August 30, 2011

First Impressions of Finland: The Peeps

What can I say? After Finland turned out not to be a cliché winter wonderland - not to mention I have seen zero reindeer...rude - the people turn out to be every great thing I have heard. And more.

First things first, I'll give you a little background to Finland's demographics.

With a little over 5 million people, Finland is one big country (130,596 sq mi) with not so many residents. Let's put it this way, it is almost identical in land mass to Germany, but with 75 million less people. Needless to say, it is waaay down on the population density ranking scale.

Hello...hello....hello (how do you write echoes?) (source)

Forbes Magazine ranked it as the 3rd happiest country in the world. Only being out done by Denmark and Norway. Yeah, rub it in you happy a-holes :)

Here is what Forbes had to say:

"Excellent education, universal health care, plentiful personal freedoms, trusted government, peaceful. Lots of R&D and low business startup costs give the Finns economic strength. But as is to be expected in a country with the highest redistribution of wealth, only 75% of Finns believe working hard will help them get ahead."

Sounds pretty nice, huh?!

Yeah Finland! (source)
 And from what I have seen so far, Finns are just a happy group of folks. They have been nothing but overly welcoming and friendly. They smile, make small talk, ask questions and listen. Really, just are going above and beyond to make the hubs and I feel right at home.

And it really does feel like we are just at home. The hubs keeps saying "doesn't this remind you of Canada??". Between the people, climate and love for the game of hockey, if I can just block out the Finnish, I might think I'm right back in North America!

Another random thing, the Finns can par-tay. Ok, hopefully I don't have to keep clarifying myself that I don't know every single Finn so I am not stereotyping, but the ones I know sure know how to make the most of a good time.

After the Euro Cup Ice Hockey Championships in Finland! (source)
I think it is due in part to the high price of alcohol. If you can only afford to go out once a week, you better make it count.

Did I mention that beers at the bar cost about 7 Euro?? Yeah, that's over $10 right now. Gulp!

And want to hear why you will really love/hate them?? They aren't all blond, but a lot are. And those that are have beautiful, almost bleach blond hair and light skin with perfectly smooth and flawless complexions. Ok, maybe this is something that only a girl would notice here, but it is true. Thanks for selling the Scandinavian dream, Finland! 

A former Miss Finland herself. I pay heavy for that color! (source)
Anyways, as ya'll can tell, the people here have already added so much to our time in Finland. Can't wait to stereotype, I mean, get to know them even better!

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  1. Except for the $10 beers, Finland sounds great!

  2. Man, looks like I need to get over to Finland...and STAT! I watched an Anthony Bourdain in Finland and the whole time he was gawking at the pretty blonde girls...what a horn toad.

  3. it's sounds like a treasure trove of fun, flash and flying monkeys...

  4. Your blog makes me want to go visit Finland. Third happiest country in the world, wow! I imagine myself giggling all the time when I'd be there. LOL

    A Ladybug's Life


  5. haha..alcohol and sauna=finland:)

  6. neeed to get there pronto. i think i might do a similar post tomorrow on the norwegian people...see how it measures up to you finns! :) ill give you a shout for copying your idea LOL!

  7. i just cant do it (write a post about norwegian people). while they are nice when you get to know them, i dont think i can tactfully write something on them at this point LOL. im still bitter when i dont get greeted in stores ok?!?! (i lived in germany for 6 years, i should be used to that crap...but im not!). :)

  8. @Jan - that is one thing I sorely miss about Germany :( Cheap beer!
    @Hannah - Haha, he would totally do that! I have yet to see that episode, looks like I gotta get on that.
    @IZombie - haha, yep. It has all of those ;)
    @Brownbugz - well thanks, that is a huge compliment. I am glad it sounds great :) Haha, lots of giggles.
    @Mrs K - haha, I seriously should have summed it up just with that. We need to visit Sweden soon!
    @Megan - YES! I will be looking forward to it. They were number one on the happiness list. Haha, I may or may not have felt lke that in Germany at times. So I feel you. You should write about that. Just as an observation. I think people would think it was interesting!

  9. Looks like you are going to have a really happy time. Even better than Norway. Hey, is that Norway, NJ?

  10. speaking of stereotypes and Finnish people... you MUST replace NW 2011 with Mullet/Rat Tail Watch 2011-12..... there are just too many Finns with them not to. Children, adults, they don't discriminate, that's for sure! I find it hilarious that it is a socially acceptable (and common!) hairstyle here. I've seen some realllll beauties in my days :)

  11. haha- well since they are all so good looking, happy, and... drunk... they might as well be nice, right? Sounds like a nice place to be !

