Jul 26, 2008

Things I Like About Finland 3: Bidets

The hand-held bidet is ubiquitous here. They're even common in public toilets - the first one I saw was in the Helsinki airport after I landed. Here's the one in my bathroom:

As you can see, it's attached to the sink. You turn on the sink tap, ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE, then push the button on the sprayer.

To be honest, I didn't know what this was when I first arrived here. Thank you Internet. I won't go into further details, but trust me, it is a very good thing that North America should adopt widely and I will miss it.

On a related subject, in my time here I've gotten used to referring to the "toilet" because people looked at me oddly when I said "washroom".

Jul 4, 2008

Things I Like About Finland 2: Concealed Dish-Draining Cupboard

My last couple of Finland posts have been a bit snarky, haven't they? So let's fix that with the next installment of Things I Like About Finland.

This is my kitchen sink area:

(Yes, I did wipe down the counter just for these photos.) But, hidden above the sink is this:

Ta-da! The Finnish, or maybe Nordic, concealed-in-a-cupboard dish draining rack! The bestest kitchen cabinet fixture thingie ever! Why doesn't the rest of the world have this? In case it's not clear in the above photo, here's a low-angle view showing the racks:

Sweet, huh? I love this thing. I have stuff in this that probably hasn't been to a real cupboard in months - they just circulate from rack to stove/table to sink and back up to rack. I can throw lots of stuff up there, then just close the doors, and whoo-hoo, clear counters and domestic deification.

It drips of course, but that's not really a problem: the steel counter-sink combo is pretty standard here too (also great for messy stuff). The trick is to put glassware on the top rack so it doesn't get water spots.

I can't believe I'm about to post 3 photos of my kitchen cupboards. But seriously, I've considered this amazing ever since my first day here. It's even in Finnish Wikipedia!

Jul 3, 2008

Alternative spellings for Jokioinen

Looks like whoever made Thunderbird's spellcheck has been to Jokioinen! I can't believe this is the first time I've noticed this.