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I got this fun CD in Helsinki on the recommendation of Mari and Jyrki. It’s a kind of trip-hoppy kids’ album sung, er, rapped by two actual little kids. Supposedly it’s about the environment, but since I unfortunately know nothing of these Finno-Ugric languages, it could be about anything. It sounds super cool though. Check out the website, on which you can even hear the music, which I kinda wish I had known before I dropped 22 euros on a CD (did I mention that Finland is expensive? Darn those intellectual property rights, which they don’t have in Russia. I got Moby’s new double album for 150 rubles, about 5 bucks. But that’s another story.)

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Helsinki was lovely. It was my fourth visit there and still I did a bunch of new things: Finnish Design Museum, Arabia Porcelain Factory Museum, Seurasaari Island, and the zoo. But mostly I just enjoyed a brief foray into western-Europeanness. Drip coffee and big cookies in cafes. People being polite. No one pushing and shoving. Shopkeepers who don’t scare you off with their glares.

And! I got to see Mari and Jyrki and Tapio the Superbaby. So nice.

I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to put up with Russians sneering at Scandinavia and saying that it’s boring. Dear Kostia bears the brunt of my complaining, but on the whole I am very diplomatic and try to say nice things when Russians ask me my impressions of Russia. After all, I am here by choice. But this dissing on Scandinavia, which has managed to make a near-utopia out of the same kind of climate and resources Russia has made a disaster of, well, I’m not going to stand for it any more. So there. You’ve been warned, Russia.

So my cold is pretty much gone, but I’m left with this really annoying cough. Kostia got me some cough syrup which tastes like oregano, but the only thing that really seems to keep the cough at bay is beer, nursed slowly. Is it bad to use beer as medicine?

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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