Shrek ja ikuinen onni
Trip Start Dec 10, 2012
20Trip End Jan 12, 2012
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I'm not sure which Shrek movie we're currently watching but which ever it is (it's in Finnish) Daniel is surely relating to it. It's the Shrek movie where he's effectively being the family 'donkey', carrying everyone's bags and looking after everyone's needs, with scarce time for himself
Now we're ready to leave for Warsaw and I think Alexandra and Saskia are very much looking forward to seeing Babcia and Dziadek. (Grandma and Grandpa). Daniel is looking forward to peace and quiet, which will definitely not happen in Warsaw. It will no doubt be filled with expectation, history, learning, drama (the Raczkowski's are very passionate, dramatic, people) and hopefully a sense of place, of roots. I think he feels the weight of expectations or familial obligation, so this is part of the trip is his 'fate'.
Alexandra is keen to get out of ski gear into fashionable boots. Saskia is keen just to get into the pool at the Intercontinental, our next hotel stop. The weather in Warsaw is about -12, which is an improvement on the Rovaniemi -22 we experienced at breakfast this morning. I have told the girls that this is the coldest they are likely to experience
The Arctic, or Northern Europe, is a very seriously cold part of the world. Daniel is completely happy here (he likes extremes) but I admit it is a little too extreme for my liking. It's beautiful yes, but you are completely at its mercy. Having sick children brings that very clearly into perspective.
We have all managed to eat and drink more than our entrance fee to our wonderful lounge, which has enabled the girls to rest and recover. This sort of thing would not work in Australia, where the 'all you can drink' bar would no doubt prove a cultural challenge. We've paid about $100 for 3 of us (Saskia was free) but I think Daniel and I have got enough money's worth for everyone.
So, as we get ready to leave Finland, I'd like to summarise what we've learnt:
There are poor in Finland but its very relative. A poor Finnish person would be very home in middle class Australia.
The Finns are wary of outsiders, but if you're a blond family you'll pass without suspicion.
Santa has many guises
Finnish people are so much quieter than Westerners
Finnish people working in tourism are exemplary
It's bloody cold here
It's a very beautiful country, the north particularly dependent on tourism.
Finnish culture is very beautiful.
Prices are comparable to Australia.
The Finnish aren't as anal as Australian. If an accident happens in the snow, it happens.
So, signing off, next stop Warsaw.
Alexandra just wants to say:
I had a great time.