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!