Wednesday, November 28, 2012

End of an era

Nut Island's Peace has been up and running for almost a year now, I started the blog in early December last year. So almost a full year of Finnish traditions and habits are now behind.

I've decided to put the blog on hold. I feel like currently I don't have enough things to say nor enough time to write. I won't delete the blog, it will remain here in Blogger as inactive - in case somebody visiting Finland finds this useful. But there won't be anymore posts, at least for now. I will continue in my good old handicraft blog, in Finnish though.

Thank you, dear readers! And let's be careful out there.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Two drains

Image: Nina Matthews / flickr cc

Have you noticed that in new and newly renovated apartments there are two drains in the bathroom floor? Do you know why? Because the national building standards say so. The standards contain such a requirement because Finnish people tend to pass out in the shower, usually on top of the drain. So the other one is a back up drain to prevent the shower from flooding into other rooms.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jaloviina, noble booze

    Jaloviina matches nicely with autumn colors

When people talk about Finland and alcohol, Koskenkorva vodka pops up sooner or later. But if I had to nominate our national booze, it would definitely be Jaloviina, noble booze. Koskenkorva is so straight forward and boring, Jaloviina has much more character and nuances. Jaloviina manages to be rough and elegant at the same time - and therefore it suits every possible occasion.

Jaloviina is a mixture of brandy and vodka, some call it "cut cognac" - the vodka cuts off the bitterness of cognac. Nowadays there are two editions available at Alko: one-star (Jaloviina*) and three-stars (Jaloviina***). Jaloviina* contains 1/4 of brandy, and Jaloviina*** contains about 3/4 of brandy - or at least that was the case originally, nowadays the portions are classified as confidential. Last spring Alko sold a special edition of two-stars (Jaloviina**), which had 50-50 brandy and vodka. How many stars are idea, that's a matter of taste and epic debate

As I wrote earlier, Jaloviina suits for any occasion. It also goes nicely in simple drinks: Jallu-cola (Jaloviina and Coke) is a classic. However, my personal favorite is Jallu-Pommac - a drink made of Jaloviina and flavored soda called Pommac; a perfect summer drink that was originally developed for Helsinki Olympic games in 1952. Jaloviina also strengthens nicely otherwise so boring desserts: pour some Jaloviina into chocolate mousse to reduce the sweetness, or moisturize a dry cake with suitable amount (from couple of table spoons to couple of deciliters) of Jallu. One of the best fish soups I've ever tasted was made of salmon, potatoes, onion, morel, cream and Jaloviina*.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vitamin D

Say goodbye to sun, from now on it's going to be 5 months of darkness. Since the sun will not show up too often for the next half of the year, you should compensate the lack of sun light by eating vitamin D from the can. Older people easily think vitamin D is just another stupid fashion, but they don't realize, that they've grown up with fish liver oil, which also contain lots of vitamin D - featured with horrible flavor. Also adults need vitamin D, not just kids.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tax card - print it out

mail box
Image: Kathy Pryn, Flickr/cc

From this day on it is possible to print your own tax card - so you don't need to wait for the paper copy to arrive by the snail mail. But be aware, if you print it, you won't receive it by mail - they don't make double deliveries. I wonder if the company accepts a pdf version or do they require the printed copy?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rain, rain, rain

It's the last day of my summer holiday, so it's time to sum up the summer:

    Raining in the horizon on the way to summer house

    Raining in the opposite end of Silkkiniitty.

    Raining and shining


    Lady at a bus stop washing a pear in the rain

    Rain catching a kite

    Raining ice

Friday, September 28, 2012


In Eastern Finland there's a tradition of bringing a pulla circle to a family of a new born baby. This "pulla of new born" is called rotinat. Sometimes something in my head just snaps, and I feel like it's my job to carry the tradition on - and one of those snaps occurred yesterday. So I decided to bake rotina-pulla to my friends who had recently gotten their first child.

For a rotina-pulla you need to make a plait out of the pulla dough. And you're suppose to make it out of four strings. So I rolled two bars, both a bit over 2 meters long, crossed them at the middle and started knotting. I'm not an expert of making pulla plait, so the knotting part required some focus. Of course the dough bars somehow stretched at some parts and turned out to be extra thick at some other parts. But eventually I was able to finalize the plait. At this point I realized I had forgotten the egg from the dough. But after all the sweat, tears and swearing I turned into John Lennon: "let it be". So off we went without the egg.

