PIcture: Leo Hidalgo

The heat wave in Finland took me by surprise. I had pictured partially sunny days by the lake, with a temperature in the lower 20s and a light breeze. I had most definitely not expected that I would need to go into the supermarket looking for an electrical fan while wearing shorts and flip-flops and still being hot.

Walking into the nearest big supermarket felt like walking into heaven. As the automatic doors opened I felt the cool air of the shop hit my face and I was not only relieved but also certain that they would have a variety of fans to choose from. However, I checked all the aisles and couldn’t find a single one. “I’m sorry, but we have run out of fans. It has been an unusually hot summer!” Jonna, an employee, told me.

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“When will you be getting more?” I asked after being slightly heartbroken by her answer.

“We don’t know. We are not expecting any more right now,” she added.

“We are not expecting any more right now.”

Unpredictable demand

Running out of fans seemed like the perfect reason to speak to the supermarket’s sales manager, Tuulia Heikkinen, and ask more questions about the heatwave. According to her, Finnish summers are usually mild and even rainy, so this was unforeseeable. “Because of the unusually long period of hot weather we haven’t been able to meet customer demand,” Tuulia said apologetically.

As for other customers, Amanda from the UK shared with us that she purchased a fan weeks ago. “I’m expecting my second child and I was finding it extremely difficult to sleep at night with this extraordinary heat. I even went so far as to stand in front of the fridge!” she said.

Some weather services like the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts have predicted this unusual heat to continue until mid-August.

Records show that these temperatures haven’t hit Finland in almost a century. With that, I guess there is nothing else to do but grab a cold drink and hope that fans are restocked sooner rather than later.