Tag Archives: Helsinki

Public Transport Etiquette!

So far living in Helsinki never required me to buy a car or even get a driving license.

I have lived always in a near to the center area reachable by public transport but public transport even amazing as it is in Helsinki has its plus and minuses.

The lovely service that Helsinki city offers is amazing compared to a country like Lebanon where each one own a car and such basic service as public transport is non-existant!

Helsinki public transport though has a curse and it is the behavior of people sometimes in it’s tram’s! Now, no i am not talking about the screaming drunken guy in the back. I have no issue with that he is part of the “city” but i have an issue with you sir or madam taking two seats or more and not moving for an elderly person or for many other reasons listed below.

So here comes anyhow the public transport bible people :

1- Wait for others to exit before going in and leave space by standing on the side of the doors.

2- Have manners and stand up for older people and give them ur seat.

3- Kindly and i beg you do not stand on the door, please go in take a seat and sit down, relax and chill! Leave kindly the area near the door free for people to move in and out! We are all living like you by the minute!

4- If you think that not buying a ticket will save u those 3 euros then you are so wrong, pay the damn ticket! I hate it as much as you do but until Helsinki offers public transport free like Tallinn you and i got to pay because i dont want to see humiliated by the blue people.

5- When you are in a tram it is not a shame to speak to a stranger or have a conversation. We do take the same ride same time each day for years so you can say Hello sometimes. It is not weired at least in my opinion.

6- Please if you would like to just stand in the metro stairs then do it on the right, leave the left side open for the ones like me that want to run up and down to loose weight 😉

That is most of it folks, easy! Will update this again when less angry 😉
Meanwhile, an image can tell a million word…

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A tale of a winter!

In Finland, change happens.  Change of seasons, and it is noticeable. Winter turn to spring, and you can feel it and taste it. Winter was rather harsh the last 2 years compared to years before.

But since i mentioned winter, i wanted to write about how do we survive it here. These little tips, come from the little i have learned when dealing with the great cold of the north.

Winter tips that i have learned that i would like to share :

  • Watch out from black ice that forms and the eye cannot see.
  • Walk using the top of your toes when you are walking on ice.
  • Do not try the trick of sticking your tongue to any metals 🙂
  • Use layers of clothe, they are the only ones to keep you warm.
  • Cognac and vodka or Jaloviina are your friends!
  • Wool is your best type of clothe. 
  • Listen to the advice of your spouse if they are Finns, they know better!
  • Finnish men do not like wearing a hat, but don’t be Finn on that one. A hat will save you. 
  • Do not think of Fashion, or how to look cool! cool and fashionable are not in Finnish dictionary during the dark winter month.
  • Buy a UV light, dark days can be devastating to you.
  • Appreciate your winter holiday’s and head to  a sunny destination.
  • Sports are huge part of winter, you can find all kind of winter sports here.
  • Use your camera to take these amazing nature pics, because it tend to get beautiful!

That is most of the advices i have, coming at this time when winter is on its end and spring is coming toward Finland, at least i wish 🙂

Talking about spring here are few pics i took from Helsinki & Finland during this winter! P.s if you ever plan to visit Finland, you should come twice, during the darkness and during the light seasons.

A year of change, a year since that winter!

Wow! What a year it has been since my last post here.

You might think that this blog is dead! Well, you are wrong. big time wrong.

The Finnish experience is on and on and that winter in my last post is way gone, but hell the current winter isn’t going anywhere. A bit of spring shows today though in Helsinki.
A year has passed and i have been busy with life, integrating, adapting, cooking, going on holiday’s, dreaming of how a democratic Middle east will look. Dictators have fallen, others have risen, majorities became minorities, disasters that shatter the heart have taken place in great nations. and even a nuclear fear populated by the world media that sparked the Finns to empty the pharmacies of Jodi Tablets.
But my Finland, is the same except of course Timo Soini is a powerful leader with 17.2 % of the voters wanting him to lead them to the new Finland, the nation of perfection.

Anyhow, before going into politics, I could talk a bit about how did Finland change in my eyes in the last year, last summer was extremely hot, the fans ran out from the stores, the Finns were sun worshipers again, nobody stayed indoors, the terraces were full of the happy Finns, but then …

Came winter again, a harsh one with -0C and much below for more then a 100 day, skins have dried, hearts have shaken, minds gone nuts, but all what i did was work. Working at night in Finland is scary for a lebanese soul sometimes.

In Lebanon, we are hyper, active, too sociable, and imagine the peace of the night of Helsinki, tasks are there to be done but the night is quiet, really quiet. sometimes at least!

But this year also, has been full of surprises, of hours spent watching Aljazeera, watching a new world being born, a new middle east, Tunis and Egypt got rid of their pain in the ass aka dictators, these brave nations youth showed that they are too eager for democracy, for change. Hoping few others will follow.

But what they forgot, that the democracy has taken the west years and decades to be learned, it is not something that you get after toppling a dictator in a matter of weeks, this is gonna be a long process and eduction will play a huge role in it. The future will show us great success in the region if the youth of these nations take control and know how to go from here.

As for the disasters of this year, the upcoming Finnish elections will be one heck of a disaster with the True Finns leading. It seems that the trend of blaming the minorities for the problems of the majorities, has become a habit in the Finnish society, leader like Soini tend to fool the people into following them promising them a better Finland (without modern art???!!! ).

What is wrong with today’s Finland ? That answer i keep it for my next long post. And i promise it will be before the upcoming heated elections.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for my following post dedicated to the brave nation of Japan.