Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
6Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
You Know You Have Been in Finland Too Long When...

You Know You Have Been in Finland Too Long When...

Ratings:

5.0

(2)
|Views: 6,500 |Likes:
Published by Veronica Gelfgren
A funny and slightly sarcastic point of view of the Finnish people (during the 90's) and their customs seen from the point of a foreighner. Use in class to start of discussions on cultural differences, stereotypes etc
A funny and slightly sarcastic point of view of the Finnish people (during the 90's) and their customs seen from the point of a foreighner. Use in class to start of discussions on cultural differences, stereotypes etc

More info:

Published by: Veronica Gelfgren on Nov 29, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

11/30/2012

pdf

 
 You know you have been in Finland too long, when...
Travel andculture
English
 
English materials by Veronica Gilhooly
© Learnwell Oy 2008www.thelanguagemenu.com TravelPage 1
This old chestnut has been doing the rounds of the Net for some time and in places it is showing itsage. We have taken the liberty of adding a few glosses (for which we asked a foreiginer who's beenhere over 20 years and is therefore probably guilty of most of the behaviour being lampooned).
1. You rummage through your plastic bag collection to see which ones you should keep to taketo the store and which can be sacrificed to garbage.
 Apparently the plastic bags - formerly free, now costing about EUR 0.10-0.15 - supplied by Finnishshopkeepers are vastly superior to those in other countries. It's probably something to do with theweight of bottles they need to be able to withstand. In bag-stretching competitions (don't laugh, theFinns have had dumber contests than that - most of these wacky competitions are
all
that theAmerican media ever report about the place) they have allegedly outperformed most condomscurrently on the market. In any event, sales of the small black plastic bin-bags (not the BIG onesthat line dustbin/garbage cans, but the little ones for in-home use) are pretty poor, and everyoneuses the plastic shopping bags as temporary storage for garbage till it gets chucked out. Analternative and less attractive theory is that Finns are too cheap to consider buying shopping bags.Take your pick.
2. When a stranger on the street smiles at you:a. you assume he is drunkb. he is insanec. he's an American
 Err... isn't he? This one is getting a bit dated, really.Nobody smiles at you on the street, but the reason isthat they are too busy talking into a cellphone ordownloading their e-mail from a PDA to recognizeanything much more than a few feet of sidewalk immediately in front of their feet.
3. You don't think twice about putting the wet dishes away in the cupboard to dry.
 Ah. Well. Now, I could tell you that dishwashers seem much more common here than in Britain,and that the British habit - the poor devils often only have that one sink and the silly two taps - of not rinsing plates before they put them to dry makes megag, but the secret to this one is that Finnish houses andapartments have excellent draining cupboards over thesink-unit, where the plates can dry off. No messing witha soggy tea-cloth to dry them. One great advantage of this is that the neighbours never give you "Souvenir of Where-we-went" tea-cloths as a gift for looking aftertheir mail and newspapers, but something requiring alittle more thought. When the plates are good and dry,you stack them in the cupboard where you keep them.Simple, really. But in our house, the chances are thatthe plates and eating-irons hit the table straight from thedishwasher anyway...
 
