Monday, 29 January 2007

Health-care favours the rich

So what’s new? If a CEO goes to the doctor with the National Healthcare, his family-doctor, dressed in his Bond Street tailored suit even if obese, (which in this case means well-being), complaining about his difficulties to write his signature on papers because of his arthritis, well of course he gets better treatment than the unemployed, obese, (and in this case it means stupid and fat), single-mom with the same arthritis, complaining about not being able to carry home her groceries from the bus-stop as she is not worth to treat in anyway. She just gets some painkillers and is sent home as she is only a cost to the healthcare and gives nothing back to the community with being unemployed.

Whilst even if the same CEO would go to the doctor unshaved and dressed in just jeans and sneakers he would be sent to the lab for blood tests to find out what is wrong with him.

So what is wrong?

Is there really a difference in the treatment of the patients by the healthcare personnel, or is just the CEO with his higher education and better self-esteem better suited to ask for and get what he asks for than just divorced single-mother? Is she with her lesser self-esteem only misunderstood and too tired to struggle for what she is entitled to, which would be the proper treatment for her illness?

Some researches suggest that there is a difference in the health of people depending on their employment and education maybe that is true but one thing is for sure. People are treated differently depending on their look.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Elitist shopping

You should know how to dress to be able to shop as you might be treated like you dress, or talk for that matter.

There is a department store that has store in some of the major cities in Finland, and even some places abroad such as Estonia and Russia. If you go shopping there especially in the store they have in Helsinki, in the women’s clothes department, or men’s wear for that matter, speaking Finnish, then the sales persons do not even pretend to see you, even if you are dressed smartly.

Try the same thing when without make-up and dressed like coming from you country home and speak Finnish Swedish, then the elitist salespersons all compete to service you.

I have tried this myself and seen it work this way. Why?

Well, my theory is that the upper class used to be Swedish speaking. As today there no more is a such distinct difference between the elite of a upper-class of company CEO’s and other well paid people, and the Finns have a tradition of fear and awe for the patron and boss, they act accordingly. They respect the one who pays the wages not to loose their job.

Am I wrong? So stop thinking about racism here, it even exits between the Finns themselves, there is no equality in this country, not between the sexes or in any other way. Or is there?

Friday, 26 January 2007

Argentinians against Finland

I am quite surprised to once again hear about the rallies that have been going on now for months against Finland in Argentina. Is this a trick by the clever media telling us different versions of the truth once again?

A Finnish company is building a paper- or pulp mill plant in the vicinity of the Argentinian and Uruguayan border, if I have not got it all wrong.

And people are rallying against this plant, I have not quite got it, whether it is cutting the trees in the Amazon or the air pollution from the factory people are angry about as it can not be the jobs generated by the plant, can it?

I can understand if you get angry and annoyed with a company you stop buying their products, but I can not see why the rallying against whole Finland and its’ people. Why is little Finland here way up in the north to blame for something that happens in South America?

It is just the company, which is by the way only partially in Finnish ownership according to my knowledge, that is building the factory!

Or is Uruguay and Argentina in every way so owned and the business life so regulated by the Politicians, with the politicians deciding upon everything even the policies of companies and people living there can not even believe that in other countries it is not in the same? Or maybe they have now have found a scapegoat, a whole country for their own misery and shortcomings of their politicians?

Well, once again I have to conclude, life is strange and it is time for me to have a nice cup of tea!

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Drugging your own kids

Quite controversial has recently become the discussion if to medicate or not to medicate children for Adhd with Ritalin and other similar amphetamine related drugs.

It certainly has good effects on some children with the disorder, but others are not helped at all and still end up being difficult to cope with. I have over the past few years with wonder watched various comedy-shows such as MadTv and South Park joke about it, quite funny they were and some even funnier when one of the off-spring was diagnosed with Adhd some time ago. You can really not appreciate it until you experience it yourself, if it works or not works, if there is any difference in the child‘s behaviour at all.

Then you have to weigh the pro's against the con's.

