It’s about -5 degrees now in Helsinki with snow on the ground.
It’s time for a lesson in proper clothing.
My advice starts off like a children’s song: head, hands and feet. Cover them. Wrap them in whatever you can find – a hat, gloves and socks usually work for us.
In Finland the key to survival is to wear warm clothing in your extremities.
Foreigners seem always think wearing a coat big enough to fit the entire country of China will keep them warm – but it won’t.
Layering, however, would work. If it’s below -15 degrees, I wouldn’t go out without at least two pairs of trousers. Admittedly you end up looking like the Michelin man but life’s all about choices: to stay warm or not to stay warm.
The British have chosen not to stay warm.
It’s also easy to spot the foreigners in Britain – they’re the ones wearing jackets and scarfs.
In Newcastle, men were happily walking around in t-shirts when it was snowing outside. On a night-out, nobody bothers with outerwear.
Finns and Brits really are the two extremes, people need to see in person how little people wear in Britain to believe it and on the other hand how religiously Finns put on every single winter accessory imaginable just to go the mailbox.
Maciej Dakowicz’s excellent photo series, shot in Cardiff (go Wales!), gives you a glimpse of Britain after hours. I would link to a similar photoseries in Finland but we just don’t hang around in the streets long enough for anyone to capture that moment.