Monday, 29 August 2011

Finnish things I'll miss

There's now only a week to go! This time next Monday I'll be getting myself together - meaning, having a massive freak-out. As sad as I am, I'm really looking forward to going back to university. I've got some really good ideas going, and as I'm sure the tutors will be insistant on seeing how the past eyar has affected me, I'll be making work about the people I've met here. When I get back to England I'll probably start a professional blog about my art practice, so maybe you can all read that instead of this.
Anyway, as time is runnign out, here is a list of stuff from Finland that I'm really going to miss.

1. Hesburger
Maybe it's because I'm a vegetarian, but I'd rather have Hesburger than any of the chains in England. The veggie burger in Burger King is at least edible, but I wouldn't go near McDonalds. The falafel burger in Hesburger is a beautiful thing, and I'll miss it. I should definitely get food from there once more in the coming week.

2. Karelian pies
I consider this to be Finland's Cornish pasty, as it originates from one specific area but is now popular everywhere. Plus I'm from Cornwall so I like the idea. They are extremely tasty - definitely my favourite Finnish food. I'll be able to get them from the Suomalainen Kirkko in London, but they'll probably be very expensive. I'd encourage people to try them, because you won't be disappointed. I don't eat them with egg butter, as I don't like hardboiled eggs, but even on their own they taste amazing.

3. Lonkeros
This is a Finnish alcoholic mixed drink, and many Finnish people have been astonished to hear that they don't exist in England. I can understand that, as they're probably the most normal thing to drink after beer. They come in lots of flavours, my favourites being Cranberry and Mojito. They're pretty cheap too. Hopefully Finnish visitors to London can stick a few in their suitcases for me.

4. My house
I actually really love the house I live in now. We all make jokes about what a dump it is, and to be fair our flat isn't very well maintained, and not always as clean as it could be, but I still love it. It has character, and I've had a good time there. Even though I have the shitty small room due to my lack of stuff, it's cosy and comfortable. I can hear the tuomiokirkko bells ringing in my bedroom. The building is old and beautiful, much nicer than the more modern buildings. It's in the centre of town, so everything is accessible, and I've been very happy there.

5. The river
I'm lucky enough to live close to the River Aura, and I've enjoyed many walks alongside it. It's a bit murky, but all summer it's been lovely because so many special events for the Capital of Culture have been happening in that area. There are little pieces of artwork all around the river, which has been interesting to see. When the weather was warmer I often sat by the river and sketched or read a book, and it's been lovely. Of course, we can't forget the little dip I took in it at Juhannus. My finger is still misshapen. Living in Finland literally scarred me for life.

6. Arnold's coffee shop
This is a chain, and I'm not sure if it's Finnish or foreign, but I know it doesn't exist in England. They have amazing vegetarian toasties. Emmi and I have spent many hours there drinking coffee and putting the world to rights. It's not particularly unique or exciting, but we've spent a lot of time there, so it's important.

7. Recycling cans
In Finland, and I think other Nordic countries, you can recycle drinks bottles and cans and get money back for them. It's not a lot of money per item but it adds up. Not only does this system encourage people to recycle, it can save you when you're really broke. On more than one occasion taking cans to the shop has allowed me to have dinner that evening. You used to be able to do this in England, and I think it's a wonderful idea that should work everywhere.

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