Then I wrapped the plait into a circle and put it into oven for 25 minutes, 190 celsius degrees. It got some rip marks in the oven, my grandma would give me a note because of those - but it's good enough for me. Traditionally, you're supposed to fill the center of the circle with cookies, but I think for a modern house wife there's enough baking with just the pulla itself.

I've now done rotina-pulla three times: On the first time it turned out to be ugly but eatable. The second time was beautiful but inedible. Third time the charm? Well, I forgot the egg and the pulla got rip marks, but I heard it tasted good.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Million, billion, aren't they the same?

Lately I've been an angry citizen and tax payer. My anger originates from the local politics: Helsinki city board of health affairs were supposed to make a first go/no-go decision for a huge IT project about patient data management system. The decisions made in this particular project potentially effect on the whole country, and the costs of the nation-wide project were estimated to be 1,2 to 1,8 billion euros. In the Finnish economy scale that's a huge project. And one bittersweet detail in this fuzz is our dear neighbor country Estonia, who was able to create their patient data management system with 10 million euros. Well, at the moment the project is on hold, thanks to active discussion in social media.

     Now that's what I call a data management system

It's quite easy to mix millions and billions. I know that the limits of my understanding go somewhere close to 1 billion: I can understand the scale of 1 million. I'm able to understand that 100 million is huge amount of money - that's a scale of a big construction project. As an engineer I'm able to count up to 200 million, 300 million, 500 million and all the way up to 999 million - I understand that the next round figure after 999 million is 1 billion, but I'm struggling to understand the true scale of 1 billion. I just understand it's a hell of a lot money. And I hope the decision makers understand that too.

Let's try to build some perspective to this 1,2 to 1,8 billion. GDP in Finland is about 180 billion. So the estimate of the patient data system project is 1% of the GDP. That's insane. Industry sectors should be measured as "percentages of GDP", not IT projects. Take mining industry as an example. In 2010 the mining industry in Finland was about 750 million euros. In other words, this IT project is twice the size of our mining industry. The project is about the same size as the water and waste management sector in Finland. Really, IT projects are not supposed to be that big.

In 1990's, during the great Finnish recession the GDP dropped 13%. I'm happy that we haven't faced that kind of a drop ever since, but it's clear without saying that also the standards of economy have changed since the 1990's. Nowadays zero-growth in GDP is a concerning news. Decline of 1% in GDP breaks the news for sure, and then they'd be screaming about depression for sure. So practically this IT project could push the Finnish economy into recession, right?

We'll, it's easy to nag about the price tag without offering any kind of reference. I'm not an expert of massive data management systems, but my gut feeling says that with 50 million a nation size of Finland should be able to get a decent patient data management system.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lettu, pancake, crepe

Lettu, lätty, räiskäle, ohukainen - Finnish pancakes have many names. In terms of pancakes Finland is closer to France than US: Finnish lettu is thin, just like French crepes, and definitely not as fluffy and spongey as American pancakes. In Finland lettu and pancake, pannukakku, are two different things: lettu is fried on a frying pan, while pancake is baked in the oven. The best lettu is made on open fire using a cast iron pan.

Here's a very basic lettu recipe (it's difficult to say the exact amounts, since I never measure the lettu ingredients):

5 dl milk
2 eggs
2 to 3 dl flour
0,5 tea spoon salt
2 table spoon melted butter
Some more butter for frying

Melt some butter on frying pan. Pour some dough on the pan. Let it fry. Turn around (with a spatula or by casting the lettu in the air). Let it fry. Take it a aside. Next one. Enjoy with strawberry jam and whipped cream.

And now let's get to the point - the reason why lettu is such a brilliant dish: you can make tens or hundreds of variations without actually loosing the essence. I've listed some of the variations here, but I'm sure everyone has their own:

  • If you have issues with milk, you can replace the milk with soda water (vichy) and butter with oil.
  • Replace part of the wheat flours with barley or buckwheat to get more rustic feeling.
  • Mix some nettles or spinach into the dough and have smoked fish and cheese on top - that's a proper lettu-lunch.
  • Mix some blood into the dough and you'll get blood pancakes, verilettu. Sounds horror but it makes a proper meal. Serve with lingonberry jam.
  • Back to less hard core mixes: blueberries and/or banana in the dough give a nice touch too.
  • Pancake dough made of buckwheat and yeast turns into blini. Serve with sour cream, onion, mushrooms, roe and salted fish. Heavenly.
  • Mix the leftover porridge into pancake dough, put it into oven and you'll have Åland style pancake. That'll keep the hunger away for some time.

