>The Finns are strange people.
It must have something to do with living in the permafrost and endless nights for months at a time.
And the language is something else, too.
It belongs to the Finnish-Ugric family, which includes such mainstream means of communication as Sami, Mordvin, Cheremis/Mari, Zyryan/Komi, Votyak/Udmurt, Ostyak/Hanty, Vogul/Mansi and Hungarian.
My mate Lutz’s Finnish wife, Ritva, once asked me what “Puderzucker” is in English.
“Icing sugar” I said”
“Icing sugar? That’s a funny word” she said.
“So what is it in Finnish? I asked.
“Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas” (or something similar) she said. (Actually, it’s “tomoskeri”, which is bad enough.)
We were over at my mate Tibor’s allotment on Saturday to celebrate his birthday.
Loads of food: bunny goulash, cooked in an iron pot over an open fire, steaks galore, stuffed paprikas from his girlfriend’s Mum’s restaurant.
Plus the usual suspects:
Michael the Toothless Tiler.
Eugen the Russian Gardener.
Tibor’s surrogate Mum – a Mainz 05 fan from way back, who kept going all teary when you mentioned Kloppo
Gregor the Polish Painter.
Plus Jens from Hamburg who turned up with a bottle of stuff called Minttu.
“It’s Finnish” he said “50% alcohol, but the best thing is – you just don’t notice!”
He reckoned that he discovered it in some distant decade in Scandinavia and then dug up a source in the port district in Hamburg and bought their entire stock.
It tastes a bit like After Eights without the chocolate.
And he’s right – it’s really like eating Fox’s Glacier Mints.
So you really DON’T notice.
Until it’s too late, that is.
Looked it up on the Interweb the other day
It says “Enjoy with water or bitter lemon”
I enjoyed it without.
Quite often, in fact…
>Wow. I had no idea it was related to Sami. That might make it remotely useful – I knew about the Hungarian connection, but as far as I’ve read Hungarians and Finns can’t understand each other. And Finns have to take Swedish as their second language, which means by the time they get around to French or English whatever, they may very well be on their 3rd language family. The few Finns I have met spoke English really well. Impressive and depressing.We’re due for a trip their to visit family friends – thanks for tip.