During the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to make extensive use of Finland’s health care facilities. Not that I would have really wanted this opportunity, of course, but I must admit that I have been curious as to how good the hospitals here really are.

I have undergone a couple of different outpatient medical procedures, and such a battery of tests that I could now find my way to the Meilahti Hospital laboratory in complete darkness.

A weekly menu ensures a different global cuisine is always around the corner in Tampere.

Tucked into the ground floor of an old wooden house in the historic neighborhood of Pispala, Tampere, Café Pispala is a bit of local secret, still a hidden gem. Founded by Bostonian Yvonne and Finn Vesa Leppälä, the café opened its doors in June this year. It exists as the culmination of a lifelong love of cuisines of the world, and was also born from the desire to share these flavours with the eclectic people of Pispala.

Tofu is no longer a mystery faux meat to the Finnish market. We’ve got your soymilk, soy drink, soy cream, hemp-tofu, smoked and marinated tofu and all kinds of business. But what about the mystery hybrid tofus – and how do you treat silken versus regular versus extra firm tofu? Read on gentle reader. Read on.

A lot happened in Estonia during the summer of ‘88. It began following the banning of a rock concert in Tallinn’s inner city by the ruling Communist Party, when a few thousand ordinary people walked down the road to a large outdoor arena, and started to sing.

The next day, there were 10,000 people at the arena. By the sixth night there were 200,000 people, holding hands and singing traditional songs unheard in the country for 50 years.

A breath of genuine South American air arrives in Töölö.

It’s Wednesday evening and restaurant-bar Favela is buzzing. Having been open for only a day, the amount of people is almost surprising. The age span of the clientele seems to stretch from 20-somethings to middle aged and beyond. And most importantly, everyone seems visibly in good spirits.