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Old 17th July 2013, 08:57   #106
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Originally Posted by 14000rpm View Post

And this was a Norwegian guy saying this. It turns out all the Scandinavians are rather conscious of the Environment.
This reminds me of my visit to an island (I think the name is Vrango) south west of Goteborg , Sweden. To preserve the nature, the have asked residents to build their homes without cutting any rocks on that island. So what you see there is that the hoses are kind of elevated from ground level in order to take care of the ground unevenness due to rocks. These guys are really really meticulous about environment. I will try to post some pics when I get near my laptop.

Btw, the pics and write up is real cool, thanks for sharing.
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Old 17th July 2013, 09:51   #107
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Default The Winter

by december, Winter had set in.

This is how buried my car was every morning. sometimes more than this too.

Times of Finland : How I live here-dsc_5747.jpg

Times of Finland : How I live here-dsc_5748.jpg

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The Frozen sea.

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same spot in autumn.

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The most common comment I've heard from Friends and Relatives is :


You're in Finland?
Must be very cold. no?
How do you manage?


Well, Honestly speaking, its not that bad at all.

When you complain to any Finn (or any scandinavian) about the cold, the most common reply has been - There is no such thing as bad weather. there is Bad clothing.

This is the single most important truth one needs to know.

The temperatures indoor, at home or wherever we go to, is 22 Deg C..always. There is a heater in the car too.
One has to gear up for the in-between times only. For which, the right clothing helps braceup for the cold..how much ever it be.

Also, the fact is that wind is the killer. on a day when the Atmospheric pressure is high, there is less wind and on such days, even -20 Deg C feels like -5 Deg C. no difference.
In fact we've been noticing..below -5, it is all the same. Feels colder only when it is windy. that's it. For those days, the right clothing helps. in our case, we have waterproof high boots which are fur lined on the inside to help keep feet warm and Down jackets which come with Neck Warmers. These are sufficient to make us sweat in -10 Deg C too. The boots are good enough for walking in 1 ft deep snow with no cold getting to the feet.

by Jan and Feb the coldest we had seen was -25 Deg C. we survived.
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Old 18th July 2013, 11:11   #108
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Default Nordic Winter

towards late December, There was a sudden dramatic change in the weather..

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the temperature had risen above 0 for a change from the -15's ..a pleasant change at that.
Whenever the weather is good, wife and I go for a walk by the sea.
This morning, we went to the same walking trail which goes by the sea..except this time around we actually walked on the sea !

Yupp. that's right..walked on the sea !.

The sea is totally frozen with about a foot thick ice as the top layer.
When we went by the sea, we saw a few Finns drilling holes in the ice for Ice Fishing..

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We too walked some 100 mtrs into the sea. It was a surreal feeling. There were atleast a dozen Finns sitting in various parts of the sea..
some had even come down with sleds to carry back their catch..ambitious guys.


The guys fishing had a path they had walked on..we followed the same. It was rather scary till we walked a few feet. snow was a foot high and then the foot thick Ice. When we stepped on the snow, it felt like we'd step into a deep never ending hole till we found a reassuring grip.
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Old 19th July 2013, 13:19   #109
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Default Learning the language

For quite a while I've been trying to learn Finnish. It is just a feel good factor to have conversations in their local language. It can only help being accepted easily in business conversations which is Vital in the role I play.

1 word at a time I started to learn the language. One fine day, I got a mailer about a Language course starting in the evening college - Finnish for Foreigners. I was all excited and reserved myself a seat in the class.

1st day of the class, started with everybody calling it the advanced class..humph..I'm an advance learner eh said I and waited for the teacher to start.

the very 1st things she started out with and I was zapped. I could understand nothing. Absolutely nothing. nada.

Turns out the words I had learnt were alrite but I could not even understand them when put in a sentence. The structure of the language is totally different.

To complicate matter, she started simple conversations in Finnish and all I could do was mumble away. God Damn it was embarrassing when the rest were able to participate better. there were people from everywhere..even from Countries I did not know existed.

