Saturday, February 10, 2018

The most remote places in Finland, a forced tour for the Wandering Writer!

When your boss tells you that he needs you to go and follow the works and perform some investigations on site for an indefinite amount of time, you generally have two thoughts.
The first is that, finally you will change place, you will see new faces and be immersed in a totally new environment. Somewhat you feel excited because you will travel without the need of spending money for it, regardless the fact that it might not be the destination you would have chosen in the first place.
The second is the thought that for that period, being one month one year or ten years, your family, friends, and familiar things will become something you can enjoy quite rarely.
So, we have the good and the bad side of the coin. But what if the first good part is not exactly the one youd expected?
What if the place is in the middle of nothing with a very few people to meet (if any during some days)?
Well in this case, you need to find the jewels out of the glass pieces. It might hurt you, but in the end you might be rewarded.
This is something that is happening to me recently and I have been sent to work on an indefinite term in a location in the northern Finland where most of you would find exciting at first, depressing after a week. (yeah, think about me that I have to stay here for XXX time!).
The positive things are that I can introduce you to one of the most traditional characteristics of the Finns. 
Beware the sarcastic and the humorist tone I am going to use.
Ah solitude, the feeling that nobody is bothering you at no time with their stupid small talk. Yes, traditionally Finns do not like small talk, they speak only when they have something important to say, for the rest, why to bother other people with your noise.
Ah the chance to listen to your thoughts without any interruptions from the outside world. The chance to listen to the sound of nature without any distraction. What could you ask for more?
Finns, traditionally, and here I am talking about the older generations, those who havent been influenced by the outside world culture and live outside the cities (so everybody who lives outside Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, and their direct surroundings).
It is good to have a nice house, and the first neighbor lives at minimum 3km from you, divided by a thick forest.
That said for a few weeks I am going to show you the beauties and the exoticism of the rural Finland. My journey starts from Oulu.
This is only the place where I land to drive down to my real working place. It is the fifth largest city in Finland and counts 196 956 inhabitants, and the most populous city in Northern Finland. I understand that for people living in more populated countries this might sound like a small town, but this is Finland and in the whole country we have about 6 000 000 inhabitants, so once you put in perspective, this is not very small.
The first thing that might strike you is the airport.
Yes, this is the whole airport, not just a small part, there are just 5 gates.
Nevertheless, Oulu is another cozy place where I enjoy driving through it. Being a University city, the life is more exciting than any other place in northern Finland and offers more things to do in your free time, rather than be quiet, stay silent and mind your own business.
It is also considered one of Europe's "living labs", and another place where you can experience seeing the northern lights. Foreigners are not seen as something exotic anymore, as the exchange study program offered by the University gives the chance to students around the world to discover the country. However, although a foreigner is no more seen as something exotic, a new face doesnt fall between the cracks. After all, people from the outside world started to be interested in Finland only since a few decades.
Experience the old...
 and the new...

Like every place in the northern part of the hemisphere, there is more to be seen in the summer, when the life seems to bloom back, and the festivals are highlighting the city with their colors and liveliness. The winter time is instead something exotic for the tourists to experience the characteristic places covered in snow and the cozy cafeterias where to spend some time waiting for your face  to thaw.
Sarcastic or not, this is the most amazing country to visit.
Stay tuned for the following adventures in the most remote places in this wonderful country.
With a bit of humor and sarcasm, yours truly
The Wandering Writer!

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