29 Sep 2007

Singing dutch cultural heritage

Posted by walterheck

The next morning I woke up and I needed some time to figure out where I was. I only now realized that we were sleeping over 🙂

Marianne had gone to work, so the rest of us had a nice breakfast and had some nice discussions. Susso decided to take me and Bruno for a walk through the city center. We dropped our bags off at Marianna’s place first so we didn’t have to drag them around all the time.

Bruno is doing a project called Us Europeans (head over to http://www.useuropeans.com to check it out) and for this project he wanted to find finnish couples in love to take a picture of them and ask them some questions. That proved to be quite difficult as it is not normal in Finnish culture to openly show that you are in love. After some searching we found a couple and Bruno took some pictures and asked some questions.

We sat down somewhere in a mall at a coffee place and while Susso and me got some tea and talked a bit, Bruno went on a hunt for more couples in love. We met up a little later to see some fashion show that was taking place in the mall. This turned out to be rather stupid as there was some hot Finnish chick (she grew up in Vaasa and later took part in the miss Finland elections apparently) talking for 10 minutes, after which three girls performed some dances and that was it.

We picked up our bags and walked back to Susso’s place. We picked up some groceries along the way as Bruno was going to cook us chilli. Back at Susso’s place I concentrated on cuddling the cats and trying to fix Susso’s computer. The best option for that computer was reinstalling windows, so I first had to get a hold of an installation cd. My dear friend and useless comment-writer Ruud helped me out on this.

I was going to spend the night at Samuli’s place. I met Samuli a couple of days ago during the meeting in Vaasa, so I called him up to invite him over for the dinner at Susso’s place. Marianne also came around so there were five of us. Bruno had cooked some very good chilli and we all enjoyed dinner a lot.

After dinner we started singing and soon found out that Bruno knew all the lyrics to almost any song from the last 15 years that we could think of (even very disturbing things like parts of the raps of 2 Unlimited and Two brothers on the fourth floor). We had a lot of fun and so we were way too late for the party at Marianna’s place we were supposed to go to. We packed up and walked from Susso’s to Marianna’s. Along the way we were drinking some of the beers we were taking to the party. When I finished a bottle I thought I would behave and put it back in the bag with the full botlles instead if littering. It turns out that I was supposed to put it on the street, so “the old people” could come and pick it up to make some money. Later in the evening I would indeed see some elderly people walking around collecting bottles. It is always very interesting to learn about these small peculiarities that each country has!

We arrived at the party and started playing the same drinking game we had been playing the previous night. There were about 5 other people there, including Marianna’s boyfriend Arie who was acting really weird towards me. I was happy that I could talk with Bruno about that in dutch so no one else could understand as it felt very uncomfortable. We had some good fun with the rest of the people playing the drinking game though 🙂

After a while we decided to go out into the city, mainly because one of the active surfers of Vaasa would be leaving. We made a nice card fro her and then dragged ourselves into the city. We needed to go into some club and half of the people that were with us decided to go home instead of paying for the club. Samuli also went home, but the sisters told me that they would drop me off at Samuli’s when we went home. I decided to go inside, partly because I wanted to see finnish nightlife and partly because I know it is very nice when people come to say goodbye to you.

We went into the club and I immediately found out why the rest went home. It was just like any club in Holland, so basically not for me 🙂 On top of that we couldn’t find the girl we were supposed to say goodbye to. I went for a midnight snack with the sisters and then Marianne took a taxi to work. I didn’t wanna let Susso wlak home alone, so I escorted her to her place.

When we got there, Bruno was already there and I decided to spend the night there after sending Samuli a message as I didn’t feel like walking all the way back. This was the second night I was not spending where I was supposed to. I felt a little bad about it but it was just the most convenient for all involved. I find that one of the interesting things of traveling: you become a bit more egoistic. What I mean is that 90% of the people you meet are people you will most probably never meet again and somehow you care a little less when you do something you feel a little bad about. It is probably one of those things that no one talks about, but everyone feels more or less the same way about it.

In this particular case there really was nothing to feel bad about as I had met Samuli before so it was not like I was going to not show up. On top of that it seemed to not make a lot of sense to walk across the city to wake him up and then jump into bed. I decided to meet him the next day for some coffee.

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One Response to “Singing dutch cultural heritage”

  1. “My dear friend and useless comment-writer Ruud helped me out on this” Walter, these comments are definitely not useless, they keep my mind off of doing any real work for hours every time you update your blog. Reading your posts is not nearly as much fun as finding things to comment on.
    Talking about which, I think we Dutch have a lot more interesting cultural heritage than Two Unlimited. Take the Dutch soft drugs policy for instance, or the 17th century slave trade, or Wubbo Ockels, not to mention wooden shoes. Don’t forget your roots man!