Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Winter sport

As some old and sportive friends plan a visit soon, here's a collection of winter sport links.
  • winter swimming hey even we Finns do not take it THAT seriously
  • indoor swimming in Mäkelänrinne btw the water there is purified with ozone - no red eyes
  • indoor swimming in Roman spa-style in Yrjönkatu just behind Forum shopping centre
  • long distance skating (not yet possible) gear rental (btw summertime they rent kayaks)
  • Suomen Latu near the Stadium rents many kinds of gears like all the Suomen Latu places: snow shoes, skis, skates, (new mountainbike place after Ruohonjuuri closed) but they are open only weekdays 12-18 Saturdays 12-16 . Note phone number in link, make a reservation.
  • Suomen latu in Oittaa is open in more worker-friendly times; and they have a sauna (this is where Fritz rented skis 2005) (repaired this link Feb07)
  • Suomen latu in Kuusijärvi is open even n Sundays and they have a smoky sauna (yes here we went for winter swimming)
  • Dance in Helsingin tanssiopisto - they don't say but I assume some teachers like the Irish guy gives classes in English..
  • .. and at least Caisa even lists language and dance courses on the same page. If it's not your level, they might forward you somewhere else.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"Luminous tags"

Two posts below I wrote about reflectors. "A new guy in Town", Dave, has mentioned those in his blog too. I googled a bit and found Liikenneturva calls them "luminous tags". (They are our local RoSPA but only for traffic). Liikenneturva says half of pedestrian deaths take place in dark time, and half of those could have been avoided if the victim had had a luminous tag. The law says pedestrians should always wear one when walking in dark time on road. Practically all kids' wear and sportswear made in Finland comes with in-buildt reflectors.

Be luminous out there...

Monday, December 18, 2006


My old Japanese friend tried to explain me how rice is holy in Japan. Or not holy, sacred. Or not even sacred, you just respect it. He made me think what is holy in Finland.

Bread, certainly. Just like in English we talk about breadwinners. My grandma still draws a cross to the dough (to see when the yeast has worked and dough is ready for baking). And you are not supposed to put bread on floor, or upside down on the table. This is not so strong, and it may be a generation thing or a tribal thing. (Savolainen pullaposki).

Sauna, at least Saturday Sauna, much more. Working Saturday evening brings you extra salary as compensation for missing the sauna at home. Grocery shops are basically closed on Sundays except in December afternoons, and in summer, and this year even Christmas eve morning, and some other exceptions. But they close Saturdays 6 pm. Full stop, no exceptions. Saunatime. People take their cellphones to restaurants, and bathrooms, but not to sauna. In emergency, some can f**t in church, but not in sauna.

What else ?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas shopping

Such a busy time to send something small and Finnish.
By now, the presents should preferably fit in envelope to arrive in time.
What I shipped this year:
- Reflectors (heijastin). DesignMuseum has classy ones called LifeSavers; Anttila has heartagrams for HIM-fans, Lordi-logos fo Eurovision dans and you-know-whats for Rosa Meriläinen fans.
- Music. Red Cross has mini CDs attached to a card. And it's charity stuff.

Last year I found some glögi spices in a christmas card package, have not seen them this year.


This is a blog by a bunch of people who have left Helsinki for studies, work or love, and have returned. We still have our friends abroad, and we try to tell about life in Helsinki, as seen in eyes of an insider-outsider. (Yes, we have a tendency to be besserwissers, at least some of us...)

The stories here are written for those who make the same trip in the opposite direction: come here to work or study for a shorter or longer period. (And we know some who do, and feel sympathy...)