Well, at least we have had good feed-back from school and our home life has also become more relaxed with fever tantrums from the child in question or raging outbursts from respective parents for various disagreements upon behaviour and envious siblings wondering about differences in what is allowed to or not.

So yes, I am for drugging my child, no matter how disgusting it may sound. It has proven effect. We are all happier with the medication, the child in question, the sibling and even school.

And maybe, like in desperate housewives, this mum could also sometimes do with some Ritalin too, to get things going when all time seems to run out?

Guess it works better than my normal cup of tea!

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Finland is bi-lingual

Did you know that Finland is a bi-lingual country?

As there is a minority of 6 % Finns that have Swedish as their native tongue, everything in Finland such as Laws and even the texts on food packages has to be labelled in Finnish as well as Swedish. Well, anyway, I have tried to find out if it works in practice and have come to the conclusion that it is quite over advertised.

In places where you by law are entitled to get service and help in your native language, and as it happens to be Swedish for me, I get no help at all. Try to ring some place, like the tax Office and they pass your call around until your call is lost somewhere. When I ring back about the same subject speaking in Finnish there always is someone who can answer my questions. And you are supposed to get medical care in Swedish too and I have not yet met but one doctor who was Swedish speaking, and he was a Finn too, but had studied and worked for long periods of time in Sweden.

I guess that in the public health care and every government run Public office there are people working who speak Swedish as their native tongue, why not make them kind of liaison officers to help people?

I mean, my Finnish is pretty good after having lived here as long as I have but when it comes to complicated law terms and paragraphs I am lost. I have heard that even the Finns themselves have difficulties to understand the Office language there is, so how am I supposed to get what they say, or write for that matter?!? I know that on the coastal areas there are even cities that are completely Swedish speaking, and I have even heard of foreigners learning to speak Swedish in those areas to cope with their daily lives but learn no Finnish at all! How is that for a controversy?

Anyway, I am glad I still can relax and speak my native language meeting people in some places here in Finland. Must be quite strenuous for all the foreigners living here who can not speak their native language anywhere.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Anonymous bureaucracy

One thing that really bugs me about living here in Finland is the anonymous way of handling all bureaucracy.
There is never someone in charge for your affairs wherever you go.

No matter if it’s the job-centre, the Department of Taxes or the People´s Pension Bureau you always have to tell the person you happened to meet all about your errand. All over again, once again instead of seeing the person who would be in charge of your things every time you have business in that office in question.

Oh yes, there is of course a boss who is responsible for the whole department of the bureau in question but hardly anywhere there is anyone who knows anything about your things and that I find quite frustrating.

In some of the other countries I have lived in they have had systems with a person responsible of your affairs depending on as various things as the day you were born on in the month or depending on the first letter in your surname, even the year you were born and you always did your business with the same person, who also was in charge of your matters and they usually had recollection of you from the last time there even though they do meet a lot of different people in that kind of places.

Not so here in Finland, here you just get bored with telling the same story over and over again to one more person who could not care less. Quite sad really, this way no one has to take any responsibility for anything. And nobody really seems to care!

At least I know I am in charge of making dinner tonight.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Old memories coming back

Have you ever read on old diary of your own? I have never been very good at keeping a diary, most of the ones I have kept over the year have been full of long gaps in time, and the couple of the ones I kept more continuously have been burnt in the storage-place we had hired among other precious mementos and things from my childhood.

Anyway, when reading old diaries it is funny how all the long gone memories and feelings come back to you. You suddenly miss people you have not thought about for decades, or feel the disappointment, anger or happiness of long gone days. You kind relive the days. I am quite proud of myself after having kept my Blog now for almost a year. It was not as often in the beginning but I have lately had as my goal to write at least every other day and succeeded quite well with that. Sometimes my postings can take a couple of days due lacking possibilities to connect to the Internet when we are away from home or from busy holidays like Xmas for instance.

