zondag 1 juli 2012

Friday 30 06: Helsinki – Järvenpää – Oulu

One day in Finland and allready enough happened to write a book about :-D Right now we’re on the highway to the north to Oulu, where the next concert is, and where Annes parents live. We’re following their ubercool Chevy van to get there, and we just got warned that we have to look out for passing moose further on :-S
Ok lots to tell. Crazy GPSes, supermarkets, drunks falling in ditches, finnish beercans-with-refund-maffia, and oh, John Fogerty too :-) and a lot of extreme friendly Finns!
 I hope you have a comfortable chair. If you’re standing, better sit down ;-)

We woke up nice in time and went outside on the deck (still on the boat remember) but it was very windy and cold, and nothing to see yet. We went to get breakfast in the café, I bought something that I thought was Finnish yoghurt but it was “viili” and, uhm, funny. Very weird texture, but edible, and low calories too so no complaints. When we were near Helsinki, we went outside again to take pictures and it was quite stunning! There was another big ferry in front of us and it was impressive to see it sail between the small islands and disappear in the Helsinki docks. We passed fortresses and small islands with lighthouses on it, and on one island there was a group of tourists enthousiastic waving at us and we waved happily back, and I thought it is funny, complete strangers waving at eachother and being nice, how come we don’t do that in daily life? I mean to give eachother a good feeling, its as easy as waving to eachother.
Then we entered the docks of Helsinki, pretty as ever. We already saw the towers of the domchurch and the Russian church from far and it was a beautifull sight to enter the city like that. Then offcourse we had to run to get back to the cardeck, but we made it.

When we left the ship, we parked to put the GPS on to find the way to Järvenpää, and that’s were the trouble started! The thing knew where we were, and it knew where to go to, but it said “its not possible to navigate” and it showed only main roads, no details. We knew we had to go north, so Robert decided to look at the sun and we started driving.  We were getting closer, but it still didn’t want to tell us how to get there, and after resetting 10x and on and off and everything (and everything 10x) it finally said “drive 38 km and make a U turn”, so we kept driving. We were on a local road, not on the highway. After a while I decided to zoom out to see where it was sending us, and I saw that it wanted to send us to the town of Porvoo, (38kms) and then make a u turn, GO BACK TO HELSINKI, and then take the highway to Järvenpää!!!!!

We went bazurk and turned around, and luckly and more or less by accident, we found the way to the highway, went back to Helsinki, and took the right highway up north. Still the GPS was fooling us, told us to pass the town, drive another 20 km and turn around, it was nuts! It was showing half map/half blur, going on and off, and then all of a sudden it worked! And its still working now! (knock on wood) Maybe it was suffering from jetlag as Finland is one hour ahead of us :-)
Anyway offcourse this was working on our nerves and we were fighting all the way up there you know how this goes, but everything was ok as soon as we entered the town.

We were supposed to meet the others at the parking but because we were that late, everything went a bit wrong, but hey in the end we found eachother! It was so good to see everyone again, it has been so long!! We parked and walked to the festival, but first we needed cash, so we went to a huge supermarket for a ATM. While we were waiting on Osmo, I thought I’d get some food, now we’re here, instead of having to eat festival “food”! (and it was allowed to take picknick boxes in)
So I ran in, to the bread I already saw, and tried to pick something. I saw a nice looking bread and the price said “5,45” what is a weird price for a bread, and I thought “ehh, how much is that in euro??” wanted to start calculating but then I realized it WAS in euro!! It was just very expensive! I picked the cheapest bread I could find, and then wanted to find some hummous spread or something, started running around and I couldn’t understand anything!! Its very hard to find something when you don’t understand anything (Finnish is almost the same as Chinese for us western Europeans, unlike Swedish for example) It was driving me crazy! I just happened to pass the right places and ended up with some chicken for the bread and some salad, ran to the checkout, it was the fastest (and weirdest) trip I ever made to a supermarket :-D

Then we walked to the festival and it was quite a trek. But the weather was nice, and some exercise isn’t bad when you’re in a car all day. We had to walk about 35 or 40 minutes to the Chevy van, and then to the festival. 
"Roof with no house"

Osmo's ever super fantastic old Chevy van!

Funniest and relaxest festival entrance ever: guys with yellow jackets wanted to see our tickets, so I handed them over, he teared down the strip and said “thanks” (or actually “kiitos”) and we were in!  The big trashcans behind them were just to trow the ticket strips in, not for confiscated drinks or food! (like it normally always is on concerts) they just didn’t bother at all what you were taking with you, we could have brought all the professional camera’s in if we wanted (but we don’t have those)
We walked towards the stage and stood at the gate, and before Fogerty started, we were able to move to the centre of the stage and we ended up on a very good spot! That’s one of the things I love about festivals in Scandinavia, its so relaxed about getting in a good spot, even when you arrive late!
Try not to end up like this: one food on the barrier and one foot on the grass=ANNOYING!!
We sat down and had a bit of food and looked at the picknick people who sat down behind us, I still think its funny, they brought lounge chairs and tables and huge coolboxes and everything… just a few feet in front of the stage, not in the back on the lawn or something.
The festival ground wasn’t too big, probably not over 10,000 people.

