Wednesday, July 06, 2011

General Observation: Holland versus Sodankylä

Let me share with you some general observation by my friend who's been living in Holland for 8 years. She's been traveling much around Europe and she's also been to the States a few times. Here are some notes that she told me when she compared Holland, Europe in general, and Sodankylä.

1. For such a small village, Sodankylä has a wide range of products at each supermarket and each supermarket offers many more imported products. The selection of veggies isn't that much compared to Holland, but we've got more fresh veggies compared to Holland. The difference is that in Holland they have many more specialty food stores such as Chinese food stores or Indian food stores.

2. The weather in Sodankylä is drier compared to Holland. My friend can only stand wearing hard lenses for a few hours at a time here in Sodankylä. I just found out that in Holland if she hangs her laundry inside the house, it takes days before they get dry. In Sodankylä, we never hang our laundry outside the house, but most of the time they get dry in 24 hours (except for the collars of some thick sweaters, then it takes longer to get completely dry).

3. Houses don't get dirty easily here in Sodankylä compared to Holland. In Holland it gets dusty more easily. I told my friend that in winter it's easier for houses to stay cleaner 'coz of the snow.

4. The average height for the people here is WAY shorter than that in Holland ha ha ha...

5. In Holland there aren't many buffet lunches being offered by restaurants, whereas in Finland there are plenty of restaurants offering rather cheap buffet lunches (all-you-can-eat buffet) at around €9/person. The prices of food (a la carte menu) and grocery are almost equal to those in Holland.

However, compared to USA (another friend has lived in USA for 10 plus years), Europe is still MUCH more expensive when it comes to food and the selection of food and the portion of food sold in restaurants.

6. The most expensive country she's been in Europe is Norway.

7. My two friends are confused why there are so many darker-skinned non-blonde Finnish people in Lapland compared to Southern Lapland where there are many fair-skinned blonde Finnish.

I've just googled a little to find out about this and let me just copy and paste the possible explanation taken from this site:

All the rest of the countries of Asia are inhabited by the Asiatic race. These people have dusky, yellowish skins, of the color of dried orange-peel, and sometimes of a tawny white. They have coarse, straight, black hair, and small, black eyes. The people in Lapland and Greenland also belong to this race.
Note: The two pics in this post were taken in Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi.


  1. Very interesting information. I have no real desire to travel to another country the United States is expensive enough for me and I haven't seen hardly any of it. Fantastic post.

  2. @Michelle: Glad you enjoyed the post. I've always wanted to travel ever since I was a kid, so I reckon I'll continue travelling as long as I have the money and time to do it. :-D

  3. Hi Amel
    very interesting! :-)
    I had an internet friend who was Karelian. Her stories about her people's beliefs and legends were amazing.


  4. Interesting post! Is Norway as expensive as London I wonder? London is way too expensive!

  5. @The World According to Me: Not sure if she's been in London, Nikki. I know she's been in Scotland and if I'm not mistaken in Ireland as well.

    She's also been in many places in Europe, such as Budapest, Barcelona, many cities in Italy, Cologne, Paris, Belgium, Prague, Gronigen. She's also been to Chicago, Boston, Sgp, Thailand, and Kualalumpur. And recently she visited Copenhagen, Sweden, and Oslo.

    I've got to ask her first he he...

  6. @The World According to Me: My friend's just confirmed that she's been to London when poundsterling rate was down, but still she thinks Norway is more expensive than London. Just so you know. :-D

  7. I find the comparisons very interesting. I learned that some of the nations in Europe, ESPECIALLY Holland have taller people than those in the US. For example there was this famous basketball player in Holland about 10 yrs. ago who was outstanding and had memorable playoff games when he played w/ Indiana Pacers. His name is Rik Smits.