I had my first meeting the other day with my contacts at the Helsinki City Library, and they were super helpful and nice. I won't bore all the non-librarians who read this blog with too many details, but among the other mind-blowingly forward thinking aspects of the Finnish library system is that they have three (three!) people at the Ministry of Education whose job it is to do nothing but work on public library issues. What's more, all of them are librarians by training, not the faceless European government bureaucrats I'm sure most American librarians would picture. I have meetings set up with two of them already.
I am happy to report that I have managed to find some Finnish candy that doesn't taste like the hideous offspring of licorice and salt. Fazer (not to be confused with Fazer) makes fine chocolates of all types, and they somehow resist the all-powerful Finnish urge to put star anise in it. Our new friend Salla brought over several different types, and they ALL tasted good. Maybe Finland is not the confectionery wasteland I thought it was.
I am constantly trying to think of things to blog about, but when I sit down at the computer they all seem to make boring writing. Also we haven't been able to do a whole hell of a lot, since I've yet to be paid. So we've been living the Poor Americans in Europe stereotype in our little studio apartment, cooking ourselves dinner on our tiny little stove, eating it on the balcony, and scraping together some spare change for a coffee or a beer at the cafe. It's a tough life, I know.