Life in Finland, part 5

Published on 10/19/2017

Housekeeping

This is a laundry room in our house. We take schedule times and come washing. We also have our own machine but these are professional, up to my chest. They run so fast that seem starting fly to stars.

University

I will also write about university!

Starting from September, I am studying at a master program. This is going to be my first experience with a European university because my previous education I have got in Russia. I have not even started but feel already involved into students' life and notice how everything is organized.

Communication with the university either when enrolling and after that is being done by email. A student needs to register at dozens of websites like common students' site, university website and in different programs. Thankfully, there are special people in the university who guide us through this process. They send all the links and emails with check lists as well as notify us at the right moment. Also, they post the same things in a special Fb group. Being members of that group we students managed even to meet each other before the semester starts and even before some of us have moved to Finland.

Services

This is our local library. Very small; the area is new and has few services. But library one of them, it's the most important service. From here, you can borrow books, music and even sewing machines.

Post offices are often located in kiosks and shops. In there, a one can get and send large parcels. It is very handy because the shops work until late in the evening and also in the weekends.

In sport centers and gyms they don't give keys to the lockers. Instead, every client come with their pin-code lock. Also, no towels for clients, even in expensive gyms.

Cars

Timehop says that 2 years ago we bought a car (wow, we are so close to her that I was thinking it has passed 5 years already!

Regarding the services and regular payments, every year cars need to pass check up. It is done by private companies, the price is about €60. I don't know if the price varies from car to car, but ours is about like that. If the check up is OK, they send a new document by post, and it is to be carried with when driving. If there is something to fix, re-checking is about €10. "Something to fix" might be lost studs. By the schedule, our check ups are always in winter. Those who have it in summer are lucky. :-) A check up takes 20-30 minutes. New cars do not need these check ups in first 3 years.

Also, there are insurances. One insurance liability, another one is optional and ensures the car. Liability insurance cost depends on how many years of driving in Finland were without accidents. So, for the newcomers, it is initially quite expensive, about €500 a year. In the case of no accidents every next year a driver gains 10% discount. 80% is maximum. The car insurance by default is also about €500. But besides liability insurance, here the discount can be as large as the insurance company wants, for example, 70%. People look for offers in different companies and take the best.

2 times a year we change wheels. Nor the tires but wheels with the needed tires, it's faster.

Also, parking by the house is paid, now it is €14 per month. There is also a place with free parking by our house, but having our own place feels safer.

Petrol is expensive, now it is €1.5 per liter. So, in here it is more important for a car to be less consuming. If possible, I always choose larger roads and drive 80 km/h, this gives optimal consuming. This way, I get 5-6 liters to 100km.

If the car is bought with a loan, an owner needs special permission in case of driving abroad. It can be ordered by phone and comes very fast by post. But its maximum time-length is 6 months. And every time it costs €40. This is a good reason to pay the loan in advance.

And, of course, there is an annual tax. Its amount depends on how much CO2 the car makes. Meaning, for older crappy cars the tax is higher. Also, diesel cars pay much higher tax but this is caused by another reason. For our Volkswagen Golf, we pay €187 per year. Similar diesel car tax would be about €600.

I recollected this because got a bill. By email. Actually, the bills come into special electronic system buy I set email notifications there. Then, I can log into the system on the web or in the mobile app and deal with the messages. If such message is a bill and the system has parsed it, it gives a link to pre-filled bank payment. The only thing to do is to press a button.

Culture

From my archive. In Finland swastik is not prohibited and you can see it in museums. However, without historical context it is not used. Mein Kampf book can be borrowed in regular library

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There posts are made of the materiald from my Telegram channel @suomi_en.