Summer time in Seattle. Endless days, gorgeous lakes, mountains, and Puget Sound make you think you are living a great summer outdoors dream. You can’t beat it…
Oh wait… there is Finland. Perma-frosted, mosquito infested Finland. Inventor of Joulupukki, Sauna, Addidas, and Nokia. You’ll have to google what Nokia is, I am afraid. Actually, nevermind, here is Steve Balmer’s email.
Finland and Seattle have more in common than you think, and I am not just talking about the people of Ballard, a Small Scandinavia in Seattle, where hipsters go to die.
Glaciers have literally run over and carved out both locales. The lands are covered with forests and perennially dark like winter is always coming. While folks are polite enough they mostly don’t speak to each other and jointly own first place in highest suicidal tendencies globally. Vitamin D supplements are the rage and S.A.D. was invented either at UW or in Rovaniemi.
This leads to Swedes calling Finns mannerless peasants and a small famous thing called the Seattle Freeze. The first occurs when you drink a Finn’s Vodka, the second when you look at a person in Seattle.
Here is a video proving the Finn’s rather ornery nature.
FYI: “Goddamn Red” is funny because the Finns defeated the Sowjets in WWll.
The Finns say nobody else has done that. Ever.
There is one big difference though. Seattleites have made it a badge of honor to pursue an outdoor life suited more for California’s balmy shores than frigid Puget Sound – all year long. Finns prefer to get blind drunk – also all year long.
In spring, during the sun’s first attempts to thaw out the wolves’ howls, Fins flock to the Government Monopoly Alko (liquor) stores. At the same time, Seattleites stoically swap their skies for snowshoes and a month later for hiking boots. While Seattle packs granola and rain coats, for Helsinki it’s Vodka and Salmiaki (Licorice). Yes, they also have Salmiaki Vodka. While Seattle’s mayor frolics with his husband in a mountain lake after a strenuous hike, the prime minister kicks it in his ministerial sauna, with a beer but sans towel. While Seattleites apply their northern European work ethic to conquering the wet wild, the original good-work-is-god’s-work people prefer to race their Skodas across empty tundras – after getting blind drunk.
So should you plan to visit either northerly tundra to enjoy some long days and pleasant summer nights, bring a rain coat. Or a bucket.
ps: I love Finland. On the day of my highschool graduation I chased a girl up there and stayed for a year. Alas, the interwebs’ attention span only allows for ADHD sized bites, which does not a nuanced picture paint. It’s enough to poke fun though 🙂 What is there to love? How about the best schools in the world and a female majority in Parliament.