But one thing I'm a bit surprised about: Finnish restaurants serve lettu very seldom as dessert. I can't understand why. Well, Sodexho and other lunch restaurants serve pancake, pannukakku almost every Thursday as dessert, and sometimes some bad industrial lettu. But I mean that you can't see lettu very often on the menus of real restaurants. I think the only restaurant where I've had lettu as dessert is restaurant Savu - and their lettu plate is really good!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Misty mornings, foggy nights

So it's autumn.

Which means that the humidity gets higher in the nights, and the fog may hang around still in the morning too.

But that's the way it goes. The best time of the year is here!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ateljé Finne

5 years ago we had some 40 minutes to kill before the beginning of our wedding ceremony. So we decided to pop into Ateljé Finne for a glass of sparkling. The brunch time was already over, and there were still couple of hours until the dinner time, so in theory the restaurant was closed. But luckily there were the Madventures guys Riku and Tunna having a very long brunch with their friends, so we could also stay for a while. The sommelier asked "whose big day is it?". "Ours", we replied. "Then it's on the house", he said.

Yesterday, on our 5th anniversary, we decided to return. Well, we have been there with friends, together and separately, during these 5 years - but not just two of us.


It's probably partly nostalgia, but I like Finne a lot. The place is really a former studio of sculptor Gunnar Finne, and some of his pieces are still present at the restaurant. And the food... oh! I guess the food could be categorized as modern scandinavian. I'd say it's rustic fine-dining, made of really high quality seasonal ingredients. And if you you happen to be served by the sommelier, he'll introduce you the most beautiful wines that match perfectly with the dishes.

I had a steak tartare for starter. I've never eaten tartare before, but Finne is one of the only places I dare to have that. And it was delicious. Not yucky at all, but fresh, salty and sour at the same time. As the main course I had a fish cake made of lightly smoked fish, nettles and fresh peas - and it was fantastic. In places like Finne it's ok to have meat, you won't be disappointed - but the fish dishes are just so phenomenal, that shame on you if you miss the fish. The dessert I had is the classic of Finne: licorice créme brûlée. There are very few sweets I like, but this one was just perfect - maybe because it wasn't too sweet.

So if you want to have Finnish food and something better, try Ateljé Finne. And if you want to have same style of food but one more step towards rustic - go for the Finne's sister restaurant Kuurna.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dangerous species

In the early days Finland has drawn a rather long straw in terms of fauna. We only have one poisonous snake, the worst spider bites are only itchy, no scorpios, the mosquitos are not armed with malaria nor dengue fever.

Tick Bite
Image by KitAy, Flickr/CC

In the past week I read a column where the writer stated that bear is the most dangerous animal in the Finnish nature. In my opinion the most frightening animal in the Finnish wilderness is a tick, punkki. Ticks may carry and infect lyme disease or tick-borne encephalitis, both of the diseases may cause bad neurological disorder. The best way to protect yourself against ticks is to wear long sleeves and trousers when walking in the nature. After your berry picking exploration you should check through your body in case black 1,5 mm spider-like creatures attached to your skin. Punkkipihdit are handy when detaching tick. If there's a red circle on your skin around the area of tick bite, go and get a prescription for antibiotics.

Image by Natalie Lucier, Flickr/CC

The second place of the most dangerous animals goes to elk, in my opinion. Not that it would attack human in the forest, but because of its size and traffic behavior. 500 kilos of meat hitting your windshield is not a nice surprise on the road. Usually motorways are not the problem, but all the other 450 000 kilometers of roads. As cousins of elks, the deers behave in a similar way, jumping cross the road, but since they're smaller they're not that destructive. Up north the reindeers are something to watch out too - but they're usually so lazy that they just lie down on the road and refuse to move.

But all in all, the rest of the fauna is mostly harmless. Perhaps annoying, like those flying little bastards such as mosquitos, biting horseflies, deerflies - and seagulls. But harmless. And let's face it: if you can see a bear in the wilderness, you're lucky.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mannerheim, the epic movie man

The past week Finns have been arguing what kind of movie adaption is ok when talking about C.G.E. Mannerheim, the marshal of Finland.

