Saturday, 18 August 2007

A no gain situation

Nokia is the world’s 5th most valuable brand. It is trademarked and almost everybody in the world probably knows that Nokia is a manufacturer of mobile phones, but how many know that the company is Finnish and that t is the name of a city?

Nokia is a little city right next to Finland’s second biggest city, Tampere in south-western Finland, and the company Nokia began once by manufacturing Wellington boots and car tyres. The city centre of Nokia still today smells of rubber from the still running tyre factory and of course of the fumes from the paper mill. Traditionally the reason for situation of old industries has been waterpower in the Nordic countries and in Nokia it was the same, the rapids supplied for the power and later on for the electricity for the whole city.

Beggars in the streets have not been as common a sight here in Finland as in other parts of Europe until in recent years.

Of course every part of town has their own originals and the usual street musicians play their music in their accustomed places, some more foreign street musicians occupy their spots during the summer and they get their fare share of pennies but to get back to these beggars again.

The reason why the street begging never will be a success here in Finland is quite straight forward, those foreigners, as they are never Finnish these beggars, they obviously are outlandish according to their apparent way to dress, probably from somewhere from eastern Europe I would guess. According to most Finns I have spoken to the Finns think that the beggars only came, they had to have money to get here, so they must have the means to get out of here.

Today when walking down town for the weekend’s groceries as we normally do, dear husband of mine and me, there was this woman who was standing on her knees praying like for her absolution for her sins in a Catholic Church, begging for money in the street. Quite theatrical and a new way to do it I have not previously seen in this country before.

There are the ordinary winos begging for money for food of course, the kind that gets mad at you when you offer to buy them food as they really wanted the money to get some more booze to pour down their throats but that’s about it.

Anyway, there are some things that work in some countries, and just don’t work in other countries and as a fact it is not always about getting any money the begging is done for, just out of a habit sometimes. I happened to know a pair of women that have been living in a cardboardbox in the same streetcorner for twenty years now, and they refuse to budge. They have been replaced by the police for countless times but they always turn up a in the same street corner where they probably will stay until they die, even the police nowadays has resigned and the only trouble they get is when some fresh policemen want to make their mark on the territory. And for the record, for them it a way of living in the street, they do not even want anything else. They have been there to stay for two decades already, everybody knows they are there, and they will stay. And they get no money form the passers-by as they know they have always been there.

It is a no gain situation.

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