Paloma Bautista Sánchez, an architect who moved to Finland from Gran Canaria in November 2014, was responsible of designing and planning of the TWINKLE World – a lounge-like space in TWINKLE 2015 event with representatives from 22 different countries.
“With TWINKLE World I had an amazing chance to express my creativity. The opportunity of getting full freedom to transform an immense space like Tampere Hall’s Sorsapuistosali into a trip around the world is every architect’s dream”, she smiles.
She is eager to constantly do and learn more, to get new experiences, to use her potential and to start new projects. “And there I was – as part of the huge TWINKLE movement, designing TWINKLE World as an architect, with lovely and enthusiastic people!”
Finland of surprises and opportunities
“Finland has a lot of opportunities – at least we, coming from abroad, think this way! The country just needs a bit of shaking. I believe that now is also the time for Finnish people to bring out their talent and make Finland shine. It just requires the right people in the right place at the right time. TWINKLE was exactly this kind of place that got people to communicate and interact with each other”, Paloma states.
A bit more than a year in Finland has been full of surprises and adventures – not to mention her first real winter. “At first I would check the weather forecast every day, get surprised a million times by the high prices of some ordinary things, and I would try to hug and kiss people when I met them for first time. But I also was astonished by the immensity of the lakes and the incredible amount of trees, by snow’s fluffiness and by the many cool happenings that take place in the cities.”
Only when she went back to Gran Canaria on a holiday she realised how well she had actually adapted to life in Finland. She took her shoes off immediately when visiting someone’s house, greeted people from an arm-length away and got frightened when someone talked loudly in a public place. She also feels a bit strange not having to wear a coat.
However, the things that have impressed her the most in Finland has been Finnish people’s sisu, together with their kindness and honesty. “I love these features. No one never suspects you. Instead, people trust you and you can trust them. It is a wonderful feeling!”
“In my opinion there are two types of Finnish people: the Finn who is shy and afraid of speaking not-good-enough English to you, and the one that has the weirdest and coolest sense of humour and that can make you laugh as no other. That second type is my favourite!”
“Finland is a whole new world of experiences to me. I had never been to avanto, snowboarded, fished in the middle of a frozen lake, seen a rabbit or a hedgehog in the middle of the city, or smoked my own salmon! And there are so many more experiences to come!” she smiles. “I also have never seen sunsets as beautiful as the ones I have seen here… You don’t need any Nordic lights, Finland’s’ skies are magical anyway!”
One of the things that Finland has taught Paloma is to listen and to appreciate silence: “Even a chatterbox like me has learnt that sometimes not saying anything is much better than having a superfluous conversation.”
“Believe it or not, I also like Finnish language. I find it really smart and funny. Have you ever tried to translate Finnish sayings into English? For example this: Konstit on monet, sanoi akka, kun kissalla pöytää pyyhki (I have many means to an end, said an old woman while wiping the table with a cat)” she laughs.