Hey guys, I’ve been in Finland for the last two weeks, mostly visiting Ronja’s friends and family in Helsinki and Turku, like last time. I don’t feel like writing about all that again, so I’ll just quickly note that I visited the zoo and Uspenski Cathedral, as far as major tourist destinations are concerned. Instead I’ve been taking mental notes about how Finland compares to the United Kingdom. So here’s a list of pros and cons:
• There’s tons of cyclists and cycling infrastructure. Renting bikes is cheap and there’s lots of cycling paths. Cycling is viable way of getting around cities here.
• You’re allowed to drink alcohol in public! This makes picnics a viable social activity.
• People in Finland are on average very fit. There’s no obesity epidemic around there like in the UK.
• Public services are much better than in the UK. The cities are quite clean, public transport is good, parks are well maintained, etc.
• Finnish homes are built very warm to help you survive the cold winters.
• There’s a lot of old cars on the road here. Good place to see some classics. Also not a lot of cars on the road in general.
• Finland has lots of natural forests, lakes and seaside, much of which is within walking distance or within the major cities.
• There’s tons of cyclists, and their etiquette is terrible! They don’t wear helmets or alert you when they’re coming up behind you. They’re also allowed on sidewalks, so you’ll be dodging them constantly.
• You’re allowed to drink in public, so there’s a lot of old drunk guys and other weirdos wandering around.
• People in Finland are on average very fit. The men make me feel insecure and the women are too skinny for my tastes.
• All those public services must cost a lot, and as a result taxes are high and goods are expensive. (a reason for all those old cars)
• Finnish homes are built very warm and don’t have air conditioners. Summers here are thus uncomfortably warm indoors.
• There’s noticeably more smokers than in the UK, and a lot of cigarette butts lying around *everywhere*.
• Surprisingly, Finland has a lot more murders, suicides, and traffic fatalities than the UK! (life expectancy is roughly equal in both though)
• The UK wins when it comes to hillwalking and mountain destinations. Most of Finland is pretty flat.
Overall there’s a lot of trade offs there. Keep in mind I’ve only visited Finland in summer and haven’t strayed further than 2 hours away from Helsinki. I guess both countries score very well in general, and you can’t go wrong living in either of them.