One of the worst things during my childhood was the disappointment over mild and wet winters. Living and growing up in Serbia, I had the opportunity to sometimes experience days with heavy snow, but they were not as good as the ones from the early-December Coca Cola commercials. Learning that my application was accepted and that I will spend my next semester as a student of University of Eastern Finland, I was really happy to prove to myself that true winters do exist. And Finland did not disappoint me. The very first seconds I spent here were an argument good enough: exiting the airport door, every person I saw that night, including me, exhaled the shivering “WHUUH!” . . . and those were our first words here. I had the honor my first day in Finland to be a shiny -27o C one. Arriving in Joensuu from Helsinki, I wanted to take pictures of everything, but the low temperature drained my phone battery. It bothered me for a while, but it showed me that the walks to the University can be much more interesting if you just enjoy a nice sunny day, not with your head buried in your phone.
And the thing is, snow and ice look amazing on Joensuu. A simple walk through the forest and over the frozen lake can leave you speechless. One of my most beautiful experiences was actually getting lost in the forest at night…in the middle of the town, and I’m not even joking.
There is a widespread image about Finns being asocial and introvert, and I’d say this is a half-truth. In one hand, some of the most hospitable and energetic people I met here are actually locals. I have already been invited to numerous house parties even though I didn’t know the hosts, and even an offer to play in a band. On the other hand, there really is a good number of introvert Finns, but if you spend some time with them, you can find out that there is a warm friendly personality beneath that heavy jacket and grumpy face.
Shout-out to Joni the Tutor!
Do stay tuned…