Friday, September 05, 2008

Finnish Friday Flashback...

After my chance encounter with the Finnish guy on the tram earlier this week, I began thinking about other random encounters I've had with Finns throughout my life. Of course, this means random encounters OUTSIDE OF FINLAND because...well...there'd be nothing special about running into a Finn in Finland. Duh!

I think I've come across Finnish people probably about a dozen times in the eight years I've lived in Switzerland. Probably the most memorable time was when Mrs. TBF and I were in an art museum in Florence, Italy (Why can't we just call it Firenze?) and I eavesdropped on a Finnish tour guide explaining to a group of Finns that a particular painting of Jesus showed him "...in an effeminate pose not unlike that of a ballerina."!!!!

...Don't think the Italians would have appreciated that one.

Then, there is also the half-Swiss, half-Finnish girl who works the counter at "the" Basel Burger King. Ordering my Burger King meal in Finnish? Fun!!! Whopper comes out pretty much as VOPP-perrrri, and I tell her to "...heitä vähän juustoa ja pekoni siihen pääle" (throw a little cheese and bacon on it)!

However, probably my greatest random encounter with Finns, and the only one ever captured on film, occurred in November, 1997 when Mrs. TBF and I were in Hawai'i celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary.

Mrs. TBF and I decided to get all athletic one day by hiking up to the top of Diamond Head. After huffing and puffing our way to the top (we were both carrying a lot of extra weight back then), Mrs. TBF went to the very highest observation point to take some panoramic photos. While I stood there, enjoying the breeze and the scenery, I heard a familiar sound. I looked over and saw a mother and father speaking in Finnish with their daughter who was wearing a Finlandia vodka hat. Imagine their shock when I asked them in Finnish if they would like me to take a photo of them together. After talking to them for a minute, Mrs. TBF came down the stairs, heard me talking, and said:

"You've gotta be kidding me!"

She couldn't believe it, but she had to believe it because...it was true!

When you least expect it, EXPECT IT!!! Finns are lurking everywhere!

1 comment:

Expat Traveler said...

wow - what a great story. I have heard quite a few swiss this summer all over bc since I've been traveling back and forth from the Island.