So I head over to the grocery store.
I got my list and
My meager money :(
AND EVERYTHING WAS IN FINNISH!
You know I should have expected it, but give me a break! This is the first time abroad for me. In fact, the first time I went to the grocery store I was in a such a daze. "I'm in Finland" just kept repeating in my brain. Good thing my kummi, student tutor, was there to help me out or I would have been standing at produce section trying to figure out how the system worked. I mean how was I suppose to know that I was suppose to weigh my lemons and get a sticky for them? In America we just put our produce in bags and the scanner at checkout has this sort of weighing scale that calculates what to charge. Though I kind of like the Finnish way since you know way ahead of time how much you are going to pay.
About the store.
Let's just say it's like a mini Walmart. It has clothes, stuff for your home, stuff for fishing (?) and fixing things, makeup, bath and body supplies, and then finally food. The name of this lovely establishment is Tokmanni. You can get basically everything you need at this store and it's only a minor walk from the apartment and university. There is also this other bigger Walmart-like store called Prisma that is a good ways down the road. This one is actually nicer and you can find more American products (though very expensive: like why would I want to buy soda for what seems to be 5 American dollars? I rather drink water!). However, it seems everything whether Finnish, Swedish, American and so on is actually cheaper here. But if you know me well, I (of course) head to the closer store and pay a few cents more than walk in the cold to a nicer, cheaper store.
Now about the FOOD!
So for those who love food with less preservatives, less amounts of sugar and fat, more varieties of bread (some literally taste kind of like they came out of oven fresh), tons and tons of alcohol, yogurt, meat and milk. Then Finland is the place to be. Oh and did I leave out seafood? I'm so sorry, but maybe it's just me and I never notice it in great quantities or maybe that's why there were fishing supplies at the store (?) I don't know.
Anyways, to live in Finland one must try the porridge. I know ewww, but it's not so bad when you put some fruit or jam and just stir it around. It can be very filling and make you feel very warm inside.
My personal favorite is a tomato and cucumber sandwich. Since I am not sure about the meat market, I have been holding back on buying anything meat related unless it's clearly states it's from a cow or chicken. So the T and C sandwich has been my main meal here. I absolutely love it. It has swiss-like cheese (it's very big here, not a lot of cheddar going around), the usual tomato and cucumbers and buttered bread. Then after, I would have some peach yogurt and be content until tea time. Then out comes the cinnamon cookies. Can I just say yummmmm!
That's another thing here. It's seems Finnish people are very into there coffee and tea here. I mean when you go to the restaurants (no school cafeterias here, they serve real food to students!) they give you a choice of milk, water or juice. No soda unless you want to pay extra. Then when on break there are so many places on campus where one can get coffee or tea. I guess one must keep warm with the constant winter days here.
Salad and beets is also a big portion of the meals here. It seems the Finnish way of eating salads is to eat lettuce with A LOT of carrots and cucumbers. Their salad dressing is the BOMB though. In addition to salad in the Finnish addiction is fruit. At every meal or throughout the day it seems a lot of people are eating fruit and don't forget yogurt. I mentioned it earlier but I was talking about eating an American known brand rather that the usual Finnish brands. The Finnish brands taste kind of weird but I learned later there are no preservatives and very small amounts of sugar in it. Not tasty. It took me forever to figure out what I liked by trying everything available but I did and I am paying extra weekly for the taste.
I might just have to write another blog on food here because there is so much I left out. But from one bread lover to another I say goodbye until next time.
My trip to Oulanka Research Station will be next! Expect it in the coming week. :)