Why I hate Finland (on occasion)
German writer and Icelandic resident Katharina Hauptmann recently wrote a piece for Iceland Review Online entitled “Ten Things I Hate About You, Iceland.” So that led me to think, what do I hate about Finland?
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love living here. I often tell people how much I love living here because it is a great place to raise kids and there is always something new to learn. But, I’ll admit, I do have my “I hate Finland” days and here’s why (in no particular order):
Drunk driving – Even though the rate of reported drunk driving is not high (according to statistics and the police), the number of repeat offenders and the amount of alcohol they have in their system is staggering. Some offenders have so much alcohol in their blood that it would cause other people to pass out. The punishments meted out for drunk driving (and drunk driving causing injury or death) are a joke and do not reflect the severity of the crime. The offenders walk after a short time in jail and the victims have to live with the horror for the rest of their lives.
High prices – Especially for cars, gas, eye glasses, books and food. I often wonder how some people are able to afford having a car. A second car in my household would break the bank.
Idiot drivers – I’m not sure what I hate more, tailgaters or aggressive drivers who act like assholes when someone is driving safely / the speed limit. The “MINÄ” (ME, ME, ME!) culture definitely exists among a lot of Finnish men in the driving set. Running red lights is a sport apparently.
Soft on crime – Especially when it comes to people convicted of abusing children, the elderly and the vulnerable. The punishments meted out for crimes against children are pathetic and often do not reflect the seriousness of the crime. A few months in jail for sexual abuse of children is the norm – again, the victims suffer a life time.
Unsustainable rate of building – I cannot for the life of me understand why there is so much building going on in the capital area. Are we really that short of residential housing and office buildings? According to a report in Helsingin Sanomat nearly two years ago, there were more than one million square metres of unoccupied office space. WHY are they building more? Bye, bye to green spaces alround…
Cheap prices for all the bad things – This mostly relates to food stuffs like candy and pop. I have lamented in this blog in the past that a junk food tax should be levied against candy, pop and other forms of junk food known to contribute to lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity. (Yes – acknowledged that this is a very general blanket statement.) Start rewarding people who practice good food consumption habits!
Shopping for clothes – In Finland I am considered a plus size. In Canada, I am “normal” and finding pants that fit is a cinch. Finding bras and pants that are the right size in a store in Finland (at a reasonable price I might add) are an incredible headache. A nightmare, in fact… Otherwise I have discovered I am better off to just follow those instincts and moments when they hit me: Power shop and be done with it. Fortunately in those instances shopping trips are usually successful and I don’t feel pissed off or hopeless about not finding the right clothes.
Littering, spitting and smoking – I feel a boiling rage when I see someone throw garbage on the ground in the vicinity of a garbage can – I mean, come on! I know that littering is a problem the world over, but the world is not our garbage can and we shouldn’t be treating it like one. Teen-aged girls who smoke (and think they are so cool) are sooo stupid looking, and disgusting when they proceed to spit on the ground in front of other people… Ugh – GROSS!
Crappy TV shows – I speak more with regards to the commercial TV stations that show all sorts of shitty US TV shows. I cannot stand reality TV, and yet we’re still subjected to it here in Finland. UGH! <vomit> Fortunately I can change the channel or better yet, turn it off.
Care to share your opinions here?
No worries, I’ll be sure to tell you what I like about in Finland in another entry. It’s not all bad!