The other day I bumped into an article about BIC pens for women, in fact, there are lots of mentions online about this and lots of ridicule. I also found it funny and stupid at the same time because I think it’s a waste of money and energy to make some pink pens and sell it specifically to women. Anything made pink and sold specifically to women is ridiculous. Does a product have to be pink in order to be directed at a certain gender? I think it is useless and besides it is indeed just a marketing strategy in order to cash on naive people. Because pink products are more expensive. At least the pink, shiny BIC pen was more than double the price compared to a plain BIC pen.

If I remember my childhood now, I can’t say we did have this blatant gender segregated toys, and here I am referring to a whole PINK toy and clothing section. We did have dolls and this stuff but I don’t remember being such a big deal and I’m really sure we didn’t have a wide range of pink personal products.

So, with this in mind I have never been a fan of light colors especially pink. I also never started a war because of the pink products stating that is somehow offensive or degrading for women because I don’t think it is. What I think it is, well, uselessly expensive and just because of the color. What I do though, is avoid these products, not because of the color but because of the price.

I always buy razors from the men department and sometimes socks as I do find cheaper socks there. As about pens, I usually buy neutral ones but most of the times I get them from different places like schools, offices or courses I attend.

The same thing goes for other items like electronics. I remember a radio add from a while ago which mentioned that women can choose computers from a variety of colors. I don’t know about others but when I buy a computer, the color is the last thing of my mind. Actually I don’t take it into consideration at all, first, I look at the computer’s properties and of course, brand.

I think the most infuriating thing about the pink products is the price based on the color. I would understand if the quality is better but in most of the cases there isn’t any kind of difference. And it’s also not very nice for people who do actually like pink and have to pay extra for a product just because of its color.

Yesterday, I had a brief talk with my flatmate about her study period in Finland and from one subject to another we started talking about things one hears hundreds of times while studying or moving here. I don’t take these things as an insult but after hearing them so many times, it gets tiring and at one point not all people have friendly intentions when they ask you about your background and motives for being here.

  1. Where are you from?

I hear this one almost all the time. In my first years here it was normal as I was studying in an international environment and met people from all over the world so we did ask each other a lot where are we from. Nowadays people ask me where am I from because of my accent. Sometimes they don’t even bother and take a wild guess: are you Russian or Estonian? Or some start talking to me in Russian all of a sudden which make me have a complete block because I don’t speak nor do I understand Russian. Other guesses regarding my nationality were Italian and Spanish. I think the closest is Italian.

I do not mind the question but given the nasty reputation that Romanians have (lots of thanks to Finnish media for that), I do have some hesitation when answering, also depending on whom is asking. The nastiest reactions I got were from older people when upon finding out where am I from they stopped talking to me and ignored me completely. I remember in particularly two cases, an older lady and a man, who looked at me so disgusted, if spitting was allowed, I think I would have gotten a phlegm on my face. Once an older guy, after hearing my country of birth, he got so close to me, started staring at my face analyzing every feature: “Yes, you have brown eyes but you are too white for a Romanian.” In fact, my eyes are hazel and yes, Romanians are white unless you don’t mean a certain minority and I guess he meant just that.

  1. Why did you come here? Why did you choose this country? What are you doing here?

It’s quite difficult to reply to these questions because, besides family ties, I do have other reasons I am here but I really don’t want to explain them to strangers, they wouldn’t listen anyway. My Romanian friend told me that some persons ask with a kind of annoyance in their voice which implies “oh no, again a foreigner, what the heck are they doing here?”. I didn’t really pay attention to it but it might be very well be. They usually shut up when I mention family ties.

  1. You speak Finnish so well!

I do take this as a compliment but sometimes it goes too far. For example, I barely manage to say “hello, nice to meet you” to a stranger and they immediately jump to the conclusion that I talk Finnish very well. I know they are trying to be polite but it’s just ridiculous. Wait until we talk about life’s deep philosophical matters and nuclear energy. Then tell me how god my Finnish is.

