When it comes to the ultimate Finnish culture experience, there are only few things to think of. Definitively included in that list is going for a cold swim and afterwards in the hot sauna.
Instead of going to a public sauna, we met at Essi’s place instead. She has an own one in her apartment which is more convenient. While the sauna was heating up, we went outside for a walk. About 5 minutes from her place is a spot where you are able to go into the lake and swim in a secured area. The nights cooled down during the past weeks, so I was already freezing while just standing there and not even being in the water yet. We checked the thermometer: 10° Celsius! The idea was to go into the water for just a moment and then out again and directly to the sauna.
I knew exactly that I have to jump in, otherwise I would not go in there by just doing step by step. I have to admit, I haven’t been that nervous in a long time. After a while though, I did it and jumped in…. After what felt like a thousand needles penetrating me, I ran out pretty fast. The good thing about coming out from freezing cold water is that even the fresh night atmosphere isn’t that frigid anymore. We cooled down very fast and therefore tried to get home straight away.
The sauna felt amazing after that freshly start. Not long though and I had to brace myself! Essi heated up that little wooden room quite decent. While I was starting to suffer from the heat, Essi told me about some nice facts about the saunas. I especially like the way of thinking that in this little room you are able talk about various parts of life and entrust the people which are in there with you, not worrying about that the spoken topics and concerns will leave the sauna.
We started to repeat the months and the seasons again (it let me think of something else than worrying to pass out every moment). I was able to remember the suffix -kuu after each month. I think one more try and by the next EOTO I should be able to remember them.
After two rounds of going in and out of the sauna we decided to watch a movie. Both of us were relaxed and weren’t in the mood for doing anything more than laying on the couch. After being exposed to the cold we decided to watch something with the Caribbean in it. We came across Fool’s Gold, the perfect movie for treasure hunting and holiday feeling. Essi prepared a snack for the movie, Popcorn with a Dip sauce. I have never tried this combination before but was surprised in a very good way.
Today was great experience for me, getting to know the way of enjoying sauna. Although we did not learn any words in particular and only repeated from last time, the sauna was something on his own and I will definitively continue doing it.