  12. Have you enjoyed a sauna yet? I mean....the real Finnish way. can't wait to read that post!

  13. we had some exchange students live with us from finland back in the day. they were nice. i assumed they weren't out of the normal, and it looks like that may be the case

  14. Well, I guess I better put Finland on my "to visit" list!

  15. I saw so many glimpses of this in Copenhagen and wanted to stay forever. People always tell me I look German and now I respond, UMMM HAVE YOU BEEN TO SCANDINAVIA!

  16. @Copyboy - haha, of course NJ. That really is the happiest place on earth ;)
    @CMD - haha, really?? Guess I haven't been on the look out. Or they aren't popular in the town. But you better believe that I am on the look out now. Great idea!
    @Meri - damn them, right?! It is really great. So far so good!
    @Rory - Not a Finnish one. You are right, that is a post just waiting to happen!
    @Littlejohn - well good to know you had a great experience too. They really are 'with it'.
    @Dwija - I just recommend summer ;)
    @Alex - No kidding, you look Scandinavian, not German, at least I think so. Copenhagen is supposed to be great. Might have to put that on my list!

  17. Yes, booze is traditionially massively expensively in Scandanavia, there is a history of alcoholism in the nordic countries so they tax heavily. I think it's the long dark winter nights that can get people down when you get nearer to the Artic Circle! :-)

    I have heard good reports of Finland, otherwise. Coincidentally I was watching: Michael Palin: Pole to Pole, where he travels through Finland. (Palin is from Monty Python team and did travel programmes in the UK)

  18. I def need to visit Finland now. I've never given much thought to it but it sounds awesome.

  19. well im definitely going to begin thinking up a post :) coming soon !!

  20. Just like Canada, eh? Maybe, but I don't see us in that top three list!

  21. We-re not in the top three list, because of our modesty. ha,ha Love the Finns and loved your blog, except for $10 refreshment. Great photos and glad you are settled in and finding everything and everyone so friendly and great. Take care Ltl Tex and have fun - cannot wait to see your first snow photos and winter attire.

  22. @Paul - well dang those alcoholics taxing me. I just want to have a good time! haha, that just sounds awful. But good to know the reasoning! I have never heard of that show. I just saw the name Palin and paniced, lol. I might have to check it out, thanks for the recommendation!
    @Erin - it goes unnoticed, that is for sure. But glad it sounds great to you!
    @Megan - muuuaaahhhahaha. Ok, that was my evil laugh. Felt it was necessary! haha.
    @Kara - they are up there though. I think they were number 7?? Not too shabby!
    @Saucy - haha, good reasoning, lol. I know, right?! Thanks Lilly! You are always too sweet :)

  23. I'm deeply suspicious of 'happiness' meters - how can you quantify something so arbitrary? But having said that, what's not to make you happy in Finland??!!

  24. Finland sounds awesome except for the beautiful blonde bimbos everywhere, I mean uh..ok, yeah, that's what I meant : ) Not you of course, only the Finnish ones.

  25. With beer being that expensive, I'd look into homebrewing ;) A lot of my friends really enjoy making their own beers.

  26. @Red - you better buy into it, Australia was waaay up there too ;) But you are so right, it is what you make it!
    @An Irish - haha, seriously what I thought. If they weren't so dang friendly...! haha, thanks for clarifying :)
    @Iris - there is so much stuff and supplies at the store for this. Hmmm, might just have to give it a try. Great idea!

  27. That's interesting that Forbes says they are the happiest, since I swear they were at the top of the "most suicides" list due to the long winters.

    Not to be morbid or anything!

    I have noticed that most of the Scandanavians I meet when traveling are quiet at first, but then once they have a couple beers they are crazy! I have liked them all so far!

  28. Everything you say makes me want to move there even more. The former Miss Finland is ridiculously gorgeous though. dang!

  29. Hi from Happy Country #1! :-)

    I had no clue Finland's landmass was the same as Germany!!
    That means it is ALMOST as big as Texas! :-)

  30. it's always interesting to see what foreigners think about us and our country. hope you enjoy the rest of your stay here :)


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