Since a lot of people have asked about Finland in various threads, I thought I'd give a quick verview of the good and the bad sides of the country: The Good: 1) Public transport. Ranked #1 in Europe by popularity, some 94% of Helsinki-ites like our system. It consists of merged rail, metro, bus and trams, which all use a single, usually monthly non-touch payment card. It's also about to get a 1 billion underground tunnel system to add 4 more stations. 2) Education. Ranked #1 in the world by Newsweek, with free education all the way through to PhD. It is a system based entirely on results and performance, with very little government influence. Basically, teachers designed it and run it. 3) Healthcare. Ranked #3 in the world by Newsweek, it is a mix of public and private. All major surgery or medical care is provided by the state for token charges, while private clinics mean you can go direct to a specialist if you wish. I use a private Tropical Disease specialist for my work in Africa, but go public if I need anything more serious. 4) Economic Vitality: Finland is massively competitive, and a very vibrant capitalist economy. Nokia is the big fish, but Finland also exports a lot of paper, fish, hi-tech and computer games. 5) Good governance. We have some idiotic and corrupt politicians, but by and large our governments are stable, sane and hard-working. The smaller parties play a part from the sidelines, but the multi-party system means anyone too extreme is pushed out of major parties into smaller ones. The Bad: 1) Alcohol. On anyone day 2% of the population can not work because they are drunk. Most decline help. Personally I'd like to see mandatory dry-out periods for alcoholics, as they cost society a fortune. 2) Guns. We have too many guns (#2 in Europe) and - surprise, surprise - now "lead" Europe in teenage/school shootings. We need to ensure teenagers can not get guns. 3) The people! Finns tend to be aloof, modest and hard-working, which is maybe more good than bad, but the downside is a culture of lonely people. More Finns live alone than almost anywhere else. They can also be anti-social and quite cold to visitors. 4) The climate! It's dark 6 months of the year, and cold as hell. Much like the prairies, anyone who lives in Minnesota knows how we feel! Why do we live here? 5) The size. Finland is small, provincial, and a long way from Paris or Berlin. Trends arrive here a year after anywhere else, and we still don't have great microbreweries or even cafes. Basically, we live in 1980, only without the big hair.