Where do you live?: Helsinki, Finland
Originally from: Vassa, Finland
Brought to Helsinki by: Studies. Work. We just wanted to move to a bigger city. Basically like yeah to study something here and nothing bigger than that.
Lives with: Katri (wife). We have been married tomorrow for 5 years. We have been together for 12 years now.
Job: Senior constable (police) and Airbnb host. (Check out their airbnb accommodation here).
Favorite Song: Finish band - Amorphis. “Towards and Against”
Ville and Katri were my airbnb hosts while in Helsinki, Sweden. They greeted me with open arms and were full of information and helpful tips to see the city. Even though I stayed in bed pretty much the entire time I was there, when I did get up they were willing to chat about life and culture. They always had warm smiles, conversations, and fresh coffee for me. I appreciated their generosity and hospitality! While sitting on the couch one day, I was able to ask Ville a few questions.
And the spotlight begins…
When Did You Start Learning English?: We started in elementary school at the 3rd grade. I was 9 years old. So we studied until end of high school every year there was courses and lectures. It could change a little bit at the high school. At least an hour or two a week.
Tell Me About Your Airbnb Position: We have done this for 2 years now. Roughly 70 guests. People come from everywhere. I think the biggest continent would be Asia but of course a lot of Europeans. There have been some from southern states like Germany and Russians. A few of them.
Tell Me About Your Police Job: It’s pretty much like responding to emergency calls or patrolling with a car in the city center of Helsinki.
What Do You Like About the Police Job: I like being outside. Not having to be in the office. Longer shifts so I can have more days off.
What Do You Like About the Airbnb Job: It’s always nice to see new people coming from the world. Hearing about their stories if they are traveling abroad or if there is a new person traveling for the first time. And we have an extra room so it doesn’t hurt.
Tell Me About Your Future Goals: Travel. I don’t know like get a little better at my job. Hard question.
Tell Me One of Your Fears: I don’t know like… none in particular… Of course like losing health. Not being able to move around so much or something like that.
One Cultural Tidbit for Tourists: I think that most obvious and the most cultural thing here would be sauna. Any point of the year summer or winter it is always good and relaxing. We have a sauna shift here at our apartment. Our sauna shift is every Friday night at 9 p.m. There are limited hours per week, but we have list and it is the same shift every week. This shift has been with us for 6 years and we will not let it go.
One Tip for Tourists: Summertime visit the islands and especially the smaller ones, they are really less touristy. Beautiful sights. In couple of islands you can have a picnic. Set up a fire. The woods are provided so you can have your own bbq there. Just a little fee to get a boat from the city center or harbor area.
Tell Me About Your Childhood: Well of course we lived in a smaller city. Up in the west coast. Of course we had a summer cottage a little bit far away and we were there every summer. It is still there. My parents are there at the moment having their summer vacation. Wooden heated sauna. In the late August we have this Finnish tradition. It is a coastal tradition... End of summer cottage time. Beginning of the fall. If it becomes dark around 8 in the evening. After dark there was the habit of playing hide and seek in the dark around those premises there. Finding each other with a flashlight. It was really fun. We had a couple of families there. With kids and adults playing. All of us trying to find the best hiding places. Of course every once in a while there would be a little fight there with my sister. Her not seeing me in the dark. But it was a lot of fun.
Thank you Ville (and Katri!) for opening up your apartment and sharing a piece of your life with me. I could not have asked for a better place to stay (or people to meet!) here in Helsinki. I hope to return in the near future... healthy and able to enjoy more of this beautiful city - and conversations with you! All the best in the future!