I got to Finland a little over a week ago and at first it was great. The weather was beautiful I was meshing well with the family and I had no jet lag at all. Yet, two days ago I was laying in my bunk bed of my Hello Kitty / Princess room crying and wanting to just go home. I literally googled “Does my travel insurance cover my trip dates changing?”.
I’m not sure if it was the weather changing from 60’s to near 40’s and the sun changing to gloomy clouds or if it was just my jet lag setting in a week too late, but I was full of depressing thoughts and just wanted to home to my family, friends and my puppy. Do I want you to feel bad for me? No, not at all I am just trying to be real here. I have never once felt this way before when traveling. I have always been around people my age and have always made friends quickly. My personality is usually very easy going and I love to meet people, but this experience will be different.
The family has been super accommodating and extremely good to me, but their situation is also different. The family is Chinese and they are living in Finland (obviously). Finns are pretty low key and simple (not in a bad way). Finns tend to keep to themselves and don’t go out of their way to introduce themselves. This is hard for the family I am living with because Finns tend to not integrate with Chinese people for some reason, or at least the ones in the area I am living. Chinese families tend to befriend other Chinese families and this is just what happens.
These are obstacles I will face as well, because I am living with a Chinese family they can’t really help me meet people from Finland or other locals, because they are not friends with these people. I am having a hard time this week as well as last because the little girl I am Au Pairing for is still in school for a few more days. This has left me bound up inside the apartment feeling lonely and depressed. I am worried I will not be able to meet people or make friends. Saying this is just awful for me because I have always been able to make friends easily.
I walk around the lake at night when the weather cooperates and I pass by Finns all of the time. I try to smile and make the effort but they look at me like I am mental. If they are walking their dog I always ask if I can pet it. The other night I did ask an older lady if I could pet her perky Yorkie and she gave me the meanest look! I was shocked and turned off by this. That experience kind of set a disgusting tone for me.
Do I still want to come home? Right now I seem to be in a better place mentally, and I am hoping once BaoBao is out of school it will keep me busy and my mind occupied. Until then, I have to keep myself busy and find some things to do around the city- which honestly shouldn’t be hard.
To end this on a high note I find special qualities in each one of the family members who will be on an equally bumpy ride with me for three months.
Cliff is a dedicated worker and he only wants the best for his daughter who he pushes to her highest potential.
Bei is a spunky woman who I have a lot in common with and I believe we will become closer as time moves on.
BaoBao a cute little girl who is very smart and has the potential to do anything she puts her mind to. She just needs confidence to make friends, in a place where being different isn’t always accepted.
I hope that me being here can help this family be open to introducing Finns into their lives and making friends outside of the Chinese culture. I hope I can successfully help their daughter with her English skills so that she can get into a better English school next year. Lastly I hope that I can make friends and feel more comfortable here and make the best of every situation.
Until next time…