Today marks my fourth year in Finland. Wooop ! Four years.
And echoing the popular catchphrase of a teenage girl “I CAN’T EVEN”. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but I think it means that I have no idea what to say regarding my 4th Anniversary in Finland. I’m totally speechless. I still loves it here, sometimes I get frustrated, but most of the time, I just like living here. This morning, I was hit with a wave of Finland loving, as I was walking to work, it was cool and the sun was shining, I caught myself smiling and thinking how lovely it all was. Probably because I was in the posh part of Helsinki, and not the suburbs.
HOWEVER. There is one thing that I still don’t understand about Finland. Sure I’m starting to grasp your language. I kind of get the music culture, its not as cold as you say it is, but seriously what’s with the Brit-loving?
I don’t get it.
I don’t get it at all. As a Brit, you grow up with the subconisous understanding that the rest of Europe looks down upon us. That we are unliked by most countries, unsurprising considering that we have invaded all but 22 countries in the world ! But there seems to be something wrong with Finland (and no, Finland was not one of those lucky 22 countries). British culture, even the food to some extent, seems to be revered here.
Not only do you seem to get the ‘British Humour’, the sarcasm, and the satire, you seem to actually like it.
Our TV shows are everywhere. I’ve not been into a house yet in Finland, that doesn’t have a box set of some old British TV series. There are endless re-runs of comedy gold from the UK, and you also seem to like the WORST of our TV, with such rubbish as Emmerdale running regularly on the TV. Not to mention Gordie Shore is rather popular. I don’t get it.
A trip to Paris or Rome is not met with the same excitement as a trip to London. It’s strange. When I seem my Finnish friends on Facebook posting about their holidays, their trips to England ALWAYS have the most pictures and the most hype around it. Yes dear, it’s a phonebox and it’s red.
Why are you excited about the underground? It’s dirty and smelly and crowded. You know that it’s going to be cloudy, it will probably rain, and yet you must go back to England and see everything? You do know that nothing really works very well? It’s cold indoors. It’s expensive. I’d much rather go to Budapest than London. I don’t get it.
I am constantly bemused by the love of the British Royal Family. The furore surrounding the poshest benefit claimants in the UK in Finland amazes me. I have no idea why you have to ask me consistently about what I think about the wedding or the spawning of the latest royal brat.
I don’t care. In the words of Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood, “Ms Winsor, she’s not my queen”. I was telling this story to a Finnish friend, about Leanne getting hauled over the coals for saying this, and they were horrified that “Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth” wasn’t given the proper respect that she deserves.
Did you know there was a group of Morris Dancers in Helsinki? I didn’t. You can find their Facebook here, if you want to join in this wonderful British tradition.
Personally the jingle-jangle of the bells brings back traumatic childhood memories, but for some reason, Finns like it! My hometown had a folk festival every year, so I overdosed on Morris Dancing before I could flee the island. Especially with the words from my wonderfully supportive grandmother, “Out of all of my Grand Children, you are the only one without any sense of rhythm”. She still took me every year dancing. In the vague hope that I might learn.
Why? Why on earth do you want British Friends? A common reaction when I introduce myself and they hear this accent flowing out of my mouth, is OH MY GOD you’re British. Obviously. I wish I had some British friends. Do you? Do you really? Why? Do you want to practise your english? or is it a status thing? Like I said, I don’t get it.
Three summers ago, I was working in Inkeroinen, I hadn’t shaved in a while, I hadn’t been paid yet, and I was very tanned and generally I was looking quite dishevelled. I was in the shop and this rather charming drunk Finnish man started shouting “vitun karvakäsi” (a lovely term meaning fucking hairy hand). I was the only one in the Isle, so I turned around and asked him what he was saying and apologised for my bad Finnish as I was doing so. He asked me where the hell I was from and why was I in Finland. I told him. I’m from the UK. His entire demeanour changed. He became friendly, he wanted to talk about the olympics, about the queen, and why did we drink tea, was it because our beer was bad? In a flash, he went from hostile aggressive, to friendly, all because I said I’m from the UK. I couldn’t believe it.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but It just strikes me as odd. What would have happened if I had been from somewhere else? but in any case, I still don’t get the love for us Brits.
Finns. You’re almost being American… It’s weird.
Twitter: Caijamin Instagram: Cai.bwci
I do apologise for the Buzzfeed feel of this post. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, and you can tell!