They do things differently here

It’s always interesting to spend time in another country, especially one that is same-same-yet-different to my one. It’s often the subtleties in how the small bits of life get lived.

Ladders to the roof

All Finnish homes have ladders to the roof, specifically to the chimneys. Harry reckoned it was for cleaning the chimneys. We confirmed this over dinner with our friends. Insurance requires regular cleaning of chimneys. Simple.

I spent most of my youth in the UK and Ireland where chimneys were common, but ne’er a roof ladder. I do remember the chimney fires 🔥

Road Signage

cold climate driving: air and road surface temps


Apartment blocks at home in Australia have all the letterboxes in a cluster outside the building. In Finland each apartment door has a letterbox, amazes me. Although my sample was small, two apartment blocks in fact, so subject to further research.


I’m pretty sure that Helsinki day travel pass also includes access to shared-use bicycles (further investigation needed).

Daily Life …

Coffee!! Filter coffee is favoured in homes, and I didn’t see any Nescafé-type capsules on the shelves
every home and apartment block has one of these at the front door

we fell about laughing when we saw this in a shopping centre! a Sydney friend bought one in a garage sale. It’s a personal sauna! you can see where the head and hands come out