Pekka is an hydraulic engineer from Finland, but he lives and works in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is single and rents an apartment in Aberdeen.
Pekka has lived in the UK for two years and finds it an interesting place. He finds the Scots rather noisy and a little odd, but is proud to demonstrate that Finns can drink more than any Scotsman.
Like many in his country, Pekka is very fond of heavy metal, and being patriotic loves Finnish bands like Finntroll and Turisas. Pekka also loves ice hockey, the Finnish national game and is baffled by the British preference for soccer, a game he finds rather dull.
Pekka has a no-shoes rule in his apartment.
All his life, Pekka had removed his shoes when entering homes. That was until he came to Britain. He was shocked when he discovered that Scots and English often keep their shoes on in homes. He had imagined that in other countries people took their shoes off, just like in Finland. He had seen people in American sitcoms wear shoes in homes, but had just thought this was just a convention.
When a few visitors came into his apartment with their shoes on, he was strongly tempted to try out some hand-to-hand combat techniques he had picked up during his military service, but thought better of it. Now he just asks for shoes-off in short, sweet, Finnish style.
Martha is the mother of four children and lives in Hampshire, England, with her husband, who is a doctor.
Martha and her husband are devout evangelical Christians. They left their previous Baptist church, believing it to be too worldly and now host a small fellowship of Christians in their home. They feel that the intimacy of a church meeting in a home is much deeper than the usual experience of a congregation.
Martha does not work, but has taken on the responsiblity of home schooling her four children. She believes that much of the teaching in the public school system is built on an evolutionary and humanistic philosophy. She wants her children to learn biblical ways of thinking.
Martha has a shoes-off policy in her home. She wants to protect her children from the dirt and filth outside the home. Just as she would not allow horror films or rock music into the home, she would not allow anybody to defile it with dirt from their shoes.
Martha make considerable use of their house. Four families worship their at the house church meeting and sometimes a few others attend. The tiny congregation appreciate the hospitality of Martha and her husband in opening up their home for church meetings and are happy to respect their wish for shoes-off at the door.
Martha also offers tuition in maths and science for other home-schoolers and naturally asks her pupils and their parents to remove their shoes when attending.
Martha seeks to use her home for the service of God and feels that by looking after the carpets and floors, she is making it last longer and better able to accomodate guests.