October 7, 2011

Thanks for reminding me I still live in Finland

So, happy Friday!

But not happy Frackin' Friday.

I can almost hear your collective sighs of disappointment.

(for your noobs, here is what Frackin' Friday used to be all about...)

You see, I have turned into one of those Americans. Those semi-fabled, snooty, 'I don't speak your language so you better learn English quick' kinda gals. And I hate it.

Probably doesn't help that I wear this shirt everyday...

No, I don't. And DON'T EVEN get me started on the re-tards that say this biznaz.
But dang it, Finnish is hard. And without some dirt cheap community center program available here to teach me Finnish (Volkshochschule, best thing ever in Germany!), I am S.O.L. So, I study some online. I have an audio learning tool for the basics that I listen to when I run. And for some reason, all the Finns at the gym think I am weird for saying 'Basic Expressions', 'Ordering off the Menu' and 'Making Friends' while on the treadmill. No really, I say repeat the sentences out loud.

Kaamea ilma!

Because I have a feeling I will need to know how to say "What awful weather" in Finnish.

Anyways, when I start feeling pretty confident in a phrase, and I go to the store/restaurant to use it, I am answered in English 99.9% of the time. Shit, you guys, I am trying to learn your language, play along!

And when you ask someone "Sorry, but do you speak English?", they either answer "Yes, of course." Or "A little."

But no, they don't say "A little" like they only know a little. It is more on the lines of "Good day, ma'am. And what a fine day it is. My English is somewhat insufficient these days. I am completely embarrassed. But if you could be a little patient with my grammar and syntax, it would be much appreciated".

Not even close to "A little".

Are you feeling sorry for me yet?


Sooooo, because I don't know Finnish and, sadly, don't know how much I am going to really learn, other than the basics, I have to start a new feature here. Something to replace Frackin' Fridays for the time being.

Once a week I am going to find something to remind myself that I am, in fact, living my life in a foreign country.

Let's call it: Things That Remind Me I Am Still in a Foreign Country. That's a working title.

You might be thinking, Ok Texa, seriously? You have to be reminded you are in Finland? Well, some of the times, yes! This is our life here. This is our day-to-day. And it starts to just feel normal after a while.

So, what kind of things am I talking about?

Well, it could be that 90 year old lady rocking the leopard tights. The funny description on a menu (we all know about that one now). Or even things that I find around the house.

Like this.

Things That Remind Me I Am Still in a Foreign Country: Number One

The bidet in my, and in EVERY, bathroom in this country.

It is that baby there, just hanging over the toilet. We don't use it, and we don't usually leave it there. Because it would just hang out there with all it's grossness OVER OUR TOOTHBRUSHES! Gag gag gag. Seriously, though, I don't even like touching it. It creeps me out.

Oh, fine westerners who might be clueless on how to use it, I of course have a picture showing how to correctly use a Finnish bidet.

But, because of the ridiculousness of the picture, it's seriously just a pube short of NSFW, I will link it out. But you really, really have to check this picture out.

So we usually don't even touch it and just leave it it's holder that is in the shower. Because the shower is right there as well.

See that drain, that's our shower. No elbow room in this joint. Wait, no doors or shower basin in this joint either. That is somewhat typically Europe for ya. We make due, though. But that should totally count as number two of things that remind me I am still in Europe. Small showers.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go remove the bidet so it doesn't drip on my toothbrush (try to not physically gag while reading that sentence, I dare ya) and then I'm off to soak my hands in bleach for the remainder of the day.


Have a great start to the weekend, you non-bum washers, you.
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  1. ewwwww you have one of those things!? and it hangs over toothbrushes!? LOL :)

    we dont have those in norway and the bathrooms (well mine at least) is actually large here. i guess while finland has the nice people and norway doesnt, we had to have some advantage over this way :)

    have a fabulous weekend girl!

  2. haha..the hubs had the same thing in his Finnish apartment too!! Its so strange?! I mean normally if its a bidé its a separete "toilet" beside the actual toilet!But maybe this is the cheap version..lol
    We dont have the bidé tradition in Sweden either and Im actually glad for that!

  3. Thanks for sharing that picture. Ohh my. The showers here are weird too (but now as weird as yours) and we don't have bidets. Thank goodness!

  4. I was eating lunch while reading this post. I had to put my soup down when I clicked that picture link for fear of vomiting in my delicious mushroom soup.

