1. You rummage through your plastic bag collection to see which ones you should keep to take to the store and which can be sacrificed for garbage.

2. As you walk past the Parliament Buildings in Helsinki, and see the statue that is titled "Svinhuivud" you no longer read it as "Swinehead" and instead you think "What a good Swedish name!"

3. When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume:  he's drunk, he's insane or he's an American. (how about two or more?)

4. You don't think twice about putting the wet dishes away in the cupboard to dry.

5. A friend asks about your holiday plans and you answer "Oh, I'm going to Europe!" meaning any other Western European country outside Scandinavia.

6. You no longer scrunch up or fold your paper money. You always put your money in your wallet.

7. You see a student taking a front row seat and wonder "Who does he think he is!!??"

8. Silence is fun.

9. The reason you take the ferry to Stockholm is: duty free vodka and duty free beer to party hearty... no need to get off the boat in Stockholm, just turn around and do it again on the way back to Finland.

10. Your coffee consumption exceeds 6 cups a day and coffee is too weak if there is less than 10 scoops per pot.

11. You pass a grocery store and think "Wow, it's actually open.  I had better go in and buy something!"

12. Your native language has seriously deteriorated so now you begin to "eat medicine"... "open the television"... "close the lights off", and tell someone "you needn't to!" Expressions like "Don't panic!" creep into your everyday language.

13. You associate raindeer (stew) with Wednesday, pea soup with Thursday and salmon with garlic potatoes with Friday.

14. Your idea of unforgiveable behaviour now includes walking across the street when the light is red even though there are no cars in site.

15. Your notion of streetlife is reduced to the few teenagers hanging out in front of the railway station on Friday nights.

16. Your bad mood becomes your good mood.

17. Sundays no longer seem dull with all the stores closed, so you begin to feel restful instead.

18. "No comment" becomes a conversation strategy.

19. You finally stop asking your class "Are there any questions?"

20. The fact that all of the "v's" and the "w's" are together in the phone directory seems right.

21. Your old habit of being "fashionably late" is no longer acceptable. You are always on time.

22. Hugging is reserved for sexual foreplay.

23. You begin to understand Jussi Jyylanpaarvi's broadcast of the hockey game.

24. You refuse to wear a hat, even in -30C degree weather.

25. When you hear loud-talking passengers on the train, you immediately assume: they are drunk, they are Swedish-speaking, or they are Americans.

26. You give up on trying to find fat-free food and pile on the butter, cream and sugar.

27. You know how to fix herring in 105 different ways.

28. You eat herring in 105 ways.

29. You no longer look at sports pants as casual wear, but recognise it as semi-formal wear.

30. You can now reconstruct the missing letters on a building. For example, MERI.........LITTO OY.

31. You have undergone a transformation so: mustamakkara (black-blood sausage) is food you accept as food as is alcohol.

32. You understand why the Finnish language has no future tense.


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