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Is cold and dark better if it's properly cold and dark instead of half-pie? - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 26th, 2014

09:50 am - Is cold and dark better if it's properly cold and dark instead of half-pie?

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This morning was the first one of the season that I've been tempted to skip the cold water ending to my shower. I didn't, but it was a battle. Also, my gammy hip tells me the cold icky weather isn't over yet.

I guess technically, it's just beginning. It's also completely dark when I get up in the mornings now.


Speaking of being completely dark, you may have noticed that I'm currently in the throes of an obsession with Really Northern countries, particularly Finland.

Why Finland? Well to be honest it's partly because Finland on SaTW is the most interesting character IMO, but also because they have some really silly competitions such as air guitar, wife carrying, swamp soccer, and mobile phone throwing.

I know, lots of countries probably have silly events - although, I'm not sure they're all considered silly within the country where they originate. For example, Turkey takes oil wrestling - where half-naked men cover themselves in oil and try to shove their hands down each others' pants - very seriously. However, I'm pretty sure the Finnish silliness is self-aware.

I'm a big fan of cultures that can take the piss out of themselves, and fully believe there should be more of it. NZ tries hard. We have gumboot throwing, the world-famous Dunedin Jaffa Race, where people roll jaffas down a really steep street for.. fun and profit? And then there's the West Coast Wild Food Festival, where people compete to make up original dishes such as mastitis mousse, seagull eggs, or chocolate coated huhu grubs:



*ahem* I'm told they taste like peanut butter, but a) I'm not that keen on peanut butter, and b) I'm gonna take their word for it.

Anyway, so I get the impression that being silly is part of the Finnish way of life. I support this attitude and it makes me think I might get along with many of these people.

Also, I'm fascinated with the idea of the seasons being so starkly contrasted - the temperature variance in Finland is much wider than here, it gets both hotter and colder - and the idea of the sun not setting in summer, then having three months(ish) of darkness are also novelties that appeal. I'd like to experience this, and see what happens as the seasons change - you know, plant life, animals, stuff like that.

There is some fantastic electronica that comes out of Finland and I'm told that festivals there are something to behold. I'm not quite sure in what way, but I'd like to find out.

Finally, from what I understand Finland has (on paper at least) the best social outcomes of all the Nordic countries. And given that NZ spends a fair amount of time copying the Nordic countries for social policy*, I'd like to find out more about what they are doing and what it's really like to live there. I find myself wondering if there's a possiblility of doing something like a research fellowship for a year or something. Hmm..

This is the bit where my English friends tell me things about alcoholism and crime in an attempt to.. I'm not sure what they're trying to do actually. It's a thing though - the way that the English** tend to play devil's advocate in a way that seems to undermine enthusiasm for visiting places. Not least their own country. If I were to believe what the English people I know have told me about England, it's amazing anyone still lives there.

*cough* Anyway, Finnish words of the day: kotimaa (home country) and matkustaa (to travel). I have no idea what the reasoning is behind the words this thing is firing at me, and to be honest I have no way of telling if it's even right. But when I checked in google translate, it told me that 'travel from my home country' translates to 'matkustaa kotimaastani'. I don't get that 'stani' bit on the end, but I'm not up to sentences yet.

German is easier. Lots of German words have some similarity to English. Finnish has none that I've come across yet, and I'm having to play a lot more mental tricks on myself to remember it. Some of them are pretty silly.

Like 'vaikea' which means 'difficult' but sounds kind of like 'viking' (in my head anyway) so when I see it I think of how difficult it would be to beat a viking in a fight.

I am looking forward to when I don't have to do this to remember things.


And now I'm sort of curious. Does your country have silly events? I'd love to hear about them.

* Or at least it did, before we voted in a government that has its head firmly up the US's arse.
** I get to say that because I'm from an English family myself, and they were like that too. As were all their expat friends. Except Mum, who was relentlessly positive - but she was an exceptional woman so that doesn't really surprise me.

Comments:

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From:fbhjr
Date:March 25th, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
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Peanut butter?
Hmm. I think I will also take their word for it.

Sadly the US isn't big on purposeful silly events. But, plenty come off that way anyhow.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2014 09:46 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm kind of of the mindset where if creepy live grubs taste like peanut butter, why not just eat the peanut butter?

