Tourist in Your Own Town: Hard Work on Helsinki Day

Helsinki Day was a “hard day” at work for me (and it revealed a few pretty good tips for what to do for free in Helsinki too, therefore I have edited the headline to participate in Canadian Travel Bug’s Challenge ‘Tourist in Your Own Town‘. The theme for June is Festivals and Gatherings, so please join in and introduce something from your home town!):

1. First I took my daughter to her 4 year check up with a nurse, and when looking for her card in my handbag, I realised that somebody had replaced my wallet and the check up card with a bunch of dirty socks.

2. Dropped off my kids at a fire station where the daycare spent the morning.

3. Rushed to the city to the Espa stage that offers loads of free programme threw out the summer season. I caught up there with a few colleagues and clients, and among others we listened to the super cool and funny rapping granny (räppimummo, here you’ll get a taste of her rap. The funny lyrics will be beyond you unless you understand Finnish though)

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4. Most museums were free due to Helsinki Day, so with the rain pouring down we went to see the Tove Jansson exhibition at the Ateneum Art Museum (almost directly opposite the main railway station). Tove Jansson is the creator of the Moomins, but I learned a lot more about her. Among others that she had fantastic and, in her days, very daring satirical anti-war illustrations. The exhibition will be there until the 7th of September 2014 but mostly you will need to pay an entrance fee. After this exhibition, 9.9. – 16.10.2014, the admission to Ateneum’s general art collections is free though. One detail I like about Ateneum is that they let therapy groups in for free. Please find the open hours and admissions fees here. If you are into museums but do not want to pay any for the admissions, you may want to take a look at this post, where I’ve gathered most of the free options and times in Helsinki.

5. We still had time to visit the Winter Gardens, one of my mum’s favourite spots in Helsinki, and one of my favourite indoor picnic places for bad weather. It is a beautiful place, the admission is always free but it does have pretty short open hours. One thing we may have to aim for this summer is the free puppet theatre show offered either outside in the rose gardens or inside the green house when the weather is bad. The show is on Tuesdays (24.6-5.8.2014) at 10am and noon. The puppet theatre is offered by Sytkyt. We saw last summer by the Tall Ships one of their shows and are therefore happy to recommend this.

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6. To finish this hard work day, we had a delicious meal at a restaurant.

Some days I really feel it was worth changing the corporate world to work for an NGO; One of the main reasons for me to do the change, even though it means a some what poorer salary, was to have a job where I am (mostly) not expected to work overtime nor late evenings. All full-time working mums face a puzzle of needs and wants, and we all solve it in different ways. If you are interested in finding out how some impressive mum’s pull off their intensive working weeks in Singapore, you may want to go here!



  1. Thanks so much for participating in this month’s theme 🙂 Wow lots to do… you certainly made the most of your day. Great idea to add all those links so anyone travelling toyou HOME TOWN can check it out.
    The gardens looked lovely.

    1. I like your Tourist in Your Own Time themes! 🙂

      1. Thanks… glad you enjoy them. Thinking of ideas for July already 😉

  2. I like the “puzzle” wording. Very evocative and very true.

    Can’t explain the socks, though 🙂

    But oh my goodness how much did you pack in that day! Definitely getting paid in riches there, I’d say – not cash, but nevertheless.

    1. …and to start off I had to translate ‘evocative’ 🙂 Good, a new and useful word, thanks.

      I believe I had 6 pairs of dirty socks in my bag. Still don’t get when the transfer was done.

      The day was truly pretty rich in many ways!

  3. The dirty sock-filled purse is awesome!

    1. I wasn’t the only one laughing when pulling out a dirty sock after another looking for my wallet. Lucky we were cloae to home though, no harm done.

  4. Wow!! Rapping granny!! Wow!!! And considering people are listening to her even in the rain( I see umbrellas open), she must be very good too! 🙂

    1. Yes, it was pouring and yes, she is wonderful!!

  5. Thanks for linking! I have the same thinking as you to get less pay for lesser hours. But aren’t your work hours flexible and in my opinion much lesser than what we have here? Do you have to work overtime?

    1. Of course the less work and less pay only works if one still earns enough to live 🙂

      But yes, I have some what flexible working hours, so does my husband, and that has really been a huge help in the daily life. Also my husband working 30hrs/week this year (and if you do that due to having a child under 3, you get a small amount from the government but it also means you are not allowed to work overtime – big relief for a parent 🙂 ).

      Office hours in Finland are traditionally 8am-4pm but more and more employers allow flexible hours as long as it is possible to get the work done (hooray!!!). But there is a lot of variation in how much people actually work, officially a full work week here is 37,5-40hrs/week + the right to have a 20-30minute unpaid lunch break every day in Finland. Mine is 38,2 hrs and as a bonus my lunch “break” is included in my working hours (because we eat with our clients. I like it, a shorter day and good company during lunch). My work is pretty mobile and about twice a month I do a 12-15 hour day, but then I try to plan my work so that I then also get time to pick kids earlier up. Works well for me. Also, I am lucky to live 10-20minutes from my work place (as long as I don’t try to drive, then it’s 45min…). As I said before, I wanted a workplace where I knew I would have reasonable days. When I was employed by company my normal work week was 50-60 hours, sometimes more, and I hardly ever managed to take any overtime as leave (which I in theory was supposed to do). How does it work in Singapore?

      PS the “hard” day described was sarcasm; my employer offers rehabilitation for people suffering from mental illnesses, so a part of the rehabilitation is to get socially active (explains the “lunch break work” ;)) and to get around in the city. It’s not really my work but sometimes I get to participate in this kind of activity based days too since we all work in the same house and it is a good opportunity to get to know each other. In my opinion quite a good work benefit!

      1. We don’t have overtime pay for executives. We basically work for “free” if we exceed and some bosses expect you NOT to leave on time. We still have long way to go as long as we still have such culture and mentality.

        8-4 sounds good for me. We work an hour more. 830 – 530. Rehabilitation to get socially active! What a unique idea! We are working through lunch sometimes if we are not able to finish our work. It’s really work.

        Oh btw, side track a little. I sent you an email but gather you must have missed it. Was asking you to join in a blog hop. Let me know if you have received it 🙂

        1. I am sure there is a difference in the culture too!

          Have to still say, even though I’m making light of it, the need for rehabilitation in the social skills for people who suffer from mental illnesses is actually not so unique. Quite the opposite: it is for many a prerequisite to make it possible for the people to enter labour market at some point again. The way we work, recovering and hired people together, is pretty unique to our model though. And happy to say it works.

          I have read and answered your email 🙂

  6. Dirty socks, LOL!

    1. Your creativity is clearly rubbing off on your kids 🙂

    2. It was pretty hilarious, I felt like the most organised mum in the world in front of the nurse…

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