It can be mighty difficult to describe all the odors that exist in Helsinki, or any other city for that matter, but in my mind Finland smells like a combination of sizzling makara [Finnish sausage], forest-scented air fresheners, the sea, and freshly baked pulla.

After spending the previous summer in Vaasa and Helsinki, studying Finnish language and culture, I moved to Finland in 2012 as a Guest Researcher at the University of Tampere. My time was spent between living in Helsinki, commuting to Tampere two days a week, researching Finnish music, language, and culture, gigging with the Hi-Fly Rangers, the Barnshakers, and many more great musicians, editing Angry Birds books for the American market, and frequenting the country's finest sound archives and record shops. Though I can't say I understood it, pesäpallo, a variation on baseball and the Finnish national sport, really grew on me and my favorite bands were expanding on a daily basis.