Friday, May 18, 2007

Sisu, Sauna, Salmiakki (Guts, Sauna, Salmiac)

It's past midnight already but the sun is still not setting yet. I wonder how it'd feel like to enjoy Midnight Sun during summer and then to have less and less sunshine during the long winter. Oh well...adventure, adventure. ;-D

Why am I writing this blog at such an ungodly hour again? Yep, you got it. Coffee. Today was a holiday so we went to my in-laws' place again and as usual we were served coffee. ;-D

Anyway, there are some things here that I wanna share from my Asian perspective (a non-native who'd lived her ENTIRE life in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia).

1. The air here is very dry. My throat gets dry so easily, so even during the night I keep on feeling thirsty. Apparently the air makes me keep my mouth open during sleep. The result? Every morning when I wake up, my teeth are DRY!!! Maybe someday we'd better buy a humidifier for our bedroom he he...

2. I'm still not used to this late sunset. It makes me unaware of time. I have to keep on glancing at the clock just to make sure I still know what time it is. Maybe during Midnight Sun period, I will be even more confused. LOL!

3. It's funny that you have to actually BUY plastic bags at the grocery store. In Indo, we don't have to buy plastic bags in grocery stores, supermarkets, or even traditional markets. Well, due to inflation, naturally the quality of the plastic bags gets worse and worse there, but still the plastic bags are free.

4. Whenever Finnish people go to private stores, they'd say "hi" to the owners or shopkeepers. When they leave the stores, they also say goodbye. When they are about to pay groceries at the cashier, they also say "hi" and upon leaving the cashier, they also say goodbye. None of this exchange ever happened in Indo.

5. Mother's Day and Father's Day are considered important here (at least that's what I think anyway from the info I gather from TV and elsewhere).
It's a good thing. :-))) Unfortunately in Indo, those two days are just like any other day.

6. As Sodankylä's a small town, obviously there are no malls here (as I have posted earlier), so there are only private stores and supermarkets. One of the problems I had at first when I moved here was my bladder! The cold weather and my "small" bladder made me feel uneasy whenever I wanted to go around town on foot longer than 45 minutes. The thing is, the only public toilets I can find downtown are near gas stations and if I'm NOT near gas stations when my bladder's full, I can be in DEEP trouble.

7. Sauna!!! Boy, I LOVE sauna. It makes me relaxed and it's just nice to be able to feel "HOT" on such cold days he he he...

8. Salmiac. Now this is one thing I don't get. I've tried different types of salmiac but until now I STILL don't like it. My hubby keeps on trying to persuade me to try to like it, but na-a-a-ah. When I first visited Finland back in 2004, I brought back home a few small boxes of classic salmiac. My friends tried it and also my family, but most of them didn't like it AT ALL. The only people who liked it back then was my Dad, my Dad's younger sister and her family. I'm amazed at my hubby who can eat salmiac as though it were candy! Tsk tsk tsk...

9. Sisu. Ah...I can't say that I have guts. I'm more of a calculated planner, but I THINK moving to Finland from halfway around the world (and leaving EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY behind) was the most gutsy decision I had ever taken in my entire life.

10. I'm still amazed at how much space there is in this country, especially in the outskirts of small towns or villages. There's one thing I realized recently as well. Remember what I told you about the feeling of being swallowed up by the sky, especially when passing by two vast stretches of open fields on my left and right as we drive by? There are NO hills or mountains (or tall buildings) blocking my view!!! Back in Bandung, where there are SO many mountains surrounding the city (plus LOADS and LOADS of tall buildings huddled up near one another), the sky always seems so narrow, limited, obstructed. Ahhh...I LOVE Bandung, but now I'm enjoying the wide open space that Finland has to offer.

I guess it's time for me to go to sleep he he he...I'll add more later. :-))))

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