Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last night's journey

Mike and I took a walk last night to an area of town called Ruoholahti.  It's a new area that has a lot of big corporate offices, new apartment buildings, and a few shops and restaurants.  Mike said parts of it remind him of Bethleham, Pennsylvania, because they have taken old factories and redeveloped them into a new, hip, current area.  It's about 2 kilometers from our an apartment, so easily walkable.

You may recall a few posts back that I said the Finns love all things American.  Within two minutes of stepping outside our front door, we saw both of these cars.  The first is a Chevy Impala, and it needs a bit of work, but overall, it's in pretty good shape.

 The second is a mid-60s Volkswagen Bug.  Now, I know that's a German car, but think of how often you see Bugs of that vintage in the US.  I suspect this one actually came from the US and not Germany.  The reason I have surmised that is because when we picked up our car a week and a half ago, the shipper told me that they actually import more old cars from America than current ones (there were a bunch of old cars waiting in the parking lot to be picked up).  Finns love to get cars from the US and restore them.  The most popular?  1967 Ford Mustang.  I haven't seen one, yet, but I am keeping my eyes open.  Maybe you see more of them in the summer when the weather is better.

Our first stop on our walk was at an electronics store called Verkkokauppa.  I HATE this store.  The store is set up unlike any store I've ever seen.  Almost the entire store is set up by brand, instead of by product.  So, you want to buy a washing machine?  You have to go to the Samsung area and look at their washing machines, then you have to go to the LG area and look at their washing machines, etc.  Coffee pots?  They were in about six different places.  The Finns have a reputation for being horrible at customer service, which has not been our experience, at all.  Except this store.  It is not designed for the customer, yet there were lots of people shopping.  Mike suspects that each of the product manufacturers actually lease space from the store and that is why it is designed this way.  Of course, Nokia has a large section, so I told Mike he needs to find the person at Nokia who manages the relationship to find out WHY!  I also said we will not buy anything there unless the product is not available anywhere else in the country in an effort to not encourage the business model!!  My first Finland boycott, joining the list of In 'n Out, Wal-Mart, etc.  I guess I feel like I am at home :)

 Avoid this store!

We also visited the hardware store in the same mall.  Smaller than a Home Depot, but bigger than an Ace.  We found a store very similar to Home Depot in Espoo, so we're in good shape if we need to build anything!  Our final stop was at a gym called Elixia.  We signed up and bought some personal training sessions.  We're really looking forward to getting back into the routine of going to a gym and training.  The gym is brand new and much nicer than the Planet Fitness gym we belonged to at home (and the price tag shows it).  I am sure the personal training won't be as fun as with Ray and George at the The Training Floor, but we'll have a go at it.  Time to pump some iron!  


  1. Do the Finns know about punch buggy? You can start a new tradition! And, still with the In n Out?? Gah, I have one within walking distance of where I live...hard to resist! :-)

    Thanks for these little snapshots of your new adventure.

  2. Why would you ever boycott In N' Out? Definitely never knew this about you!