I had no choice but to quit the class.

Drove straight to the Library and got myself a Book - Start to Finnish. The package also comes with CD's that should help me learn enough to make conversations.

Gosh. It's just getting harder.
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Old 19th July 2013, 13:31   #110
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Default Winter Driving

Having survived 1 Nordic winter, I have learnt quite a few things about Winter driving in Sub Zero temperatures.

Preparing a vehicle for winter conditions

It is essential to take into account the impact of sub-zero conditions on the operation of a vehicle. The vehicleís cooling system may freeze up if no antifreeze agent has been added to the coolant. The engine would overheat and eventually seize. Special anti-freeze agent is also needed for braking systems and for the windscreen washer. You should also check the engine oil to see that the level is sufficient and that it can withstand the cold.

The condition of winter tyres and the correct tyre pressures are particularly important. One should also check that the interior heater works properly and that the headlights are correctly adjusted. The windscreen should also be cleaned regularly to make sure that one is not dazzled by oncoming headlights at night.The battery should also be checked. A battery in poor condition will not be able to start the engine in extreme cold.

Winter accessories for a car also include an ice scraper, lock de-icer, snow shovel, tow rope and jump leads.

Adapting driving to winter conditions

Winter conditions require a different kind of driving. The vehicle may leave the road if the speed is too high, brake suddenly, accelerate too rapidly or do not turn the steering wheel smoothly. The general 80 km/h speed limit may be too high in poor weather conditions.

In slippery winter conditions, overtaking requires special care. Sudden changes of direction or acceleration must be avoided. When overtaking, snow or ice that has accumulated in the middle of the road may lead to loss of control of the vehicle.

Black ice

Water freezing on the road surface in winter is not always visible when driving. Black ice can form especially in hollows and under bridges. Even studded tyres may fail to grip the road when there is black ice. In some parts of Finland it is typical to find temperatures around freezing point, with wet slushy snow on the road. Tyres lose their grip very easily in such conditions.

The trick is to go easy on the throttle. wheel spin is very common and ensure the car goes nowhere.

In deep snow, moving off can also be difficult. One should remove all excess snow from in front of the wheels and use the accelerator pedal with caution.


Longer braking distance

In slippery conditions, braking distance will be considerably longer. The stopping distance for an articulated lorry or a bus may be up to several hundred metres. In winter, one should keep sufficient distance from the vehicle in front to avoid the danger of collision if it should suddenly stop.
In slippery conditions it can be particularly dangerous to brake on a bend. One must reduce speed before the bend by easing off the accelerator
pedal. If the vehicle begins to slide, one should disengage the clutch instead of applying the brakes.
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Old 19th July 2013, 15:55   #111
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Nice writeup Avinash ji. I absolutely loved the way you have put everything across and now, i hae an idea of what kind of a life it is over there.

One thing i do love about the EU or US in general is that you get to experience many weather patterns. I have heard people cribbing about the bone chilling cold, but then you have clothes for handling the climate whereas in places that are perenially hot, there is a limit to the amount of clothes one can remove .
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Old 25th July 2013, 14:23   #112
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

This has been a particularly good Blog Avinash. Makes me feel so much of Finland through your writeups and they are quite elaborate. How are the train services during winter?

More importantly how do you make out the daylight when there is no sun visible?

Rating it a well deserved 5*
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Old 25th July 2013, 20:13   #113
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Quote:
Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
This has been a particularly good Blog Avinash. Makes me feel so much of Finland through your writeups and they are quite elaborate. How are the train services during winter?

More importantly how do you make out the daylight when there is no sun visible?

Rating it a well deserved 5*
thanks for the Kind words.

Train services are absolutely normal all year.
even on 23rd Dec which is supposed to be the shortest day, I saw 5-6 hrs of daylight. No problems at all.

The days of complete darkness are above the Arctic Circle.

