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Monday, July 10, 2023: By Design

We packed up and left for the train station. On the way, we had breakfast. I ordered Sisu. The waiter informed me that it was the only Finnish thing on the menu: porridge (oatmeal) with fruit, nuts with some maple syrup and milk is what most Finns have for breakfast.

I had come across the word: Sisu. It isn’t just a porridge but is a Finnish way of life. Sisu is a unique Finnish concept and is held by Finns themselves to express their national character. It is a Finnish term that cannot be fully translated into English. It means strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. Sisu is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. This sounds like my father, Stewart Boone’s motto: Find a Way or Make One.

There is a 2022 Finnish movie, SISU, set in WWII that is about to become available on Netflix.

The music in the restaurant was so eclectic: a Sinatra-like tune, followed by a rap song, then an Irish folk melody. I likened it to: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute” … “If you don’t like the music, wait a minute”. I found it more interesting because in this day and age, you can select just your favorite tunes. Exposure to all music reaches your soul.

My calf muscle felt like there was a bruise, but I hadn’t hit my leg nor was there any discoloration so I wondered about Deep Vein Thrombosis or Economy Class Syndrome. Read more about that here for any of you long distance travellers: DVT

We left from Helsinki by train to Turku which was the first capital of Finland.
The trains are electric. We noticed that towns have a large central shopping and activity area surrounded by apartment living. We think that especially in winter, one goes out once and completes everything and then heads home making one trip.
Everything is very tidy along the train route.
Our Airbnb is a stylish studio apartment. It is beautifully decorated and has everything that we need.
The is the view from the other side.
The drying rack is above the sink. What a space saver!!
Trash recyclables, and compostables in a pull out drawer under the sink.
This is a microwave AND an oven. Just make sure that you use the right button!!

Finland is known for its innovative design: buildings, furniture, clothing, technology, etc. We went to a design museum where we learned about successful Finnish products: Nokia cell phones, Fiskars (we are familiar with their orange-handled scissors, Angry Birds, and marimekko clothing.

In the tourist bureau, I used a touch screen, typed in my preferred language of English, indicated what I wanted and a numbered ticket was printed. The ticket number directed me to the window of an employee that speaks your language. Very efficient!

Design follows us to Turku, the first capital of Finland.

What is unusual about this picture?? We are on our way to do our grocery shopping. It is 10:30 AT NIGHT and the sun has not set. It really messes with your circadian rhythms. The restaurants close by 9pm but you don’t think about eating dinner until it gets darker!!

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