 You know you have been in Finland too long, when...
Travel andculture
English
 
English materials by Veronica Gilhooly
© Learnwell Oy 2008www.thelanguagemenu.com TravelPage 2
4. A friend asks about your holiday plans and youanswer: "Oh, I'm going to Europe!" meaning any otherWestern European country outside Scandinavia.
 OK.
Someone's
got to be on the periphery...and we do tendto identify with the other Scandinavian countries, howevermuch we bitch about their respective faults. In many ways,Finland is an island. This is best seen in the fact thatnumerous rock bands and other artists think twice beforeplaying Helsinki, as they will have to cart 25 truckloads of equipment by sea from Sweden and back, thus adding two orthree days to their schedule for just the one gig.
5. You see a student taking a front row seat and wonder"Who does he think he is!!??"
 I suppose this can only mean Finnish university students do not volunteer information fordiscussion at lectures. Many of them are probably asleep, and being young, have not yet perfectedthe technique employed by MPs, ministers and heads of state for appearing to be awake whilstdozing through meetings.
6. Silence is fun.
 The national characteristic of polite reserve, currently being remodelled as people talk energeticallyinto their Nokias and run up huge phone bills on mobile internet or TV chat-channels. The oldstereotype of "talkative as a Finn" is becoming endangered as the country grows increasinglyurbanised and people
have
to communicate. On a related note, Midsummer, a very liquid festivalheld at or around the Summer Solstice, contains one element that proves Finns
do
have a voice. Asthe evening wears on, robust and inebriated males of the species engage in good-humoured shoutingacross lakes at one another, thus: "Pekkaaaaaa, Pekkaaaa", "Arskaaaaa, Arskaaa". The conversationdoes not usually get much further than bellowed first names, I'm afraid. In such cases, a bit of silence
would 
be fun.
7. The reason you take theferry to Stockholm or Tallinnis:a. duty free vodkab. duty free beerc. to party heartily...no need toget off the boat in Stockholm orTallinn, just turn around anddo it again on the way back toFinland.
 Finns are only mid-way up theEuropean league table in terms of per capita alcohol consumption(6.7 litres per head of 100%alcohol a year, by comparison
 
 You know you have been in Finland too long, when...
Travel andculture
English
 
English materials by Veronica Gilhooly
© Learnwell Oy 2008www.thelanguagemenu.com TravelPage 3
with the boozy sods in Luxemburg or France who drink nearly twice as much). However, the Finnsare the Maurice Greens and Michael Johnsons of the drinking sport, rather than long-distancerunners (which is a bit strange when you think about it, given our earlier glories at long-distancerunning). Alcohol is still viewed to some extent as a forbidden fruit; even after the recentreductions, it is still rather heavily taxed, and whilst the Alko stores are increasingly pleasant andwell-stocked places to shop, the truth is still that wines and spirits are not as easily available as inCentral Europe. Hence (at least this is
my
theory and I'm sticking to it) it pays to have a decent beltof the stuff and get some benefit, if it's costing so much and is hard to come by. Sipping is forwusses. In recent years, partly as a result of tax differentials on wine, Finns
have
moved from thegrain and hops mentality in the direction of wine-drinking. At the same time, they have slippedcloser towards a European attitude to drink - a couple of glasses on a weekday evening after work -without totally surrendering their proud national traditions of getting legless on Friday and Saturdaynights and then going jogging the next morning to shake off the cobwebs. A great deal will changein May 2004, when Estonia joins the EU. This is the reason the government brought down boozeprices in March, as it was thought prudent not to encourage people to import hundreds of litres of vodka as soon as the import restrictions were lifted. It remains to be seen how well this will work.
8. Your coffee consumption exceeds 6 cups aday and coffee is too weak if there is less thantwo spoonfuls per person.
 Hey...the coffee's damned good here. And wedon't make a fetish out of it like the Americanshave started to do. We just drink the stuff, anddon't give it fancy foreign names and a hugeprice-tag. At least we don't drink that instantcoffee muck. Note from 2004: We’ll have toclimb down on this one a bit. Latte prices havegot ridiculous, but Finns still tend to drink morecoffee at home than in cafés.
9. You pass a grocery store and think:"Wow, it is open, I had better go in and buysomething!"
 Opening hours have been pretty muchderegulated, and most supermarkets are opentill at least 8 or 9, shops no longer close infuriatingly at 2 on Saturdays, and they seem to be foreveradvertising Sunday opening in the papers. Sunday opening is common in the summer, and also inthe run-up to Christmas. Kiosks are open till 21.00, petrol stations often later. This is a typicallyoutdated claim about the country.
10. Your native language has seriously deteriorated, now you begin to "eat medicine", "openthe television", "close the lights off", and tell someone: "you needn't to!". Expressions like"Don't panic" creep into your everyday language.
 Errr... Yeah. I guess.

Activity (6)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Reni Boncheva liked this
windua liked this
Lloyd Bethell liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->