Week 1: Arriving
After all the packing and flights, I am finally here! It has been a few days since I have arrived in Helsinki and everything is so different and exciting! I feel like child experiencing this brand new city.
The first couple days I explored the city, finding some indoor malls and possible future hangout spots. I also visited the Helsinki Times building, Finlandia Hall, and IKEA. I think I have also found my favorite store in the city, Stockmann! It has everything imaginable from clothes to shoes, to even a supermarket and multiple dinning locations on site!
I spent New Year’s Eve starting off with having a nice dinner at Elite in Helsinki. This was where I tried Blini’s. They are thin pancakes, sort of like crepes, however they aren’t sweet. You eat them with toppings such as sautéed onions, mushrooms, and sour cream. Then for my main course I had a roasted black bean patty and to finish off with Tosca pie with redcurrant sorbet. Of course, each course was accompanied by a glass of sparkling champagne or red wine 😉 After dinner we continued to ring in the New Year at friend’s place with good conversations, more champagne and fireworks in every angle of sky! It was one the best nights thus far.
During this first week I also saw my first snowfall ever! Which was probably the most exciting thing for me since I had not experienced real snow before being from sunny Florida.
Some observations I have made as of now is that everyone will speak to you in Finnish first but as soon as you say something in English they quickly switch languages. Finnish people are not as reserved as the stereotypes make them out to be. In fact they seem to be very down to earth and are willing to help with any questions you have. Another thing is that you can find only adults in Finnish candy stores and only children in line for coffee at Starbucks. They seem to do things a little backwards, hehe! Stay tuned for more adventures! 🙂