Second part; bullet points to save time

  • For the first time in a long time, I used something that comes "from Nokia": Nokia_n tires with spikes. Nokia_n means "from Nokia", i.e. a former business unit which Nokia sold and allowed the new owner to keep the modified name. I don't expect to use anything else from Nokia any time soon, which is a pity imo.

  • Roads are often plowed, but a lot of ice still remains. This is not a problem because of the spikes; they, in turn, will be a problem for non-icy roads as they turn tarmac into gravel and potholes... At least while I was there, most streets, both within and without cities, were covered with either snow or ice.

  • Cars moving snow are not purpose-built, but re-use existing machinery. Plows tend to be smaller dump trucks (~20-30 tons?) while actual shovelling is done by tractors and small diggers.

  • Plow drivers expect you to make way. In narrow streets, they will not slow down even if their shovel extends well onto your lane. You get out of the way, and quickly, or your car is scrap.

  • Finland is a nation of tailgaters. Distance between cars driving at around 80 km/h on icy roads averages at about 10-20 meters.

  • One reason why tailgating is somewhat understandable, if still highly dangerous, is that a single slow driver can accumulate literally a dozen or more car behind them as there's almost no chance to overtake on those wavy single-lane roads. I witnessed a car driving at a constant 50 km/h in a 80 km/h zone. As they refused to stop at the side to let others pass, this was... infuriating.

  • Overtaking is generally done at the lowest speed delta possible without crashing into oncoming traffic. This ensures that only one car per overtaking opportunity gets to overtake.

  • Licorice all the things. Licorice ice cream. Yay.

  • There are a lot of body building products in Finnish super markets. Even the smallest stores always have their own section.

  • Lactose and gluten free food is a Big Thing.

  • Foreign loanwords always have at least one letter doubled; tack an "i" at the end and you're good to go.

  • Finns are fiercely proud of their own country and its achievements. Most if not all of them sport a Nokia phone. Try and find a door hinge not made by Fiskars.

  • Angry. Birds. Everything. There is even Angry Birds coffee beans on sale.

  • Keys are half-round, of a system I have never seen before, and tend to jam in the locks.

  • Self-locking doors are not opened automagically by depressing the inner handle; you are forced to turn an extra knob. The same system is used for doors you lock manually. Said knob needs to be turned clock-wise to open and vice versa to close. The German system follows standard screws (clock-wise to tighten/close) and thus is the exact opposite. If you are used to the exact opposite of a system like that, you get to run into doors a lot.

  • Energy seems to be free or nearly so. Doors of many heated buildings just stay open all the time. Lights burn continuously. Both cabins I stayed at were heated with electric stoves of all things.

  • Drafty (thus non-insulated) windows are apparently common enough that you can buy plastic tape marketed specifically to tape over drafty windows.