Other things that Finland taught me

I am now happily at home in South Africa and have been doing a lot of reflecting on my time in Finland. Of course I learnt a lot in my courses but I was thinking of some of the other things I learnt during my time away. Here they are, for better or worse, in no particular order:

– You live a bit differently when you need to clean your own home.

– If you are cold (even at -25’C) it’s not the weather’s fault, it’s your fault for not dressing properly.

– You can survive on only one fruit a day.

– Don’t say hello to/look at/acknowledge strangers.

– Avoid drunk Finnish men at all costs, otherwise you are going to be caught in a very weird and long and slow conversation.

– Whoever gets to the door first goes through the door. Being a woman holds no sway in door politics.

– Eating dinner at 16:30 and then an evening snack before you go to bed is a great eating plan.

– Rain is not an excuse…ever

– Neither is darkness

– How to hibernate

– How to live cheaply: eating pea soup and eggs

– That when rye bread and salmon are cheap and education is tuition free, normal looks very different

– Bicycles are fantastic

– Knitting is cathartic

– Grannies (especially granny-bikers and granny-cross-country-skiers) are not to be underestimated.

– Cheap, fast, unlimited internet is great.

– Months of grey and cold and rain and dark is depressing, even if you are not prone to depression.

– How to appreciate friends and family, near and far.

– It’s ok to be bored. Not everything is awesome, amazing or fascinating.

– Life doesn’t have to be a crazy rush (I think this is my favorite one)

And here’s a little song that always made me laugh (it’s not Finnish, but the guy is Scandinavian)

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the best little knitting shop in Oulu

I had to do something to keep me occupied through winter, so, I started knitting (and blogging). Oulu was a great place to start knitting (and maybe blogging too) because so many people knit there. It almost feels like a normal thing to do. And where there are knitters, there are places to buy knitting supplies. If you want see-through glittery knitting needles (no jokes) you can get them from the specialty shop.

My favorite knitting shop in Oulu is called Lankamaailma which is found on Saaristonkatu 27, Oulu (Facebook page here)

It’s got more colours of wool than you knew colours existed and more combinations of colours  than you thought were possible. They have a wide price range and there are often sales which is great for African-student me. What’s more, they don’t just sell wool, but also all other types of cottons and whatnot people knit and crochet with (and those see-through glitter needles I was talking about earlier).

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