There of the things friends and family ask me about my time in Finland. Two are the things they ask me are:
1. Are you really at university or just having fun?
2. Are you really as happy as you seem?
1. Yes. I am. But the amount of university work and pressure is less than in SA, so there is more time for fun and happythings.
2. Yes. I am. But that said, this there are some downsides to being here. So here are two melancholy list for all those who think reality needs a downside too…
The downside of living in a winter wonderland:
If you suffer from I’veneverbeenbelow10’C-enasia, you will struggle to know what to wear and how to walk with so many layers on.
Catching snowflakes on your nose and eyelashes is fun but no one ever talks about the ice cream headaches you get from going that for too long.
If your friend buys a new coat, you might not recognise them outside because the first way we recognise each other is by our coats when we are outside.
It’s actually incredibly dry – static hair, nose bleeds and reptile skin are normal.
It’s fliiiiping cold so you spend a lot of time inside which is a bit much for the outdoorsy South African girl that I am.
Frozen fingers and toes really hurt.
I am never bare foot.
Things I wish I could take photos of to show you:
The glitter effect of street lights on frozen snow.
The crunch of walking on snow
The way the Northern Lights move towards you and above you, so that you can also realise your place in the universe and how very small we are.
The first moment I walk from inside to outside and how it always takes my breath away.
The silence of riding a bicycle on snow.
The feeling of snow falling on my face – the way it feels like tiny fish lightly, quickly nibbling at my face in a river in the Boland Mountains.
The fun of dancing to Wakawaka in a club where you are the only South African and people shout… THIS IS YOUR SONG!
The day I didn’t get lost in town.
Seeing the sun for more than 1 day.