Thursday, June 23, 2005

Töpsy türvy


A lot of things here are quite the opposite of what my senses and sensibilities are used to. The traffic is obviously right hand driven with the driver's seat on the left hand side (unlike Japan). It takes a while to get used to it. Some of my colleagues have in fact been so baffled, that they have ended up taking transport in the wrong direction - the very direction they came from in the first place! Thankfully I am still sane. People walk on the right hand side of any street. They stand on escalators on the right hand side (Unlike Japan where they stood on the left). All doors open on the outside. That's a real mess. We have made fools of ourselves several times by pushing every lever attached to the door in every possible direction (at times there are some weird ones attached), when all we had to do was 'push' the door knob instead of 'pull'! Even the handles are pulled up (anti-clockwise) instead of being pushed down to open any door.
The electrical switches here function in exactly the opposite way. The 'Off' position would mean 'On' here and vice versa. Those who don't know this, get quite confused at first.
The letter 'j' is pronounced as 'y' here. So the name 'Jari' becomes 'Yaari' as in "yaari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagee' and not "jaa ree". Similarly 'Jani' becomes 'Yanni' as in the composer and not "jaanee" as in "jaanee yeh chaku hai". Well at least they write it with the same letter. The japanese even *write* 'r' for 'l' and 'English' becomes 'Engrish' there! It's written that way and pronounced the same way. In fact as a conclusion, 'Rohit' becomes 'Lohit'. I dont know what a tongue twister 'Rahul' would become!
I have barely been able to pronounce the name of the place I am staying in. It took me two days to get my tongue used to other words apart from Helsinki (where I stay), Espoo (where I work) and Vantaa (where the airport is). 'Pursimiehenkatu' is not such a big deal now. Neither is Leppävaara. Nor is Linnavuorenpuisto. Want some more tongue twisters? You would be barely able to pronounce these words, when they assume that your memory is volatile and vanish from your memory. It takes a while to learn to pronounce a word and then *remember* it so that you can reach that place.
The first thing that every PC user from India asks is - where the @ symbol is. Obviously everyone has to send email and the @ symbol is not visible in the first look or in the second (neither are a whole lot of other 'normal' keys). Some ppl assumed that finnish keyboards don't have a provision for one, so they started the 'typical copy/paste from other mails and make do' kinda stuff. My typing skills have gone töpsy türvy as well! Normal symbols like even < > / \ etc are now typed with a different key combination! The 'normal' places are now occupied by ö ä å ü € and the like.
The TV remotes here seemingly didn't function. Only later we realised that the power does not come on by pressing the same button which was pressed for switching it off. Instead you have to press any channel button and it comes on! Weird.
Thankfully one thing is still not totally awry. The toilets here are equipped with jet sprays and toilet paper both! Phew!

10 Comments:

At 6:54 PM, June 23, 2005, Blogger Patrix said...

Do Finns freak out when you order shark fin soup? :)

 
At 2:46 PM, June 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when in rome.. do as the romans do

use paper!

 
At 3:44 PM, June 27, 2005, Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

patrix, so far I have never had shark fin soup so I wouldnt know but my guess is that it would be quite normal for them :)

anon, well m doing that! they have both paper *and* jet sprays :)

 
At 11:54 AM, June 29, 2005, Blogger anumita said...

Getting confused and going in opposite direction is funny! Must be fun discovering something new every day.

 
At 11:35 PM, July 02, 2005, Blogger Alka Dwivedi said...

Read all of your post realted with Finland. These firang airlines treat Indians in somewhat different way.I remember my sis advising one flight attendent that while you serve, at least look at me. :-) That does the trick and for the rest of the flight he kept on cracking jokes with her. :-) I like reading your account of a diffrent country and enjoyed looking at the snaps. The doggy was cute. :-) Keep posting.

 
At 12:05 PM, July 04, 2005, Blogger Lazy Lump said...

Linnavuorenpuisto... that took my breath away!!! Can you really say that in one go???

I've seen some TV sets working the same way even in apna des...

Thank god for small mercies @ jet sprays... LOL...

 
At 7:02 PM, July 25, 2005, Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

True Anumita, it's great fun discovering something new everyday :)

Welcome here, Alka. Keep visiting!

Yes ::LL::, I *can* say it now :p :)

 
At 8:48 PM, August 14, 2005, Blogger BigHairyFinn said...

alt gr and 2 make @

 
At 1:57 AM, August 15, 2005, Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

Thanks bighairyfinn, of course we did figure that out, I didnt mention that in the blog :)

 
At 11:38 AM, August 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The doors always open outwards obviously for safety reasons.

 

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