Welcome to Finland!

Here I am, having a beer in my home in Helsinki. My “home” becuase I feel like an adopted puppy. Minna’s familly treats me like I’ve always lived here and I love it.

We live in the suburbs of Helsinki, in a nice house Minna’s father built. He really loves building, for 3 years he’s been working on a boat, too. It’s outside, he showed it to me today. It’s really big, it’s going to have two bedrooms and even a sauna! Finnish people can’t live without sauna. And, I kind of agree with them, all people become addicted to it as soon as they try it.

I’ve tried it first on Friday, my first day in the North of Europe. I took a shower and stayed in the saune for almost 30 minutes with Minna’s sister. I was pretty silly bringing my bathing suit with me, as we all sit in the sauna naked. And not alone, yes. Luckily for my mental sanity, boys don’t nomally take sauna with girls in the same time, unless they are couples. And that means one couple at a time. So I am safe! : )))
The proper temperature in the sauna is 80 degrees Celsuis. For the first time, I beared 70. Not bad for a Southern girl! I got into the saune with one girl and two other girls joined us in a short while. It was a lot of information for one day! : ))))) But the truth is, I honestly think that nakedness makes the Finnish more confident, better managers, hence the blooming economy!

I have met Minna’s friends. A lot of them came on Friday night to see us. Everybody’s curious about the “Romanian girl”, I guess most people have never met a Romanian. They talk about me all the time, I can hear my name every 5 minutes. At first, I smiled and tried to understand what they were saying, then I just smiled. Now I just smile if somebody is talking to me! : )))))

I feel like I’ve died and went to… Helsinki a.k.a. Heaven! Minna’s mother cooks for me and does my laundry. She even bought butter because I prefer it to other stuff you eat on bread. Because Minna’s sister used to work for L’Oreal, I got to choose whatever pruducts I wanted form a huge box with sealed stuff. We go shopping everyday, we watch movies and walk. Who said the Northern people aren’t hospitable??
I packed Christmas presents with Minna’s sister, or shall i say “my sister”?, and will soon cook for the family: ciorba! : ))) I feel great!

I like being in the North. It is like a different planet, that’s for sure. I am constantly amazed with a lot of things, but generally, it feels like home. By the way, You know they call “money” in Finnish? “Rahat”! : ))))
I only hope I will see the center of the city on daylight, too. Today it snowed a little. Maybe we will have a white Christmas after all.


  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 12:51 AM

    Oh, what a great place! It almost feels like a small corner of art… art of live, art of living, maybe?!

  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 12:53 AM

    That was meant to be “art of life”… by the way, how do Northern people cope with English?
    And what do they know about Romania?

  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 3:30 AM

    I highly recommend a cruise to Stockholm. It takes almost two days; you travel by night on a big boat. It should be very cheap.

  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 5:56 AM

    Scandinavians are the coolest people on the face of the planet! Enjoy your Finnish holiday for me too, Andreea. I hope that you’re taking loads of photos.

    PS: I think this is the first time after a long while when I envy someone. (But I also miss you terribly, so don’t worry!)

  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 10:51 AM

    Enjoy your north! Si pozeaza oarece aurore boreale pentru noi! Bafta la ciorba!

  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 12:28 PM

    Oau, you are lucky. Have a nice vacation.

  • Reply
    Raluca T.
    18/12/2006 at 1:43 PM

    Have fun there and post some pictures with the new family!

  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 2:38 PM

    Hmm, is nice being you huh ?
    Good one, the money thing…

  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 5:44 PM

    Scandinavians know many things about Southern and Eastern Europe. Prolly because they spend their holidays there every year! : )))) And it’s not a joke. Many have been to Bulgaria many times.

    The people I’ve met know where Romania is, that Bucharest is the capital and that Ceausescu was our communist dictator. They also know that we have a problem with homeless people, street dogs and the integration of the Rroma comunity. And that is, of course, true.

    I’ve talked to them about our history, about the scandal regarding International adoptions and our social system. They have balanced views about these issues, as most of them have travelled a lot and, I’ve noticed, they read a lot of newspapers and Scandinavian press is very good.

    About the English – I have survived a few days without knowing how to say yes and no in Finnish. That’s because everybody speaks English here. And Swedish, too, they study it in schools. As you would imagine, middle-aged persons are not so good with foreign languages. My “adoptive” parents only speak Finnish and Swedish. But we understand each other. For example, makkara means sausage! And it only took me 10 minutes to realise that! : ))))

  • Reply
    18/12/2006 at 10:43 PM

    “Makkara” and “rahat” are enough for any tourist 🙂 Saying “no” should be useful to know and, perhaps, a synonim for “i love you” if and when the time comes… 🙂

    How about a comparision between Poland and Finland, when you have some spare time? I know that most countries are so much different from ours, but this, on the other hand, should be interesting.

  • Reply
    Miss Cliche
    19/12/2006 at 12:32 AM

    I know only a word in Finnish, that being “moi moi”. It means “hi”.

    Even the bad parts of my Erasmus experience are now fun to think about. So enjoy. 🙂

  • Reply
    19/12/2006 at 1:52 AM

    Well, “rahat” is worth every penny… Scandinavians, from the brief encounters I’ve had with them, are really cool people… Maybe you could share a few photos from up there with us back here…

    PS: the problem we had with dogs has been lately replaced with an even greater problem we now face with… yes, cats… cats which, unlike dogs, are cunning and… impossible to catch

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