In the summer there is excessive sunlight. everybody use dark currents or window blinds to create darkness and then life goes on..normal.

Shoot as many questions. I'll be glad to answer.
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Old 6th August 2014, 12:12   #114
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Hi Avinash

Are you still in Finland? Had a few questions for you about living in Helsinki.
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Old 25th June 2015, 05:30   #115
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Default Small Town Factor

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For those who don't know me (or have jumped straight to this post), I hail from Bangalore which has a Population of 9+ Mn. But then, this post is barely about Bangalore. Itís stake to the title Small Town is long gone. I have been living in Vaasa, Finland for 3+ yrs by now. Vaasa, with its population of 65k, does definitely get the title Small Town. 65k..that is correct. No typo. Come to think of it, the whole of Finland has a population of 5.5mn.
Many have asked me this question about how I like Vaasa compared to Bangalore which is Humongous in relative terms considering the size of the city.. Well, that is precisely why I like this town..while Finland would like to call it City, itís a town in my eyes.
Everything one needs is in walkable distance. If not, itís max 15 minutes drive away. Work included.
You can literally bump into the same people everyday. People we work with, do business withÖeverybody.
For eg Ė My Internet had an issue and needed to be Checked by an expert. Went to my service provider who then setup a time for a expert to come to my house. Unfortunately this appointment was for a few days later coz of the weekend in b/w. Just then I realize my neighbour worked there. He heard my story and offered to come by home later that evening and fixed it over a cup of coffee.. You see, I could never expect this in any big city.
Almost everybody knows everybody.
I have met people from work at gym, while cycling around town.
Heck, Iíve even met Vaasa dwellers (the ones that I know) in Airports far away in other parts of Europe.
If youíre piss drunk, you can rest assured that there would be someone in the bar who would know where you live and would drop you. Worst case scenario, one can still crawl back on all fourís and still reach home within 15 minutes. Well ok, that bit was exaggerated but you get the drift.
You can never blame delayed meeting arrival to traffic. There is nothing called traffic jam or grid lock in this city. If you said traffic, thatíd be the best joke of the day.

This is what I like most about being in a small town like Vaasa Ė the small town factor.

ps : Feature image courtesy google. copyright belongs to original owner.
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Old 25th June 2015, 10:43   #116
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

@Avinash

Good to see your post after such a long time!!
Your L&T project still continuing in Vaasa or have you taken a new assignment?
Still alone or have shifted bad and baggage as well!!

Good to see you love the peace in Finland's beautiful hamlet.
Best wishes always!!
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Old 25th June 2015, 10:46   #117
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
@Avinash

Good to see your post after such a long time!!
Your L&T project still continuing in Vaasa or have you taken a new assignment?
Still alone or have shifted bad and baggage as well!!

Good to see you love the peace in Finland's beautiful hamlet.
Best wishes always!!
Hey, how goes?

thanks. I handle business in this region. therefore, I have multiple clientele to handle. moved here with family. so I can use the cliche'd term - Settled.

yupp. peace and quite it is. thats pretty much all of finland. except Helsinki, Tampere and Espoo..
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Old 26th June 2015, 15:03   #118
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Hi Avinash,

Came across this thread yesterday and got hooked. Very interesting write up! Thanks.
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Old 28th November 2016, 01:09   #119
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

it took somebody to bump me in the head recently and ask me about this thread to make me get back here. the usual suspect - Work pressure. I hope I muster some time to pen some more thoughts/experiences from this magic'land.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumping Soul View Post
Hi Avinash

Are you still in Finland? Had a few questions for you about living in Helsinki.
Shoot. if it's still valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
@Avinash

Good to see your post after such a long time!!
Your L&T project still continuing in Vaasa or have you taken a new assignment?
I no longer live in Vaasa though. moved to HELsinki earlier this year.
how do you know I work in L&T? memory is fading me.. seems I may have
mentioned it sometime ago...or did I?
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