Friday, March 9, 2012

Seen one, seen 'em all


Nurmijärvi is typical small town in Finland. It's told to be good place to live and to raise your kids. Whenever a town is described as "good place to live", it practically means that properties are cheaper than in Helsinki region and all the services are so spread around that you need to have at least two cars per household. "Good place to raise your kids" again translates to lack of vicious teenager temptations: no movie theaters, no discos, no ice hockey teams, no garage bands or any other hobbies what so ever, except maybe a sports field and scouts group. Due to the lack of activities, youngsters focus on pimping their motor bikes and cars, and enjoying the ride surrounded by the smell of Wunder-baums.

These small towns usually have one highlight story to boast about, something they think makes the town really famous and interesting. Nurmijärvi presents itself as the home town of Aleksis Kivi. Well, that's nice. Then what? The problem is that being a home town of somebody is not very interesting as such. Rajamäki, one of the three centers of Nurmijärvi at least tries: There's an alcohol and vinegar factory in Rajamäki. During the second world war Finnish army fought against the Russian tanks by using Molotov cocktails. These DIY weapons were made into liquor bottles which stated "Rajamäki" on the cap. After a while the Russians started bombing Rajamäki assuming that there's an advanced and strategic weapon factory. But the liquor factory survived and it's still up and running.

Now you know all you need to know about Nurmijärvi, and many other small towns. These towns are probably good places to live, but for a visitor they don't offer much. When you've seen one, you've seen all of them.

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