My home country Finland has been in the news lately regarding native population’s hostile attitudes towards iraqi refugees. I don’t personally mind multiculturalism or little diversity, but I understand how the anti-immigration sentiments have been brought about. The fact is our government has just proposed big cuts to the lower class’ paychecks and are basically ruining the welfare state. With this turmoil it is no wonder people are worried about the influx of foreigners entering the country and requiring scarce funds.
Even though some bicycle donation campaigns are going on I doubt many of the people moving in are avid cyclists or even keen to use them. For most refugees a bicycle would be more a short time necessity than ever become a hobby. In the end cycling tends to be a hobby for those who have too much time and money. Anyway just so that there are no surprises for any future finn I thought I would like to do my part to set the record straight. It would be cruel to let the migrants believe Finland is the land of milk and honey. Most of the year even I hate Finland.
In all honesty the weather in Finland sucks 9 months out of 12. Either it is too cold or it is wet and cold. Sleet and snow are slippery and you do need to be wary of scary black ice already in the autumn mornings. Most of the year it is too dark and gloomy to go riding after work. Hypothermia lurks as the wind chill nibbles your face, toes and fingers. There are no mountains and scenic views are hidden by endless dark forests and steep hills. The roads are in appalling condition due to frost erosion and singletrack paths are full of roots. The locals try to “educate” you by driving too close for comfort or squirt window washer fluid in your eyes.
If you require shelter and still insist moving here you are welcome. Just be prepared to endure the ordeal of three crappy seasons like the hardy locals do.