Published: 10 Dec 2010 at 13:09
It’s been cold and snowy in Britain recently (although today and during the weekend, we’re going to have about +5°C, so nice and relatively warm), of course, being from Sweden, I’ve had a lot of “but of course, you’re used to much worse!” comments. Which is true. -17°C certainly won’t break any cold records even in the part where I’m from (which is around Gothenburg on the west coast, so definitely not “oop North”).
However, Sweden has a neighbour in the east, where it does get very cold in winter. Because if you think even -20°C is cold, think again. The Finns are decidedly unfazed, because they’re well hard, innit. No really, they are. Which made me think of a funny list I read ages ago, which I managed to track down and then translated:
15°C – It does not get hotter than this in Finland, so we begin here; the Spaniards put on caps, winter jackets and gloves. The Finns sunbathe.
10°C – French try in vain to start the central heating in their houses. The Finns plant flowers in their gardens.
5°C – Italian cars will not start. The Finns are cruising in their convertibles.
0°C – Distilled water freezes. The water in Vantaa River gets a bit thicker.
-5°C – People in California almost freeze to death. The Finns grill the final sausage before winter.
-10°C – Brits start up the heating in their homes. The Finns put a sweater on.
-20°C – Aussies flee from Mallorca. Finnish Midsummer celebrations stop, autumn has arrived.
-30°C – People in Greece die from the cold and disappear from the face of the earth. The Finns start drying their laundry indoors.
-40°C – Paris cracks and crumbles in the cold. The Finns queue at the hot dog stand.
-50°C – Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole. The Finnish Army postpone their winter survival training until it gets properly cold.
-60°C – Korvatunturi freezes. The Finns rent a movie and stay indoors.
-70°C – The fake Santa moves south. The Finns get frustrated because you can’t store Kossu (Koskenkorva) outdoors. The Finnish Army goes out on winter survival training.
-183°C – Microbes in food do not survive. The Finnish cows complain that the farmers’ hands are cold.
-273°C – ALL atom-based movement stops. The Finns start saying “Perkele, it’s cold out there today.”
-300°C – Hell freezes over. Finland wins the Eurovision Song Contest.
Well, actually, with regards to the final point, Finland actually won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 (much to everyone’s shock surprise), and as far as I’m aware, hell hadn’t even frozen over …