First band was from Texas called Los Lonely Boys and they played blues, but they were pretty good (yes! I don’t really like blues!) and fun to watch. They did a lot of songs in Spanish as they were latino’s (is that political correct :-) they made a lot of jokes in Spanish and also let us yell them back in Spanish at the end hahaha!! Uno mas! (so yes, the rest of the day everyone was still shouting UNO MAS!!)
Los Lonely Boys from Texas

Next was a singer who’s name I forgot but whew! They played really cool oldfashioned soul, they kept us dancing! The guy had an ENOURMOUS voice and great stage presence, and his band was great too! Robert said he sounded like Wilson Picket or Otis Redding.
Then I really needed a toilet, asked the others to keep my spot (that usually works) and the toilet area (porto potties) was swamped, but I really needed to go so I just stood in line. Got back in time, but almost couldn’t get back in my spot, cos there were several people trying to take it, and the others kept on saying that I went to the toilet so they were happy when I finally got back.

Fogerty’s roadies where building up the stuff and a few bandmembers appeared too and we looked at newguy Randy going “is he the new guy or a new roadie?” hahaha love it, he just looks so everyday! (don’t get me wrong here)

(Hmmm, the GPS wants us to leave the highway for a dirtroad. That’s right, exact what it says, “turn left: dirt road” no, thanks.
And Robert wonders why they don’t put fluo vests on moose because its really dark on the highway now, if one of these things wants to cross the road we’ll never see it :-S )

Anyway. It appeared that after 15 years they finally realized Kenny Aronoff is too loud, and they placed one of these glass screens around him.
John started around 6.30 I think. I made some notes until it started raining :-( but heres just an impression.
He started with Hey Tonight and the third song was Lodi, wooo!! It sounded a bit different (intro and solo) but just as great as ever, and even better when you realize you’ve been there twice :-)

Who’ll stop the rain was fantastic. It wasn’t raining yet, and my mind wondered back 15 years in time, when we were standing in the rain on Roskilde “the crowd has rushed together, trying to keep warm, still the rain keeps falling, falling on my ears” I have been thinking about Roskilde everytime he sings that, and now it has been 15 years this week, and between then and now the best years of my life so far!!
John was in a good mood I think, fooling around a bit (throwing away guitarpics non-stop at one point, just over his shoulder) and smiling a lot. Then he saw us, and during the show he kept on smiling at us and fooling around with us a bit! That was just great. After 15 years, I’m still happy to see John smiling at me. And inside jokes. Oh goodness, if you think about it, inside jokes with John Fogerty WOOO HOOO!!! Fork fork fork PORK!! And he still looks at us when he fucks up lyrics and he knows we notice :-D yes john, don’t look at us, we heard it!
He also read Anne and Alessio’s banner that reads something like “thank you John, we’re almost married!” but I didn’t really get what he said about it.
NewGuy Randy is a slide guitarist/dobro player and he is smokin’! Robert even thinks he’s about as good as Bob Britt, and that’s quite the compliment :-)
He plays a lot of slide guitar (I’m not sure if that’s what its called) and that cool dobro!

The show. Bob Malone played accordion on two songs but the sound wasn’t that good at the front and we didn’t hear it. Also the bass was very loud at the beginning. And some people went to the back, where the sound was perfect. Then there was the Bob Malone happening, not only is he a great addition to this band and a superfriendly guy, but he is a spectacle on his own to watch!
At one point it started raining again, and it was enough to put my raincoat on (thank you marja liisa) not easy when you’re packed together. Not much later Robert tapped on my shoulder and pointed to the side; there was a mass exodus of leaving people! BOOOOO!!
BOO to you!! You’re not made of sugar! Its just a bit of water!
It really wasn’t a heavy rainshower! Offcourse Bospop 2010, Holland, came to mind, when the sky cracked open during Johns show and water came down like a solid mass of water, and everyone stayed!!
I’m pretty sure John noticed the leaving people too (he was looking in that direction all the time) and I felt really bad for him. Just a small rainshower and people gave up! (and they had umbrellas and raincoats!)

(Hmm Alessio is talking to the screenwipers now and he’s calling them “friend” ok :-) we’re discussing the new band and the show and we both think that Garden Party sounds way better live than on the cd.)

After the show we met up with a lot of old and new friends, its impossible to say who we talked with but it was great to see everyone!! 

Aarno was at least one of them :-)

I went to buy a nice Finland top and when I came back I noticed little kids picking up trash, but then Anne and Alessio appeared with a big bag of cans; turned out all these empty cans had refund! 

