I was touring around Europe this summer with a bunch of Americans. As we saw the sights of Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague, I kept repeating my mantra: I was built for a colder climate.
As the Americans endured with grace, I was afraid I’d be a mere puddle by the end of each day. Alas, I survived.
On returning to Finland, I came home to find the entire country repeating the same mantra.
Papers are full of instructions on how to survive the heat. Stumble upon any conversation across the country and the heat will be discussed at some point.
But our cars are air-conditioned. Our offices as well for the most parts. Our houses are so well insulated to endure the cold of the winter that it cools them down during the summer.
It’s just that we can’t handle anything above 25 degrees. That, by the way, is the official temperature in Finland to determine heat. We even have a special word for when it’s just too hot, helle.
Cold winters are fine. We don’t mind a few meters of snow. But give the Finns a clear sky and sweltering heat – you’ve got the nation at a standstill.
Today was the hottest day ever to be recorded in Finland. The official temperature went up to 37 degrees in Eastern Finland.
Thankfully it’s meant to cool down now.