  5. Those are the same kind of "bidet" they have all over asia. And in Asia you don't get TP. So you can imagine my surprise the first time....

    I met a Danish couple when traveling around South America and they spoke better English than I do. I mean, they had the slang down and everything. They even spoke it with a PERFECT California accent. Those are my peeps right there!

  6. Eeek- that is so gross! I hate just the idea of bidets, yuck.

  7. You seriously crack me up!!! I assume after all of that salted black licorice (known to have laxative effects)...that a bidet would become necessary!

    Ok, I am off to bleach my own toothbrush...even though it is here in Canada.


  8. I have this same problem with my German. Except I'm sure it's way more difficult in Scandinavia where literally everyone speaks English. I'd say Germans would be on the same page but them and their dang dubbed TV shows. When I use any German, everyone always responds in English. But I can't say that I mind, because I probably could not carry the conversation any further in German. I'm pathetic. I think my mind was a) not set for language learning. Or b) I'm just one of those asshole Americans. I'll blame it on choice A for now.

  9. I, too, dutifully learned some German at the VHS only to be answered in English. I came up with a "Field Guide to English Speakers" in Germany.


  10. OMG, I clicked on the link at WORK and now I have to have a "coffee spill accident" with my hard drive. Hilarious though. I'm sure a stick figure drawing would have been more than enough.

    Today would be a good day to comment on my blog. I am momentarily famous so catch the buzz wave while you can ;-)

  11. You are most certainly not in the US anymore, Dorothy :) That photo was very educational. No need to understand the text. Thanks for keeping it real, Texa.

  12. Hilarious, like I die laughing at your blog!

  13. I spent months learning some French for our trip back in 2005, and everywhere I went, people started talking to me in English. Except for some lost American tourists who asked me, in French, if I spoke English. That was hysterical. And it happened twice!!!

    Also, American's don't speak English. If we did, we would spell it "humour" and such, which, I think, we should do anyway.

  14. Oh my GOD--was that your elbow, no it's a boob! So much for modesty! Please tell me you don't have a window in that mini tile bit o' non heaven. You know you're in a foreign country when....Tis not a happy showering friday lady...not even for your lady bits and the darkside of the moon! I totally had to, hilarity at its finest.

  15. OMG I'm so speechless. *cringe and wretch* LOL

    At least you have a shower there. If you go to the Philippines, there's a giant bucket (that would fit a man in) of water and a small pail (like half a gallon size) for you to use to wash yourself with. Oh and you have to boil water in order to make your wash comfy. LOL

    A Ladybug's Life


  16. @Megan - like why did they manufacture it to be there?!?! That is true. I will take my side of the trade off :)
    @Mrs K - I don't know why it is only Finland, but it seems to be. Strange, huh? But maybe they think we are strange for not rinsing after going, lol
    @Lovely Light - Haha, where are you?? Have to check ya out :)
    @Erin - wise choice, Erin, wise choice, haha. But really, isn't that too funny?!
    @Kyria - REally!?! Well I guess Finland is closer to Asia than a lot of the rest of Europe. And totally know what you mean about the great English speakers. They blow my mind!
    @Lauren - thank you for agreeing, lol
    @Tales - Well glad I could. Hahahaha, oh my gosh, now you are cracking me up, never thought of that. Maybe you just found a genius connection
    @Alex - YES! The dubbed is the worst, so hard to learn with that. That is also why Germans don't have the English accent down as well. But at least no bidets, right?!
    @Blopper - whaaaa??? My instructor, whom I will ever be grateful for, didn't speak a lick of English. Interesting!
    @SFlaGuy - Hahaha, still laughing at this comment. So sorry about the harddrive, but it was well worth it, right?? :) Congrats again!
    @TriGirl - seriously, I guess it is like that at times. Glad you could learn something...if you are a 70s porn star, haha
    @Joshua - no kidding. Frustrating and nice at the same time. And you are right, let's start calling it 'Amuuurican'. That would show those Brits!
    @Morgan - seriously makes shower parties crowded, haha. Glad you get it. No window, that would not be good. I guess bideting it a priority but body washing is not! You crack me up!
    @Brownbugz - Haha, sorry about that. But too funny, right!? YIKES! Ok, I am grateful for my mini shower then. That is insane!

  17. Just got a new hard drive and looked again. What is the Matter with me? I'm going to go home and wash my eyes out with soap.

