Yes, the dreaded time has come. I really did not think I would fall in love with Finland the way I have, but well, here I am. I was really scared of the cold, because of the way it was described, but now I’ve been through it, and c’mon. There was no time that I felt really cold, none at all. Even with the weather at -11 degrees and lower, I was fine. Like they say, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes. I didn’t really like the fact that it used to get dark at 16:00 though. However, I’m happy to report that summer more than makes up for winter. Really. Like, it doesn’t get dark at all at night, it’s warm, everything is nice…I could go on and on. I’m really going to come back and live in Finland. People like to tell me that I’m probably enjoying it because I live in a student community, so there are like-minded people around me, etc..and that if I come back here to work, I will be bored senseless, because Finns aren’t necessarily the friendliest people on earth. Well, that’s exactly why I would fit right in. Who says I like to talk to people? Socializing once in a while is fine, but I really can’t handle constant parties and ‘hangouts’. Miss me with that.
As I was saying, Finland has been the most interesting part of my journey so far, and in my friend’s words, “I have no doubt that Netherlands would be the least exciting part of this your educational sojourn”. Sigh. I’m really going to try to keep an open mind, but it’s difficult to do that when you don’t even have a bathroom to yourself. Yes guys, I’m going to have to be sharing a bathroom, and you remember how dutch toilets look, yeah? *Shudder* However, I have to say that the Netherlands seems to have more job prospects and all, probably because of its proximity to the U.K and Germany; therefore it might be more practical for me to remain there. <Pep talk to myself:>It’s also not fair to judge a place before you’ve been there, how would you feel if people simply assumed you were a sad, tiny girl, simply because you never smile without cause?</Pep talk>
Of course packing is the biggest female dog there is. And of course I’ve acquired yet another suitcase. Excess luggage is basically my middle name at this point, there’s no need to pretend otherwise. I dread the journey ahead though, because it involves taxis, buses, trains, and the only one that doesn’t involve any stress, a plane. Sigh. Oh. You guys, I heard that since Mutallab pulled that stunt that year, Schiphol has been extra strict on Nigerians – because he basically passed through there with the bomb thing, undetected. I don’t want to laugh, I really don’t. Moving on…so I’m gonna miss my huge room and private bathroom and everything, and the awesome view from my window. On the bright side, I hear things are cheaper in NL, and the internet speed in my new house is supposedly fast. I’ve also been assured that my housemates are very nice people, we shall see. (I don’t care, I want Finland!)
By the way, I’ve been learning Dutch, but something happened today that made me stop and think: A couple of guys stopped me on the road to say hi, etc*, and they spoke to me in Finnish. After the greetings, which I responded to, my brain literally entered ‘flight mode’ and the only thing I could think of was “en puhuu suomea” Translation: I don’t speak Finnish.. So they continued in English, and well, moved on. After I left them, my brain started replaying the encounter and I started discovering that oh, I actually understood everything they said, because I knew all the words. But at the point where I should have showed understanding, my brain refused to function. Sigh. This is what was happening in France too…am I wasting my time learning Dutch? The Dutch speak excellent English, so there really might be no need. I’ll force myself though. I must have a second language that I’m fluent in.
*Note: this is weird, because Finnish people supposedly never talk to strangers on the road, unless there’s an emergency. This was no emergency