Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Snapshots From My Finnish Vacation

These will focus on matters relevant and trivial for us feminazis and really are snapshots, first impressions and even fuzzy:

1. I took an express bus from one city to the airport near Helsinki. The trip involved a change to another bus for all who were headed for the airport at a stop near the capital. This meant most passengers on the bus.

When we got to the change stop, we were told that our suitcases would be moved for us and that we could just go and sit in the next bus, waiting, until they were all loaded. The driver of the second (city) bus threw all the fifty-or-so suitcases from the entrails of the first bus into the entrails of the second one, while I watched from my seat, far above. She was a middle-aged woman and had no trouble at all with the task.

2. Why is it that there are so many more pregnant women in Finland? I rarely see pregnant people here. Is this a false impression of greater Finnish birth rates? Something to do with how much time people spend in public spaces as opposed to their homes or cars? And if not, how does it relate to that U.S. wingnut meme about selfish-Yurpian-women-refusing-to-breed? Or to the better parental leave policies and the general greater acceptance of the fact that communities need reproduction and that women shouldn't be punished for doing that job?

3. Fashions are different. Short dresses are worn over pants or leggings. Or skirts are worn the same way. Or layered shirts of various lengths. I stand out in my scales. The heat wave has turned people out in rather scant clothing (with the usual religious exceptions, all female), but shorts are really rare. It could be that shorts are not worth the price because heat waves have not been common. (And no, this isn't a real heatwave I boast to all those who complain about the heat to me.)

4. In a store I see a wedding congratulations card which shows a picture of a cartoon bride-and-groom, she with a big smile, he all sad. The text says: Game Over. What is funny about it is the reference to electronic games. The time for play is now over.

What is also supposed to be funny is that she won and he lost, and that it's women who chase men so that they can get that big wedding and it's men who run away so that they can have a lot of f***ing experiences and no limitations otherwise. Even if it's men who really seem to thrive in marriages, psychologically and emotionally.

And naturally this is utterly trivial and I didn't pay any attention to it at all. Neither did I pay attention to the nice young man who jumped into a van with the logo "Scandinavian Hunks: Finally A Fun Night For You" and drove off, with screeching wheels.