Saturday, 22 September 2007

Waterproof wrappings

Going for a drive out of town on a Saturday can sometimes be the strangest experience and as this Saturday was announced to be a car free day, which was not advertised especially well before hand. Many big cities had reduced their bus fare prices in order to get people using the buses instead of taking the car into town shopping, but nothing was anywhere told about the turn out of this campaign afterwards.

So our little planned trip out to the countryside became even stranger than it would have been on a normal planned Saturday drive in the countryside.

Anyway, getting out of a big city is always strange as the way people’s traffic behaviour gradually changes and every different town has its’ own traffic culture. The same rules and laws still apply in theory but not always in real life drivers act differently depending on if they are in the countryside or in a town and especially the parking is different, somehow more casual if not really peasant, sorry pleasant.

To really give you the picture of how our minds work, we act in different ways depending on if we are on foot as pedestrians crossing the street, cycling on bike or driving in our new car, it depends on your point of view whether you take the same chance crossing the street on foot or by car when the red lights are on. As long as nobody sees you, you are safe and sound; you have not broken any rules and can’t be fined for doing something nobody was there to see.

So we visited this big shopping centre in a small town with the usual chain shops and a big supermarket. All the cars were parked in rows very far from each other and you could walk in between the fronts of the car hoods, which never would have come in question in a big town as the space is limited and you have to make the best of the parking space you get. There also is no politeness here as to who is next in line to park the car in the next free space as in bigger towns and parking outside of the marked car parks also prevails, parking right next to it right in front of the entrance blocking the pathway outside the marked parking area.

Also the queuing culture in shops and supermarkets is different in the small country town compared to the bigger cities, no queuing culture there, just walking straight in front of people in line jumping the queue at the cashiers in the supermarket.

Surprisingly many small municipalities have bothered to apply to become towns here in Finland even though they have no real town centres, just houses cluttered together in between the pastures of the farmlands. No real harm there but than name town just seems a bit off here taken in consideration.

The absolute highlight of the weekend must have been the big advertisement for waterproof tea-bags that we saw passing by in our car. At least these teabags are bound to preserve the aroma and flavour of the tea in the teabags, and as they are waterproof none of it gets into the hot water the teabags are to be soaked in. So what's the use of the waterproof bags? I have no idea, except maybe you can re-use of the unused teabags?

Then there are the dishwasher tablets with a soluble plastic wrapping, that now has been introduced on the market. What is the use of the plastic wrapping as it is soluble in water? What do they protect the dishwasher tablets of, getting wet as you do not need to remove the wrapping when loading them into the dishwasher?!?

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