1. Delicious and healthy berriesIn this year strawberry season will be ending during Worldcon, but if you find finnish strawberries try these! Because long summer days they are sweeter than in more southern countries. Usually ones that they sell in marketplaces are sweet and you can enjoy them fresh, but if you want to be sure are they best for snacking you can ask are they sweet or look for sign that says "makea" (sweet in finnish). Choose ones that look good, red and delicious looking ones without dark spots. In marketplace they are usually sold in boxes or in liters (don't ask why), and if you buy them market you will need some cash to do so, even some places accept cards. Strawberries can be little expensive, but if you find good looking ones they are worth of tasting.
But because they can be out of season I give you tips for other berries to. Lingonberries are not really good snack, they are sour, but I can recommened blueberries and cloudberries. Later ones are expensive as buying every Wheel of Time-book.
If you can find clean forest you can pick your own (blue)berries. They are very common in every part forested arena along side lingonberries. Because of freeroaming laws you can pick berries for free if you are not in someones backyard. No need to ask permission from forest owner. Remember that you have to be sure that what you are picking, because some berries are poisonous (look for poisonous berries images here). There is general info for berries, written in english.
So go get those fingers red or blue colored!
2. Allergy medicinesIf you are allergic to mugwort or hays bring your medicines. Hays are possible stopped to blooming or not, but mugwort will be blooming. If you life more urban arena finnish august can be full of sneezing for you, because even our capital is full of nature. One person I known lived in Scotland and moved back to Finland and noticed how much more pollen here is, so I decided to give you warning.
3. Restaurants around Messukeskus are kind of mehMessukeskus has restaurants but they are expencive and don't really good (least those I have tried). I can recommed Fazer Cafe in Messukeskus, (and Hesburger if you want McDonalds like food). Fazer Cafe has good salads and cakes etc. Restaurants near Messukeskus are kind of "meh". I haven't tried every one, but they aren't really best ones to get you belly full. If you have time to go somewhere else, find better place with trippadvisor or some other way.
4. Finnish greetings and why you should avoid "moro!"There is many ways to sey "hi" in finnish, like "hei", "terve", "moi" and "moro". If you are thinking using finnish greeting be careful with "moro". Finnish pronunce "r" really hard way for least japanese people, and is possible that you end up say "molo". And why it is bad thing? Molo is one finnish word for a penis.
5. Steam HellsinkiThere is lovely steampunk themed cocktail bar in middle of Helsinki, worth of visiting if you like that kind of stuff.
You find it in Olavinkatu 1 near Kamppi. It can be little bit hard to see because it is in shadows, but when you get closer you will spot it. It name is Steam Hellsinki (yes, with two L's), but it has Hell's Steam on it's window. Not open in sundays. Little expensive but so is almost every coctailbar.
6. Finnish cursewords are epic shitSometimes finnish can sound like elf language to forgeins (like to J.R.R. Tolkien), but some others find it sounding like we are fighting all the time. I promise, we are not! But if you find finnish person that is ready to trow some curse words (...maybe not in Messukeskus, there it can be childrens and others that don't want to hear it) you can them to say some lovely sounding swear words like my favorite "perkele".
There is also presentation about finnish swear words on thuesday!
(Introduction to Finnish Swearing 216, 20:00 - 21:00)
7. Try not to became sickIn worldcon you will be get to place with many persons from all of the word. Remember wash your hands and sneeze to your elbow so your bacters will not have freeride to other persons.
8. Tap water are where to find itDrink some tap water and save some money. Tap water in Finland is possible worlds best quality and you can drink it if there is not sign or something* saying otherwise you can drink it. So don't buy bottled water, just bring empty bottle with you. There is least one good place to get cold water near Hesburger in Messukeskus. It's left side of Hesburger, behind of stairs. Taps in many toilets are automatic and you can't control temperature of water, so that place is best to bottle some delicious free water.
*remember common sense, even our pipes can broke, so if water smells or looks weird don't drink it.
9. Weird(ish) (possible) cultural differences and tips in no particular order
- Trow your used toiled paper in the toiletbowl but don't trow things like tampons or other type of papers to there
- If you are invited to finnish home, take off your shoes in hallway
- Messukeskus recycles waste. Some trashcans have instructions in english but others have not. It's confusing and there is not really many cans for unsorted wastes. Try your best! In finnish homes there is usually some kind of recycling system too, usually least orcanic waste is seperated for other waste.
- You get money if you return your embty bottles to shop. Usually finnish bottles and drink cans give you money if you return them to shop. You need to feed them to reverse vending machine that usually is somewhere in lobby of shop, rarely inside of shop. You can return them to any shop, it doesn't have to be one you bought bottle (or a can). But if I'm not wrong Lidl's bottles are still exception and they have to return to any Lidl's reverse vending machine.
- Winter is always coming in Finland but not really yet and you can't see polarbears and reindeers in Helsinki. Only polarbears in Finland live in wildlife park called Ranuan eläinpuisto, and most of reindeers live in northern part of Finland, or in reindeer parks.