Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This Is What It Must Be Like To Live Slightly South Of Finland

I’m hot. I’m so hot my face is melting off and my skin is trying to shrivel into my body to get away from the heat. Yes, we are experiencing our first ever heat wave. Yesterday I took a walk through the Sahara desert, and then took a sauna to cool down. Today I’m contemplating sleeping with my head in the oven. Look how great it turned out for Sylvia Plath. Today we hit an all time record, probably both in temperatures and in suicides. And I have big plans on frying my breakfast egg on the asphalt tomorrow.

Actually, I’m loving it. It’s not every summer that we actually get to strip down to only 3 layers of clothes, so it feels amazing. And I had no idea I tanned! I have these tan lines on my shoulders from the halter neck top I was wearing the other day, then I have this other set of tan lines from the spaghetti strap top I was wearing yesterday, and this third set of tan lines from my bikini. I look like a zebra, but without the big ears.

My little brother turned 14 in March, and instead of giving him a toy car like we’ve been doing ever year so far, Muschu and I ignored his pleas for birthday beer and told him we would take him to Ruisrock this summer. Ruisrock is one of Europe’s oldest rock festivals, held on an island in Turku every July. Lots of big bands have played over the years, and about 70.000 people attend the festival each year. It’s a big deal, kinda like sauna and table fans.

The festival took place last weekend, and we had a blast. We saw Rise Against while standing ankle-deep in the water. We sat in the shade of a tree and listened to Poets of the Fall. We danced on the beach to the Baseballs. We considered joining the huge mosh pit in the field while NOFX played, but then realized we wanted to be alive to see Ozzy. We had an exquisite dinner of fried chicken while Billy Talent was playing on the beach and we played sing-a-long to the Sounds. And we only lost the 14-year old boy 17 times. I’d say it was a hit.

I have to say, the amount of garbage and litter 30.000 people in one meadow creates is astonishing. While Muschu and I were walking across the grass to get to the fabulous and sanitary port-a-potties, we played hot lava and she shouted “the grass is lava!” and we tried to walk only on the garbage on the ground. But it was way too easy so instead I shouted “the garbage is lava” and Muschu almost broke her leg trying to find some grass.

Muschu’s feet. Ruisrock is a dirty dirty place.

Poets of the Fall. They’re a Finnish band, that’s why you’ve never heard of them.

The festival was right at the beach where the big boats drive by. If you wanted you could totally hitch a ride to Sweden.

My brother and my sister and the super secret über cool hand shake thingy.

Ozzy Osbourne. Sadly, Muschu didn’t catch him as he mooned the crowd.

This is what the beach looked like before Billy Talent got on when about 10.000 more people flocked to this one tiny beach.

The Sounds. They’re from Sweden. You’ve probably heard of them.

“Please take your lighters and burn the hair of the person in front of you!”

We really should have taught little brother how to climb a ladder. He sucked at it.

You can really see the dust when the sun is setting. Kinda explains why Muschu’s feet looked like they went to Woodstock.


  1. Muschu: You're what makes it so awesome, sis.

  2. A heat wave? YIKES!

    A festival during a heat wave? CRAZY!

    I love the photos.

    Find a swimming hole in the shade.

  3. Wow! Now I gotta go to Finland for the festivals and to live my younger days of youth (I kinda missed out on a lot of it)! And, of course, to visit you!

    Happy Birthday to your little bro! Looks like he had fun.

    Ozzy?? Really?? Cool!

    Great photos, too! Love the sunset one (may I 'borrow' it?).

    (p.s. Muschu and me have the same feet - really!)

  4. Your sister and brother are gorgeous. What a cool thing to do for Bro's birthday! Is it actually warm there? I mean, is it about 50 degrees F? Or are you Fins so tough you walk around in spaghetti straps when it's actually 37 degrees F? Muschu looks like you except for the green and the extra arm. It sounds like something I would have hated, but I'm so glad you went. Crowds overwhelm me and Ozzy underwhelms me. Know what I mean?

  5. Lemmikki! I'm so happy you're back I won't even whine about how long you were gone and that you promised me you wouldn't abandon me again and then you did and for even longer this time!

    Outdoor beach concerts are way better than beer and toy cars.

