I’m glad I’m not picky. Living in Finland, not understanding the language, means that quite often, I simply pick something up without knowing what it is and figure, What’s the worst that could happen? Meals or drinks in cafes, what I hope is shelf paper in the grocery store…medicine at the pharmacy…
Luckily, pretty much all of the restaurants here have menus in English and English-speaking waitstaff. Some of the smaller cafes, on the other hand, don’t. The food is generally on display though – salads, sandwiches, quiches – so it’s often quite simple to just point and nod. I do it all the time. “What’s that?” my friend will ask me as I take a forkful. I usually just shrug my shoulders. “I don’t know – it looked good.” And, quite often, it is. I honestly can’t think of a time when I wanted to spit something out after tasting it. Food is food, and I love food – even if I don’t know what I’m eating!
I know, getting medicine without knowing what your getting – bad idea. Again, the pharmacists usually speak English decently enough to get what you need. Last time, I was looking for allergy medication. Unlike in the States, where I would read the labels and compare dosage and hours and prices, here I just grab whatever the pharmacist holds out to me. “Sure, that’ll work, what’s the worst that could happen? So, how do I take this? Twice a day? Cool.” I figure that’s the most important thing, right?
Today I had to get cough drops. I had already been told that the cough drops here were…not good. But I needed them. So I asked the pharmacist. She handed me a box and said, “Tablets.” I think she means it pills, and I try to clear it up. “I’m looking for something to suck on. Like…(wracking brain for simple terms) like candy.” She nodded. “Yes, that’s it.” Okie-dokie. I got home and looked at them:
Those look like *yummy* cough drops, don’t they? I shrug. What’s the worst that could happen?
I tried. I really did. I held that thing in my mouth for about 10 seconds, trying to convince myself it wasn’t that bad. But you know what? It was. It was that bad, and worse. So if anyone back home is putting together a care package…HALLS!!
I recently “liked” the Facebook page for the City of Rauma…which, of course, posts in Finnish. Lucky for me, Facebook has a nifty “See Translation” option. Unlucky for me, neither Bing Translate nor Google Translate work for shit on Finnish. Take, for example, this translation for something they posted yesterday:
Huomenna pääsee taas iltatorille!
Iltatorit ja sunnuntaikirppikset alkavat torstaina 28.6. ja jatkuvat 2.8. saakka tiistaisin ja torstaisin. Pitsiviikolla iltatorit järjestetään poikkeuksellisesti maanantaina, keskiviikkona ja torstaina.
Myyntiaika alkaa klo 16 ja päättyy klo 20, ohjelmaa torilla on joka kerta eri teemoin klo 17-19 välillä. Tarkemmat tiedot eri iltojen esiintyjistä: http://bit.ly/MvzeZbTranslation:Tomorrow is, on the other hand, in the evening the square!On Thursday, the markets will start in the evening and sunnuntaikirppikset 25.5. and continue for 2.8. on Tuesday and Thursday until. The week will be held on Monday evening, on an exceptional basis, a lace squares, on Wednesday and Thursday.
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense, right?
So, I know something is going on in the square this evening – actually, it looks like something will be going on every Tuesday and Thursday evening from now through August 2nd. And then there’s something about Monday and Wednesday, and lace is mentioned (Rauma has a big Lace Week festival in July), so I’m thinking during Lace Week, what is normally happening on Tuesday and Thursday will be happening on Monday and Wednesday. Okay. It starts at 4pm (16) and ends at 8, but then there’s something about something from 5-7pm, and I can’t figure out what.
Well, let’s go see what this is all about, shall we? I took a little stroll down to the square, and yes, there were vendors set up selling things. A few of the produce stands were still up, and there were a couple of “pre-made goods” such as jewelry and knit clothing. But most of the tables were flea-market type merchandise – mismatched china, random shot glasses, out-of-date clothing, old books.
There was also a stage set up, and a woman started singing about 5pm, so I guess the 5-7pm part is a performer of some sort.
So there you go. Oh – and there’s a little train going around town now, too. That was also on the Facebook page: Kake City can again be seen out and about in a newsletter sent to train to the streets! City train leaves the hour in front of the restaurant, and to bring to the attention of the passengers to the city of La Bamban attractions under the leadership of the Finnish version of the Guide. Mmmm-hmmm…what she said. (La Bamba is a restaurant in town.)