But I will keep on writing, as I hope you will be back to my Blog reading what has been going on lately.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Baking a cake

I wonder what is with us people as we always tend to leave the things we have a deadline for to the latest possible moment to have them done?

As I once made a delicious cake and promised to bake on for the birthday of a friend once, it now has become a tradition for me to make the cake every year for the celebration.

Well, in between the baking I today found out that it is not only the liquorice-wrapper that is going to be changed into something new after having been the same for 80 years. Last year the candy-bar named Geisha from the same manufacturer lost its’ beautiful geisha-girl from the wrapper.

Anyway, as I am not the candy eating type as you might have understood as I did not notice it before it was mentioned on the news, it came as a complete surprise. The candy-bar is quite delicious and I do buy it now and then, but as you might guess have not done so recently.

The geisha-girl was probably on the wrapper for 80 years too and the producer Fazer removed her “to be able to expand on the International market” and not to spread "racial stereotypes". Who can be offended by a Japanese girl dressed in her traditional kimono on a candy-paper? The coloured boy I can somehow understand.

Anyway, got to go now, cake cooled down and ready for the icing.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Winter-sport season can begin!

Now, finally there is snow here in Finland and the winter-sport season can begin!

The off-spring has been going on hard about their disappointment on about the snow situation and all the missed opportunities going skiing. One of the fun parts about living in Finland. A severe storm hit the southern coast of Finland during the weekend that coming across the Baltic Sea from southern Sweden, here it was not as bad as seen from the news with trees falling over everywhere, electric breakdowns and buildings falling apart.

Anyway, during the storm the harbour of Turku, one of the main shipping harbours here in Finland, was flooded by half a meter of water due to the gale force winds. Must be strange to be on the seaside and not know where the waterfront really is. Imagine walking off the jetty as you do not see the waters' edge!

Saturday, 13 January 2007


I seem to be getting back to what the EU is going on about, and this time they are upset about Finnish candy-paper and accuse it of being racistic.

What we are talking about here is a picture on the wrapping-paper of a liquorice-bar, with a drawn picture of a little negro-boy, a black or a coloured boy, and it's been there for 80 years!
Several immigrant of coloured skin were asked about it and they did not find it to be insulting or in any kind racist, but the EU did. Are there no issues of greater importance to discuss in

Would it have been better with a picture of Adolf Hitler, or maybe the now deceased Saddam Hussein?!? Or former president Gorbatchov of the former Sowiet Republic who has a Vodka named after him?
Help, we are talking about candy-paper here!!!

Friday, 12 January 2007

Wolf alert!

Well, the quiet rural town of Hämeenlinna is once again visited by wildlife, this time a wounded wolf had found its' way in to town.

And the EU are against the Finnish Governments hunting laws for wolves. I guess it is, as most of the EU-countries and their representatives do not have to live with the beasts nextdoor!

If they did have the wolves as neigbours I guess they might be more positive for shooting them as well.
Imagine your children walking peacefully to school and meeting a wolf! This is not the story of Red-riding hood and the wolf, this is every day life here in
Finland in many parts of the country, especially the eastern parts.
I am for wildlife, but maybe not quite right on my doorstep!
And I am lucky to not live in Hämeenlinna, it seems to be a place a litlle too exciting for me.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Updating homepages

Well, well, updating older version of your homepages is not quite as difficult as I always thought it would be and I also found some new handy applications to use, like a contact-form for instance.

The only thing with updating is that it is quite time consuming, at least with webwizards and how to find what where. So have the past three days been spent, with the PC updating my Socialguide for foreigners in Finland.

I am very pleased with what I have achieved so far, even though I am not satisfied with the look of the pages yet and the know-how to design my own homepages is still some way for me to go, and new things tend to crop up all the time as I am busy with updating the information and content as well and not only with the outlook and and design of the pages.

But given time I will learn how to design and build them myself.

Hopefully this year.

Monday, 8 January 2007

Happy 60th Birthday Mr Bowie!

Wow, imagine, today David Bowie is turning 60 years old.

