September 1, 2011

First Impressions of Finland: The Best of the Rest

Sooo, since I am running out of ideas and you are most likely tired of being fake interested in Finland ;) here is the best of the rest.

Some facts to clarify. There have been inquiries.

Finland has been a part of the European Union since 1995 and used the Euro since 1999. Loving that ridic exchange rate right now.

It is an independent country and the official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Which actually works out great for me in the grocery stores. Swedish is very similar to German in a lot of ways. So if I don't know the Finnish word for something, I can see it in Swedish and usually tell what it is, no problem. Plus, lots of things are imported from Germany, so thank you Deutschland, you are going to make my time here that much easier.

Finland is a representative democracy that is now mostly a ceremonial non-executive Presidency. Meaning that the parliament does most of the work, while the President is in the official head of state, responsible for foreign policy and works in cooperation with the cabinet. The 200-member unicameral Parliament of Finland exercises the supreme legislative authority in Finland.

They love Conan. And not just because he looks like the president. Not kidding, that is the president being compared to Conan.

Also, Santa lives here. He should be the president.

The Finns are crazy about hockey. They love watching it, supporting it and keeping up with hockey all over the world. It will be fun to play in a country where the hubs' sport doesn't come in a vast 2nd to soccer (cough, Germany, cough. Love ya!)

I have not done a real, traditional Finnish sauna yet. But I am dying to try one. And of course to write about it. Although, you might recall that German saunas were co-ed. Not the case here. There are (usually) separate cabins for men and women.

Can I go in a magical one like this?!? (source)

They love American infomercials. Or at least that is what I can tell, they play all the time on our TV. And the little girl next door melts down at least once a day.

Yep, that is about all you need to know about Finland.

Hope that cleared up some of the questions from readers. I realize that the majority of people don't know a lot about Finland. And I'm not judging you for your questions, at least not out loud :)

So I'll try to wrap it up quickly and tell you one last thing about Finland. Before I have to actually figure out more stuff to write about! Since it is Thirsty Thursday, I'll share with you the refreshing thing that is a Long Drink (or Lonkero). I've mentioned it once before, but here is the real run down and recipe. According to Wikipedia, here is the original meaning behind the name:

"The Long Drink: This terminology had fallen out of favor over the last decade or two, but is now enjoying a revival. A long drink will have a tall glass full of mixer and usually ice, perfect for warmer days, as opposed to a short drink, in which the liquor is the main ingredient."

Can you say 'perfect for Labor Day Weekend'??

If you are in Finland, just stop by your local grocery or liquor store and you will see row upon row of all different kinds of long drinks. Oh, but wait, that's just me. So here is how to make a great one at home. Don't let the gin take you by surprise. Even gin haters will love this one.

Yum! (source)

The Lonkero/Long Drink

You'll need: 
Tall glass, ice, gin, grapefruit soda (Fresca will work nicely) and club soda (optional)

To make: 
Take a tall glass and fill with lots of ice. Nope, even more. One more. Now, you are good.
Pour in one shot of gin and fill the rest with Grapefruit soda (like Fresca). If that is too sweet for your tastes, do a 50-50 combo of club soda and the grapefruit mix.

Now sit by a lake, soak up the sun, and enjoy the mild buzz of the Lonkero! 
And have a good long weekend, Amuurica :) Enjoy it for me!! No Labor Day here, but we will party it up regardless. Sound good?

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  1. im so curious to make this drink...

    and i had no idea they used the euro there! they definitely dont in norway and i so wish they did.

    and i really want to try a sauna there too! cant wait for your opinions on it!!!!

    is that really the finnish president??!?! OMG if so.....

  2. can you write about the types of candy, local zombies, take a photo of any sign that looks like it's been there for a while, what is the weirdest animal you have seen, what is playing at the movie house, what is the music top ten, or what is the most crowed place you have seen.

    i am not fake interested, i will never go there and i see these four white walls and padded..

