Finland

Contrary to the popular belief, I have not, in fact, dropped off the face of the Earth.  All right, I have been awol from the blog for entirely too long, but I promise, I had a good excuse reason:  my other half and I have been busy with work and school respectively, and then all of a sudden we up and moved to Central Finland.

This sort of thing happens to me.

There are a couple of reasons why it does, the main one being that I am not afraid of it – and in the case of this move, I have managed to share that lack of fear of new places with T.  He is actually the one who got the job offer here – but I was the one who told him to take it, of course – because, well, “I’ve never lived there before.  It’s a new place!”  And also that I’d done this moving thing (a few times) before, and it’s not the end of the world or anything.  And so it came to be that at the end of this turned-suddenly-very-cold September we ended up another 300km closer to the polar circle than at our previous location.

We visited here in August to see the town, scouted out the apartment scene and did bureaucratic stuff, and I returned to Stockholm to pack, with T following soon after to help, and then back to here in return order, with 11m^3 of luggage and a shipment of furniture from IKEA arriving on my heels – and straight into what passes for ‘autumn’ in this part of the world.

It snowed yesterday.

But, my luggage includes down blankets, fur coat and hats, and gloves, and the apartment we found has triple-glazed windows with a vacuum-seal layer and what looks like a 10-15cm frame aperture, and district heating.  We’ll be ok.  I think.  Ask me again in a few months once it hits below -25C and stays there.

In the meantime, the leaves are turning amazing jewel-bright oranges and reds, and the lake reflects the surrounding hills like a lead-colored mirror.  We don’t understand a single word the locals are saying in their very beautiful and unrelated-to-pretty-much-anything language. The weather reports are promising us some glimpses of the sun come next week, and I am in full nestmaking mode again – time to unpack, fluff up the cushions, and bake cookies.  With cardamom.  And buy and try and eat all the interesting local food.

I also plan to write about it all.  Soon.  Just let me dig myself from under the packing paper and find a knife and a frying pan and we’ll be all set!

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9 thoughts on “Finland

    1. Thank you! I will post pictures and write a bit about the city soon as well – and about food, of course! I have seen something called Finnish squeaky cheese here and I have been eyeing it in supermarkets with some trepidation! ;)

    1. Thank you! Today’s adventures mostly had to do with putting furniture together and getting the wireless router to work despite instructions in Finnish, but yesterday we walked to the nearby supermarket and I picked about 700g of bolete mushrooms (some porcini and some of its relatives whose English names I don’t know, but they are nearly as delicious). On the lawn, near the sidewalk, not in a forest somewhere.

      The Swedish-language Finnish newspaper informs us that this year’s mushroom harvest is worse than usual. I … need to find a large basket before next autumn. :D

    1. Maaria, hi and thank you!

      We’ve moved to Jyväskylä – T is going to be teaching a Master’s course in the university here (in English), and I hope to finish my degree and maybe apply for another. So far it’s been really beautiful, even on cloudier days! And the city is even cleaner than Stockholm (which I hadn’t realized was possible, but it is)!

      Hope your sourdough experiments are going well! I found some ~14% protein wheat flour in the shop here which I can’t wait to try out, and the berry powders (tyrni? and other kinds) are also very interesting! Do you possibly have any advice about local food that I should try?

      Veronika

  1. Please, please, please write about finnish food really soon! I’m completely in love with finnish food, but feel quite lonely in this obsession since most swedes seem to consider finnish food as brown, salty and poor.

    1. Anna, hi and thank you for your comment! T mentioned that he has met you a few times, and said to say hi as well!

      I plan write a lot about local food once I have had time to settle, but so far I’d had lovely morel mushroom and salmon soups in a lunch restaurant, absolutely amazing rye breads and unsweetened sea buckthorn (havtorn) juice in nearly every shop, and lots of fresh fish! Jyväskylä is tiny but it actually has a real fishmonger on the main shopping street! And smoked fish! And mushrooms! And a lot of new cheeses, and in the autumn there was fresh black currants and hjortron in the supermarket (now there is ‘only’ frozen).

      If people think Finnish food is poor, they need to check their own freezers and examine the 3-year-old frozen pizza hiding in the back before berating something they clearly haven’t seen much of! ;) Heck, much as I think the British have fubared their food culture, even their food has amazing highlights like cheeses, Channel Island dairy, and fantastic traditional pastries and scones. Soggy fish-and-chips do not (the entirety) of British cuisine make. No more so than Finnish food is ‘brown and poor’.

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