its interesting what you absorb as the first signs that you are in a new culture. whenever we come back to the states, there are things that right away permeate my consciousness and stand out to remind me i am back. the same thing happens when i go to europe now, apparently. starting as soon as we got off the plane in iceland and continuing until we rested our heads for bed in helsinki. i knew i was back in europe...
things that reminded me i was in europe again:
-the very private bathroom stalls in public places
-the loops sewn on every towel for convenient hanging (love!)
-the toilet buttons (love!)
-the rapid boiling hot water pots (love!)
-the smaller appliances
-the rampant use of hazelnut in muesli (blah!)
-the larger house items (appliances, tub, closets) are all temporary and (re)moveable
-the bedding and mattress quirkiness (its actually starting to win me over)
seemingly specific nordic/finnish stylings:
-lots of wood, metal, and glass combinations
-lots of clean lines and functionality to living spaces
-architecture does a good job blending in to the landscape and/or complementing nature
-there isnt much in the way of window dressing. i did very much love the window shutters in france, but the climate is quite a bit warmer and brighter there. i suppose i can understand the want of large, stark windows here...for letting in as much sun as possible.