Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Who's an Espoonian?

One of my readers asked this question. Well, I will try to answer it according to my knowledge and what local people say and - what are kind of stereotypes. Basically like with everything - it depends. It depends on where in the metropolitan area you are coming from. For example if you happen to be a downtown hipster living in Punavuori, Hakaniemi, Töölö, or from one of the most posh places like Eira or Kruununhaka, most probably you even don't bother to think about those Espoonians and maybe you look at them with a slightly ironic smile. Those suburbians, depending on their cars, mowing their backyards, or maybe more often snow-shoveling the community road taking turns with their neighbors. Families with kids, doing weekly groceries in shopping malls, hardly ever visiting museums or theaters. And definitely not sipping their espresso in a corner cafe. But Espoonians themselves think about their place and lifestyle much more positive. They are better of, they own nice houses in green and quiet areas, they enjoy this outdoor lifestyle and they claim, they wouldn't change for a city dwelling. Maybe. Oh, and of course they think they are much better than Eastern Helsinki residents. According to the locals that part of the city is the least wanted. Those old working class neighborhoods like Kontula, our old Myllypuro or Itakeskus, now full of immigrants, which doesn't add the good reputation. But of course all of the above are just silly stereotypes and I am trying to be far from judging. It is good in a sense to be an outsider, an expat who doesn't care so much about what the locals think. But of course what matters is how the life really looks like in the above places. And of course we were quite sick of meeting all those drunkards occupying the metro station in Myllypuro. Espoo is fine, because having small kids it is good to be able to spend time outdoors in nature. And of course as with everything, money is the key. If you cannot afford an apartment in one of the downtown areas, you choose Espoo. And that is that.

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