I do know though that I make mistakes and my language is not as good as some claim. There were at least three persons who criticized my language skills. One of them did it in a very constructive manner and I appreciated that a lot (she is a teacher afterall). The other two were just being assholes. One of them cannot speak anything else besides Finnish and the other just English but for him is perfectly ok to make fun of people who are trying to learn other languages than English.

  1. Do you like it here?

Of course, I do otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

  1. What do you think about Finland?

Again if I start a long endless discussion about things I like in Finland (and there are lots of them) my interlocutor would probably get bored so I just say “it’s nice”. End of story. If they want to know more, they can ask. I’ll gladly answer.


Found today this article about an owner of a strawberry farm which claims that he hasn’t had a Finnish worker in 16 years. Why? Apparently Finns are not interested in physical work, it’s too harsh and the pay is very low. Instead he brings seasonal foreign workers from other countries to do the job.

I also browsed through the comments just to see people throwing lots of shit in today’s Finnish young people saying that they are too lazy and entitled, they’d rather get social support than do work or complain that the pay is low. I was not amazed by this because nowadays it seems like a national sport to throw shit in the young generation.

I don’t know about others, there might be people who really don’t want to do that kind of work but the people I know, Finns, my friends would do this kind of job. You know what seems to be the problem? They can’t get it! And I’ll give you an example. Few summers ago, me and my husband were unemployed and looking for work. We did apply and even called at these strawberries farms in the hope that we can spend our summer picking strawberries and get some income. Unfortunately, some owners never replied to us and others said right away that they have enough people, although during the whole summer they were still announcing vacancies. I did apply 3 summers in a row at several strawberry farms and I never got a job.

I’m not scared of physical work and I can do it very well as I grew up at a farm and physical work was what we did during summers since I was a kid, including strawberry picking and even harsher work like hay stacking, spading and loosening. You’d think they favor foreigners like the dude in the article but still even if I have foreign background, I wasn’t chosen.

One of the problems mentioned was the pay which is low in the case of strawberry picking. It is true but given the fact that some pay 9 euros per hour (which is considered low by Finnish standards), I would not say it bothered me. I had jobs in Finland which paid me 6 euros per hour and I still did them. And my work colleagues were Finnish. I highly doubt all Finnish youngsters would say no to 9 euros per hour as these readers claim. There might be people who would refuse because the cost of living in Finland is very high and you need to cover your expenses somehow, a low salary won’t be enough but it would be suitable for young summer workers.

I would really like to know how many young people did apply for these jobs only to be rejected. I didn’t read all the comments but I found few persons there who had the same experience as I did. I also wonder how much does this dude pay per hour as it wasn’t mentioned. If the pay goes under 5 euros/h then it might be quite a problem because you can’t really live with that kind of salary in Finland. Also many young people do not have yet drivers license or a car and the farm might be very far for them to reach and also the employer offers accommodation and food only to foreigners. If these apply then it’s quite hypocritical and stupid to blame Finnish youngsters of being lazy.

A while ago I joined different online groups where people sell, exchange or give away all kind of stuff. I did use these groups few times to buy mostly books and linen but I also used them to sell some of the stuff I don’t use anymore. In general, the groups are very easy to use and never had any problems when I purchased goods but I did have issues with selling things. Here I compiled a list with few of the things I found very annoying while selling stuff online.

  1. If you are interested in a product, PM me. Some people commented under the photo of a product saying “I’m reserving it” and after that I never got a message from them. If you reserve something, send me a private message. I did try to contact them but they never replied. This is very disrespectful and you are basically wasting my time.
  2. Sending a message about a possible meeting to pick up a certain product. The person mentions that anytime is good for them but when I try (several times) to suggest a time, they are never happy with it. Why do you say that anytime is good and then when I suggest a date, you don’t like it? It would save both of us the headache if you said what time is good for you because “anytime” obviously doesn’t work.
  3. The person books a certain product, we arrange a day to meet so they can purchase the product then on that certain day (usually few hours before), they say something has intervened. We establish another day but the same thing happens. This has happened to me when the respective person changed the date around 4 times and the fifth time I tried to contact them in order to establish a new day but they never replied back. Look, if you don’t want to purchase something anymore, say it but don’t waste my time.

