Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Finland, Finland, Finland

Ordinarily, I write for myself; my thoughts and opinions on what I see, read, watch, my views on life as I live it. I pride myself on being honest about my thoughts, feelings and how I record them.

Occasionally, I have to decide that there are bigger things in life than my thoughts and on reflection, this is one of them. Therefore, I have decided to remove what was previously here although I have left the comments.


Anglonoel said...

Hello Rachel, sounds like you won't get your dream job with the Finnish Tourist Board in the near future...

I thought the Finns and Hungarians originated from the Urals about 3,000 years ago, then split and went their seperate ways. Obviously it sounds like the Magyars took the recipe for goulash with them!

I've never been with Ryanair as I am extremely prejudiced against Michael O'Leary and your account has strengthened my resolve!

Glad the wedding went well anyway!

Emma said...

Oh the irritating whines of the Brit abroad. Bet the Fins were very glad to bit rid another British tourist complaining that it's not like home.

Where have you been living- a cultural wasteland? Everyone knows that Finland is cold and snowy (yes, even in the Winter!) and that they don't (shock horror) speak English! Yes some countries do speak different languages to us! It's also well know that it is more expensive than London.

Are trying to say that you never get bad service in London or have never stayed in a bad hotel? Perhaps you might have gotten better service if you'd learnt to say 'please' and 'thank you' or maybe even smiled when talking to waiting staff?

What are you doing getting a taxi '3 or 4 minutes down the road' anyway? Couldn't you have walked or used public transport? Have you not heard of air pollution?

You seemed to have missed the fact that other countries do not drink tea like the English - in fact most of continental Europe. They drink coffee or fruit tea and they don't often use milk- and no they are not going to buy some porcelain cups and saucers just for you. Have you never had a latte in the UK served in a glass cup?

The fact that the Fins don't typically eat porridge and fruit for breakfast, yet it's still available, shows that they are trying to cater for foreign guests. But I guess that effort bypassed you- they usually eat meats and cheeses. And yes, stilton is not great cheese for pizza topping- but in Germany the topping could be potatoes and frankfurters- so don't moan when you're ordering an Italian dish when you're not in Italy and it turns out to be different to what you expect it to be! Here's an idea-how about trying some Finnish cuisine instead eating the same old things you do back home?

The Finnish language was not made up in the 18th century. It's dates to pre-Christian times.

Yes, Ryanair has no idea of customer service- but what do you expect on a budget flight? Don't be so stingy next time and maybe you'll get treated better by the staff because they're being paid more than the minimum wage.

The best idea would be for you not to fly at all. Really, I can't believe that such culturally ignorant people like you exist these days, please do not leave the country again, you're an embarassment.

Rachel said...

Thank you Emma for your analysis of my whining.

I don't live in a cultural wasteland, I enjoy visiting other cultures and countries and make all possible efforts (see Morocco) and I am perfectly happy to try and speak other languages. I spent time learning the basic words of Finnish before I went and everyone Finnish I spoke to was pleased with our efforts to learn. Even the groom and bestman spoke part of their speeches in Finnish.

Actually, the hotel in which we stayed was great (except for the service in the restaurant) although very expensive. I do not care for the fact you assumed I did not smile or say please or thank you to the staff - kiitos was one of the first words I learnt. There is no word for please. (Or so the bride told me, and she is Finnish).

In fact, the bride also told me that fruit and porridge were usual breakfast foods along with sausages, cold meats and cheese as well as herrings, rice cakes and egg butter.

For the record, I would also like to say this. The reason I had such a bad time in Finland is because I was ill. I did eat Finnish food (meatballs, herrings and so on - and we only ended up eating pizza when we needed some food at 1am and it was all we could find) but it made my IBS worse. The taxi was because I was suffering from an upset stomach but had to get to the hairdressers so my hair could be done before the wedding service. As bridesmaid I had no choice but to take medication and crawl into a taxi. In any other circumstances I would have walked.

I also disagree with you regarding RyanAir. It may be a budget airline but there should be customer service. I am not asking for special treatment, only basic politness.

Rachel said...

"The first comprehensive writing system for Finnish was created by Mikael Agricola, a Finnish bishop, in the 16th century"

I accept that I miss-remembered the century. The reading I did in preparation for the trip was a few weeks ago, I should have looked it up before I posted.

I will also at some point post about the Lenin museum which we visited and the Finnish-Soviet relationship, which I found to be quite fascinating.

Anonymous said...

"The first comprehensive writing system for Finnish was created by Mikael Agricola, a Finnish bishop, in the 16th century"

That did not mean Finnish did not exist before then.

Anonymous said...

Finnish is an ancient language, as Emma says. Even a quick look at Wikipedia will show you that you are wrong. Your ignorance is quite offensive. The language did evolve, as languages do, just like English did. You are, unequivocably, wrong. Accept it and move on.

Nothing embarrasses me more about being English than hearing English people whinge about not being able to get a good cup of tea abroad.

Ryanair are completely honest about the fact they don't spend money on customer service. I thought everyone knew that. Companies can offer what they want to offer. You don't like it? Don't buy things from them then. You got there and back, which is what they say they'll do for you. Nothing more. The baggage prices are clearly published on the website and have also attracted press attention for their change to the normal policy. Ryanair are a no frills airline. That's why your ticket was so cheap.

Urrgh, though - what an irritating, whiny, spoilt little brat. I just hope the bride and groom don't ever have to read your account. I can't imagine how hurt and upset I would be to hear someone describe their experience of coming to my wedding in such terms. Funnily enough, the wedding was not all about Little Miss Rachel. It was their special day, and they wanted to share it with you. I truly cannot imagine why. As you put it yourself, in the understatement of the century, you're "prone to pessimism and moaning". That is to say, you're the social equivalent of a mouthful of vinegar.

For everyone's sake, you'd better stay in England where you can get 'proper food' and 'proper tea', in the future.