August 1, 2014
…which means “God’s Peace or Hello… We are here in Suomi.
By the way readers, did you know that Finland has the largest fundamentalist Christian movement in Europe? Laestadianism. It is awesome that the welfare state and a conservative Lutheran movement can actually coexist relatively seamlessly. I guess, we have something to learn about tolerance here in the U.S. But this topic is for another day because I am here for the great Annual International Canine Pilgrimage, the World Dog Show and not for a Purity Ball.
We’ve made it across the pond and start with a rather tight schedule. Driving up to Kuopio in the night, (found a B&B – cabin with Sauna in the country just south of Kuopio) where we will stay for three days while driving back and forth to the SAWO international dog show.
I had a sort of “killing time” conversation with a Swedish passenger (I think she was from there…) from NYC to Amsterdam on the plane. After she found out about the purpose of my trip, we talked about herding dogs and at one point she was kind of of ironically referring to Hungarian herding breeds and breeders as OCD (because of the names of the Hungarian breeds – Puli, Pumi, Mudi…) I did not have an answer for her right on the plain but than, while sitting in Amsterdam, in a magazine I saw a tourism ad with the flags of the Scandinavian countries I wish I could ask her about that (talking about OCD…)
My rental car is rather small (you have to flush it twice…) however, with a superior gas milage – comparing it to our gas-guzzlers back in the states. I need compromise my comfort in order to save money on gas that is rather expensive over here. All those gas taxes and fees must support national education, the Finnish students who are way ahead of their American counterparts in math and science. But that is OK because once they finish their education (or Finnish their education) in Finland, we just give them working visas and move them to the U.S. to strengthen our economy. We just love a superior highly educated work force in the US. Thank you Finland so I guess, we are even after all.
This is it for today and now, we are off up north, to the woods. Hope to see you all in Kuopio tomorrow.