Today marks the first week of my time here in Finland. I’ve made some observations and had some thoughts beyond what I’ve mentioned in past posts, so I will detail them here.
People don’t look at you when you’re walking about the town. I’ve heard of this before, and my host brother said that it’s very normal; people just don’t want to bother you. It’s definitely a different experience from the US, where passersby are much more likely to look at you. I attribute this lack of visual contact to confidence with self and the feeling that the other should not be bothered without reason.
Indeed people do keep to themselves here for the most part. Interactions are brief, direct, and friendly, but that is the extent of them. Excellent conditions for people who like to keep to themselves.
There are also fewer boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, from what I’ve heard and observed. For example, I have been told that the majority of people in high school are single.
The emotional atmosphere here seems more relaxed than in the US. I suspect that domestic conflict is low. (My host brother believes this is true) The behavior of drunkards has been the only conflict I have seen thus far. (My host host brother confirms that this is the case) I also feel safe here, more so than I would walking in a town in the US. This is likely due to the lack of eye contact, among other things.
The language is still hard to understand, but I continue to do my best to pick out the words I know. By the end of my time here I suspect I will be reasonably capable with the language.
This trip has been wonderful so far, and I attribute this fact entirely to God’s goodness. He is wonderful, and through his awesomeness, inspires me to love him more each day. I pray that he inspires the same in you, no matter where you are.