Random notes about Finnish and Finland

On my way from Rovaniemi to Tampere last week, I spent 8,5 hours in the train. So I had a lot of time to observe and listen for my fellow travelers…  This post will not base only on what I noticed in the train, but amplifies some previous remarks.

Finnish people talk a lot about dogs. And regarding that, I had to check some facts about how many Finn really have a dog at home, as I have a feeling that in my surroundings at least every second person has dog. So I wasn’t surprised that, according to the Finnish Kennel Union, at least 50 % of Finns have or have had a dog once in their life. I’m one of the last ones, as our dog unfortunately passed away this winter… But last autumn when we were walking the dog with my Spanish friend, he was noticing all the other dog walkers who were stopping to chat with us, about dogs… And he said, laughing, “Now I know why every Finn has a dog, it’s their way to socialize with other people!” 😉 Maybe, or maybe not… But it’s true that it’s a very easy way to find something to talk about, with workmates, friends or complete strangers…  As in a train. It’s true that my mom was always telling how, she met a lot of people when she was travelling with our dog!

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Finnish people and alcohol is also an endless subject. And I’m not going to concentrate on that for a long time… I just have to say how I noticed in the restaurant car of the train, how many people were having a beer or sharing a little bottle of wine, even at 10 am. I’m not judging at all… I was actually thinking, that “I’m on holiday too now!  I should also get a beer…” But I think I was celebrating holidays and the end of the season enough the previous week at Ivalo, so a beer didn’t excite me that day, especially so early.

Ah, for those who don’t know, in Finland is not possible to drink alcohol anywhere (except at home) before 9 am! As Finnish people are quit keen on alcohol-drinking, the government set a law few years ago, that it’s not possible to buy alcohol anywhere, bars/restaurants/shops, before 9 am. The only exception for this are the airports.  Also selling alcohol in shops, stops after 9 pm. After that it’s possible to drink only in bars and restaurants.

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Finnish people drink especially beer. Or strong alcohols,

but nowadays wine-drinking is becoming more and more popular…

 

Another frequent talking point between Finns is the weather. I know they say, British or French people talk about weather all the time… As a small talk subject. But here also they do! When it’s sunny people are being so happy about the sun that they repeat it a thousand times, and when it’s cloudy or rainy, they complain how they miss the sun. I do exactly the same! Well, the only difference with British or French people is, that even when it’s raining and a crappy weather, Finns still go out. They just wear better clothes and boots and still go at work by bike or by walk… What ever the weather is they also go running, skiing and picking mushrooms.

In Lapland people were talking about reindeers, fishing and hunting, forest and nature. They all have the same interests there.

In southern Finland, every spring, people talk about dog poop and dust on the streets… As the poops appear everywhere when the snow melts. And the gravel that have been put on the streets to avoid people to break their legs on the ice, makes a lot of dust when snow have melt and it haven’t rained a lot…

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Well, as in many countries, also gardening, for those who have a garden, is a very common thing! As spring is here, trees and bushes need to be cut :).

That was it for today… Soon you will probably read more about travelling, as my mail-box is starting to be full of plane-tickets ;)!

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