I am sure Singaporeans will be interested to know about the malls in Helsinki. Well the biggest one in Finland is Stockmann.
I noticed loads of mums and kids in this and other malls. In Helsinki, there were mums pushing baby buggies everywhere and they received help on the trams as well from their fellow citizens. Even sullen looking teenagers were quick to move away to make room when a mum came on board with her stroller. They moved in seconds. It was such an eye opener to me. That this kind of culture is possible. Finland’s a very child centered country, like Sweden as well. The tram scene also made me think about how small the pathways in Singapore are and no wonder people get annoyed by strollers banging into the ankles. It’s too crowded and there is just not enough space on the island, but it’s also a cultural thing and I wish we could be a little more gracious. To be fair, it goes both ways though. Singapore parents should be less aggressive and take care not to bump strollers into ankles as well. It’s painful and annoying when there is usually no place to move as you fenced in by the throngs of people. Reminds me too much of the aggressive way people drive.
To tell you the truth since I’ve returned to Singapore, I feel the anxiety returning. I long for a more tolerant culture that doesn’t value people based on superficial things. A society where there is room for leisure and a more balanced life. Here just to take leave is a big no-no, even if you’re clearing the remaining leave that would otherwise be forfeited. It’s pretty ridiculous. Also most people on holiday still need to check their work mails. The office treats it like they are not away at all and they are expected to reply. Sucks huh? I am quite sure the people in Finland and Scandinavia would not tolerate this and the best part is the push towards a balanced life comes from and is supported by the top.
But I digress. Wanted to talk about the little tots in both Sweden and Finland. Babies bundled up for winter with their little beanies, are just too precious. This was taken inside Stockmann. I found it pretty confusing as the place is huge and there are two sections – I guess a bit like Ngee Ann City and Takashimaya. Sometimes home feels like home when you’re familiar with things and don’t get lost as easily. I say don’t get lost as easily, because I have a very poor sense of direction and could possibly get lost in Singapore. No wonder the mum was checking the directory here at Stockmans. But the store girls are so nice, and provided me directions when I got lost. I think the Finnish store girls were extremely pretty too. They could be models.
There are so many levels at this mall and very pretty things especially in the home decor section. But way too expensive for me. A good quality placemat cost almost S$30 each.
It was a good place to take a break as the rain was coming down a bit harder. Although still not even close to Singapore’s huge warm raindrops, where you get soaked to the bone. There’s a heating system in all the shops and restaurants so it’s nice and cosy. But it’s good to wear layers, otherwise it’ll get too hot. Thermal underwear is not a good idea.
Marco Polo is one of the brands I saw there and I thought this man satchel looked nice. Cost a couple of hundred bucks, so a photo will do.
Very pretty kitchenware.
The best part about Stockmann is the food hall in the basement which deserves a whole post of it’s own.
Just wanted to say that more so as I get older, I realize that each trip I take is not so much about the destination, but more about the change of scene and perspective. Looking at the world in a brand new way each time. The travel makes me appreciate things back home more, things I took for granted, but at the same time long for the wonderful things I experienced abroad. Each country I’ve been to, always has something good to entice me. The weather, the people, the food, the culture. I feel so lucky to have experienced every aspect of it, the good and the bad. And increasingly so these days, countries are not so different and there are so many familiar sights because of globalization. But if you ask me…I long for different.