Thursday, 27 September 2012

Breaking Wind Lappish Style

A few years ago, while on a summer holiday in Lapland, I went on a one-day guided cycle tour in the countryside around the small "town" of Inari.

At lunchtime, we stopped at a small cafe in the town centre. To my surprise, we left the expensive mountain bikes outside the cafe, unlocked. Our guide, Ate, explained that no one locked anything in Lapland as theft was very rare. He then proceeded to tell us a hilarious story about the pitfalls leaving vehicles unlocked.

A Lappish friend of Ate's was out shopping in the local supermarket one morning. Unfortunately for him, that day he was suffering from a bit of a stomach upset, and was particularly flatulent. As he stood in the supermarket, he suddenly realised that he would soon need to break wind BIG TIME. Out of concern for his fellow shoppers, he decided to rush out of the supermarket and return to his car.

As he raced towards his vehicle, the situation was becoming pressing... Luckily, his car was unlocked, as is the custom in Lapland, so he was able to get into it rapidly. He just about managed to get into the driver's seat in time to produce the loudest and smelliest of emissions. He sat back briefly, pleased to have avoided an awkward social situation in the supermarket.

That's when he noticed that the car he was sitting in was not actually his. In his rush to reach the sanctuary of his vehicle, he had actually got into another equally-unlocked car! He turned around to confirm that the car indeed wasn't his, and saw to his horror that a couple of people were sitting quietly in the back seat, looking somewhat shocked. These people were most probably tourists who had been waiting for their guide to return from the supermarket when a strange man got into their car and broke wind raucously and noxiously!

What could Ate's friend say or do?

He chose the Finnish option of saying nothing, and he exited the vehicle slowly, leaving the poor tourists to wonder about the strange customs of people of Lapland!


  1. I literally laughed out loud! Great story!!


    And one of the bad sides of leaving bikes unlocked is that drunkards may "borrow" your bike. Over here there's been a few bike thefts, unfortunately...but yeah, overall it's a much safer place than my hometown (for example). So I always lock my bike wherever I go ('coz I don't drive).

  3. Hilarious. I'd also like to read the blog post that begins, "My friends were in Lapland one time, and..." just to get the other perspective on the matter. ;)

  4. Ha! That is hilarious!

    Just found your blog today! I have a love for Finland, and had the pleasure to visit earlier this year, in April (and it snowed one meter on us...). Near Helsinki my very distant relatives live, and it was awesome to meet them. I love the Finnish!

    I am subscribed to your blog now, and look forward to your posts!

    1. Well thanks Adrienne. I am not finding as much time to write these days as I used to, but I will try to post more regularly than I have of late.

  5. I don't know how I got to this post, but... OMG. You left me with no words xD. Just. Can't. Stop. Laughing.