Learning Curve

Learned a few finnish words since I arrive here in Finland. Seutu Lippu, which is a regional ticket so that you can travel throughout the Helsinki area (Vantaa, Espoo, Helsinki) on either local trains, Metro, buses, or trams. I also purchased a Monthly Pass (which runs around 350 FIM = $52) Not too bad considerding there are a total of at least 20 mandays or workdays in a month. (another new word I learned)
I went to go to see my HR Representative at Nokia in Leeppävaara in Espoo. It was quite a day for me as I get up at 6am. Leave the house at 7:45 to go and get kaksi (2) seutu lippu (all area transport tickets), which are only good for one hour after you date/time stamp them. Got on the Metro for the first time, which I thought is very well maintained and is on a strict timetable. I have notice that everything here is always on a time and is prompt.(give or take a minute or so) I go on the metro to Central Railway Station, go the train station to catch the 8:18 E Train to Leppävaara. Get off at the station in Leppävaara and I got lost for the first time and had really know idea where I was. I really felt helpless, and I really know where BFE is…here in Finland when you are lost. he he he
I get to the location finally at Upseerinkatu, making it there with a few minutes to spare to meet with the HR consultant to sign my working contract with Nokia and to get other paper work signed for payroll purposes and etc. I get home around 1:30 in the afternoon and slept as I really felt tired after my journey. Getting around is starting to get easier for me as I learn where things are at and I am starting to remember also.

KELA Experience

Went to the KELA office and got registered for Social Services (ie. to get hospilatization, heath care, etc..) with Hanna’s help as most of these people that work for the KELA offices are not required to know English, and of course with my luck, I got a person that did not speak english. Go Figure. Learning my way around Helsinki as I ventured out on my own for the first time in a foreign country. I felt alive and scared but confident all at the same time, and I knew that I would be ok.

Left for Finland

Leaving behind a few things such as my friends, family and old job at Hatcher Press. Almost didn’t make the trip, as I found out 45 mins before my flight left that it was canceled due to mechanical problems, so I had to find another flight through Delta Airlines to make my connecting flight with Finnair to Helsinki. I made it with roughly 2 min. to spare. Thank you Delta Air Lines! (free plug for my friend BETH!)
The flight to Helsinki was so enjoyable as I flew Business Class and let me tell you people, IT ROCKED! If you ever have the opportunity to either upgrade your ticket or you have the money to do it, it’s worth every penny you pay for it. Plush seats that recline all the way back to sleep horizontal instead of the way you sleep in coach. (you really don’t sleep in coach). Nice food, and all the personal viewing with your very own tv monitor of any movie that you have to select from. I had a total of 5 different movies that i could have chose, which i watched a total of 3 movies. The flight was very enjoyable and Finnair has a customer for life.
Landed and went through passport control with ease, and customs had no problems with me. It is always better to fly during the week before the weekend as they tend to be more relaxed during that week than the weekend. (best day to arrive is Thursday mornings) Met with Hanna’s father and and her sister (Tiia) and he took me the Maistraatti (registration office) to be included into the population and become a registered person living in Helsinki and also they issue me a ID for me (same thing as a Social Security Number in the US). Hanna took care of my tax issues and declaration of how much tax needed to be taken out of my pay checks, and was also registered at the apartment building where I live at in Hertoneimei (area name where I live within Helsinki). I got most of the things that I needed to get done within the week of my arrival done in one day.