A Room with a View

… well, almost, at least. The beach is about five minutes away from my home here in Melbourne. It’s a bit touristy, but I love it. I love the bars, the palm trees and the amusement park beside the beach. Oddly enough I feel right at home.

What I have trouble with is how friendly people are. Yes, say what you want, but it’s just plain weird – in Finnish terms, at least.

I was buying something today, and the girl at the cash register started talking about the world cup and how she’d gotten bruises playing football last night. She asked how I like Melbourne and so on. We chatted for several minutes and afterward I felt like I had talked to an old friend rather than a perfect stranger.

Hence have realized that I’m more Finnish than I thought. I’ve always thought of myself as a social person very unlike the typical close-mouthed Finn. Here, though, I’m very Finnish. I’m suspicious of strangers that appear too friendly. See, in Finland this often means that the person wants something from me.

So far, nobody has wanted anything else than to know where I’m from and how I like it here.


One Response

  1. Growing up in London-ised South East England, I have the same natural suspicion and aversion to contact with strangers. Sometimes I love to be surprised by another cultures openness and friendliness, other times I value my anonymity and just want to be left alone!

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