I am trying to think of a silly US event and can't get past Superbowl. O.o
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 25th, 2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
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finnish is in the finno-ugric branch, grouped with hungarian which it actually isn't related to, and they are isolated from the rest of the languages as they are not descended from proto-indo-european. so, finding words that look anything like any words you're (also, me, or anyone euro...) used to seeing is going to be unlikely unless they're loanwords. much like japanese and korean, both isolates, which have loanwords from chinese, usually. yay language! it's cool you're trying ot learn some finnish. it has always looked super complex to me. :-D
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)
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Someone told me that there are quite a lot of similarities between Finnish and Turkish - which is, um.. odd. But cool!
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From:kehleyr
Date:March 25th, 2014 10:33 pm (UTC)
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The Finnish words are correct :-).
and the idea of the sun not setting in summer, It's like this here in Sweden as well... up north :-).
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, from what I understand, it's in the north of Finland too, but they talk about something called 'white nights' which I assume are nights where it is more dusky than dark.

I am testing the validity of what I'm learning by chucking the occasional word into google translate, and it seems to be pretty good so far. Although it's exposing the simplified-ness of the basic words, because there are often subtle changes when they go in sentences.

And it turns out that the Finnish word for drainpipe is 'drainpipe'. Which I think means that google translate can't cope with whatever they do call it, because it's so different from the English description. And I looked up a word the other night (I think antaa) which has something like 35 English synonyms. Yikes.
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:March 25th, 2014 10:33 pm (UTC)
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accidentally left anonymous comment because computer signed me out. sorry. finnish is an isolate language in finno-ugric branch... it's grouped with hungarian, don't know why... yay learning languages!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 25th, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)
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Hahaha replied to anon, thought it might be you! ;-)
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From:ms_hecubus
Date:March 26th, 2014 02:25 am (UTC)
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The US is full of silly events, but not really nationally. I mean, there's a town that celebrates and has a yearly festival to a headless chicken, for example.

Mostly we excel at crazy roadside attractions. We have endless amounts of those, and if random giant objects aren't silly I'm not sure what is.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 02:28 am (UTC)
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From:gemmagic
Date:March 26th, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
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I am obsessed with colder countries atm too. Have you seen this video clip? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddkYJ6XdZtY Happy colder climate and blessed be. :)
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 06:50 am (UTC)
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So beautiful ;-)
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From:grist
Date:March 26th, 2014 06:26 am (UTC)
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If New Zealand continues to dig itself deeper into the USA's pockets Finland or Norway are on my short list of countries to investigate further.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 06:28 am (UTC)
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Yeah, when I think "Where's better than New Zealand?" those are the ones that spring to mind for me too.

And they have central heating, so I'm told.
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From:meathiel
Date:March 26th, 2014 08:17 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure how far you got with German but it's quite different from English ... haha ... Though Finnish is something else ... as somebody already said, completely different branch.

I'm kinda looking forward to the not getting dark thing in Iceland ...

And - I take their word that the grubs taste like peanut butter ... I've got no interest whatsoever of trying ...
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 11:50 pm (UTC)
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I'm still learning vocab - up to maybe 60 words? I'd say about 2/3 of them bear at least a passing resemblance to their English equivalent - enough so that I can remember them more easily than say, Finnish or Maori.

You're going to Iceland? How did I miss that? Can I come?
Will you eat rotten fermented poisonous shark?
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From:nessainwe
Date:March 26th, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC)
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Daniel isn't a big fan of peanut butter.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 11:49 pm (UTC)
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Daniel is a man of taste and discernment.
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From:meri_sielu
Date:March 26th, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC)
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Ewwww, can't say I'd particularly be enamoured with eating that, especially as it'd still be wriggling around and just argh! Grubs and maggots kind of squick me out so yeah... X.x

And yeah, totally true about how English people try to put people off visiting other places and especially their own country, I hear it often enough! 0.o
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From:tatjna
Date:March 26th, 2014 11:49 pm (UTC)
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We may be missing out on something delectable, but I'm pretty sure humans have an instinctive aversion to putting grubs in their mouth for a reason, eh?
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From:crsg
Date:March 30th, 2014 09:15 am (UTC)
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Japan has quite a few Silly Events, many of which are connected to various traditional festivals. Such as a bunch of men wearing nothing but loincloths struggling for a couple of holy sticks in the middle of winter - because yay fertility festivals.
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