Coming to Finland....some help needed.

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Worried
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:07 pm

Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by Worried » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:50 pm

Hello I will be coming to work in Finland for some time very soon, and I need your help and/or advise:

I am coming from another country from the south, and I am worried about cultural differences between by region and the possible behavior of Finns towards me.

I am white male caucasian, but since our location is very hot and sunny during the summer, I got extremely tanned.
I have been avoiding sun for most of the time knowing that I will be going North, but I still got tan...

So my questions regarding this are:
What should I do if I encounter racist group (for example skinhead type of groups, or neo-nazi type of group)?
Obviously one cannot defend himself if he is alone against a hostile group of people.
I can run but not very fast.
Should one stay and wait for possible help or try to escape?

Question number 2:
Lets say I encounter a group of people or a person who is racist or neo-nazist or has similar views, but does not openly express his opinion and is not obviously aggressive towards me.
Is there any way to detect such "person" earlier and if so what exactly should I look for?

Question number 3: I don't know the language, but I do speak English fluently.
How should I properly ask people on the street/clerks/in shops etc. etc. so that they are willing to help me? Should I try to ask in Finnish "Puhu ko Englantia" or should I ask straight in English?
How should I talk in English so that people do not behave like introverts and try to help me/will be willing to help me?

Question number 4: Should I absolutely avoid talking to Finnish women (for example clerks, shop owners, waitress, etc. etc.) if there are young native males around? what is the chance of encountering possible aggression?

Question number 5: is it allowed to walk on the right-most side of the road in Finland, if there is no appropriate place to walk (no walkway) and if there is walkway but there is too much ice/snow on top? Can I get arrested if doing so or get a fine?

Question number 6: When using public transport/bus, where do usually aggressive young people sit( people sharing skinhead, racist and similar views)? Back seats or front?

Question number 7: When using the public transport, which door should I use to board and leave the bus? Front or Rear?

Question number 8: When using public transport bus, is it bad to purchase ticket from the driver too often? If the driver is the same is the same every time?

Question number 9: Can you please teach me hostile/insulting/racially related words in Finnish language, so that I can listen to Finnish people talking and recognize possible hostile behavior earlier?

Question number 10: How can I recognize fake-friendly behavior towards me? How do I know people pretend they like me etc. etc.

Question number 11: Should I trust authorities/police always? Are there a lot of people working in authority/police with nationalistic views?

Question number 12: When I am about to buy food from stores or shops, should I try to construct sentence and ask in Finnish language or should I stick to English? What is the chance of not being serviced/being cheated/scammed when using English?

Question number 13 (At work): at work should I try to ask other workers/co-workers/colleagues for help when I need assistance or instructions/information, or should I try to find a solution on my own?

Question number 14: Is the general opinion of Finns about foreign workers too bad and negative? If I get asked about how much I get paid should I lie and tell a higher wage (close or similar to wage that a Finnish worker would be getting paid for doing the same work) or should I tell the real numbers?

Question number 15: at the work-site, who should I trust mostly? My direct executive or my boss (company owner)? (Given the fact that both are Finnish nationals)

Question number 16: if I do not get paid on time, or my payment gets delayed, or I get paid less, should I ask immediately or wait some time? (if so how long-2-3 days, 1 week, a month?). Is there a chance I get fired or my payment is further delayed if I ask at all?

Question number 17: How may times can I go to the toiled in one work-shift without getting a fine or a warning? How long can I stay in the toilet?

Question number 18 (Weather related)
How many blouses/T-shirts should I put under my main jacket if it's approximately -5, -7 Celsius in the winter?
Is 1 T-Shirt, 2 thick blouses under the Jacket( standard winter European Jacket) enough if I work in a partially closed space without wind?

And some more questions I forgot to ask earlier:

Question number 19(Housing & etc.): is it safe to leave money and valuables in my place if I live in a rental house/apartment? Are robberies a common thing in Finland?

Question number 20:(Relation with people):
If a drunk woman/girl approaches me and asks me for sex/encounter/date etc. etc. or starts touching me or flirting with me, what should I say to ask her to go on her way?
If such a thing happens and there is police nearby can I get accidentally arrested and accused of being a prostitution client? (Even if the woman turns out not being an actual prostitute)

When traveling with a bus, if I do not have exact change or coins, how much is the ticket/fine I have to pay? Is it true that I have to travel all the way to Helsinki in order to pay my ticket/fine? Is it possible that the driver will call the police or use force to take me off the bus if I do not have exact change/coins?
When traveling with a bus, (public transport) is it allowed to carry a large bag/suitcase, and how much do I have to pay for it?

