How To Become a Finn in 22 Easy Steps
1. Blame everything on the Russians. Everything.
2. Be everywhere on time. Know that “on time” means 15 minutes early.
3. Start taking all interaction with strangers in bars as flirting. Why would someone talk to you, if they didn’t want to get in bed with you?
4. Make kalsarikänni your fun Saturday night.
5. Build a sauna inside your house or apartment.
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6. Catch up on all the episodes of Salatut Elämät, because life on Pihlajakatu is much more important than reality.
7. Only consume alcohol for the purpose of getting fully wasted.
8. Give up small talk and just shut up.
9. Accept that there is no word for “please.” For instance, “Could I get a glass of milk, please?” can easily be shortened to “Milk.”
10. On the subject of milk, start drinking Valio’s finest with all of your meals. (Otherwise, you might suffer from a serious lack of calcium and die.)
11. Nearly have an orgasm when you find a new flavor of ruokakerma at the grocery store.
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12. Start consuming at least 6 cups of coffee per day, welcome insomnia.
13. Never, not in your wildest dreams, leave Alepa or Siwa without Oltermanni, Oivariini, or Reissumies.
14. Embrace the fact that Stockmann has a free bathroom.
15. Begin your never-ending battle with Kela. (Those bastards, they only want your money.)
16. Get slim by snacking on protein quarks.
17. Laugh at nothing but Finnish stand-up comedy.
18. Never spend a Thursday without a bowl of pea soup and pancakes.
19. Know that Pantti will save you when your bank account hits zero before payday.
20. Master at least 5 languages, but be afraid to speak any out loud.
21. Understand that all liquorice should be salted.
22. And for God’s sakes, take off your shoes inside, no matter how formal the event!