Roissy near Charles de Gaulle airport for 6 months. I was young and clueless, but even then it was easier for me to move to France than to come back home. After having spent one semester as an exchange student in Montréal and having a lot of fun I remember feeling a bit blue the whole summer when it was over. Not to mention leaving Tunisia after more than a year, having the time of my life and then settling back to Finland, leaving also the love of my life there.

However after 3 year and a 3 months exactly in France, there are plenty of things that I miss from Finland. I adapted to Paris quite easily but at times I do get home sick. Everyday life here can be quite frustrating at times (as in any big city ?) and more and more I do see the good side of good old Finland. I of course miss the family and friends the most, but besides of that, there are plenty of other things I long for…

Food and drinks. I guess you always miss the food from home. Finland is not very known for its cuisine, but after overdosing the first years in France on baguettes, cheese and red wine, I’m done. I miss the Finnish selection of different rye and wholegrain breads and of course the famous Karelian pies . Actually nowadays a baguette makes me see red. I miss the Edam cheese from Arla (Finns, you know what I mean). Sometimes I even dream of Prisma hypermarket. And I definitely miss Alko. The wines are delicious and mostly cheap in France, but I miss the selection of world wines. Ok ok, actually I just miss the tags with description of the wine and recommendations for food to accompany it, so easy! Have you ever opened a bottle of white wine after a hard day at work and had to spit it out as it was a sweet wine? Well I have and that is utterly disappointing. It will never happen if you buy wine from Alko. From non-alcoholic drinks I do miss normal fat-free milk. A cold glass of milk after a workout, with a meal, or even when you are hangover. Won’t happen in France with that UHT milk. Damn you.

Nature. While I was living in Espoo 20 minutes bus ride away from Helsinki city center, I went to cross country skiing in the winter time straight from my front door on the best days. In worst case I walked 300 metres with the skis on my shoulder and then I was in the forest, famous Espoo central park. Such a joy. One winter I skied until early April as it was so cold (what happened ever since – climate change?). But what I miss the most is definitely the sea. Baltic sea may not be the friendliest of the seas, but it is awesome to live by it. Nothing but a fresh sea breeze to make you feel better. And if the “city” life is too much, you just escape to family cottage by the lake which is literally in the Middle of Nowhere. Oh yes, we like nature and we don’t like neighbors.

Organization and honesty. In Finland you can pretty much rely on what people say. In France you need to be ready to fight for everything. People will tell you with a straight face that something is your fault, when it isn’t. Of course there are difficult people also in Finland, but at least you can trust authorities. If you go to a public office, you can pretty much get the things done without a hassle, your papers won’t get lost (oopsie!). Before I moved to France I had never sent a registered letter, as we trust people in public offices. Actually I didn’t even send letters since you can do everything online or over the phone. In Finland you get pretty much through any major changes in your life (changing a flat, a job, being sick), without having to print a wheelbarrow full of papers, having a check book, sending a lettre recommendée

These are the first things that come in my mind when I think what I miss from Finland. And these are things I certainly took for granted when living in Finland. Of course we have also one of the best education and healthcare system in the world, but enough bragging for now. Maybe, probably, all of this will be boringly safe and dull if I move back one day, but now let me light two candles for the Finnish Independence Day and feel le mal du pays. 

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6 thoughts on “Things I miss from Finland

  1. Hauska lukea noita ja samaistun kyllä muutamiin, itsekin Pariisissa asuessani kaipasin eniten luontoa, ruisleipää ja rehellisiä ihmisiä :D. Mutta nyt puolitoista vuotta sen jälkeen kun muutin takasin Suomeen, voin kertoa, että kaipaan todella paljon Ranskan halpaa ja hyvää viinivalikoimaa… JA ranskalaista kunnon leipää! (Tätä en olisi uskonut Ranskassa asuessani koska rupesin myöskin näkemään punaista patongeista puhuttaessa)… Suomesta on oikeesti todella vaikea löytää HYVÄÄ ja tuoretta vaaleaa leipää. Tai ehkä kaipaan etenkin boulangereita?

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    1. Näin se varmasti juurikin menee, luulen että itsellänikin tulee montaa asiaa täältä ikävä jos Suomeen muutto koittaa 🙂 Ruoho on aina vihreämpää aidan toisella puolella!

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  2. I understand You very much, because when I was young I worked in Las Palmas. Every Morning when waking up, there was sunshine. In Finland, we have four seasons and I enjoy them.

    Paris is Paris and I love to walk on its street and to sense of the “Ville Lumière “. I visit every time when there “chez les bouquinistes”.

    Merci pour ce beau partage.

    Bonne journée. Matti.

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  3. voi, ihan kuin itse olisin kirjoittanut jutun (Sunassa ja Olaissa asuneena) 🙂
    Suomesta kaipaan myös saunaa, että sen sai lämmittää ihan koska halusi, eikä tearvinnut miettiä tulevan sähkölaskun summaa. Täällä Pariisissa meillä ei ole saunaa, mutta sähkölaskun mukaan pyöritetään kyllä jotain Las Vegasin tapaista 😦 yösähköllä lämmität veden (samaisesta sähkölaskun suuruuste kyse ) ja jos tuuri käy illalla suihkuun mennessäsi saatat saada vielä lämmintä vettä, huom…siis jos tuuri käy !

    Kun suomessa menet kaupoille, myyjä on jo melkeen ovella huutelemassa: Miten voin auttaa? Ja huom! yleensä hymyileekin vielä ( niinpaljon kuin se joskus ärsyttikin 🙂 )
    Ranskassa et löydä myyjiä kirveelläkään, ja jos löydät, ei hän ainakaan kysy : Miten voin auttaa? Viimeksi imuriostoksilla kärttyinen myyjä, ensin valitteli viereiselle asiakkaalle, kun joutui kiipeämään asiakkaan haluaman imurin ylimmältä hyllyltä. Minun vuorollani taas kiukutteli, kun jokainen haluamani imuri oli varastosta loppu : Minkä imurin Madame oikein haluat? ” no lähdetäänkö siitä että esittelet minulle imurit, jotka löytyy varasosta?” ja myyjä sitten päätti paeta paikalta…….

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  4. Kiitti kommentista, Olarissa juuri itsekin asustelin 2 vuotta 🙂
    Hih meilla onneksi lamminta vetta riittaa, mutta sahkolasku tosiaan kirpaisee jos ei ole keskuslammitysta!

    Ranskalaisesta asiakaspalveluista voisikin kirjoittaa oman lukunsa.. Poikkeuksiakin toki on mutta harvoin tosiaan se on mielta lammittavaa. Paras esimerkki viimeajoilta oli kun peruin paivaa ennen tapaamista laakariaikaa, vastaanottovirkailija tokaisi puhelimen kettumaisesti “Kiitos kun peruit viimeminuutilla” ja loi luurin korvaan 😀

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