This morning, the little one and I left home while it was still dark outside (8:30am) and went to the baby circus (a course where you do funny things with the babies, put them upside down, swing them around…). While I was sitting in the bus, I was quite fascinated by the Finnish way to deal with the cold.
Most people here wear a pair of thermal trousers over their normal ones when they go to work, especially since many of them are biking despite the coldness, the snow and the icy streets. And of course they wear all the other stuff too, hats, gloves, warm jackets…..But there are some individuals who don’t seem to feel the cold. There are still people running around wearing fur hats which don’t cover the ears (these are especially worn by the older generations) or even no hat at all. Keep in mind that, although it is getting warmer right now, we still have -15°C in the morning. I also see women who are wearing a skirt and thin tights. That reminds me a bit of Scotland where so many girls would go clubbing wearing mini-skirts in winter and you could literally watch their legs turn purple… Karsten learned about inappropriate clothes in Finland the hard way – last week he walked to work without wearing thermal trousers or long johns. He was outside for 30 minutes, it was around -18°C (perceived probably -23°C). The result: frostbites on his legs. And let me tell you: it’s extremely painful. While I was taking the night pictures (see below), I wasn’t wearing gloves and the pain in my hands when I went inside again was, apart from giving birth and a mean dentist treatment, the worst I have experienced in a year.
The babies, on the contrary, look a bit like astronauts and are perfectly equipped for the cold. While I was waiting for the course to start, mothers entered the room carrying gigantic pillows under their arm. It was hard to believe that there are babies inside, but every single one of them contained one 🙂 I started to have a slightly bad conscience since those babies were wearing even more layers than the little one. This is what I squeeze her into when we leave the house (in addition to her normal outfit):
The most important part is a thick layer of rich cream (without water) on the face in order to avoid frostbite. And those Finnish babies were additionally wearing: a third pair of woolen socks, a thicker fleece inlet, even more effective shoes and gloves, an extra thermal layer underneath their furry hat and instead of a fleece blanket a thick, insulated layer wrapped completely around them (hence the look of a huge pillow). If you are ever in need of really warm winter clothing, order it from Finland.