Sometimes there are other people who wait in order to purchase a certain product and the type of people mentioned above make it difficult for them as well as for me. If you don’t plan on buying something, don’t reserve it for an unlimited period of time and after one week of trying to establish a pick up time, you decide that you don’t want it anymore or worse, stop replying. Of course, it is the person’s right to change their minds but please, do it faster because in most of the cases I want to get rid of the stuff I’m selling quite fast. For example, if I move somewhere else.

I wanted to work in the cultural heritage field since I was a kid. Many people have asked me why, where does this passion come from. I can’t give a simple answer to this question although it seems so plain and straightforward. There were many factors along the way that made me fall in love with the museum profession but I can’t say that I had the utmost goal to work in a museum from the beginning.

I learned to read from a very early age, around 4 years old, 3 years before I went to school. And I started reading whatever I found at home. We had lots of history books magazines and I remember I enjoyed the subject a lot. Later on, at school I was a lot into history and culture subjects in general and I decided I want to continue studying archaeology in university. I didn’t have any romantic expectation about the professions like many kids have (Indiana Jones and adventures in exotic places). I knew that the job might include working on archaeological sites but I also know it would include lots of research done in several places like museums and archives.

I think that a big contribution that developed my love for cultural heritage was also my personality which wasn’t typical of a crazy kid but mostly the introvert, shy one who just likes reading and researching. I remember that my mom tried to put me in childcare aimed at working parents but I didn’t like at all their rigid schedule which involved playing, eating and sleeping. It was very boring and I couldn’t resist more than two weeks.

My mom’s workplace back then was exactly near the city museum and by chance, one of her friends was working at the museum. She left me with her friend for few hours while she was at work. Mom thought I will get bored eventually and she’ll pick me up very fast. She was so wrong! I lost myself in the museum’s exhibition, reading the texts and looking at the artefacts for hours on end. Mom’s friend was quite surprised because usually kids weren’t that interested in the exhibition (back then they had a very typical traditional museum exhibition that was not quite appealing for children who were 4-5 years old).

And that’s how it started. Seeing that I enjoy being at the museum, mom left me there in the care of old artefacts and natural history collections. Museum workers weren’t bothered to have me around and I’m really grateful that they had the patience to answer to all of my questions related to collections and museum work in general. I think I learned from them more than I learned in school at the history classes. I remember being very impressed with the conservator’s work which I think later on awoke my curiosity into conservation field.

Later on I tried to go away from the field, mostly also due to my parents, who didn’t allow me to study archaeology, because that’s a bankrupt profession in their opinion. Which is not entirely wrong. But being in love with such a field is at times very contradictory. On one hand you do what you love but on the other, is very hard to find employment and the salaries are not at top. Well, that’s an aspect of museum work you have to deal with – one doesn’t choose a cultural heritage career because of money. They choose it because of passion. If your priority is a good salary, then I suggest you look somewhere else.

It’s true, I didn’t study archaeology but later on after studying languages and digital cultural heritage, I landed in a masters’ degree in museum studies and all started from there.

Wandering around the internet i found an article called Slavery 101 – dating as taught to girls on an mra site which basically says that all women are taught to enslave men and take away their liberties. To clarify, i’m not an adept of mra movements or modern feminism as they seem to me like two hysterical brats continuously attacking each other. What amazed me was all the vitriol thrown at women and blaming basically a whole gender because of some problems.

To be honest, i think that anybody who tries to manipulate another person and treat them like shit, is just human trash. And from what i’ve seen manipulative people are everywhere and both men and women. That there are all kinds of magazines and articles telling women how to catch and keep a man, it’s true and i find them disgusting although i never bother to read women’s magazines as they are full of crap anyways.

But now i wonder, why are those articles written in the first place? Why are women taught how to “catch” men? (I do hate the word catch, it’s implying like you go fishing.) Isn’t in general the society which teach women that they are nothing without the lifescript, this including the guy, 2.5 brats, house and 2 cars?