    Thanks for enjoying my day of fame with me.

  18. Yep. . . gag gag gag gag! I'm still pondering the usefulness of american bidets. So, THAT? Seems like you would have to be one bird shy of a cuckoo nest to find that helpful. Or sanitary. Or convenient. I will now think of that photo every time I meet someone who is FInnish or who has been to Finland. Thank you.

  19. That is TOO crazy. A bathroom that IS the shower. Hmm... Well upside is no need to buy a cute rug for in front of the toilet = lower decorating costs. :)

  20. Hell, I thought that thing was to wash my mouth out after I brushed my teeth-- sort of like a water pic. Worked good though. jdl

  21. First: nice multitasking with language learning/ gym time!
    Second: I can't even imagine trying to learn Finnish. Give yourself some credit!
    Third, and finally: That picture- oh god. Tell me that its from the 70s also? Or is that what Finns look like now in present day? hahaha. Sorry about the creepy bidet :)

  22. @SFlaGuy - you can wash all you want, that imaged is burned in!
    @Mean Girl - Haha, I can just see you being introduced to a Finn and all of this racing through your mind. Lol, you have to ask them about it if you meet one. I'm sure they would love that!
    @Kassi - that is a great way to think about it. We cant have a rug, it would get soaked!
    @Anon - I really want to think you are kidding, really do. But I am so not sure. Laughing here trying not to wake up the small child in the other room ;)
    @Meri - Ah thank you. I try! And thanks again. Haha, that is what we said. At first I was like, so from the 70s. And the hubs was like, or late 90s here, haha. Nah, they are pretty on the ball here!

  23. Oh my word! That bathroom is quite the collection of pipes!! I looked at 2nd image and though eh you have no shower then realised you have a 'wet room'! I've never understood that. Why would people not just put a shower bath thing in? It's like being in a gym shower block lol! Oh and the bidet? I've never seen one look like that. . . Ever!! I think we're in for quite the treat with this feature! Glad you received your package with sweets!! What do you think of the chocolate? Most amazing thing ever isn't it?!

  24. Aah "To Bidet or not to Bidet" That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to bidet or not to bidet and suffer the slings and aarows of outrageous cleanliness. The heart-ache of the cleansed flesh is heir to respect, devoutly to be washed - aye, there's the doubt, that in that thought of cleanliness, FOR GOD AND YOUR COUNTRY'S SAKE, DO NOT PUT THE CRAPPY COILED BIDET NEAR THE FRIGGIN' TOOTHBRUSHES.
    P.S. Chance passes to the HUB :)

  25. ooops, forgot ltl Tex, u should hang that note on your Bathroom Door - ha,ha
    Have a great day - Lilly

  26. EW!!! There's so much wrong with where it hangs...SO MUCH. And there's so much wrong with that sentence I just typed...SO MUCH.

    By the way, that picture...well, let's just say I had to wash my eyes out with bleach after seeing it. HA!

    Great post. I'll miss Frackin' Friday, but I'll be enjoying this series in the meantime I think. :)

  27. You made me google bidet. Oh my! Good luck with the Finnish!

  28. Ah yes, as my new friend in Dubai who also moved here from Texas calls it, "the hiney hose." ;) Fab.

  29. Wow, that is a crazy bathroom! The bidet, toothbrush holder, and showerhead are all too close for comfort :)

  30. @Missy - haha, no kidding, right?? It is weird, I'll have to say that. Wet room, yep perfect way to describe it! Haha, I hope everyone likes it! And yes, amazing!
    @Saucy - Lol! Too funny, far far FAR away from the toothbrushes. Would be perfect for the bathroom door, haha. So grody. I will pass on your well wishes to him!
    @Katie - Like I said, we don't usually keep it hanging there, but thought it was pretty perfect for the picture. Or at least to gross everyone out, lol.
    @Miko's Girl - Haha, nice! The more you know, right?!
    @Shannon - hiney hose!! Love it Shannon, what a perfect name.
    @Angela - just a bunch of spraying everywhere, right?! Ewww, grossed myself out just typing that...

  31. The houses in Morocco that have sit down toilets also have bidets. We use ours to wash the sand off our feet after we get back from the beach. It's very convenient....

  32. Just to validate you a bit...

    When I was first struggling with Danish, I cannot tell you how many people said to me, "Just be glad you did not marry a Finnish man!" :-)

    Good luck!


Whoomp, there it is!