Vegemitevix wrote a great post yesterday about the program Tribal Wives, where a woman from suburban UK is taken and dropped into an indigenous tribal society. Vix, an expat from New Zealand now living in a rural Hampshire town, wrote her own tongue in cheek rules for women about moving to her little green part of the world.
It got me thinking, if a woman was transported from her home in suburbia, what rules would she need to know about to fit in here in rural Finland?
Tribal Wives In Rural Finland.
1. Leave your make-up at home. A touch of powder and a swipe of mascara is considered pretty made up here. If you put on foundation, false eye lashes and lipstick people would flock around you in the street staring and pointing at the funny painted lady.
2. Clothes are practical garments for keeping the body warm. If something is less then 20 years old it is practically new.
3. Never throw anything away. Any old clothes, broken furniture, or anything that isn’t actually the sort of garbage that’s going to fester, should be kept, just in case. It’s okay to devote an entire room to this.
4. Lose your inhibitions about others seeing you naked and do not, whatever you do, wear a bathing suit in the sauna. For one, urgh, why would you want to wear clothes to sweat in? Ick. 2. You’ll look like an idiot. 3. You’ll feel like an idiot sitting in your clothes amongst all those naked people.
5. That weird practice you have in the rest of the world about locking your house even when you are inside it, don’t do that. People wont be able to get in. You start locking your door and people are going to think you are up to something weird that you don’t want others to see.
6. Expect people to just wander into your house without knocking and family and friends to turn up for a weeks stay completely unannounced. You must have a constant supply of clean sheets and a ready spare room at all times just in case.
7. Food is important. It is vitally important to have a banquet worth of food available to potential visitors at any time of day. If anybody steps so much as a foot inside your home you must leap on them and assail them with offers of coffee, 5 kinds of cake, homemade biscuits and scones.
8. All visits to someones house must include a hot drink and snack. Leaving without eating and drinking something or refusing the food and drink will make you look like an ungrateful arse. If going for a meal or to stay, you must take a bag of coffee and some biscuits/chocolate for the hostess.
9. Men work, women stay home and look after the children and house. Of course looking after the house and kids also involves looking after the farm and animals, collecting firewood, picking berries and mushrooms, growing and harvesting vegetables, baking a constant supply of food, shovelling snow, entertaining the unexpected guests and not being surprised when people turn up to eat or stay for a week without any prior notice. If a woman must insist on working she must fit all if this around that.
10. Get used to hearing the sounds of your boyfriends/husbands voice on the phone. No, not whilst talking to you, silly, whilst sat next to you talking to someone else. Finnish men have a weird addiction to their mobiles and it seems to be considered normal for them to talk on them all day. I once went on a date with a guy, before I met my fella, who spent 15 minutes sat opposite me in the bar talking on his phone. It may have been longer, I dunno, I left.
So what rules or advice would you give to someone that was suddenly transported into your world?
I’m going to meme-ify (a new word I just made up) this and ask Dara, from Readily A Parent, Very Bored in Catalunya, Gooner Jamie, and Cate from I’ll think of a title later, to tell us what they would advise.
And of course anyone else that wants to join in too.