Groceries and travel

Since Oro asked about the availability of groceries and prices here in Finland, I decided to put up a whole post about it so anybody can see it and it does not get buried in the comments.

I don’t mind answering these questions! I can only say that probably it is severely limited selection of vegetables and even other stuff available here. I remember reading Atkins’ book once and reading the list of allowed salads during the first phase – most of them were not available here. So I was basically stuck with only a few to choose from although the list filled a whole page.

And I’ve seen lots of recipes I’d love to try but can’t because the lack of ingredients – sometimes I substitute, but it gets so fucking hard if it says something like a bag of this and a can of that – HOW MUCH?? I can convert oz to grams and cup to dl, but how much is a bag? A can? Usually the canned things are hardest to replace, as those usually are processed in some way. Like condensed milk. How do you make condensed milk at home? And I’ve previously whined about the fact that Splenda is not available here…

But I know there are some things I could not get elsewhere I can get here. Some of the things that come to my mind are quark, rye bread and salted liquorice. I remember when last year I was visiting Cambridge and found out that brown bread meant whole wheat bread and white was wheat bread. Um… OK. Here if you asked for dark bread you would get rye bread and if you asked for light bread it could very well be whole wheat, not white. You can get completely white bread, but all wheat breads are considered light in colour. In fact just about anything that is not rye bread is considered light.

And things are not exactly cheap around here. For the price of one week vacation in Lapland I could get a one week vacation somewhere warm like Cyprus. And that’s just transportation and accommodation, so probably it would be more expensive in Lapland because eating out is not exactly cheap. Or it actually depends a lot were you eat, as you can get pizza quite reasonably (if not in a place where only tourists eat) but a steak is always around 20 euros. And getting around is not too cheap. Or at least I think train tickets are quite expensive. DS has been begging for another mini cruise, but I just don’t have the money. It’s not that the cruise is that expensive, I could get that for 40 euros for a whole cabin, but it’s getting to the cruise that is expensive: almost 60 euros per person one way. And I do not feel like supporting VR that much. So even though I do have vacation a week from now we are most likely just staying home.

So yeah, at least I feel things can get quite expensive, but you can get away with a smaller budget if you plan for it. If you want to see a lot of Scandinavia, you could buy a train ticket that allows you to travel as much as you like for either 5 days within 15 days or any day for 21 days. And if you don’t mind modest accommodation, many cities have hostels. And as I’ve said, if you do not necessarily want fancy food, you can get something to eat quite reasonably.

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One response to “Groceries and travel

  1. Day-umm! I knew it was expensive up there, but – !

    My mom and I have stayed in a couple of hostels in Scotland and found them to be clean and accomodating. I know not every hostel is fantastic, but I think they’ve improved greatly over the years, and I suspect the ones in Europe probably see more use than the ones in the UK anyway. I’d love to travel in Europe, but Mr Oro refuses to do the hosteling thing, yet he doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, either. Its a no win situation.

    And rye bread is much better for you than white, anyway. In fact it’s a specialty bread here in Scotland! So are Pumpernickel and Sourdough, for that matter. Ah, pumpernickel…

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