I decided to help them a bit and started picking up and then a guy came to me saying I had to stop and I was not allowed to pick up refund cans. Yeah right! I said I wasn’t stupid and kept on going but he started to make a fight with us and I walked away, left him with the others and he talked to Anne and Alessio, saying he had a permit and we didn’t and they said show the permit and that’s stupid anyway, you cant stop us. Then he came to me again and he was very violent, I can imagine he doesn’t like that others are picking up refund cans too,  but it’s a free world and I really didn’t understand what he was trying to say and he was very violent so I didn’t wanna talk to him anyway. Then he shouted he was going to call security and I said “go ahead I’ll wait here!” and he did, but the security’s told him to relax so I saw that as a sign that he was talking bullshit. I kept on going ignoring him but he was very annoying, and then I told Robert what was going on, I hoped that it would scare the guy away if he saw that we were with a big group, but at a sudden moment I saw Robert coming from the corner of my eye jumping in front of the guy going “en nu is het genoeg geweest!” in dutch :-D meaning “its enough now!” apparently the guy was about to attack me. That was the moment to stop, it wasn’t worth a fight, no matter who was right or wrong, someone just have to use his brains.

We walked back to the car, and a new chapter of fun began. Everyone was DRUNK, (except us) and everyone was falling in ditches and from their bike. We had to wait in the Chevyvan to get out of the parkinglot, (big chaos) and we just watched all the drunks falling like trees, it was like some kind of performance! 
Wondering in the Van if we would ever get out...
You just had to keep your eye on some funny walking person, and you could bet on it, within a minute they would go down. The festival people where probably there to keep the flow going, but they ended up catching falling people. 

We saw a girl fall in a ditch, trying to get up and fall completely on her back with her feet in the air. Her drunk friends tried to get her up. We watched it all and just laughed our butts off. I mean if you’re so stupid to drink so much (at a concert!) you keep falling in ditches, sorry you deserve to be laughed at! Some people were carrying picknick stuff on little carts and most of them kept losing coolerboxes and foldingchairs too. One guy didn’t notice a barrier and everything he had with him landed on the wet street upside down. I felt a bit sorry for them, but not for the ditch-fallers!
Some cars tried to sneak in front of us and we were all yelling at them. At one time I yelled “PERKELE!!” what is quite a bad cursingword. Annes mom turned around, and I expected “don’t curse like that” but she said “you have to prenounce the RRRR better, its perrrkele!” hahahaha!!! I gave it a few tries and now I can say it perfectly ;-)
We now slowly moved and passed a guy sitting in his car playing guitar. I thought that was nice and took a picture of him, and he got up and started talking to us, totally drunk, he opened the front door and we wanted to move again and warned him several times and he didn’t listen, and Osmo started driving and I’m not sure what happened but I think we hit him somehow. But hey we warned him! 

We’re probably bad people but we had to laugh so much we were crying :-D And he wasn’t hurt or anything.
Along the way were people trying to get a ride, cos all the people that had to go in the busses just didn’t work, it was really a big mess. Some people looked begging at our big van waving with 20 euro bills, but we were really full, sitting with 4 on the backseat (and Robert had an armrest stuck in his butt :-D Someone else wanted a ride I think and he was very drunk and every time we had to stop he came back. He opened the door in the front and then the door locked or something (its an old van, it has a bit of a mind of its own) and Osmo had to get out to fix it, while the line was finally moving! 
NO! And go away! What part of "ej!!" you dont understand??
Then we reached the street, and there were festival people “organising” trying to stop the pedestrians to let cars cross the street one by one, but everyone was so drunk they just kept on walking and jumping in front of the car. I think Osmo did a good job not hitting anyone!
Still trying to get back on the main road, we had to let several ambulances through, who didn’t have space, it was really a mess, and on the main road, drunk cyclists were zigzagging in front of us, one hit a tree and felt down, helped up on his feet again by friendly bypassers. Then I saw two people jumping from their bikes (they were not drunk) and going to a guy that was almost facedown in the mud, checking to see if he was allright. Hats off to all the sober people caring for the drunks!
Finally we were back at our car, and leaving town went surprisingly well.

We had to leave for Oulu straight away, driving all night, and that’s what we’re doing right now. Its 02.45 and almost daylight! It didn’t even get  really dark, though it is very cloudy.

I still wonder what the purpose of these paper plates is!

Lovely salty snack

Marja Liisa and Osmo
We stopped at a truckstop for some food (and a souvenir with moose on it) and we were getting a bit corny and talking about Finnish language. We always put an “i” behind every word and say that’s Finnish. Robert had notice flowers in Sweden that are called “lupinen” at home, and he saw them in Finland too and he said “they have lupinen here too!” and I joked “no its called Lupini here” but it really is :-D Also “mayonnaise dip” is something like “dippi mayoneesi” and that sounds like something that we would make up :-) Hey Finns, we’re not making fun of you, we just think its funny!
Robert just thought he saw a moose but it was a seagull omg its really time we can get some sleep!!
Its light enough now to see all the beautifull small and big lakes we pass. They just keep on coming. Finland is famous for the lakes, I think they call it the land of 1000 lakes?
Driving in the Finnish summerNIGHTS :-)

Alessio had the honor to drive Osmo's Chevy van!

What else can I share here. Oh yeah, I was attacked by bedbugs or something else on the boat, whatever it was it had a good dutch meal!

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