Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:23
Free time fun in Finland
Text: Aleksi Ahlakorpi Photo: Pekka Kallasaari
Winter is dark and cold time in Northern Finland. Is there anything to do to avoid the winter depression?
Maarten Heystek from the Netherlands and Martin Schratz from Austria had few ideas how to spend spare time in wintry Oulu. Martin and Maarten both live in Otokylä dormitory and Otokylä’s sauna is the first thing that pops into their minds.
– We go to sauna very often here, Martin explains.
– I didn't have big expectations about sauna because I don’t actually like it. But after being here, I have started to like it more and more everyday, Maarten tells.
Ice ice baby
What else can you do in Oulu besides sit naked and sweat in a hot room? Along with Canada, Finland is probably the only country in the world where people prefer ice hockey over football (soccer). Guys have also had their share of skating and hockey.
–Yeah, we went to the skating rink to skate and to play some hockey. Everyday on my free time I want to play hockey, but it's not so easy. In Austria I play in a team, but it’s hard to find a team from here for only four months, Martin tells.
– Also sending my equipment here would’ve been cheap but sending them back would’ve been really expensive. That’s why I play without any equipment, just with skates and a stick, Martin explains. He has also already seen a match of local hockey team, Oulun Kärpät (Ermines).
Maarten has also been in contact with the ice but in a bit different way than Martin.
– I was in a cottage trip where we did some ice fishing. But I guess the fish were sleeping because we didn’t catch any of them, he jokes.
Cold weather isn’t an obstacle for Maarten and Martin. In Holland the sea breeze can be really cold so Maarten was prepared for coming to Finland. Martin on the other hand is from the western part of Austria, so winter and snow are quite normal things for him. Still there’s something in the Finnish nature that both guys are quite eager to see. It’s the northern lights.
– In Austria I live in the altitude of 500 meters so I’m pretty used to snow, but I have never seen the northern lights before. That’s something that I really want to see when I’m here, Martin tells, and Maarten nods for agreement.
No dull moments
Maarten tells that he goes several times a week to Hevimesta, which is a bar that plays only metal music. It’s the only metal focused bar in the whole Finland.
– Mostly I go to Hevimesta on Mondays. And Wednesdays. And well of course on Thursdays. I go there because of the cheap beer and I'm trying to get as drunk as Finnish people. It's really difficult but I think I came really close last week, Maarten laughs.
Even though guys are now in Finland, their favourite thing on their free time is something rather non-Finnish. They like to socialise.
– There’s a lot of events in the dormitory like playing cards, visiting others and eating together, Martin says.
– For me the best thing here is that there are so many people here and there’s always something to do. I think that’s really great. There’s always someone asking you to go somewhere, so there’s not a dull moment here, Maarten explains.
– I feel that I don’t have much more free time here because we go out, then sleep till lunch time, eat the cheap lunch at school and then go to buy something from the shop. And when we get back from there, it’s dark already and pretty soon it’s night and we have to go out again. And of course maybe some sauna between all this, Martin summarises a regular day in Otokylä.
Swapping clothes with the Finns
Grab a tambourine!
Relax your nerves with bowling!
Football unites students
The best way to get around in Oulu
Move your body - so your mind works better
Food brings people together
Free time fun in Finland