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Monday, 26 July 2010

Roadtrip to Finland

So, this weekend, I explored the lakes of Finland, with my intrepid Viking companion, who for reasons best known to herself brought a childrens summer tent for us to sleep in. We decided that the tour should be totally random, with coin tosses being made for the logic of most decisions, a ploy I recommend if your roadtripping in a quite boring place with good company. First stop was Porvoo, a pretty little town on the sea, with a little wooden old town, churches, lots of quaint shops and restaurants,  and for some reason, no seafront. It felt more like Sweden than Finland but that could have been the Swedish tourists. I’d recommend wandering about the old town though, then driving up to the island on the river estuary and you can sit down and annoy the locals by having a picnic at the private jetty (like we did)

A toss of a coin brought us north, to some random persons summer house in the middle of nowhere, where we camped at the lake, and took a swim and wash etc. I understood that you can pretty much camp anywhere, and since the owner wasn’t there we thought it was all good, until the neighbour saw our fire and chucked us off. Anyway, in hindsight, the solution here is to tell him in loud English that you don’t understand what he’s saying (even if you do) and keep doing whatever you’re doing until he goes away (Finns are a pretty meek bunch really) But don’t take the piss - don’t use his sauna or sleep in his living room unless he invites you, unless of course you are a refugee/asylum seeker/gypsy then you can do anything you want in Nordic countries, just like in UK.

Anyway, bizzarely we came up on a deserted beach on another lake and got the childrens tent up just when the rain started. We were woke when it was light by some fishermen (and also the fact that the tent was soaked and we were frozen) and got up assuming it was normal time, when in fact it was 5am – these damn Nordic summers, you can’t tell if its night or day, especially if you drank a bottle of Finnish Liquorice Liquor the night before washed down with wine.
We found a cafe and tourists info. stop on the road junction for breakfast at 9am, which was mildly amusing for the fact that it confirmed my lurking predjudices about Finns in that  1. It was full of overpriced, and unhealthy food and 2. At 9am it was full of fat inbred looking men drinking beer.
Next stop, the coin said north, so we passed Mettala (only a Finnish town could be named after its favourite music Genre) and headed up to Mikale, possibly the most boring town in the universe, but with one of these cool ‘quirky’ ‘arty’  coffee shops that packs in middle class chicks and that sold baked beans and oddly employed an old chilled out black guy from South London (the black guys tend to like the fatties so i’m guessing he’d shacked up with a local Finnish chick and come over) This town I realised is the furthest North i’ve ever been.  Mikale is on a lake too i believe, and has a nice church, but really there isn’t much to do there, even the main local hotel is called ‘Cumulus’ Hotel, (which presumably means they only operate in places where the weather is crap – have i just stumbled upon a deep vein of ironic Finnish ‘humour’?) You can however, in true Finnish style, buy leather waistcoats in the main department store.

Anyway, the toss of the coin had decided  we were hitting the ‘rainbow’ hippy festival  somewhere northwest of there,  but the rain was coming down in buckets and all East Finland was raining (and it was freezing) so we excersiced our artistic licence by ignoring it headed west and south for the sun, with some vaguely nieve idea that we’d get lucky again and find a deserted paradise beside a pretty  lake where the sun would be shining and the earth soft for a (mini)tent under the stars, and the world outside wouldn’t matter and no one would care how bad my poetry and jokes and writing is.

And oddly enough we got one (kind of), at the side of Paijanne lake, although we did cheat as the  restaurant/bar was nearby and so we could get into some real Finnish style partying, by getting some 40% ‘Mintto’ shots down us and prepare for the impending thunder and lightning that was coming. We could also brush our teeth and so on. Anyway, this section of lakes, around the teeming metrolpolis of Sysma is also great, although with the bigger lakes, the water tends to be freezing, even in July – but jump in with a gusto (preferably drunk and naked) then you can wash yourself of sorts, and after 5 minutes it becomes warm (and you think you can swim to the other side, hence the high Finnish ‘suicide’ rate)
The next day the weather got much better as we headed toward sub tropical Helsinki – I plucked up the courage to jump into the lake wash at Lahti, which could have been described as ‘bracing’  then to  a ‘beach’ at  JarvenPaa . Oddly enough , (i didn’t tell you this of course) you can drive a mile or so south to school and there is a beautiful beach Sauna house, with a jetty that you can run out and jump in the lake from, that for some reason may not be always locked (of course using it and being caught will mean you’ll have to explain to the police that you read a blog that said it was ok to do that, but i’ll leave that to your discretion dear reader)

Anyway, now it’s back to Tallinn and a shower and sauna, with my view of countryside Finns as a very pleasant bunch of fat introverted drunks firmly intact.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Daft Ideas to take yourself out of the Gene Pool no 1 - Marathon Des Sables

Today I should receive confirmation that my entry to the Marathon des Sables was successful.

