Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Finnish School

School being demolished
Finnish education is famous all over the world. I have noticed it because many of my international friends have asked about Finnish education and when they have read news about it, I have been asked whether it is true. While having a walk and I point out a school to my foreign friends they have been always surprised that the Finnish schools are not surrounded by walls. They ask: How come children do not escape from the school? Also the lessons of hand craft, music and other activities outside of the normal class room is very surprising for foreigners. Though Finnish schools are not perfect. My primary school got an issue with mold and it got fully demolished after being 30 years in use. I remember my school having the issue already when I was attending but the problem was fully recognized fifteen years later.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The visitor

Autumn landscape
Even though October is often considered a bad month to visit Finland  I still had a guest from Caucasus. The cold weather, tendency to rain, early darkness and days without sun light makes usually October not an attractive month for a visit. Luckily this time weather has been fine. My guest has been impressed by the amount of nature surrounding the neighborhoods, the number of lakes and nice looking houses. Spacious areas and scattered houses makes the city of Kuopio look like a modern country side.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Insulting mothers

Finnish landscape
Finnish comedian Ismo Leikola noticed a cultural difference in insulting between Finland and USA. In USA it is common to insult somebody by insulting their mother. Common English expression to insult you and your mother is for example "son of a bitch" This expressions exists at least in Spanish "hijo de puta", in Turkish "orospu çocuğu"and in Georgian "bozis shvili". But in Finnish such expression where your mother is referred as a prostitute does not exist. On this clip Leikola ends with a joke how a Finnish person does not understand insults thrown at one's mother. If you insult a Finnish person by saying "your mom is a fat idiot!" he would reply "How do you know her?".

Monday, August 17, 2015

Customer Service in Georgia

Georgia is not famous of good customer service. Georgians who have been abroad told me that Georgian customer service has room to improve. I experienced also few times bad customer service. In one restaurant the quality of served khinkali was bad so we asked them not to bring the rest of the order as just half of the order was delivered. Waiter said that the whole order will be delivered and it cannot be cancelled. The full order was delivered but we decided not to eat as the quality was bad and went to speak to the management. First the manager was understanding and promised to give some discount. A bit later another person from the management came and started to threat and insult us because we were unsatisfied with the order. I never expected that by giving negative feedback you would end up receiving threats and insults.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Night life in Tbilisi

DJ set in Underwheel
Tbilisi night life is different to all the previous countries where I have been. The biggest difference is the music. in Tbilisi there are no night clubs which play commercial music. All the clubs play rather minimal club music. Here dancing for commercial music is not considered cool. Night life is mostly focused on the area of Meidani. Occasional events are organized in Underwheel which is a place on a top of a mountain in Mtatsinda park. Most of the travel guides tend to mention something about possibilities for gays to go out. In Tbilisi Cafe Gallery turns to a club in the weekends and there you can find gay people mixed with straight people having fun. Nearby Cafe Gallery you can find Canudos Ethnic Bar which has international atmosphere. Cafe Gallery and Canusdos Ethnic Bar are close Rustaveli metro station.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Shopping in Tbilisi

Table ready to be served
In Tbilisi you can do shopping in a mall or in a outside bazar. There is a big outside bazar next to the station square. You can find there groceries, souvenirs, spare parts for your vehicle, clothing etc. Outside of Tbilisi on the Kakheti highway is bazar called Lilo Mall which has the cheapest prices. Lilo Mall you can reach by mini bus from Isani metro station.

You can find also shopping malls in Tbilisi. I have visited few of them and they feel quite abandoned compared to the outside bazaars. The malls I have visited had available retail space and they were not crowded. The biggest mall is Tbilisi mall where you can find different brands of Spanish Inditex, Turkish brands like LC Waikiki and Koton etc. Near station square is shopping mall called Qarvasla. In the area of Vake you can find Pixel shopping mall which is easy to recognize from outside as it looks like pixelated building.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Georgian names

View from Jvari monastery
Georgian last names have three different kind of endings: -ia, -dze and -shvili. Three example last names with the previous endings are: Antia, Arveladze and Dzhughasvili. Georgian language does not have feminine and masculine therefore it is sometimes hard to tell if certain names belong to women or men. For example in Spain -o ending means usually that name belongs to a male and -a ending means that name belongs usually to a female. Georgia names: Nino, Nato and Qetino are names of females. Then there are also female names ending-a which are for example: Ana, Baia and Manana. Then there are also male names ending with -a, for example, Kakha, Gela and Shota. There are also Georgian male names ending with -o, for example, Sandro, Dato and Tengo.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

5 attractions to see in Tbilisi

I collected the top five attractions to see in the capital of Georgia. Previously I have posted the top five attractions of the capital of Turkey.

Waterfall in botanic garden
The botanic garden of Tbilisi is well maintained and in the big area you can find many kind of plants. There is also an impressive waterfall.


Marjanishvili is an old merchant street which has been restored nicely. There are a lot of Turkish restaurants and possibility to shopping.

Mtatsminda park
Mtatsinda park is on a top of a mountain and you can have good view over the city of Tbilisi. You can find here also an amusement park. I like especially the view during the night when you can see all the lights of the city. Another option to have a view over the city of Tbilisi is to go to Mother of Georgia statue.

The bridge of peace
Next to the bridge of Peace you can find a nice park. From the park you can take a lift to the mother of Georgia statue. In the park you can find dancing fountain, activities for children and interesting shapes.

Tbilisi canyon
Inside the city of Tbilisi you can find a canyon. A route down the canyon leads to a waterfall.

Monday, July 13, 2015


Svetitskhoveli cathedral on the background
The atmosphere of Mtskheta reminds the atmosphere of Sighnaghi. Both cities are restored to remind the past centuries and offer nice streets for strolling. Mtskheta can be reached by a minibus from Didube in 15 minutes. Nearby Mtskheta are two monasteries (Jvari and Shiomghvime) where drivers are offering rides for 15 - 20 laris (6 - 8 euros). The monastery of Jvari is more interesting because you have a nice view over the city and landscape around. Inside the city can be found Svetitskhoveli cathedral which is surrounded by walls and has nicely maintained courtyard.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Elder people

One day I had a discussion how elderly people are taken care of in Georgia. In Finland elderly people who cannot take care of themselves anymore are generally taken care by nurses in the facilities for elderly. In Georgia sending your parents to such facilities would be considered disrespectful. If you are living in a different city than your elder parent(s) who have difficulties to take care of themselves, you would invite them to live with you. Georgians tend take care of their family and not send them to a facility.