  3. I am very interested in What it's like in Finland. More photos would be nice. Just local around town stuff. I was in Norway, Shetland Islands, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, and England last year. It will be quite a while before I make it out of the country again but it's never to early to plan my next trip. And I want a hit from Finland like Red OZ so check out when you get a chance :-)

  4. I always love your random facts - where do you get them? And I'm one of those gin haters - it tastes like licking a Christmas tree but I love grapefruit so I'll give it a try.

  5. Santa for President? I know something you can be doing while you're in Finland...Presidential Campaign for Santa!!!! DO IT!!

    Or if that doesn't pan out for you just get to the sauna every day! ahah!!

  6. The photo comparison to the President was hilarious.

    I love gin. Will try that one! Thanks for sharing.

    A Ladybug's Life


  7. HELL YEAH. I am so glad not to be the only one who can see how much are German and Danish/Swedish similiar to each other. Even English is but no one ever understands my opinion :(

  8. Cool facts and interesting drink! I will have to try it out!!


  9. Mixed drinks in a can. Classy!

    Finland sounds awesome! I have always wanted to go to those Scandinavian countries. I can't wait to hear more about your adventures.

    I noticed when in France that their TV commercials were really risque. You see things that you would never see on American TV.

  10. Hahaha, I reckon Santa IS secretly president ... they're just cunningly disguising him as Conan so no one catches on ...

    Enjoy your weekend!

  11. perfect drink- I love fresca! The president totally looks like a woman, by the way...

  12. @Megan - it is really good, I can vouch...for many ;) Yes, using the Euro just makes it easier, esp from our Germany transition. Haha, it is, funny right?!
    @iZombie - You are too nice, I will have to write about all of those. Thanks for always really reading and for being such a fun commenter. I'll get on those!
    @SFlaGuy - haha, shameless, but I'll visit, lol. Just kidding, thanks for telling me where you came from! You have been to quite a lot up here. More than me for sure! I am curious as to what was your fave??
    @Alex - YES! Starting the campaign now. I'm thinking Santa2012. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. Vote for him, or be stalked. Sound good??
    @Brownbugz - isn't that too canny! You will have to, it is such a yummy combo
    @Susanne - every country is different for sure. You are right, now everyone gets that. Thanks for agreeing ;)
    @Kathy - I promise it is good! Thanks for stopping by!
    @Kyria - haha, ohhh yeah. The only way I roll, lol. Not too risque here. Much more in Germany. Who knows!
    @Red - Makes complete sense. Maybe I should get to the bottom of this ;)
    @Meri - you would love it then! Haha, I love ya. She is a woman, hahaha

  13. I had a friend in Kindergarten who was Finnish. They had a Sauna in their backyard. Now as an adult I am seriously jealous. :)

    A Weekend Wandering Vikki :)

  14. I don't know too much about Finland either, but how did I not know that Santa lived there? If you ever want to get a really interested conversation going get a Finn and a German to discuss the rules of the sauna (my Finnish friends insist there are no rules) while my German friends insist there are a lot of rules - all for good reasons of course. It's entertainment at its best.

  15. Finland; how fascinating. You're lucky to live so close to Santa. Speaking of Santa, do you think he'll bring me one of those long drinks?

  16. Sounds like an awesome drink and an awesome country. And Santa lives there, so I figure it's pretty much perfect. I don't know much about Finland, and I'm enjoying learning. So thanks for all the info. I love living vicariously through you and your world traveling :)

  17. Conan, Hockey, and American Infomercials??? With choices like that, How do you EVER decide what to watch?

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  19. "They love Conan. And not just because he looks like the president. Not kidding, that is the president being compared to Conan."


    I was looking at Conans photo before I read that far and was thinking - Oh ok he's Finish - maybe his mom is Finish. Then that sweet surprise. LOL

  20. Ahahaha! I knew about the whole thing about the Finns loving Conan, he did a small spot about them on his show 'bout a month or so ago it was hilarious how much the president looks like him!