So who is this Mannerheim guy anyway? He was the leader of the Finnish army in the second world war. Tiny Finland fought against the great red army of Russia - technically Finland lost the war, but that's a minor detail, since Finland was able to maintain its formal independence, unlike Estonia, for example.

So Mannerheim is seen as a national hero in Finland. He has been voted as the greatest Finn of all times. If one could become a saint in Finland, he'd be the most sacred of them all. The following examples tell something about his position in our culture:

In the end of 1990's the construction site of Kiasma (the museum of contemporary art) took place right next to Mannerheim statue. The wall/fence of the construction site was pink - quite suitable for museum of contemporary art. But. The wall closest to Mannerheim statue had to be painted grey - since pink wasn't honorable enough for his statue.

Finnish movie director Renny Harlin (you may remember him directing Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger) and producer Markus Selin have been planning a massive movie production about Mannerheim. The planned movie has been showing off pre-marketing actions in a way that has never seen before in Finland. Too bad that the guys run out of money on the way, and the plans were first put on hold and eventually dumped. So no epic movie about Mannerheim, at least not from Harlin&Selin.

Couple of years back there was a puppet animation about Mannerheim, which of course caused a fuss. As a background, there are rumors about Mannerheim's sexual orientation, and in the animation there's an unconventional love scene. Which caused a storm in a tea kettle. And nobody didn't seem to notice that the animation itself was simply poor, it doesn't deserve even a half-a-star-rating.

And now, in 2012, there's been huge fuss about (yet another) Mannerheim movie: The Finnish broadcasting company has produced a short film about Mannerheim. The movie is made in Kenya and the role of Mannerheim is played by a Kenyan. And that's too much for most. Well, eventually it turned out that the film was a side product of a reality show, not a real movie. I wonder what kind of a fuss is on when the reality airs.

What next? There are still lots of genres left to be tried out...

     (C) Erik

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What to do on weekend

Next weekend is filled with events - either very affordable events or totally free of charge. All of these have been advertised in English, so I'm quite confident that they work for non-Finnish-speaking too:

1. Restaurant day

On Sunday anyone can open a pop-up restaurant. The concept is expanding outside Finland too! Check out the restaurant closest to you on the map.

2. Helsinki Design Open

Image: Rauno Träskelin

Pop-up concept store / exhibition / café about Finnish design at Iron house, right opposite to Stockmann at city center. Open only until Saturday (9 AM to 2 PM). Quality pieces, beautiful architecture.

3. Robot workshop

Build your own robot at Kaapelitehdas. Instructions and material are on the house. Workshop is running on Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM.

So many things to do, so little time...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tasting Savonlinna

Savonlinna is one of those beautiful summer cities in Finland (i.e. it's dead for 10 months of the year).  The annual opera festival in July creates some nice buzz in the city even though you'd not be that much of a fan of opera. 

The beautiful castle Olavinlinna is the landmark of the city. For those who appreciate useless trivia: the first water closet in Finland is in Olavinlinna, those bumps on the towers. Structure-wise they are closets, there's a seat with a hole (a seat made of rock, I've heard in winter time there was a slave warming up the seat sitting there butt naked), and if you look into the hole, you can see water, the lake, where all the products eventually dripped and dropped.

And from toilet to table: there are certain food that you just have to try if you visit. Please find the top tips below, in priority order:

1. Lörtsy - a flat pastry cooked in oil. It can be savory (filled with meat and rice) or sweet (filled with apple, sugar on top). The one and only place to eat Lörtsy is at the market place, in one of the coffee booths.

2. Muikku - vendace that are rolled in rye flours and fried in butter. If you quickly have a portion of muikku at the market place, you can eat them with your fingers. But if you have something on the side, then you'll need fork and knife. Restaurant Seurahuone right next to market place, at top floor, is the place to go for Muikku. And by the way, when taking a photo, we don't say "cheese", we say "muikku".

3. The sandwich of the house at restaurant Majakka. Heavy stuff, doesn't leave you hungry.

4. Ice cream at Lippakioski. Huge ice creams, at half of the price you pay here in Helsinki. You can find Lippakioski if you start walking along the shore from market place to Olavinlinna castle.

5. Rommipulla - rum bun. A cinnamon roll filled with rum-flavored cream. Perfect combo. You can buy these at the market place. I don't now remember which of the market stalls it is, but keep your eyes open.