What do you recommend me do for having less exposure to sunlight while being in Finland? Should I purchase some sort of vitamins or try to go out and stay in the sun? Is sunbathing allowed during the summer in Finland if I stay in a private space/place (for example forest/mountain etc)

Are there signs for private property in the woods/forest/other rural areas in Finland?
If I get inside such property by accident, what should I do to avoid getting shot and killed?

I would like to thank anyone who is about to answer beforehand, and if you are afraid to answer in public for any reason please send me a PM.

Thank you very much.



Coming to Finland....some help needed.

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M00nbean
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:27 am

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by M00nbean » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:13 pm

Wow, that's a lot of questions there cowboy.

From what I have experienced so far while living in Finland, there is very little hostility/racism towards people of different skin color/ethnic background.

I think you are overreacting just a bit, but that's just my opinion.

I honestly have seen more people from different countries than I have actual Finns. Maybe that's just the area that I live in, but I think Finland is a bit of a cultural melting pot.

I am from USA and do not really speak that much Finnish, so whenever I go to the stores I just speak English. Most Finns speak or understand at LEAST a little English, and all of the clerks I have encountered speak English. I have had Finnish people come up to me in the supermarket and ask me questions in Finnish, and I simply tell them that I speak English, and they either apologize and walk away or they start speaking English, lol.

I wouldn't worry too much about riding on buses or trains, most of the time people are staring out the window or talking on their phones. They aren't concerned about you or your skin color or what country you are from. Although, good bus etiquette includes wearing deodorant... please for the love of god wear deodorant. I can't tell you how many people don't wear it here. Not just in buses or trains, but just walking past people in the street or at the supermarket.

I was scared when I first came to Finland as well, in fact it took me almost two months to leave the house and go shopping by myself. You will eventually get adjusted and feel more comfortable here, promise. :thumbsup:

Sidenote: If you are still feeling a bit afraid of going out in public, perhaps get a dog? I don't think you would encounter any violent people or situations but, guard dogs are always useful. And they make great companions. :D


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wolf80
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Helsinki

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by wolf80 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:55 pm

What impression do you have of Finland???

Q1: People here are rarely ever racist. If you are Caucasian, you practically have nothing to fear. Treat people respectfully, and they will mostly treat you respectfully. And also, after THIS summer nobody will think twice about your tan!

Q2: Well, swastica tattoos rather give it away... But really, where do you think you will encounter such groups? Maybe stay away from these shabby pubs that already scream from the distance "locals only", but otherwise you won't have much of a problem.

Q3: Most people speak English well, so you can either ask directly in English or, if you wanna give them a second to adjust, "Hi, is it okay to talk in English?" is one of my personal favorites. Whatever floats your boat.

Q4: You can talk to whoever you want, it's a free country. Finnish women also can defend themselves if necessary, I would fear them more than the men anyways... Btw, flirting in broad daylight is not customary here.

Q5: You walk wherever possible. It is winter after all. Just try not getting hit by a car. Never heard of anybody getting a fine.

Q6: On Finnish busses, people hardly talk much at all. Avoid drunk people, but even they are normally not an issue, they wanna get home and not be thrown off the bus. Adjust to the culture and don't talk too much on the bus, don't use your phone for calls. If a seat is free you take it, you don't ask.

Q7: Finally a reasonable question. Always front, the driver wants to see your ticket, or you have to buy one. Only few busses can be entered in the middle section (like route 550 in Helsinki) unless you have a stroller, or are in a wheelchair.

Q8: You can buy as many tickets as you like, it's their job to sell them.

Q9: Use google to find one of the many lists with Finnish swear words.

Q10: You are expecting much more interaction from the locals than you will get. Be happy if Finnish people are talking to you, and use your instincts and common sense.

Q11: Mostly trustworthy and friendly. Use common sense!

Q12: You will practically always get nice service, also in English. You can try speaking Finnish, but they might hear you are a foreigner and immediately switch to English to make your life easier.

Q13: Hard to say, depends on company culture. In general, I would say people work rather independently, and it is expected that you are able to figure some things out yourself, especially in higher positions. Still, ask if you need to!

Q14: Nobody will ask. You have a job and you pay taxes, so most people will accept you.

Q15: They are individuals, trust your instinct when you get to know them!!

Q16: Ask. Finland is very strict about those things, many Finns would ask if their salary is not there on time. Also, join a union the first day of work. Will come in handy if you have problems at work, and if you get unemployed after 6 months of being a member, you get much more unemployment money. You are welcome!

