You know you have been in Finland too long, when...
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
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
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.