The only challenge with all this delicious stuff is time: you can't eat all of them during one day - so staying over night is a must.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fiskars Ruukki

Today I visited the Fiskars Ruukki for the first time. It's one of the attractions that has been on my to-visit-list for long time, but finally I managed to take the time and get there. The trigger for visiting Fiskars this week was the flower exhibition that my sister participated. She had two pieces on the show, this one being themed in a futuristic way for the Paper House of Fiskars - she had made the frame for the flowers from 800 paper circles! Unfortunately my camera run out of battery, so I didn't get a picture from the other piece. But I'm a very proud big sister.

Detail of the flower setup made by my sister

River being calm

The story about flower exhibition actually explained already what Fiskars Ruukki is all about today: art and handicraft surrounded with beautiful nature. Many artists have residence in the village, and there are shops selling handicrafts. Unlike in many tourist attractions, the food in Fiskars is good too. We had a delicious lunch at Restaurant Kuparipaja (Copper workshop) by the river, and coffee at Petris Chocolate Room. Petris Chocolate Room is something I can warmly recommend: beautiful handmade pralines with perfect chocolate and smart flavor combinations. My absolute favorite was the black currant praline. Petris's artisan chocolate is available in Helsinki too, the shop at Museokatu 11, Töölö is open on weekdays, and they'll have a chocolate bar at Helsinki Design Open event in couple of weeks.

Petris Chocolate Room

Delicious pralines: black currant, lime-coconut and pistachio

Fiskars Ruukki used to be an iron mill, it was founded in the 17th century by the river. All kinds of iron tools were made there - so that's the home of the orange Fiskars scissors too. The beautiful old industrial buildings have been nicely renovated and many of them serve nowadays as shops or exhibition rooms. One of my favorite details in the industrial buildings were the dark bricks in some of the houses: they were made of the blast furnace slag - recycling the industrial waste of the mill. The wooden houses were built for the workers of the mill, and some of them are still in residential use.

Black bricks

Residential buildings

Another residence. The lady of the house at the door (too bad there are no other bees in the pic to give the scale)

Nice experience. I recommend visiting Fiskars for anyone who's staying in Finland for a bit longer, and for the locals as well.

The trees in Fiskars were amazing

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Smoke on the water

One of the finest invention in the Finnish building history is the chimney. It may not be a Finnish invention but sure has had huge effect on the residents of Finland: I remember reading somewhere that the amount of eye infections and blindness were dropped enormously after the chimney started to gain popularity in the houses and the smoke from the ovens was led outside the house. Despite the total extinction of savupirtti, smoke houses, there is one historical remaining still left from the pre-chimney-era: savusauna, smoke sauna - a sauna with stove but without chimney.

Warming up savusauna is a whole day operation, it takes hours. Why? Because you need to keep the door open during the heating process - of course most of the heat runs away from the door. Smoke on the water, that's what you get when you're warming up a savusauna by the lake. But you must not close the door to speed up the heating, or else you'll just end up burning the whole sauna down or killing yourself with carbon monoxide. Something like 4 to 5 hours is enough to warm up the pile of stones on the stove and also the walls and ceiling.

You need to wait until the flames have burnt out from the very last piece of fire wood - only then you can hop in. But it's all worth the effort and waiting: the heat in the savusauna is unbelievably smooth. The smell can be a bit intrusive first and it takes a while until your eyes get used to the darkness and the remaining smoke - but the löyly, heat is like velvet, you cannot achieve it in any other type of sauna. The heat is mild and firm at the same time. You can actually stay much longer in savusauna, compared to the normal sauna. Just relax and lean back.

After bathing in savusauna you'll clearly notice that you have relaxed. And that you've leant back.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blueberry fields forever

Picking blueberries is the activity now. Everybody's in the blueberry, even the New York Times reporter. Yoga is so last season; you'll get stretching and meditation in the blueberry woods too.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Animals - budget vs. premium

Helsinki provides us with two nice places to watch animals: Haltiala farm and Korkeasaari Zoo. At least 3 years old kids were thrilled about both of the places.

Real animals

Horses, cows, lambs, pigs, chickens, roosters and an ugly gobbler - those are the animals of Haltiala farm (sorry, they don't have English website). Haltiala farm is owned and maintained by Helsinki City. It's located in Northern Helsinki, near Jumbo shopping center. The public transportation is not impossible: bus 650 takes you to few hundred meters from the farm.

In the summer time the animals are out around the clock. The ice cream kiosk and restaurant have more limited opening hours. No entry fee. The farm is growing flowers and peas - and the citizen can pick them for free (whenever they're ready for harvesting). Isn't that nice?

