From the beginning: ... I was born in Helsinki, Finland on the 24th of September. I spent my first few years in Finland but headed out to see the world at an age of three as my family moved to Denver, USA. Being so young I adjusted easily to the foreign culture taking it as a self-evident fact. I went to Skyline Vista Elementary school up to 3rd grade during which I learned adequate skills in English while also keeping up my Finnish as it was spoken at home. After 6 years of sunshine and an American way of life we returned to Finland.
At first Finland was quite a culture shock but you get a hang of the typical Finnish way of life quickly, which basically means going with the flow, e.g. not standing out of the masses too much and minding your own business. The surprisingly well know stereotype (especially in our neighbour country Sweden) of a Finn spending most of the day and night sitting in a burning hot sauna, drinking Finlandia Vodka and fighting off neighbours with a knife does not exactly hold true. Surprise, surprise. Finns do, like most of the other Nordic nationalities, party enthusiastically to fend of the daunting darkness of winter but do not necessarily drink liquor to the last standing man. On the contrary Finland is perceived as a highly sophisticated country and nightlife in our capital Helsinki is pretty much like everywhere else in Europe. With a mix of Scandinavian, European and Russian architecture Helsinki was established in 1550 by the Swedish King Gustav Vasa. As it is a port city the Baltic Sea gives it a distinctive sea front atmosphere which people tend to enjoy the most in the summer by walking around the beautiful coast line and green parks. The pace of life and the balance of the city is not overly cosmopolitan and yet not rural. Today it is held by many to be the real gateway between East and West offering the best of these three cultures. It was chosen as one of the nine European Cities of Culture for year 2000 and it rightly deserves its reputation as a city with a remarkable history, people, architecture and ambience. If you've now decided, after these splendid insights on Helsinki, to experience it yourself take a look at the list of links on the right hand of this page.
I continued school at Helsinki, or actually Espoo, which is a suburb of Helsinki, at Etelä-Tapiolan upper level school. Not much to comment about it. Tapiolan Lukio High School on the contrary was much more interesting as most of my fellow students filled 18 years during the time and we had to put up with quite a few impressive birthday parties. I graduated in 1995 with an overall grade of Laudatur (highest grade). During High School I also used to do a few shifts now and then in order to finance my activities at McDonald’s where I worked as a trainer and a team member in opening new restaurants.