Sunday, January 29, 2006

Who does Sauli look like?

tarja vs conan
Originally uploaded by johanna__.
Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of a Portuguese collegue by having dinner in this Portuguese restaurant. One of her friends (actually Portuguese-American) turned to me after hearing that I was Finnish and said:

"You have elections, right? How's the red-haired woman doing?"

I was quite amazed. The guy has studied European Studies but still, honestly, no one knows that there is an election battle going on in Finland.

Well, the picture may have spoiled the punchline already. The fact that Conan O'Brien did Tarja Halonen jokes in his show on NBC has made more people aware that we actually have a president. Not that often that the face of the Finnish president is on NBC. I know this is old news for all Finns because the issue was fully covered in Finnish media when the show was aired. But this restaurant discussion reminded me once again that we do live in a shared media landscape here in the West.

Well, the evening continued by taking a trip down the memory lane with questions such as:
"What was the song of Meatloaf?" (and then loudly with the entire group: I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE BUT I WON'T DO THAT. WHAT'S THAT?"
"What was the film with Molly Ringwald? BREAKFAST CLUB!"
"Kylie Minoque did this duet with this guy, right, Jason Donovan. ESPECIALLY FOR YOU!"

It is clear, we are entering our 30s.

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