Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Britain looked a bit like Finland this week as we were blanketed in snow. The only difference being the transport system was totally paralysed. I think it was  Reg Keeland, Stieg Larsson's and a lot of other Scandinavian writer's translator, who mentioned that it is said that "Finns are only allocated a certain number of smiles in a lifetime and save them for appropriate occasions".

It seems that laughing at me, or with me, was one of those occasions.  

We flew Finnair to Helsinki, and my 17 year old daughter had refused to come with us, after all who goes to Finland in January. The plane was virtually empty with the only other passengers being an American Chippendales group. She regretted her decision when we told her on our return.
The next morning I joined a huge queue of women in a department store to book tickets for a concert of music by Sibelius in the Finlandia Hall, a planned highlight of our holiday. 
When I reached the front of the queue and asked for Sibelius tickets, the ticket seller burst out laughing. All the women in the queue behind me started laughing and then he explained, I had been the only man waiting, everyone else was booking for the Chippendales

One of the interesting symptoms of getting old is you can remember incidents from 10, 20, or 50 plus years ago but can't remember what you did yesterday.


Blogger Dorte H said...

Was this perhaps a Uriah post then, or did you in fact enjoy the situation a little bit?
- just curious :)

6:14 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I must admit I did enjoy being surrounded by all those Scandinavian women. I was younger then I think it would be too exciting for me now. ;o)

7:40 AM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

This post reminds me of two stories. One night at Philadelphia's press club, a musician friend of mine introduced me to a friend of his who plays in the first violin section of the Philadelphia Orchestra. I had just recently started listening to symphonic music, notably that of Carl Nielsen, and I was pleased to meet this fellow.

"Pleased to meet you," I said to the violinist. "I'd love to talk to you about Carl Nielsen some time."

He took his cigar out of his mouth and said: "I'd rather talk about naked chicks."

"We could talk about Nielsen's Third."

He paused, then said. "OK: Nielsen's Third played by naked chicks."

I also once had to make my way through a queue of antsy performers lined up waiting to use the ladies' room during intermission of the seventh national competition for flamenco and Spanish dance and choregraphy in Madrid. They were all tall, dark-haired, gorgeous, in perfect shape and dressed for the stage.

They filled the alcove that gave on to both the men's and ladies' rooms. What a forest of beauty I had to cross to achieve my destination!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

1:05 AM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

Hey, the only time I've been to Finland was in early March. In the daytime the temp got up a bit above freezing. We wondered why people were walking in the middle of the street instead of on the "pavement". Then a huge load of ice came crashing down a few yards away. Nuff said, we were confirmed "streetwalkers" from then on too.

The next day Tiina and I were almost knocked off our feet when passing a block of flats and five floors' worth of giant ice cubes came shooting out of the drainpipe. My Finnish mother-in-law later informed us with a deadpan explanation, "Oh sure, several people are killed every year by falling ice."

1:26 AM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

To quote the old calypso song:

Little boy sat down and cried
Old man stopped and asked him why
He said, "I can't do what the big boys do"
Old man sat down and he cried too.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Do Finnish streetwalkers and loiterers wear helmets in the winter?
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

11:57 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

The Finns are sensible, that walking down the middle of the road works. The pavements [sidewalks] on our road are covered in frozen slush the middle of the road has been cleared by the cars that have driven along the street.
Of course you risk being run over but you are far less likely to fall over.

6:06 AM  

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