Sunday, May 06, 2012

Kill your television

I like Finland more than I claim; don't tell anyone - it might damage my image as moaning, snarky foreigner. But a constant source of both amusement and irritation is how Finland presents itself to the world and wishes to be perceived by the world. There is the "Finland" of tourist info office, of the tweets of Alex Stubb, Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, and indeed of many proud Finns when they tell foreigners about their country. Then there is the Finland in which I live. Sometimes the two line up, at other times they don't. 

This many TVs - presumably commercial waste rather than domestic?
The last snow melted in the shady corner of my garden last week, and I swam in a lake on Vappu (Mayday) eve that I was told had ice still floating in it three days earlier (not hard to believe once you got in). As the snow melts but before the vegetation grows it's hard not notice the strange fruit that line the roadsides. The tourist info will tell you of "unspoilt forests" and how important those dark woods are to the Finnish people. I'm sure this is all true, although it doesn't seem to stop many Finns throwing their unwanted shit into those now slightly less unspoilt forests.

Builder's waste, or just a thorough spring clean of someone's house?
 Of course douchebaggery knows no borders, but fly tipping and other forms of disgusting littering are a big enough problem in Finland that it riles me every time I hear people mentioning a generic national love of nature or those unspoilt forests.

And for anyone who didn't get the title, shame on you for your insufficient knowledge of the early 90s British indie scene. Grungey Americans, don't forget - the Grebos of Stourbridge beat you to it. ;)

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