  21. @Vikki - No way! I so wish we had a sauna in our apartment. I guess we will settle for a community one in the apartment complex. Thanks so much for stopping by!
    @Laurel - Duh! haha, I didn't know that either until we got here :) YIKES! I can only imagine the differences. I will have to try that one, just for fun!
    @Ada - If he can bring me what I want, I think you might have a long drink or two in your stalking. Just don't wait until Christmas, check tomorrow, lol
    @Katie - Hey! Haha, well only perfect if he really delivers this year ;) Well so glad you are liking learning. It is the least I can do while here! Thanks girl!
    @An Irish - Ummm, no. You know that, you are married, haha. But good thing. I can convince him to watch a Real Housewives episode now and then, lol
    @April - Hi, well thanks for the great hop today!
    @Shera - Like twins, right?!? So funny. And Conan even did a bit on it. Too funny that you would even think that. Love it!
    @Remy - YEESSS!! I love that you knew that. A number one reader right now :) Too funny!

  22. Interesting post. Since I live in Asia, I sometimes forget that Finland exists. And sadly, I mixed up Santa's geographical location.

  23. the president/conan comparison is hilarious!

  24. I want a long drink and a medium long drink. Double fistin' baby.

  25. T.G.N,
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  26. i LOVE the conan comparison. hi-larious! looks like you are covering lots of ground and loving all that your new city/country has to offer! must be exciting (scary too, i'm sure). i'm jealous!

  27. I'm a Conan fan, too. It's good to know I could fit in there!

  28. My aunt lives in Finnland and she tells me the standard of living there is too good. Think I'm going to visit my aunt soon :)

  29. I love reading all of these observations! And you taught me some things I did not know!!! :-) Keep 'em coming!

  30. Awesome article :) I love traveling and reading about places I haven't been yet. I think the best part of a new place is the food lol. tysm for sharing :)

  31. Thanks for the 101, and the drink recipe! It is Labor Day, but I think I'm already done drinking for the weekend. Bought a sixpack of a microbrew Belgian beer on Friday with my husband, not realizing how strong Belgian beers are. Ugh! ;-)

  32. Don't forget football legend Mixu Patulienen.

  33. I am a new follower from the blog hop and I am following you thru GFC and RSS Feed. I cannot follow thru FB right now and its a long story so please check out my post dated August 20th on the Weekend Blog Hops. As soon as they take care of it I can follow. I will leave it up to you if you want to follow me now or wait until I can follow you first. Either way I understand. Follow what you can and I will be happy! Thanks so much and have a great day!


  34. @Lemons - hmmm, wait, tell me where Asia is again?? ;) Weird! Haha, just kidding. thanks for the honesty. And you can't mix up where Santa lives. He gets mad and doesn't visit.
    @Dwija - isn't that uncanny?!
    @Jordan - Haha, and a small one too maybe?? Hope you had a great weekend!
    @iZombie - got it! And finally wrote back :)
    @Barb - Haha, only scary in a good way, right?!
    @Jules8 - They looove him here. Wait, maybe he really is president. Leading a double life. You never know!
    @Invernes - well glad she loves it too. Totally got to take advantage of that and visit.
    @Kelli - Well thanks kelli, glad I could entertain at least. Too sweet ;)
    @Jami - thanks Jami. Oh you know it! The food isn't too unusual here. But can't wait to try Reindeer!
    @Ramblinbess - soo yummy. Haha, the weekend is too long sometimes. Really strong huh!? Good to know :) Thanks for stopping by!
    @Ryan - hmmm, I don't know about him. Research time!
    @mmbear - well glad you stopped by and let me know! I'll have to check out your site for sure.

  35. Is the little girl 4 years or younger? If so, that's probably why. If not, then her brain's broken.

  36. I love that your German helps you in Finland via Swedish :) You know, I had the same feeling about Danish when I visited Denmark a while back. I could sort of understand a lot of the labels by reading Danish - understanding the spoken Danish was a whole different story though. Greets to Finland!

  37. Oh so hi...long time listener first time caller!

    Finnish is so different than any other language I have heard. I have a friend who is Finnish so I have learned a lot about the country in the last year or so from her. And yes we bonded through hockey. :-) We have 3 Finns on our NHL team so she loves it. What I have seem from her is that it is a lovely country and they are a fiercely proud people. I will be interested to hear about your adventures there. If anyone is mean I can see if she can teach me some curse words to pass along.


Whoomp, there it is!