Currently a month in Finland! Now, I’ve decided to light up this blog and see where it’s gonna get me.
Lets start of with introducing myself. My name is Romein Houwink, I’m a student from The Netherlands studying in the city of ’s-Hertogenbosch at the HAS University of Applied Science. What I do there is called International food & agribusiness and it basically focuses on the supply chain of agricultural products. I myself am mostly interested in commodity trading and I try to learn as much as possible about the production and use of biomass throughout the world. This is why I wanted to come here to Finland where I’m studying at the JAMK University of Applied Science. I follow my education at the Institute of Bioeconomy in Tarvaala, Saarijärvi. This makes me a student of the Finnish countryside which at the least warms my heart with endless views of forests and lakes.
So, I arrived in Finland on the 15th of March, I immediately traveled on to Saarijärvi where I was introduced to my nice little place on the campus of the Institute of Bioeconomy. The room is rather small but it’ll do for the coming months. Very soon the next day I was introduced to some students of JAMK. They were active within the student-union Tarmo and were gonna take care of me for the next couple of weeks and months party-wise. Naturally, they also showed me around campus, drove me to town for some food, invited me to their sport activities and basically let me into their circle. It was very pleasant to have a group of students invested in me and making sure I wouldn’t have to be by myself for so long to go crazy. Since I’m quite far north, living in the countryside and even staying outside the town of Saarijärvi I knew it was important for me to get some social networking going.
The first week I didn’t spend a single night alone. Tuesday I was picked up for a game of floorball, a very interesting indoor sport. Wednesday there was a music bingo and on Thursday my first Finnish party was a fact. Of course it had to be since that Thursday was also my birthday. I was picked up by a girl from Tarmo who, what I initially thought, was going to drive me into town. Well, she just drove right through it and entered the country roads where we drove for 15 minutes straight into the darkness. I was scared shitless, just hoping she wouldn’t have a chainsaw in her car. We finally got to a cottage at a lake where I saw a group of students stand around a campfire. From that point onward it only got better. We had a few beers and they introduced me to some typical Finnish booze. This was also where I learned about the Finnish men being obliged to enter service, so I heard some cool and interesting stories. As the night wore on everybody was getting a bit tipsy, that is when they wanted to introduce me to a real Finnish experience.
Having arrived at the party I didn’t expect I would need anything else but just a few beers, So you can imagine when a guy came up to me and the first things out of his mouth were: ”I didn’t bring a towel either but we can share one from the house”. I was pretty surprised. Apparently, this was the moment we were gonna go in the sauna. A minute later I stepped into the sauna room and saw a group of butt-naked Fins talking and laughing with one another. They encouraged me to join them and before I knew it I was sitting buttcheeck to buttcheeck drinking beer in a Finnish sauna. It was astonishing how quickly I got relaxed, especially since the Fins were more talkative and comfortable in there than they were outside these wooden walls. Later we went outside and had a conversation together on the porch, the feeling of standing there in freezing temperatures in our birthday suits was quite incredible.
Well that was it for now, follow me! I hope my blogs will get more interesting every time, bare with me! Let me know if you have any feedback or just want to strike up a conversation with me.