 The race begins in April 2011, which basically means I need to be fit/drunk enough to run 6 marathons (254km) with all my food, sleeping bag, clothes etc.  on my back through the Sahara desert in 45 degree heat. It’s the best known ‘Ultramarathon’ in the world and I heard it’s the hardest ( i don’t beleive it though) , I am, about to look like a fool again.
 The first day looks easy enough, 17 oddmiles, just to warm up – then a full marathon then a day rest. The next day you climb 20 odd miles through some of the highest sand dunes in the Sahara, with no paths, only a compass. I guess i just have to follow the path of the leading runners, not the camels. (During the 1994 race,Italian Police officer Mauro Prosperi lost his way during a sand storm and wandered lost for more than 9 days, losing over 13 kg (30 lb) of body weight)....nice

The next day is the toughest – a cheeky little double marathon through the searing heat - a 91km run through the desert. Those two days i understand kills the bulk of the weak and stupid off.  Then the (stronger and stupid)  survivors have a final marathon, then a smaller 25km ‘Sprint’ to the finish. 
Anyway what the hell at least I’ve started training, of sorts. I managed to get 10km under an hour last week (yes i know it’s only 3% of the race distance you have to start somewhere!) , but even with that I made the schoolboy error of pushing it too hard, and ran with a 20kg backpack on – result? My left knee is swollen to hell and I can’t run for 2 weeks. However  I do have a schedule organised, i’ve pestered a few nutters who’ve done it (or similar) before,  and cobbled together a training programme, which, yes dear readers does involve some small amount of beer but not much (better with whisky – less calories)  but mostly stuffing my face with fruit and veg and meat, and lots of honey.
My plan currently is pretty simple, similar to the Ironman training (without so much of the swimming or cycling) to run 2 or 3 times in the week, with a biggie at the weekend, then throwing in an 8kg pack when my poor joints are more used to it. I don’t plan to wash or change clothes (or make any friends) during the race so i think i can get away with 8kg of food.
 I suppose this means goodbye to those lovely healthy weekend binge drinks and waking up with strange animals/dwarfs/amputees/circus performers, but i don’t think I’ll miss that so much somehow. Anyway, ill drop in some updates on my training from time to time, as really if I don’t totally change my lifestyle right now, this race will be one long suicide, and if I die, it will really kind of be my own stupid fault.
People do die doing these kind of zany pranks but, dear readers, on this occasion i have no intention of doing so. I even put together a great collection of ironic  ‘suicide/death related’ thrash metal  songs to run to, so i can put them on if i’m in trouble to cheer myself up.

 However i do intend taking bets on my ability to finish (as well as donations to a charity that i haven’t sorted out yet) so more on this later. Currently, in my bad shape ill give EVENS on my finishing the race, with the proceeds going 50% to my costs and 50% to the charity (if i lose i’ll give you the money but you should just give it ot the charity) Anyway, gives me an incentive to actually train for 16 hours a week, which isn’t much fun believe me (but at least ill look good)

 Ok now for my first ever road trip through Finland, im on the Helsinki Ferry, which is of course filled to the brim with freindly beer and shot drinking inbreds, I get the feeling that rural Estonia only touches on retards compared to 'marry your sister' rural Finland, but who knows maybe we get a pleasant surprise...

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The End Days and Utopia

Walking along Stroomi beach in Tallinn, early Saturday night, I bumped into some pretty hot Jehovas Witnesses. When i realised that they didnt find my 'sex addiction' jokes very funny, i thought id discuss with them the idea that the Jesus story, along with a hell of a lot of the Bible (And the Koran) was copied from the Egyptian 'book of the dead' among other ancient stories (for example ) . This didnt help either, and i dont think they are coming round to visit any time soon. But they did tell me that we are now living in the end times, which got me thinking that actually they could be right, but not in the way that they thought.