I’ll take my own case here although i strongly doubt i’m the only person who experienced the following. I remember when i was a teenager (it might have started earlier, although i didn’t pay attention) and i was constantly asked if i have a boyfriend, why don’t i have a boyfriend, you should get a boyfriend and the overly nice relatives who tried to find a good boy for me. As a teenager, i had other interests and romantic feelings for the opposite gender was not one of them. I was studying and reading a lot, i was playing in a band, very active into the music field and in a theater group. I had no time for anything else. And still certain people around me made me feel defective because i didn’t have a partner or the interest in getting one.

Later on i met my husband but i never had any intentions of “enslaving” him like the aforementioned article states. Things just went into that direction and at a certain point we just got married after many years of being together. I never wanted to enslave or change anybody or be with a person who is completely without a backbone, that would be horror. Of course, i can’t say that the article is completely wrong. Even after marriage me and my husband kept our own hobbies and none of us tried to forbid the other to do things that they love or boss each other around.

Now comes the interesting part: quite many people, mostly women, were shocked and criticized me because i let my husband pursue his hobbies or because i don’t interfere with his schedule. And by hobbies i mean computers and gaming. How dare i let my husband spend hundreds of euros on gaming gear or play computer games for hours? Well, it’s his time and money, he does what he pleases with them. I pursue my hobbies, too, and everybody is happy. I really don’t need a third party to tell us how to live our lives.

Another aspect about the enslaving thing is that women are assumed they automatically want marriage and kids. But hell forbid a woman is not interested in those because she still gets lots of crap from the exactly same people who earlier accused women of being enslaving harpies. As a childfree person, i’ve got to hear very ugly remarks coming from men including being called a whore (although i’m married) and another dude said to me that i deserve to die because i’m useless. Mind you, my choice will never affect these people but still they are entitled to spit vitriol just because.

I did question these guys about their future plans in the domestic areas and all had very strong wishes of marriage, 2.5 brats and preferably the woman should stay home. Also they were in their 20’s. So, for them it’s ok to want these things but if a woman wants them it’s enslaving? And worse, if a woman doesn’t want marriage and kids is a whore who deserves to die?

I’ve been working in a museum for a while now and to be honest the moment I got the job (even earlier when I had the chance to be an intern) I was one of the happiest persons because that was the field I wanted to get in since I was a kid.

The place I work is a small university museum and like in all small museums, one does not have a certain job description but one can do various tasks besides their main job description. And I actually like it because there is something new to do all the time and you do learn new things.

My main job is customer service which includes taking care and monitoring the exhibitions, being in the museum shop and offering guided tours and information. I do help with other tasks, too like building exhibitions, organizing events, having workshops, documenting artefacts or taking care of collections.

Being in customer service, I got asked several times if I had difficult customers. I can gladly state that I didn’t. Usually people who come to the museum are interested in what the museum has to offer and some do ask questions about various issues from history related to tourist or studying related. I do enjoy offering guided tours as I get to meet really interesting people and it’s always an honor to have the chance to present our university history to them.

If I am to mention one of the most challenging tasks until now is one of our exhibitions which deals with mathematics. It was quite challenging because I have a background in humanities but I had to learn to offer guided tours and workshops to several age groups (from small kids to seniors) and that involved learning all kind of mathematical concepts for that in two foreign languages. After this small adventure I realized how much one can learn in a museum, especially, if there are different temporary exhibitions with various themes. Of course, a museum employee, especially in customer service has to learn everything possible about an upcoming exhibition in order to inform the visitors and for possible tours. I usually do that by attending meetings about the exhibition, reading the material related to it, finding more information and also talking with the curator(s). If I have the chance or help is needed, I also volunteer to help building the exhibition.

Another thing that I found challenging it was taking care of the museum shop – the financial side. I have never used in my life devices for card payments or managed sales but I learned that very fast to my surprise although I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. I say skeptical because I was never a math friendly person and I am a bit hesitant when it comes to numbers. I did learn that numbers are nothing to be afraid of and nowadays the software embedded in many shop systems does the math for you very efficiently.

One of my goals in museum work is to work more with collections mostly getting acquainted and taking care of them and for that I think I’ll take up some volunteering work behind the scenes along with the curators and conservators.

Tarkan markan blogi

life is a journey, not a destination


life is a journey, not a destination