I assume Helsinki is the most densely populated area of Finland, but even here the streets are nowhere as crowded as in London, Brussels or Firenze to name a few. This may have something to do with the temperature but I have to keep reminding myself it’s october already, so holiday season is over.
Still, even if there were a lot more Finns on the streets, I doubt you would notice. At first they seem silent and private but as soon as you talk to them, they tend to be very open, humorous and kind. In short, they are my kind of people.
Whether you need assistance in figuring out public transport or just wander in a fancy restaurant, underdressed, thinking it was the hotel’s breakfast room. They go to great lengths to help you out in a kind and patient way. It doesn’t even make a difference if you are their customer or just a passerby asking for a bit of help. This brings us to my next surprise: I have never been to a country where non-native speakers are so fluent in English. Even grannies have no problems whatsoever explaining themselves! Well, at least this counts for Helsinki.
Finland is also the kind of country where cars stop for pedestrians at crossings. Imagine my surprise after having visted London just last month. Drivers in England will gladly run you over, should you accidently ignore a traffic light. Or at least try to glare you out of existence.
So, from my first impressions I gather Finns are a lot more patient than Brits or most Europeans for that matter. I guess the cold makes them don’t want to waste any energy on stressing, arguing or more of that nonsense.
Having spent only one day here, it’s already easy to see why Pascal, our groom-to-be, fell in love with this country, its people and his fiancé Martta of course 🙂