As we all know Jehovas and many other religions argue that there will be a time, when God will gather up his faithful and they will all be saved and all us bad guys are swept to hell with plagues etc. etc. Most of them say this time is about now (theyve been saying that since pretty much the beginning of time)

Well that may or not be true - everyone talks about December 21st 2012 coming as the end of the world (no need for condoms then folks!)  Except that the main expert on this, Jecheria Sitchin beleives that its actually 2087, everyone miscalculated the Mayan calender. ( ) 

However he also thinks that our DNA is descended from alien DNA, and brings it all together in a great series of books. If you havent read any, start halfway through with 'the 12th planet'  (free copy here just buy the other ones to keep him in Bentleys). He considers that we descended from 'Gods' ie mortal but longlived and technologically advanced people who look like us (because they originally made us to work as their slaves), from Niburu, hence all the chat in the bible about the Nephiliim, fallen ones etc etc. (also meaning Lucifer)
However is does contradict with what our good freinds in Mali say, the Dogon people who said 3200 years ago that we are connected to dudes who came from a star that was only discovered recently near Sirius B, but thats a whole other story.

Anyway bear with me here - alien DNA aside - What most people seem to agree right now, is that the human race could be said to be largely in a 'decadent' phase right now

If you beleived in existentialism (i dont) and read Michel Houellebecq (read 'atomised' his most famous book )
then you would think that to take the human race and current social and economic trends to their logical conclusion, then

1. Communities will become be 'virtual'and actual interaction would recede with time.
2. This would include virtual dating which is pretty sad really
3. Organised religion will become 'outmoded' replacd by simple rationalism.
4. We would all end up like Japanese metrosexuals, sitting alone in tiny rooms, online, with no real life social skills, dying alone and yellow having given nothing of note to the world.
5. Except being European feminism would probably come in somewhere. Maybe they'll make us sit down on the toilet, as the ultimate humiliation to our manhood.

The fact is the life above is a loveless one. But if a generation of these people are running the world then the ultimate conclusion - the final step if you were, is to get rid of the pain and suffering of the human race, the love and the hate, the psycopaths, sociopaths, saints and sinners, and sanitise us via genetic coding and cloning, so we are born beautiful and healthy, and not in the womb. This is possible, and probably being done already although essentially we're creating a new species. Then we wouldnt need cuddles, we wouldnt feel the pain of the human race, we wouldnt suffer, we wouldnt love, we wouldnt care particularly of the pain and pleasure of others. We would be living shallow materialistic narcassistic lives - CUE 'end days guys saying 'told you so' ! And cue 2087 'end of the world' !

So basically come 2087, the human population will be split into

1. Godless drones/clones, who can replicate without mothers/fathers. Who are smart beautiful but shallow empty husks with no emotions or capiblity for true love or romance.
2. Religious people who think the end times are here, and are in camps with 'kool aid' at the ready (if Christian), Nukes strapped to their Burkas (if Muslim) or round a table plotting how to cash in on it (if Jewish)
3. People who beleive Aliens are about to come down and rescue them
4. You and I, thinking 'what the fuck?!'

Sitchin  (see the 'Lost book of Enki' from the Sumerian Legends  )  along with the Epic of Gilgamesh talks about how irresponsible Aliens, between sleeping around, nuked the earth and each other thousands of years ago and thats how Noahs ark came about, and actually we're pretty lucky to be here. He also tells of how we were created by these guys, as their slaves, and so we ended up worshipping these trigger and shag happy clowns as Gods, and that actually these 'Gods' are coming back to 'Rescue us' (since Enki, the Nephiliim who created us, liked us really and saved Noah and co) in...2087. So it is actually conceivable that these guys had a hand in writing whats in the Bible anyway. It also could be that the gravitational pull of 'Niburu' coming closer to earth will cause a whole bunch of natural disasters, like it did when the dinosaurs copped it or when Noah had to build his boat (see also Lost book of Enki - another book written before the Bible telling about Noah and so on)

So actually, we'll have a bunch of natural disasters coming, killing off the bulk of the human race, and a lucky few unreconstructed humans randomly surviving (the clones wouldnt be able to survive without free wifi i suppose) and either thinking it was God or it was Aliens (same thing if you listen to Sitchin and the Sumerians) that they are the chosen ones, chosen by God/Enki to inherit the earth...strange how history repeats itself.

But then it does beg the question, who really is God? Damned if i know but at least he has a sense of humour.