i went to Oulu last week to see the Man in Black. My observations:

1. While i expected Finnish women to look like hideous trolls, they are often exquisitely & bizarrely beautiful. i had also expected them to be surly and miserable, like über-Germans, but they were in fact quite friendly, much more so than German and English girls, who generally respond to even the most cursory glances with a look of fear and aggression and discomfort. The Finnish honeys seemed mildly surprised & mildly pleased to be ogled by a diminutive Anglo-Indian Germanic tweed-clad sorceror. My Finnish friends told me this was down to the rare sunshine; normally, Finns are savage killers.

finnish soldier

2. Anything stronger than cider is only available from state-run liquor stores. The cheapest wine was 8 €; in Germany, you can buy a respectable Cabernet Sauvignon for 2 €. i bought two bottles of 9 € stuff, hoping this would represent a substantial increase in quality over the 8 € dregs. In fact, it was vile and it took all my manliness, and several sausages, to consume as much as i did. Whiskey is twice as expensive as in Germany – a sickening fact, which explains why the Finns are ordinarily so miserable.

3. Oulu is a shithole like Kassel or Huddersfield – about the same size, in the middle of nowhere, with about 2 nice buildings; the rest is generic awful concrete/plaster modernism. Each street was being ripped apart by construction crews (it’s too cold to do roadworks except in summer). The only part of the city i liked was the market on the waterfront, frequented by aggressive low-flying seagulls on the lookout for free nosh – it was guarded, however:

market cop

i was surprised that the girls were so beautiful, given that in England and, to some extent, Germany, the hot girls usually move to a bigger city to get work; with the result that towns like Huddersfield, Bradford, Birmingham etc., become bad gene places where only the trash live to breed with each other and spawn a new generation combining the ugliness & werewolf eyebrows & grotesque obesity & sports attire & iphones, and lack of intelligence & opposable digits & waistcoats & redeemable humanity, of both godforsaken parents. The Man in Black explained: “In Finland, only whores go to Helsinki.”

The Man in Black lives outside the city and so a lot of the time we managed to avoid seeing the full horror of Oulu. Also, there are some nice parks and woods:

oulu waterfront

Though, in true Finnish fashion, they are usually infested with man-killing mosquitoes. i was lucky – there were none during my time, perhaps because of my repellent heathen blood, saturated with tobacco and whiskey; perhaps because of the constant breeze.

4. The most popular luxury car is Mercedes; there were a few Audis, and i only saw a couple of BMWs. There are a few Opels and VWs but the most common car is the Toyota – these were everywhere. i guess Audi are trying to break into the market, as i saw many Audi adverts (and none for BMW or Mercedes). Not sure why this is so; i suspect Mercedes appeal as they are aimed for older folk and Finns strike me as a conservative folk (not a single Porsche – a common sight in Munich); Audis perhaps because of the old marketing about their snowy prowess.

5. A strange week; in part, because i can’t make any sense of Finnish, whereas my reasonably large Italian and French vocab, and my German, mean i can usually guess at European languages west of Poland. i only felt halfway at home when i saw Swedish, e.g. Bokhandlung for a bookshop (Buchhandlung in Bosche). The rest of the time i just stared in wonder at these strange, elvish folk speaking their strange elvish tongue. Finnish at least sounds beautiful – full of trilling “r”s and whatnot.

The Man in Black’s English is heavily Viking-accented & Satanic; he speaks a kind of baroque English full of words like defiled, worm, brutal, whore, soiled, perverse etc. And then the light – this was my window at midnight (as dark as it gets):

oulu midnight sun (1)

6. But it wasn’t all strange light and languages. The food was good and Germanic. i went to a Viking restaurant with my host and consumed moose, boar, and reindeer. The decor:

haralds restaurant, 2013 (1)

There are also excellent Karelian pies available from the supermarket. You have to heat them in the microwave then put cold ham and cheese on top:

karelian pies (2)

Then you eat them with alcohol, making nom nom nom noises and spilling bits of food & whiskey/cider on yourself. It is a successful event when you are eventually soiled & untouchable.

7. And now i am back in Germany among the lesser men.