I have been a great fan of Bowie for so long now, and I sure hope he will continue to make as good music for a long, long time. And I still am not sure which of his albums is my favourite, but I sure find some of his music to fit my of my moods.

I really wonder where I would be today, if not for his music?!?

Well, if you’d ask my off-spring, they probably would tell you I would be even more bonkers than I am, and my husband would probably think the same but wisely enough not say it out loud.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Sleepless nights

All Finnish TV is changing into digitalizing all transmissions this year in august, so you will have to get yourself a so called digi-box to be able to see any TV. We just got one and I am ever so happy as I like French old films and there are quite a lot of them on Tv5. Earlier most of the films were subtitled into German and the text-TV pages were in Russian so I could understand most of the speaking but the subtitling in either German or Russian I could not enjoy them as much as I now can, even with the sound turned off at night when my husband is asleep next to me in bed. I just love Don Camillo and his eternal fight with the communist mayor Peppone. They are a great comfort in sleepless nights as you always know it all turns out for the best in the end.

Friday, 5 January 2007


The winter has not been as it has used to be in the earlier years we have been living here in Finland. We now do have something that reminds of snow, but still not as much snow or some whitish stuff as used to.

They say this is going to be the warmest year in Europe, as the migrating birds have not moved further south than mid-europe instead of their accustomed Africa.

The green-house effects, pollution and that the world is heating up. Well, they used to be able to grow grapes up here in Scandinavia in the bronze-age, so maybe we will be able to make our own wine here in Finland soon, shame about the skiing though.

But I was never good on skis anyway, but the after-ski is nice, and I guess it will be more after-ski as in used to once ski, if this keeps up!

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Finnish daycare

I feel sorry for my friends that have children small enough to need day-care in a kindergarten when they are at work as the day-care centers close the school vacations here in Finland. I can understand that the day care shuts down during the month of July when the day-care personnel have their summer vacations, but if you do not have any grandparents or other relatives in the same town, or the same country for that matter what can you do?!?

But stay home with your kids and loose the pay. And with blended families you have to decide who's turn it is to stay home with whom's kids.

Thank God my off-spring is big enough to make me some tea at least, when home from school!

Monday, 1 January 2007

Home alone at New Year

No off-spring home on New Year's Eve no party to attend to, just he two of us home alone, my husband and I. Well, after a nice meal we got as far as to bed watching TV when the eldest came home to get something forgotten and was quite surprised to see the two of us in bed so early in the evening.

Mum, dad, what on earth are you doing?!?

So on to the Champagne, or wine mousseaux as it was Australian sparkling wine this time. Nice quiet night home alone. Fireworks at midnight, then to bed to first be awaken in the middle of the night a couple of hours later by an sms from a forgetful friend of mine who was not quite aware of what the time is in Finland when midnight over there, and the second time by the alarm of my husband who had forgotten to set it off automatic.

Guess we both did look like we had done everything but sleep!

We always have our traditional new year’s family dinner, and this year for the first time with companions, at noon which is earlier than used to before, as I want to check out the condition after yesterdays celebrations of off-spring and their companions. They have been very good so far, no one forgot about coming home to dinner, one running a bit late, and forgot to ring and mention about it to me.

Thank God for roasted potatoes they can take about half-an-hour extra in the oven!

No off-spring unsober or hang-over, nice! And I managed to get us through dinner without any mishaps, which means good for the new year to come as I am a bit superstitious about the first day of the year, it giving the general idea of how the rest of the year goes.

The second most common New Year’s promise must be to quit smoking, as my spouse also promised to do last year. He did not smoke for two days and was as grumpy as never before, and on the third day we, that is the off-spring and I, could not take it anymore so we told him to get some cigarettes ASAP! And he did buy his accustomed cigarettes, and we lived happily ever after for another year.

And we are not going to let him quit smoking this year again! "Darling, could you please nip down to the store and get daddy a packet of his cigarettes so he can’t quit smoking!

Same procedure as last year!