Lazy lions 

Helsinki Zoo is located on an island, Korkeasaari. You can get there by metro (+ couple of kilometers walking), bus or boat. If the weather is good, I recommend the boat - but take it from Hakaniemi instead of Kauppatori. And they sell tickets in the boat too, so you don't need to queue and miss the boat because of pre-sold tickets.

There is quite a variety of animals in Korkeasaari. Not the farm animals, though. And no elephants, polar bears nor giraffes either. But there are lazy lions, a tiger, snow leopards, lynx, bears, baboons, all kinds of deers, camel, owls, otters and small apes and parrots. On a summer day you should be prepared to queue everywhere. If you're not in a hurry, postpone your zoo visit to September - then the animals are much more active.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finnish baseball

Pesäpallo, Finnish baseball, is probably the finest sports practiced in Finland. It reminds the American baseball, but there are differences too. I don't know the rules of American baseball well enough to make comparison, but here's what I remember about the rules of the Finnish baseball (and you can check the rest from this nice website that was last updated in 1993 - check out the ASCII illustrations too).

There are two teams playing against each other. 9 actual players per team. One of the teams is hitting and the other team is on the field. The team on the hitting turn tries to hit the ball and progress on the field from base to base, eventually back to the home base - and by running home to achieve as many points as possible. There are three hitting attempts for each player. There can be only one runner on each base at the same time.

The number of the player refers to the hitting order - and you can tell something about the personal strengths and weaknesses too:
  • #1 The first hitter doesn't need to be very good in actually hitting the ball, he just needs to make his way to the first base and run fast. 
  • #2 The second hitter needs to be a bit better in hitting than the first one, he needs to be able to hit cleverly enough to ensure the first guy's way from first base to the second one - and to make his own way to the first base. 
  • #3 Semi-strong player without any special talent. 
  • #4 and #5 The best hitters of the team. They need to be able to hit the ball for sure, since theoretically there is ajolähtö, a runner on each base at this point of the game.
  • #6 to #9 The players who don't matter that much.
  • #10, #11 and #12 are called jokers, the wild cards. They don't have position on the field, so they don't need to know how to catch, or pitch, or throw the ball. They need to be good either in running or in hitting (either one will do). You can tell the strength of the joker on the first glance: the fat ones are hitters, the thin ones are runners. 
The team on the field tries to catch the ball and to burn, polttaa, the hitters/runners out: if the ball reaches the base before the runner, then the runner burns and he must return to home base. If the hitting/running team burns three times, the turns are shifted from field to hitting and vice versa.

There are some additional rules too:
  • Hutunkeitto, the cooking of a Hutu (or the cooking of porridge). This is how it's decided which team hits first and which of the teams is on the field.
  • Haavoittua, to get wounded. If the field player catches the ball directly from the hit (i.e. the ball doesn't touch the ground before the catch), all the players who were running must return to home base. They get "wounded" but not burnt.
  • Vapaataival, free way, walking. The pitch must stay within the "pitching plate". If the pitch is out of the range of the plate, the hitter can skip the pitch. Two outbound pitches, and the hitting team member gets a free way to the next base. Note that the pitcher is located at the home base, and he pitches the ball directly upwards, not by throwing towards the hitter as in the American version.
  • Laiton, illegal hit, foul. Right after the hit, if the ball touches the ground outside the borders of the field, the hitting attempt is considered illegal. The hitting team is not allowed to run on illegal hit. If the last of the three hitting attempts gets illegal, then the hitter gets burnt. I've understood that in the American baseball you are allowed to hit the ball as far as you possibly can, even all the way to the audience - and you're rewarded by a home run. But that's not allowed in the Finnish baseball, you need to hold back and stay within the borders of the field. Maybe that crystallizes also the differences of the two societies.
  • Lautaskammo, platephobia. Psychological diagnosis for pitcher who suddenly looses his pitching touch. It's very difficult to recover from this disease. I'd like to see a scientific research about platephobia.
These tips will help you to follow the game. However, you must travel to the provinces to see good pesäpallo, either to Pohjanmaa or Eastern Finland. The pesäpallo of Helsinki just sucks. Hjallis Harkimo tried to build up a team in Helsinki with big money, but he failed miserably. You can put together an ice hockey team if you have too much money - but money can't buy you the pesäpallo spirit of a small town.