  6. I agree with Linda, your sis and bro are good-looking people. That makes it doubly unfortunate, I suppose, that you look like a Zebra, which not only have stripes and large ears but manes, hooves, huge teeth and large behin...never mind. It's not important. It's what's on the inside that really counts.

    Anyway, three things about this post impress me a great deal. First, that it gets hot enough in Finland to wear anything other than a parka. Who knew? Second, that enough people live there to justify a rock festival large enough to draw Ozzy. Third, and most significantly as far as I'm concerned, that you have have fried chicken there.

    Fried chicken is a quintessential American dish, in my opinion, and one of our most sublime. I need more detail. Was it homemade, or KFC--which is popular here but not the best--or something with a European twist that I've never heard of? Please elaborate, as fried chicken is probably my most favorite food besides ice cream and Chinese food and steak and sub sandwiches and Gyros and Mexican food and some other foods and I really want to know what you're eating over there.

  7. Sounds like you really had a good time!!! If you want, I will gladly trade you my portion of heat (next 5 days in the 90's) for any cold/snow you want to send my way. Peace.

  8. ReformingGeek: Just keep in mind that our heat waves are probably what you think of as mild winter weather. But I'll definitely take your advice on the swimming hole.

    00dozo: It's the European toe, everyone around here has it. You should come here next summer, we could do every festival in Finland and you could bond with everyone's toes. And go right ahead with the photo, I don't mind you 'borrowing' it. I wouldn't even mind it if you stole it a little.

    Linda: Yes, they are gorgeous, they got all the good genes mom and dad had to offer and I was left with the zebra gene. Figures. We've had temps of around 85 for several days now, which is extremely hot for Finland. Usually summer temperatures are about 70-75, so this July has been exceptionally warm. But I'm not complaining, I think it's wonderful!

    Nicky: Thank you so much for not whining about my horrible blogging manners, disappearing like that for days at end, I should be locked up. With a computer, of course.

    MikeWJ: Oh yes, fried chicken, one of the few things worth getting up for in the morning. The chicken that I ate was fried at a Chinese food stand at the festival, it had probably been sitting out in the sun for 10 hours, been dropped on the ground a couple of times and finally fried in oil 17 times reused. But it was very good. We are not lucky enough to have KFC in Finland, but when Muschu and I spent two weeks in Cuprys one summer, we walked 2 miles in the hot sun just to get to KFC. Then of course by the time we got back to the hotel we were hungry again, so we had to start walking back. It was a mess. We don't have any good fried chicken in Finland, so please send me some from America.

    middle child: I will take the heat and send you some left over snow from last winter, a polar bear I found in my back yard and an igloo with a hole in the roof.

  9. KFC is okay, certainly worth walking a few miles to get, but I think I should send you some Popeye's, which is a great store-bought brand that's made with Louisiana hot sauce. It's delicious. Better yet, I should just send you some of my home recipe. I follow the very simple recipe first published in 1961 by Craig Claiborne, the famous food columnist for the New York Times, who got it from his mother or grandmother. But I bumped it up a tad by adding more hot sauce to the mix than he recommends. It's to die for.

    I am a little worried about how well my fried chicken will travel, though. Here's what I suggest instead: Wait another couple of months until the heat wave you're experiencing dries up the Atlantic Ocean and all those fjords you have over there, then you and Muschu can just walk to my house for fresh fried chicken. I think it will take you a little time because Finland's got to be at least two or three hundred miles from Colorado, but you'll have a good appetite by the time you get here. And you'll need it, too, because I'm a great cook.

  10. MikeWJ: I believe it when you say that your home recipe for fried chicken is simply awesome, but it does seem like a lot of work to walk all the way to your house. Now here's a crazy thought, instead of waiting a few million years for the continents to drift together and create solid earth for Muschu and me to walk on all the way over to your house, why don't you just give me the recipe and I can do it myself?

  11. Oh, that would be simpler. I'm such an idiot. I'll send it to you as soon as I can find it and type it out. That might take longer than you walking to my house, but I completely understand why you're trying to avoid visiting. I wouldn't want to visit me, either.

  12. MikeWJ: I'm glad you understand. And it's not that I don't want to come over, it's just.. well you know. You're a little silly.



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