Q17: How often as you need to. Your employer will prefer that over having to clean your workplace of urine very other day! Maybe avoid binge-watching the latest season of Game of Thrones on the toilet.

Q18: Depends on how cold you feel. Some Finns might still consider this t-shirt weather, others might have switched to the long underwear. Which I would recommend buying!

Q19: Yes, if you close the door behind you when you leave in the morning. Robberies on the street are rather rare.

Q20: In case that would happen, but it's extremely unlikely, you say "Ei, kiitos!" (No, thank you.) and leave. Police will not arrest you unless you offered to pay money for her sexual services. But - if you are single, it is very easy to get women home for a one-night-stand. Or you wake up 5 years later married to a Finn, with children. Many foreigners who came to Finland for a little while end up staying indefinitely.

Q21: When entering a bus you either have a valid ticket, or you pay for one. If you hand the driver money, he will give you the ticket and the change. They might not accept very high banknotes such as 50 Euro, maybe 20 Euro but not sure, but they will usually be able to give you change for a 10 Euro note. After that, you enter the bus and take a seat. Nobody will call the police.

Q22: Finally a good question again. Most people use vitamin D supplements. A sunlight lamp might also be a good idea. In summer you can sunbath wherever you like. For my own benefit, please keep your underpants on. There are already enough naked people jumping around the country.

Q23: Nobody will shoot and kill you. Unless you encounter a bear in the forest and make it angry. You said you weren't a fast runner. It might kill you. There are a few hundred bears in a vast country, think about the chances. Otherwise, general rule, if you shouldn't get in, there is normally a fence around it. In national parks and protected areas you should normally stay on the paths. If you see a house in the woods it is common courtesy to keep your distance. If you disregard this, people will not shoot you but look at you angrily. It can feel like being shot, it's not called the Finnish death-stare for nothing.

Omg, where do you think you are moving?? This is not deepest countryside Russia! Just a normal democratic country with friendly people that live under a common live-and-let-live agreement.

Also, you owe me at least three beers for this, which I intend to collect when you come to Finland!

cheers!
Last edited by wolf80 on Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:10 am, edited 2 times in total.


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wolf80
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Helsinki

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by wolf80 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:07 am

double post


Worried
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:07 pm

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by Worried » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:06 pm

Hello and thank you so much both for replying to my questions.
I know most of them sound strange, but you have no idea where I am from and what I've seen.
Anyway, I would like to ask some more questions:

If I am non Finnish who lives without having permanent address, am I allowed to purchase public transport bus card for commuting?
I will be going to work everyday and paying the ticket every time will be too expensive for me.
Will 500 euros be sufficient to purchase food from medium prices supermarket?
Are medicines and medical consumables expensive in Finland?
I am asking these questions since I saw some food prices on-line and they are pretty high...
Is the Internet expensive in Finland? I read somewhere that it can be as up to 60 euros, which is extremely high price (my opinion).
When invited to drink with coworkers/friends, how much should I drink so they don't get offended? I usually don't drink vodka, but rather other hard drinks not available in Finland. And I drink only the amount I want to and I know is safe not to get drunk.
Why is beer so expensive in Finland? Where I live we drink beer on a daily basis with lunch/dinner.....
Are there a lot of gay guys in Finland? If yes (and if you are straight male), ow do you avoid them, especially in places they roam a lot?

How do I 'join' a Union during my work time in Finland?
can you give me a list of Unions and how I can pay/join one for the time period I will be working in Finland?

If my boss pays my medical insurance in Finland, can I "transfer" it to my country, so that when I come back I can have normal medical services?
If my boss pays my social insurance in Finland....[same as above].

Can you tell me the official non-working holiday days in Finland for the private sector? When do you guys have holidays for Christmas, Easter, etc. etc.

If I stay out at home/don't go out too often, will people who know me consider me crazy?

Lets say I find friend/s in Finland, how do I talk to them/behave in front of them to avoid accidentally insulting them on religious basis? I read that Finns are extremely religious.
Can books in English language be found in Finnish libraries?

Can I get arrested for downloading torrents from non-Finn torrent trackers (movies, music etc. etc.)? Can I avoid trouble by using VPN?

Is it true that a lot of young Finns play a lot of video games, including women? Are Finns considered more or less outgoing than rest of Europeans?

Thank you all again.


betelgeuse
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by betelgeuse » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:32 pm

wolf80 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:55 pm
Also, join a union the first day of work. Will come in handy if you have problems at work, and if you get unemployed after 6 months of being a member, you get much more unemployment money. You are welcome!
That's what the unions want you to believe. In reality the unemployment fund is legally required to be separate from the union. Often the fees are cheaper if you shop around for the unemployment fund. The unemployments benefits are the same from all of them.


