4th of July is just another day around here…

…but that doesn’t mean we Americans don’t celebrate in style…multiple times!

On Wednesday (the 4th) Stephen and I met up with a few friends at the sauna.  We drank some beer, grilled brats, and swam in the lake – just like home, except about 30 degrees cooler!!

On Friday, our friends Tom and Pam hosted a cookout, with burgers and hot dogs and red white and blue.  I brought the garland I made (on Wednesday, and then forgot to take to the sauna) and strawberries dipped in whipped cream and blue sugar.

My red/white/blue garland, with stars and an American Flag on each end

On Saturday, our friends Stephen and Nina hosted a backyard grill out, complete with games!  We played Mölkky, which is a Finnish throwing game in which you throw a stick…at a bunch of sticks….

Actually, all kidding aside, it was a lot of fun – I call it a cross between billiards and bowling.  There are twelve numbered sticks, lined up kind of like in a pool triangle.  You throw a stick and knock the sticks down, and wherever they fall is where they get righted the next round.  You get points based on the number on the stick you knock down (if you only knock one down, e.g. the stick with the number 11 on it will garner you 11 points) or the number of sticks you knock down (if you knock down more than one stick, e.g. you knock down 3 sticks, you get 3 points, regardless of the numbers on the sticks).  You play to 50 (or whatever you want to play to), but you have to get that number exactly, or you get half your points deducted.

Several rounds in, the sticks will have scattered some…

I foresee some Christmas gifts back home in the future…

Hope everyone had a happy and fun 4th!

Categories: Finland | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “4th of July is just another day around here…

  1. Rachel

    Hi, I live in New York and I’ve followed your blog for a few months. I found it when I was researching information about living in Finland. A friend of mine is moving there and I was wondering if you would be able to help me with some questions. What is the most affordable way for my friend and I to communicate? Is it by phone or text? Skype? I read the post about cough drops. Is there anything else I should recommend that he take with him?

    • Hi Rachel, thanks for reading! To answer you questions…

      Yes, skype is by far the cheapest way to keep in touch. We also use Google Chat, which is nice because you can actually call people’s cell phones – they don’t have to be online. You have to have a US number to attach to it, though, I think. We don’t call (or text) anyone via home/cell phone. Of course, email and FB are great, too.

      Let’s see…as far as what to bring, definitely OTC meds – cold meds, allergy meds, etc. They’re cheaper in the States, and a known entity. I won’t say they’re better, but at least you know what it is you’re taking and what it’s going to taste like!! One thing I wish I had known was that washcloths don’t really exist in Europe. Maybe I’m just a weirdo, but I use washcloths. The only place I could find them was the kid’s dept at Ikea. Go figure.

      Some people will say to bring certain foods, or toiletry items, but honestly, if it’s a long-term move, you’re not going to want to stock up a lifetime’s supply of deodorant. The things you get here aren’t exactly the same as what you’re used to, but if you divorce yourself from the idea of what something is *supposed* to taste like and just ask yourself if it’s good, it usually is. Except the deodorant/antiperspirants. They suck here. Or, at least, I think they suck.

      One thing a friend of mine did that was great, she went and bought a case of Kraft Mac & Cheese from Costco. She pulled out just the cheese packets and poured out the pasta – you can buy pasta anywhere, and the cheese packets take up almost no room. So now if I want mac&cheese “like home,” I just pull out a little cheese packet and go buy some pasta.

      If you haven’t checked it out already, go over to finlandforum.org. They have a lot of great info on what to bring, and what not to worry about. Lots of handy information!

      • anonymous

        Many (or some) of the over-the-counter meds are meant as a quick stop-gap measure. If you need it for a longer time, you should get a prescription from a doctor. E.g. some allergy medicine may cost around 10€/10 pills (OTC) but with a prescription you may be able to buy a 100 pill package for around 20-30€. I’m sure KELA and insurance is involved somehow, so I don’t know exactly how it works for foreigners.

  2. Your strawberries are gorgeous! I love the blue sugar!
    btw, I’ve tried several deodorants here, and have found that Rexona 24hr deodorant (roll-on, in the grey container) works well, if you happen to run out and need to find some locally!!

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