A Whole New Civilization
- 29 Posts
- Age 20
Compared to my peers, I see myself as privileged when it comes to travelling. Due to my interests, there are a lot of opportunities for me to see new places and collaborate with new people. Despite the hard work it takes (oops self acknowledgement), I always try to pursue these opportunities. So last week I was in Helsinki for the amazing Medical Education Conference (AMEE 2017). Here, you will read little crumbs of culture shocks (good ones) that I experienced in Helsinki. So Enjoy!
Talking about culture, this might be a weird place to start; but for me as a person with a fast metabolism it is the most important place. But not just for me, restrooms were where people in Ancient Rome socialized in the morning! The restrooms in Finland for other restrooms were like the over-achiever cousin that makes you look bad at the family reunion. They literally had a sign saying "Please put the toilet paper to the toilet." instead of the garbage bin, in my country the signs beg you not to do that stating the toilets would be clogged. They also have mini-shower caps for you to wash up(just revolutionary). And also I went to a restroom with a great view that dares you to look at your phone during doing your business
For the ones who never experienced before, hostels are different than hotels. In hostels you stay with bunch of other people in the same room. Usually in an organization like the one I attended, I would stay with the people I work with. But stuff happened and I ended up staying in a room with 30 strangers (of all gender) for 12 days. I was anxious at first but then I realized: "So this is how civilization feels like!". Any person reading this would know that as a woman, you can get harassed/assaulted/raped even when you use public transport. I spent 12 days sleeping and dressing with strange (as in stranger) men around me (and on top of me) and not one single thing happened that bothered me. Everyone was so respectful to each others' privacy and well being. I have always believed that humans could live in harmony; but I have never imagined that I would witness it this soon. I still can't believe it, I think. And I think people don't appreciate this enough, that they have the ability, will, and the common sense to respect each others' rights and freedoms when they want to. So I say let's recognize this culture and let's promote it, till the world turns into one big hostel.
Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. Sweets. Desserts... And coffee.
When I first heard that Finland was famous for its saunas, I thought it was like Turkey being Famous with its hamams. Boy I was mistaken... Don't get me wrong, Turkish Hamams are very famous but not so common anymore, they are more traditional. In Finland, there were saunas everywhere. Houses have saunas, apartments have saunas, venues have saunas. Almost every facility has a sauna that is functioning and provides people with shower materials (even towels sometimes). Okay this is impressive, but why was it important to me? Well, first of all, despite my lovely hostel, showering in the sauna is always better. Secondly I am a very cold-sensitive person; but after a sauna there is no such cold that can harm you. I jumped into the Baltic sea after the sauna! The Baltic sea! Even the sea in Turkey is too cold for me and I swam in the Baltic sea at the end of August! I stood on a balcony at night being soaked wet. This made me realize that the limits I thought I had were just an outcome of the paradigm I was in, when I didn't wanted them, they didn't exist!
All stereotypes are stupid; but if we had to choose the stupidest one, I think It would be the stereotype about Finnish people being cold (as in relationships). They are not! Finnish people were the most helpful people I have ever seen. When I had a problem, someone always offered guidance. And they speak very well English too. If it weren't for the Finnish people my experience in Finland wouldn't be this amazing. The Finnish people I worked with and the Finnish people who just helped me out, you people have restored my faith in humanity.
These are all I can think of now! But I'm sure I'll remember many others. Till then xxx