torstai 3. joulukuuta 2009

Amerikkalaista arkea Suomessa

So my wife told me I needed to write about my experience in Finland thus far. Where to start...

Maybe I should start with the people, which is why I came to Finland to begin with, well one person to be exact. Anyways I came and started living with my girlfriend (at the time) and started school. I met a lot of other foreign students that first week of school. The only problem I had was that my situation was so different than theirs. It was hard to have typical “foreign exchange” experience when that wasn't the real reason I came here. I wasn't living in student housing, so I missed all those spur of the moment parties and such. But I did have a “family” here and all of my girlfriend's friends.

Well I probably should cover more meat and potatoes stuff if I ever want to finish writing this. Anyways I have met a lot of Finnish people, and I have been very impressed with them. I could never have imagined going to a place, not speaking the language, and still being accepted as well as I have here. That said it hasn't been easy with the language barrier.

Let me first explain that it was probably fairly stupid to move somewhere and having virtually no knowledge of the local language. I will also admit that having chosen that path I have no room to complain about language barrier situations, since its entirely my problem. I should have learned more Finnish by now, and I don't really have any excuse for that. When I look back 20 years from now I am sure that will be the one thing that haunts me about being here. That I never met my wife's family and friends halfway.

One thing I have learned about myself in this whole experience is how much I hate being completely dependent on other people. I don't mind asking for help, never have, never will. But only in situations where I could do it myself if need be. I depend on my wife for SO much these days that it eats at me. Depend probably isn't even the correct word, need would be better suited for my purpose.

To say I have missed my friends and family would be an understatement. My family and I talk every week on skype, so it doesn't bother me as much as my friends. I have always held my friends close, and they are extremely important to me. I really do believe that I have friends back home that are one of a kind. That burdens my heart most of all, and is what I look forward to most about going back home. Is having all my friends over for a barbeque, drinking and videogames.

Now for more positive stuff. One thing I have always enjoyed is playing games and drinking, you put those two together and you have a very American thing (at least from what I have been told), drinking games. Some of my best experiences here in Finland have been while teaching people to play beer pong, quarters and other games.

I have had some ups and downs while living here, and I have learned a lot about Finland and myself. If anyone had the option to have done what I have, I would highly recommend it.

I really didn't know what topics to cover here, or what specifics. To cover all my experiences or opinions on Finland would take hours and hours of writing, which isn't my forte. I prefer drawn out conversations over beer. So to make it easy for me, why don't you ask me questions and I will answer them.

4 kommenttia:

  1. Tosi kiva oli lukea kokemuksia nain pain:) Meilla varmasti samanlainen tilanne edessa jokin paiva!

  2. Hi!
    I was very pleased to hear your point of view for a change. Don't get me wrong - Anni has done a great job, but it ain't the same as reading one's own opinion. It's always nice to hear how foreigners percieve our country, our characteristics and so on.

    I actually think that you get a nicer experience this way (even if you don't count Anni). Exchange students usually complain that they have harder time to get to know native Finns than to each other. Now you don't have to worry about that :) At least I always prefer to be with natives when ever I'm abroad. I feel like I'm getting more out of my time.

    So enjoy the rest of your time here in Finland and try to learn to understand a bit more about us and our language. It ain't easy, I know, but trust me - it'll be rewarding.

  3. Hello there!
    It was great to hear your point of view =) Happy to hear that you've enjoyed your time in our country.. Really, enjoy the rest of your time here and try to learn a little more finnish. It's not the easiest language to learn but well, someday you'll have kids and Anni is going to teach them finnish too, isn't she? ;)
    You wrote about that you've missed your family and friends.. Well, I think that's always the worst thing to handle. You can't have everyone at the same place when you're coming from 2 different countries..
    Have you made any friends of your own here? What have you liked the weather, it ain't Kansas in here :)
    Wish you and Anni all the best, it's been a pleasure to read your story :) Hopefully Anni (and you) will continue writing across the sea as well =)

    Anni: Wow! S:llä on sana hallussa, mukava kuulla että mies on viihtynyt =)

  4. Hello S.! I've sort of followed your life, too, for some years already, through your wife's blog. Very interesting to hear about your experiences. As of couple of months ago my situation changed so that it will be me moving to the US and my fiancé will (most likely) never live here. While thinking he might, his dependence on me was one of our chief concerns, so I can empathize on what you're experiencing.

    And, one of the things I'm looking forward to, in moving to US, is all the barbeques!! :D

    As for what more I'd like to hear from you: What has been the most outlandish attitudes you've encountered here? If any. I mean, have there been situations where Finns' ideas or attitudes seem like from another planet compared to your US-born-and-raised views? My question stems from my experience sometimes in the US that no matter how I might try, no American, apart from my future husband, can understand me as well as most Finns could.