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Sunday Short #2 – Different Ways

Welcome all to the second Sunday Short. A new format of post, this will be more personal and reflective, and much shorter than my usual blog posts.

Things I’ve been thinking about this week – Different Waysdifferent ways

As I mentioned before I’m travelling this week, and am currently in Finland. In many ways Finland is a similar developed country to the UK. They are both very prosperous, have reasonably liberal values and functioning democracies. However for this sunday short I thought I’d look at the Finnish ways I’ve found a little strange. Here are some interesting differences between the nations.

Saunas

  • These are such a big thing in Finland, although there isn’t one on every corner nowadays, there are still very common. And when I did my obligatory glance in the estate agent window (does anyone else do this when travelling), all the apartments featured came with a sauna.

Nudity

  • Leading on from the saunas themselves is nudity. In the context of the sauna, the Finns are all for letting it hang out. They have no concerns with being nude in a sauna. Whereas us Brits have a much more uptight nature about hanging out without our clothes.

Appearance of Retail Establishments

  • In the UK, we put lights on a lot, open doors and make it look very obvious that places are open. In Finland, places look closed from the outside, even when they are open. This may be linked to the temperature, but is sure makes it hard for casual visitors.

Interior Design Shops

  • Every street in Helsinki feels like Tottenham Court Road. From the centre of town to suburban areas, they all have at least one artfully arranged interior design shop. And they look amazing.

Coping with Snow

  • The Finns again are ace at this, where in the UK a few flakes causes cancellations everywhere. Everything functions perfectly despite the snow. People put on boots, hats and gloves and go about their business. Public transport faces no challenges and runs perfectly on time.

Why have I compiled a list of random differences for the Sunday Short? Good question. Mainly as it’s on my mind today as I go through these experiences and reflect. One of the many facets that I love about travel, is that is continually causes us to question our norms. Why is our way the best? Am I really sure it it better? How open am I to new ways of doing things? Do I need to be more flexible in my approach?

Week Review

The Sunday Short will also feature a review of the past week, and some thoughts on the coming week.

Past weekbully

  • An absolute drama of a week at work, I wasn’t even that busy personally, but took one for the team. This involve a lot of listening and commiserating, and the simple act of getting people to do what they said they would. Which as Field Marshal /  ENTJ personality profile (as detailed in this post), I am very good at.
  • Had a mega public speaking fail! I’m so bad at it, I ended up having to read a verbatim statement with lots of numbers, and boy reading long numbers is hard! After the first few I realised I should have chopped them, but then I seemed sort of commited, so kept doing it the painful way. Lesson learned.
  • And I’m now on holiday…..writing this as we speak from cold Finland. Which is an absolutely beautiful country in the snow, with stunning pine forests.

And the coming week

  • Given said busy period at work, and rather stressy colleagues, I get to trial a bit of a digital nomad lifestyle next week. I’ve agreed to do some half days remotely to help out. It will be interesting to see how it goes, I’m wondering if I’ll manage to find quiet enough places to work and how productive it can be.
  • I plan to brave the ice tomorrow. Psyching myself up for some sauna and a cold water pool after. Can I do it?  If I stay in the sauna past the I think I am boiling alive stage I have a good chance. Although the forecast temp is -5 degrees.
  • And then enjoy the rest of my Baltic adventure, with a bit of light remote work added in. So far, it’s not got that cold yet.

Over to you

  • What items have you been thinking about this week?
  • Any good articles to share?
  • Has it been a good week?
  • Any plans for next week?

8 comments on “Sunday Short #2 – Different Ways

  1. Finland is ace. They are tough tough people. It must seem like such a different way of life to London.
    Their education system is one of the best in the world also. Surprisingly they refuse to teach their children for the first 6 years and instead they teach them how to play, be happy and interact socially.

    1. Yes, I’m realising just have tough and resilient everyone here is.

      I didn’t know that about their education system, that is a good way of working. And it’s cool to see so many children outside enjoying the snow, the little snowsuits are so cute.

      And I’m very impressed at how everyone seems to speak fluent English, which makes my life easy!

    1. I like a good mix of in and remote, but I love this opportunity to try working on the road. And besides they make the trip basically free. Working for one day gets me much more money than I’ll spend on a 10 day trip all in.

  2. Finland is a great country. Went there for a pen friends wedding in the days before the internet existed. It was very clean with no litter. Did you visit moomin land?

  3. I’d say Finland was clean, but not Switzerland level of pristine. I did notice they had bins everywhere, which is a novelty when I am used to the shortage in the city that we blame on the IRA. Moomin land? Where is that? i have to confess I don’t really get the Moomins, but others seem to love them.

What do you think?