1. The Quiet Finn

    There exists a stereotype about Finns--one that they are quiet, antisocial and dislike people. If you search for "Finland waiting at bus stop", one of the first results is this:

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    Personal space is a very big deal over here.

    And like most stereotypes, there's nugget of truth to that--for example …

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  2. The Rural Metropolis

    After a harrowing 24-hour transcontinental journey and a week to recover, I'm back stateside and in Camarillo. I'm drinking a can of root beer, and marveling at the fact that, for some reason, such a delicious beverage has avoided making its way overseas (or at least into Finland).

    Today, I'm …

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  3. Snowy Shots

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    The piikki

    I don't really have any interesting Christmas-related observations this year. Though I did just watch Kaisa's neighbor fillet some fish that he'd caught this morning. Apparently, properly filleted fish costs about 20 euros per kilo at the store, and what he'd caught came out to 6 bags with …

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  4. Time and Space

    It's that time of year again, dear readers. No, I don't mean the time of year where we drink ourselves into an eggnog-laden stupor before frantically going out and buying a Christmas Tree at the last minute, though it is that time of year. No, it's the time of year …

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  5. Northern Lights

    So, picture this. You live in a country that's cold and dark all winter. You get about five hours of dim light once a day, and the temperature rarely, if ever climbs above zero degrees (32F). What's a Finn to do?  Why, create all manner of lights fixtures and sculptures …

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  6. Freaky Finnish Foods

    ...or not, as it turns out. Finnish fare is actually fairly simple, possibly even plain, depending on your point of view.

    "Even more delicious than it looks."

    Moose

    Let's talk about moose-the-animal for a moment before we look into moose-the-food. Moose are apparently incredible plentiful here in Finland, to the …

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  7. The Little Things

    "Fully-decorated Christmas tree!"

    Hyvää joulua! That is, Merry Christmas! I've been enjoying the hospitality of the Hirvonens for the past day and a half and right now I am so stuffed, I'm having a hard time budging from the couch. In fact, I've just been informed that dessert is being …

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