When you move to a different culture, kind of unprepared about what exactly to expect, as I did, the first thing you notice is not what works in the same way as at home. You notice all the differences which make life more interesting, fun, and sometimes so much more difficult. Here is one thing about the Finnish way of life that I found rather funny in the beginning.
Although Finland is not quite the land of honey and milk, milk is an important part of the Finnish way of life. Finns drink a lot of milk. Be it for breakfast, lunch or for dinner, and at any time, in any form. It might be hard to go shopping at first because they have so many kinds of dairy products, and it is just confusing. A lot of them cannot even be translated into English. I once spent at least ten minutes at the dairy aisle trying to decide what I should buy. Now I have my routine of buying the same milk so I know what to expect.
The amount of milk Finns drink is quite funny considering that I have never met as many lactose intolerant people as I have in Finland. Combining Finns’ love of milk with their lactose intolerance has clearly resulted in the availability of so many lactose-free dairy products. As I am lactose intolerant Finland is heaven for me, whereas at home (Hungary) I struggle to find lactose-free milk alone. Here I have found cheese, ice-cream, yoghurt, and any- and everything you want in lactose-free version. They are all delicious!
I can’t wait to find some more differences that will make life easier rather than more difficult. Until then I will just carry on enjoying my lactose-free heaven.