Monday, April 25, 2016

Maybe Terri Mapes, And Others Like Her, Are Just Miserable People

I recently stumbled upon a serious of articles on About.com's Go Scandinavia serious written by a woman called Terri Mapes, who seems to really, really, really hate Finland.  Ignoring the whole Finland not being in Scandinavia thing, I'd like to throw in a few comments of my own.

Ms. Mape's "writing(read: bitching) is just another example of a long line of bloggers and columnists who've tried to "shatter", if you will, the idea that Finland is as good as a place to live as statistics, studies, and memes claim it to be. There seems to be an almost obsession from some of my fellow Americans to prove that a country couldn't possibly be as peaceful, as safe, as successful, as welcoming, as clean, as educated, and as pleasant to live in as Finland.

Except for the fact that, you know...it is.

Look, I've been here for nearly five years now. In that time, I've been homeless. I've needed help from the state. I've had negative and frustrating bureaucratic experiences. I have been treated differently because I wasn't Finnish. I have seen violence. I have seen the darkest parts of Finnish society.

and I still wouldn't live anywhere else in the world. Because the darkest parts of Finnish society are much brighter than almost anywhere else in the world. There is nowhere in the United States where I would feel as safe and as comfortable as I do here.

Sure, sometimes things are expensive. Short winter days can be emotionally difficult.  Alcoholism and alcohol-related violence are national issues. But, is it nearly as bad as a woman who's spent all of five minutes here, most of that time in Helsinki, wants to make it out to be?

Absolutely not.

I wouldn't be so comfortable, so happy, and so dead-set on keeping myself and my daughter here if I thought there was anywhere else in the world where I'd have a better life. I just wouldn't.
And the idea that About.com would have a travel "expert" that has no concept of what daily life is actually like in a country writing articles about how awful that country is is, well, stupid - for lack of a better adjective.

Maybe the concept of revealing the "truth" of life in the Nordic countries gets clicks and ad revenue for these various bloggers and columnists, but said bloggers and columnists need to be people who've lived here long enough and who have experienced the various levels of life in these places before they can make such broad statements. Because often times the mild inconveniences of certain aspects of Finland's daily life are so heavily exaggerated that it's difficult for me to read without laughing.

Visit Finland. Get out of Helsinki and come to Pori. Stay here for a few weeks. I promise you'll change your tune.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely AGREE with your ideas here, thank you for sharing!