M00nbean
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:27 am

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by M00nbean » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:11 am

You can buy a public transport card for train/bus but you still have to pay every time that you use it. You can load the card with money at a kiosk which they have posted all around Finland. I am not sure of the costs but for the two of us (my husband and I) I know it is under 15 Euros.

I haven't really met a lot of outrageously religious Finns. My husband and I are pretty much atheist or spiritual but non-religious. His parents are somewhat religious as they go to church sometimes, but they haven't tried to shove it down our throats or anything.

500 Euros is a LOT of groceries, lol. Probably enough to last a family of two for the entire month, or more. Depending on where you shop, you can actually get some pretty reasonably priced groceries. My husband likes to shop at this store called LIDL because it is a lot cheaper on many items than Smarket. Usually when we go to the grocery store we have enough to last us for the week, or half the week (we walk to the store so we have to carry our groceries home). And we end up spending under 100 Euros. The most expensive thing in the store would be meat. Because it is pretty expensive for a very little amount of beef or chicken, we have been buying chicken leg quarters which are roughly 3 euros per package (3 pck) and I can take them home and debone them or fry them up in a bunch of different ways.

Last night we had homemade chicken noodle soup. It was delish.

I'm sure there are plenty of gay guys in Finland but I wouldn't really try to avoid them, lol. They are just like everyone else, thoughts, feelings, emotions and all that jazz. It's not like they will walk up to you on the street and try to get in your pants. :lol: Unless they are drunk or super ballsy.

I'm sure there are English books in the library.

I can't speak for the whole of Finland but my husband and I do play video games. We play daily, and sometimes his brother plays too. I would say that Finns are less outgoing, tend to keep to themselves unless at a bar or something like that.


Upphew
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Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by Upphew » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:50 am

q20. Prostitution is legal. Paying for sex is legal. Paying for sex to victim of human trafficking is illegal. Paying for sex to minor is illegal.
http://google.com http://translate.google.com http://urbandictionary.com
Visa is for visiting, Residence Permit for residing.


FinnGuyHelsinki
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Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:51 am

Locals pretty much mind their own business and don't care about what you do , as long as you're not being an a-hole towards them. Finns are not religious, at least not in any fanatical way. You don't have to do anything special, and similarly you should extend the same courtesy to others, i.e. not try to force your own views or behavior on them. As a general rule you shouldn't drink (at all) while working. Drinking in social situations on your own time (with whomever) is optional, no-one will get offended if you don't and if you do, as long as you behave otherwise, no-one will care about what you drink.

Prices are what they are, for one, VAT is higher than in most places, in addition alcohol etc. have their own additional taxes. Internet prices vary depending on the area and speed. Some basic level service should be possible to get at around 10€ per month.

Why is it that you wouldn't have a permanent address? Surely you want to have a place to sleep in, and also notify the authorities and your employer of your adresss, if your intent is to work and reside in Finland legally.

Anything related to your employment - ask your employer first.


Upphew
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Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by Upphew » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:07 pm

wolf80 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:55 pm
There are a few hundred bears in a vast country, think about the chances.
About 2000 bears. And 200 wolfs. But bears hibernate, so during winter there are basically none.
http://google.com http://translate.google.com http://urbandictionary.com
Visa is for visiting, Residence Permit for residing.


inkku
Posts: 661
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by inkku » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:52 pm

is this guy trolling? the combination of questions is pretty strange.


Upphew
Posts: 10431
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by Upphew » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:01 pm

inkku wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:52 pm
is this guy trolling? the combination of questions is pretty strange.
Might be, or might be just really naive. Anyway fine, albeit long, start for entertaining thread :)
Wait till he hears about saunailta with workmates...
http://google.com http://translate.google.com http://urbandictionary.com
Visa is for visiting, Residence Permit for residing.


