Saturday, November 27, 2021

It Won’t Be a Fight to the Finnish When a Business or Individual Uses Parcel Delivery Services

Often seen as a country largely comprising icy wasteland, Finland is, however, very advanced, and has largely excellent communications which are served by the major players in international delivery.

Finland’s capital, Helsinki, is the northernmost principal city in Europe, and the country is also the most sparsely populated in the European Union. Finland has one of the world’s largest shipbuilding industries. It is also a world leader in the electronics sector, which now comprises more than one-fifth of the country’s economy catering. Nokia is a Finnish-based company whose repute, and research and manufacturing capacity, have spread across the world. Timber and paper production and processing, mineral mining and processing and chemicals are also very important earners for the country.

The European single currency was adopted in 2002, and this has helped strengthen links other countries within the EU. Despite this, Russia remains the country’s biggest trading partner. Petrol and associated products, food, chemicals, iron and steel and machinery are the products which are imported in the greatest volumes.

With its long coastline and very well evolved internal transport infrastructure, getting goods into and around Finland is easy. There are a number of major ports – including Helsinki itself – and exporters to the country are greatly helped by relatively low port charges, and excellent, modern cargo handling facilities. Helsinki-Vantaa airport is the fourth largest in Scandinavia, just over 10 miles north of the city centre. The city is an important stop-off for flights traversing the ‘Great Circle’ route between western Europe and the Far East. It sees regular flights not only to all other principal cities in Scandinavia, but also to worldwide destinations such as Hong Kong, Seoul, the Baltic states, and Baku, in eastern Azerbaijan.

Extensive road and canal systems also offer opportunities for consignments of goods to reach even the most remote parts of the country. The effects of the worldwide economic downturn on Finland’s economy were largely delayed, and while it initially weathered the storm well, its exports have contracted substantially. The country is also facing the challenge of looking after an aging population, so with its workforce shrinking, imports are likely to play a more prominent role in the country than previously.

When I hear the term “Comfort Food,” I’ve always thought of a hot bowl of chili on a cold winter day… or grits, eggs, and biscuits for breakfast when you have to get up extra-early… or a piece of my Mom’s chocolate pie made special when I come to visit.

This past weekend, changed my perspective of “comfort food.” My sister-in-law suffered a great tragedy when her husband was killed in his place of business during a robbery. He also left behind a daughter in her late teens and a son in his early twenties. Danny’s death was so sudden, that it left us all in shock. But, not surprisingly, the family quickly rallied behind Cindy, Jenny, and Jeremy to do everything we could to help.

It was the two days Roger and I spent at Cindy’s house (she lives about 100 miles away from us), that I learned what a comfort food can actually be to a family grieving. Early Saturday morning, the phone started ringing with friends and family offering their condolences and thoughts and prayers… and to say they were bringing food. Around noon, the food started coming in carried by friends and business acquaintances and even friends of friends that Cindy and her family had never met. There was roast and vegetables, butter beans from someone’s garden, a meat tray with bread for making sandwiches, sodas in a cooler on ice, a chocolate pie, sweet potato casserole, hamburgers hot off the grill, corn, coconut cake, the list goes on and on and on.

With each delivery, there would be hugs and words of comfort and the same information related again and again. What should have been monotonous and more than a little irritating eventually became comforting. At one point in the day, someone said, “What in the world will we do with all this food?!?” The idea of turning some of it away was even passed around. It was then that my wonderful Mother-in-law made me realize that the food not only brought comfort to people who were on the receiving end. She quietly said to us all, “Please don’t ask people not to bring the food. It makes them feel better to do something for you.” And she was right.

I got some great recipes from these caring men and women, but also some good hints for the next time I’m on the giving end: 1) bring the food in disposable dishes so there is no worry about returning dishes 2) several people brought sodas and tea which was great to go with the food 3) one person brought paper towels and even toilet paper 4) several people put a return address label on their food which was great because we were making an effort to capture that information each time for thank you notes.

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