If things hold firm I will be leaving Finland next week, probably for good this time. I have lived here over 6 years, with a break in between for a couple years. Here are some things I will miss:
Fresh air — the freshest I have ever experienced. There is a little air pollution here, but it comes from the paper mill and it is on the far side of town.
Peace and quiet — you can hear a pin drop some nights here. An occasional scooter goes by down the street, but that’s it. Even during the day there is hardly any noise. There are no beeping horns or other street sounds.
My work colleagues — 1)Jukka, my fellow “complaints choir” member and rock and roll trivia expert; 2)Tuukka, a young fellow on the rise who helped me with technology and kept me company at coffee breaks, and invited me over for poker nights; 3)Paula, my North American “fix” when I pined for a human from that end of the world, and who must have written a kazillion references for me while I looked for work; 4) Peter, a fellow family man with whom I could compare notes; 5) Sari P, who in I would regularly run into in during the boring summers in town and who would tell me about her jaunts to the monastery for art training or other trips.
The harbor — During these boring summer, the harbor was a nice place to read, drink coffee, “people watch”, watch the tour boats leave, meet family and friends, and live vicariously through the people at the boat bars listening to music, drinking and relaxing.
Certain views of Lake Saimaa — the largest lake in Finland and 4th largest in Europe. Our town was at the south end on what is called “Little Saimaa”. Some scenes could be quite bee-yoo–tee-ful.
Coffee — One hundred percent Arabica beans. Nice and strong. Finnish, Swedish, Italian. This will be difficult to beat elsewhere.