I moved to Finland in 2006 and I still love the place.
At this moment however, I do feel obliged to discuss just the one gripe.
A gripe which hasn’t so much as worn thin but entirely disintegrated.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you ‘Finding A New Place To Live - In Finland’.
I won’t go into the details of why exactly we are moving out after not long ago moving in and renovating yet again, I’ll just say one thing only on the subject and that’s “Cunting hell”.
What I’m focused on here, are the options when it comes to finding a home.
Buying a house seems fair and also the most popular, the locations, the sizes and the quality of the homes all seem very nice. The catch is however, that getting a mortgage is widely known to be tough for someone like me, i.e an immigrant and a self employed one. The experienced opinion is that I’d have more success being a Dalek for a living or a paid astronaut with three blue tits.
Renting houses, whether it’s detached, semi detached or terraced is virtually none existent in Finland. Houses will rarely be available for rent and if they ever become available you will miss the opportunity to live in one if your not psychic.
“How long was that on the market then, we’ve been looking for months and it’s already gone?!!!”
“Yep, it was reserved before it was built, the listing was clearly displayed in a first edition of ‘The Prophecies’. You must be quick with these things Sir”.
Apartments are ten a penny and so here we arriveth to the bone of contention - the size of the fuckers in relation to the price.
Is there seriously a single soul out there that can honestly, hand on heart, swear blindly that 800/1000€ per month for a 40 square meter apartment isn’t just a little bit…. fucked?
That’s just the average prices in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. During our searches over the last few months, I have even seen a 32 square meter apartment going for 3600€ per month in Helsinki, and it get’s better, in the description included the line “Perfect for the family”.
Excuse me?! Perfect for a family of what? Oompa Loompas!? “I’ve got a puzzle just for you…”, Yeah right, like how the fudge are we going to fit all our shit in this sardine can and remain sane?
Just in case you can’t envisage what a 32sq meter place feels like in terms of size, try putting all of your furniture, plus your bed, toilet and kitchen all in your spare room.
Alternatively visit your local Ikea showroom and push some additional furniture and a toilet into one of their living room displays and voila! - “Perfect for the family”.
You can enhance the scene by thinking of engaging daily activities, like enjoying a family meal for example. Which in practise, is like living in ‘Das Boot’ and playing Twister.
“Pass the milk”
“I’m sorry I can’t, it’s behind Dad and your elbows in me fuckin ear!”
In Finland, this kind of size of an apartment is deliciously named ‘a studio apartment’.
Studio. Studio suggests ‘work’ but I much prefer the less flamboyant and honest English term - ‘A bedsit’, which kinda sounds like ’a bit shit’, and that’s because it is.
Let’s not forget that luxury isn’t totally void as some of these places will include a sauna! Usually the size of a broom cupboard but very economical as one doesn’t need to heat it for the occupants to break a sweat. Just close the door and enjoy the hot, intimate claustrophobia.
It’s a mind boggling feat. A country that must be at least four times the size of the UK and it’s entire population is less than Birmingham alone.
Makes you think doesn’t it, you could take Brum and spread it all over Finland!
On the other hand, there are perfectly good deserts for that kind of job or outer space.
If you looking for a place to live in Finland right now, my most sincere condolences.
After several months of hunting, I may just take the offer on that nice white padded ‘studio’ that included the complimentary jacket.