Scandimania before it was cool


A phase we hear so often these days, a love of all things scandi. Whether it’s Hugge or The Killing everyone wants a part of it.

Dawn and I were (are) also two of those people, however our fascination with this area of the world comes not from the media or the recent ‘mania’ for everything Scandinavian but from a chance meeting on our first holiday together to Kos in 1994.

Dawn and I had not known each other for that long, in fact less than a year to be accurate. We were about to start our second year of uni and had some time to pass. We made the decision to holiday together for just a week, but where to go? At the travel agents (this was before internet booking was even a sparkle in the common girls eye) the only thing we could afford was a allocation on arrival trip to Kos Town.

To be honest at this time I had never heard of this island let alone considered going there but in for a penny in for a pound and 20 minutes later we were planning our travel for a few days later.

The drive from the airport was a little nerve racking as we seemed to be passing all the nice hotels. Were we going to end up in a shack in the back of beyond with no electricity or running water? Remember this is in the days before Trip Advisor and WiFi would ensure your hotel is up to scratch.

Anyway to our relief we pulled up outside a basic but nice looking hotel and our names were called. On further inspection there was even a pool 😃.

Our travel rep informed us that most tourists spent their evenings a one of 2 ‘barstreets’. And being the tourists we were, off we went to find this ‘famous’ Bar Street 1. So we find it quite easily… The street with all the British tourists stood outside drinking pint after pint of beer.

We get ourselves a drink and kinda stood chatting, enjoying the atmosphere. A middle aged gent wanders over and puts his drink on to our table, not meaning to be rude we don’t object. He proceeds to strike up a conversation.

He informs us that he is Finnish and is on a business trip with colleagues from that well known furniture shop from the 80’s – MFI. Yes, when he said furniture we had thought Ikea too ( I know Ikea is Swedish not Finnish but hay ho).

As the conversation continues it becomes evident that Mr Finland had learned a new word that day and seemed to be trying to impress us by using it in every line of the conversation.

For example….

I am with my f**king work mates

They are a bunch of f**king assholes

All they talk about is f**king work

Now I know that this word is so widely used these days that no one even notices but this was nearly 25 years ago before it was used so freely. So to hear this man who had just joined us uninvited use it with such disregard was a little shocking.

The conversation then became even more odd…

He then proceeded to give us random facts about Finland as in…

“Did you know that on christmas day there is only 30mins of daylight.”

His f**king colleagues then started to join him and being two nervous young women we felt that it was time to leave. His parting remark was that if we were to visit Finland in the future we could go and stay at his house as his wife would like the compny. Needless to say we didn’t take him up on his offer!

Ever since this encounter dawn and I cannot help but refer to this particular country as F**king Finland.

We intend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this first holiday with a trip to….


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