A Web Dev Relocation to Helsinki — First Week

Alex Jilkin
3 min readJan 31, 2021

It’s definitely not as dark and not as cold as everyone were telling me about.

I feel like before every step in my life there was someone saying “Wait until you will make that step, it wont be so easy as you think”

If it was when I went from school to the military — ”You wont be able to fool around like in school”
Or when I went from the military to my first job at a small start up company — ”The military is not the real development world”
Or when I went from the start up to a bigger corporate company— “Its going to be serious corporate company and not a start up, you wont be able to stretch on the floor”
Or the recent one — “It won’t be so easy at Helsinki, it’s cold and dark”

Well, every next step was told to be allegedly something that will require vast amount of adjustment by me.
The “seers” were wrong and I was perfectly fine at each one of those steps.
I believe that it all is just small pieces of a bigger picture, that you can fit when it comes at the right time.

Here I am, still fine.

Never thought that snow can swallow city noise, which makes the city awfully quiet compared to good old Tel Aviv where you get noise thrown at you at the most unexpected moments.
Really. Once I took a cab and the driver had a small hole created in the rubber where he uses the honker.
Anyways, coming here went smoothly even during the intriguing Covid times, the nurse greeting us the the airport was extra friendly even though she meets hundreds of people every day and generally everyone were easy going.

What are my first impressions of Helsinki? the city is beautiful and full of nature, it is easier to stumble upon some kind of a park than to stumble upon another human being.

Frozen sea covered with snow

I read that Helsinki is the most expensive city in the European Union (Also something I was warned about)
I think that any cost of living is shrunken compared to Israel and especially Tel Aviv as someone is definitely making big money of us little people buying milk for that government controlled price.
The beer is unusually expensive for other European countries, and its hard to find beer cheaper than 2 euros at the store.
I mean — even beers like Pilsner Urquell which are probably sold for 20 cents in the Czech Republic are 3 Euros at some supermarkets. C’est la vie.

Relaxing all day long definitely effects positively on the experience, still we haven't started the bureaucracy of moving to a new country — DVV, KELA, bank account, getting a lease of an apartment, getting all the necessary furniture to it and actually starting the job I came here to do.
Hoping Smartly will be what I hoped for, technically and socially.

To be honest; it doesn't really concern me.
Don’t let anyone to discourage you or try to pass his own fears to you.
this place passes it’s peacefulness to me and makes me feel that everything is going to be ok. Thank you real Socialism.