[Disclaimer: don’t take me too seriously.]
I came back to Finland, after being elsewhere in Scandinavia for a month, and noticed how incredibly Finnish everyone looked (well ok duh, it’s Finland – they’re supposed to look Finnish). It wasn’t anything I can exactly explain – expression? hairstyle? behavior? – and I must have been so used to it before that I never really noticed.
Then in Helsinki central station I saw a man that looked really French. More French than the French. I honestly had to look twice to make sure I wasn’t making it up – it was like a caricature. Tall. Snobby expression, nose in the air, stringy, greasy gray hair that came down to his jaw. Old and shapeless brown hat squished down over his eyes, a hooked nose which was large but shapely. Unbuttoned khaki trenchcoat, worn over a suit, and a scuffed briefcase in his hand. At the time I saw him he was staring up at the train timetable and looking lost.
Then we had this English family with us tonight. And guess what I’m going to say? Yes: they looked English. (Not the man – aha! an exception have we here, I thought gleefully. Until I found out he was originally from Zimbabwe.)
The wife and two children, however… Both the boy and the girl had very dark brown hair, light skin and freckles. They were polite and timid almost to the point that you were afraid that making a fast movement or speaking loudly would cause them to back away in shock or burst into tears. The mother was very tall and thin, with gray hair done in a spectacular manner. It seemed she combed her hair up from all the sides and then gathered the ends together and clipped it smack onto the top of her head, so the rest was left to sort of poof down from the knot on the top. (Plus, she sings like a sheep. Honestly. Imagine a sheep singing, except a bit higher pitched. And please don’t take any of this as I don’t like them – I really do! I just also find them incredibly amusing…) To top all that off, they say things like ”Oh, rah-thah” instead of talking normally.
Really, why can’t everyone just be like me? I am normal. No accent, no funny habits, nothing. Just normal. Let that be a lesson to you all. 😛