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wolf80
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Helsinki

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by wolf80 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:06 pm

Worried wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:06 pm
Hello and thank you so much both for replying to my questions.
I know most of them sound strange, but you have no idea where I am from and what I've seen.
Anyway, I would like to ask some more questions:

If I am non Finnish who lives without having permanent address, am I allowed to purchase public transport bus card for commuting?
I will be going to work everyday and paying the ticket every time will be too expensive for me.
Will 500 euros be sufficient to purchase food from medium prices supermarket?
Are medicines and medical consumables expensive in Finland?
I am asking these questions since I saw some food prices on-line and they are pretty high...
Is the Internet expensive in Finland? I read somewhere that it can be as up to 60 euros, which is extremely high price (my opinion).
When invited to drink with coworkers/friends, how much should I drink so they don't get offended? I usually don't drink vodka, but rather other hard drinks not available in Finland. And I drink only the amount I want to and I know is safe not to get drunk.
Why is beer so expensive in Finland? Where I live we drink beer on a daily basis with lunch/dinner.....
Are there a lot of gay guys in Finland? If yes (and if you are straight male), ow do you avoid them, especially in places they roam a lot?

How do I 'join' a Union during my work time in Finland?
can you give me a list of Unions and how I can pay/join one for the time period I will be working in Finland?

If my boss pays my medical insurance in Finland, can I "transfer" it to my country, so that when I come back I can have normal medical services?
If my boss pays my social insurance in Finland....[same as above].

Can you tell me the official non-working holiday days in Finland for the private sector? When do you guys have holidays for Christmas, Easter, etc. etc.

If I stay out at home/don't go out too often, will people who know me consider me crazy?

Lets say I find friend/s in Finland, how do I talk to them/behave in front of them to avoid accidentally insulting them on religious basis? I read that Finns are extremely religious.
Can books in English language be found in Finnish libraries?

Can I get arrested for downloading torrents from non-Finn torrent trackers (movies, music etc. etc.)? Can I avoid trouble by using VPN?

Is it true that a lot of young Finns play a lot of video games, including women? Are Finns considered more or less outgoing than rest of Europeans?

Thank you all again.
Nope, you haven't even agreed to the first three beers you owe me. Also, your questions are getting worse. Just come to the country, nobody will arrest or kill you here. Where do you come from anyway, South Africa? USA? Middle East?


piccologatto
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:22 pm

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by piccologatto » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:19 pm

inkku wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:52 pm
is this guy trolling? the combination of questions is pretty strange.
I feel he/she's truly afraid. A lot of Americans used to ask us most of this questions (and worse) when they came to Cancun during Holidays. They arrived with paranoia and some of them didn't leave the hotel and even their room during their whole stay! I still don't understand why they came if they were that afraid...

I don't also understand where do @Worried got this information. I have only seen/read good things abount Finland. I'm not saying everything is perfect there, but it definitely seems to be a great place if Helsinki police has enough time to post children's drawings on their facebook page and have only positive reactions and comments.
Worried wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:06 pm
I know most of them sound strange, but you have no idea where I am from and what I've seen.
You are right, we don't know. But I can tell you for sure, Finland is better and safer than at least 95% of the world.

Worried, I am not in Finland yet, but if I can give you an advice is to hope for the best. I see many prejudices in your questions. If you start from a point where you are judging everything even without knowing it, then you are not letting you enjoy the upcoming experience. Finland and Helsinki in particular seems to be a very diverse and cosmopolitan place. You are going to find people of all colors and tastes.

I live in Playa del Carmen. Here, locals are less that 10%. There is another 70% that came from other parts of the country and at least 20% foreigners. Every single day I hear at least 3 different languages on the street. Our official language is Spanish, but I speak English at least half the time and have the opportunity to practice italian or portuguese a couple of times a month. I am not a social person, but I have no problems interacting with anybody around me.

Just let people do their business and do yours! If you are willing to, at some point you will find people with the same interests as yourself. Free your mind and stop being "worried" ;).


Worried
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:07 pm

Re: Coming to Finland....some help needed.

Post by Worried » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:25 pm

Hello and thank you all for your decent replies, and no I'm not trolling, I'm just coming from different place where people think differently, it's normal.

I would like to ask some more questions: I will land at the Capital, and I will have to travel to another region (city). Is there a "regional" bus station at the Airport where I can purchase ticket and get on a bus to another location from there, or I need to travel to another address in the Capital in order to board a bus?
Can someone explain me in detail how do I "activate" these digital tickets for trains so that I don't get a fine once I cross the "yellow line"?

I am having trouble understanding how the digital ticket/payment system works, I read the official website with English instructions but I am still very confused.

Thank you again, you are helping me a lot.


M00bean, what is the purpose of having a public transport card loaded with money, if you are not going to use the card itself to pay? Sorry, but I could not understand what you meant at all :(

Yes we have Lidl here too, these are the cheapest stores in my country. :ochesey:


wolf, I would love to have a beer and chat with you, :beer_yum: but after I arrive I will hardly have any spare time, so may be when I'm leaving? You will have to wait some time though :clock:


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