Becoming a godfather.May 3, 2015
First of all, happy May Day, a bit late, but whatever. We had been invited to Livia’s baptism in Vaasa, and me and Paulina were honored by being Livia’s god parents. This is the first time that anybody’s asked me if I wanted to take care of a new born child’s christian upbringing, I’m not very religious, so needless to say, I felt a bit nervous about the whole ordeal.
Anyway, the baptism was being held in Trefaldighetskyrkan in Vaasa, which meant we had to travel up by train. And since Friday was the first of may, the day was a bank holiday. Paulina had to work, but me, being an office monkey, didn’t, and so I left Thursday evening by train.
I had ordered the tickets the day before, and made sure that I’d be seated at a single seat row, which would mean I wouldn’t be harassed by anyone. As I got to the station, I started looking for my train. There were some confusion since the station’s screen said my train, S62 – Vaasa, would leave from platform 10, but at the platform, the train that stood there, but didn’t have it’s screens on, and on the side, the marking S65 was clearly visible. So being unsure what to do, I decided to just stand outside of it, and wait ’til the last minute. And just a couple of minutes from departure, the screens woke up, and the marking of the train changed to S62.
As I got on the train, in my car, I noticed that I had by mistake booked myself into the animal-car, or rather, where people who have pets should go, so the whole cabin smelled pretty badly. I decided not to care too much about it, and that I would eventually get used to the smell. I found my seat, and I was lucky, there was one electrical plug by the seat. Happily I took out my laptop, and seeing as I had unlimited power, I decided to play some Magic: The Gathering on the laptop. About an hour later I was kicked out of the gaming session, battery low.
Apparently the plug didn’t work, and I had used up all my juice on the game. When I packed I had contemplated about taking a book with me, but decided not to, since I already had a phone and a laptop with me — how much entertainment could one person need through out a four hour train ride? So I had to sit out the last three hours, looking out through the window, listening to music and trying to ignore the smell.
I arrived at Vaasa’s train station at 11 PM, during Vappu (in Finland we celebrate Vappu on the last day of April, which is an event where we young students getting drunk, or, eh, something), so the streets in Vaasa was filled with drunk teenagers, me, being pretty old, was dead-tired, I mean, this is the time of day that I’m getting ready for bed, and I had a full workday and a four hour train ride behind me. As I got home, I drank a cup of coffee, had a chat with my mom, and then hit the bed.
My last couple of May Day’s have been spent in Stockholm, were the tradition is that the working class hit the streets and protest. But in Finland on the other hand, we celebrate with carnivals — probably because the unions in Finland are already really strong, so the working class have nothing to complain about, the unions take care about that.
When I was younger I really enjoyed the carnivals, lots of candy, toys and what-not. But as one gets older, you generally try to avoid the madness of the first of May. I did go out for breakfast, but that was before the actual celebrating had started.
In Vaasa, the tradition is that everybody in the city head for the town market, were there’s lots of market stalls. And throughout the day different kinds of marches pass the market. And because Vaasa is a city located in the middle of a red-neck county, there’s even a classic American muscle car parade; but as earlier mentioned, I kept away from the whole thing.
At home we had some “Struva” (Rosette cookies) and mead with the family, but really nothing out of the ordinary. I also got to meet Tobias, who’s 10 months at the moment, and has apparently developed a severe case of shyness, which was probably the cutest thing that I’ve seen this year.
Saturday, I was already a bit nervous about becoming a god father, and the fact that Paulina wanted to meet up with Mathilda and the family before the church event meant that I would have to get there by my own, didn’t really have a calming effect.
Adding to the stress was that I had only brought with me one shirt, which wasn’t really right for the occasion. I found my old suit, but it’s gotten a bit small, but I had to do something, so I ended up with the suit, the worn out shirt and a pair of blue sneakers. Needless to say, it didn’t look good, but when life gives you lemons.
“When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”
But in the end, this day wasn’t about me, but instead it was Livia’s day, so I don’t think my choice of clothes mattered all that much. The event itself was over in about an hour and a half. Sadly I don’t have a lot of pictures from the event, because A; I decided not to bring a shit load of camera gear, and B, I wasn’t in a position of taking pictures seeing as I held Livia in front of the crowd.
Vaasa Beer — Bock’s Corner Brewery
There’s a new brewery in Vaasa, or rather, a restarted brewery. Some decades ago there was a brewery in Vaasa located at Bockis-hörnet, (the brewery was called Bock and it was established sometime during the 19th century), they, however, went out of business back in 1986. The new one, Bock’s Corner Brewery, as far as I know, has nothing to do with the old one, except for the name and place, so lets hope that they’ll have a better luck going.
I visited the pub that is part of the brewery, and to tell you the truth, I don’t think they’ll have any problem emptying their stock. We got there pretty early, around 7 PM, and the place was already getting pretty full, we weren’t even able to get a table, and the place is pretty big.
We tried the Pilsner, I’m no beer expert, nor do I claim to be one, but I really enjoyed the one I had. But the thing that I enjoyed the most was the fact that they didn’t play any music at all in the pub. This is one of the thing’s I wish more restaurant owners would get, the fact that people usually go out to socialize, not in order to listen to music, unless it’s a club, then I suppose music is kind of important.