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?
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.