When the husband and I first moved from the west coast to the Midwest, we moved into a townhouse sight unseen. It was awful. I cried the day we got there. We eventually made it home (for a year), and it really wasn’t bad, apart from being in a slightly sketchy part of town. Keep in mind that I was also only 22 and it was my first time *really* being away from family. As in, it would now take a costly plane ticket to visit, rather than an hour drive.
Remembering this, I knew nothing in Helsinki could be quite that bad. For starters, I’d been “away” from my family (not to mention my closest friends) for over eight years. We also had one big advantage: Husband had picked out the apartment during a work trip, so at least one of us had seen it. I did get to see pictures, but wasn’t hopeful that it was as nice as it seemed, having always been led to believe that Europeans have *tiny*apartments.
Let’s keep in mind that Europeans may very well have tiny apartments, but Finn’s are in a whole different category. While our apartment is only 80sq meters (about 860sq ft), it’s open, bright, and feels very spacious. Bonus: it’s on the ground floor and we’re the only unit on this level. Sadly, our front door is also *directly* next to the Hissi, or elevator. As in, practically touching it. Oh well, you can’t have it all. Unless you’re talking storage space, in which case we DO have it all. I really don’t think we’ll be able to fill all the closets and cabinets. It’s quite astonishing.
I’ll add pictures when all the furniture is assembled and the kartonki (cardboard; I’m learning Finnish already!!) is disposed of. In the above picture, we’re the unit on the far right in the yellow-looking building. You know, the one hidden by a tree. The picture was taken from the park across the street. It’s hilly, rocky, grassy, and butts up to the Baltic Sea. And it offers spectacular views.
So in case you were wondering, the apartment turned out to be much better than I’d allowed myself to hope it would be. I’d fallen in love. I couldn’t wait to spend my second night in Helsinki in our new home! But alas. Our delivery of furniture from Ikea (it’s true, you really CAN furnish an entire apartment from there) had been delayed until Monday. So, back to the hotel we schlepped, baby in tow, for a weekend of late nights and fussiness (not just from the baby) and, somehow, not enough coffee.
As it’s now Thursday (night), the furniture has been delivered, mostly assembled, and the apartment is feeling more like home everyday. I mean, we have a mattress. On the floor. (Did I mention IKEA neglected to send us one of the two sets of the bed legs we must have to assemble the bed frame? No? Well, that was a fun discovery.) What more do you really need? Besides a kettle to make coffee?