Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Vappu Memories: Vappu Day

The day of actual Vappu arrived and boy was I not prepared for what it actually was. I mean in some respects, I did really well for a noob. In others, I totally failed. For one, I totally forgot to pack my intended bottle of water. Very necessary piece of equipment when you’re outside in a park all-day drinking as much champagne as you can take down your gullet. For another, dressing warmly is key because let’s face it – it might feel warm, but in Finland, it’s just not warm. It was a glowing 15 C, possibly even 17 C/62-65ish F during the day, and that’s pretty dang good...but still not that warm. The sun was shining and some people even had the gall to get sunburned (there is a lower UV rating here so it’s actually kind of difficult to get sunburned unless you try really hard), but overall, it was still a bit windy.

In any case, started my day by grabbing my backpack and rushing to the center of town to meet friends for a party tram we were all catching together. Imagine a party bus, but instead of a bus, it’s a tram. Privately rented, and just as decorated, it was a hilariously fun experience. It was being driven around on the tracks, but would sometimes stop at the normal tram stops. People would try to press the buttons on the doors to get on, thinking it was a normal tram, but alas, the doors would not open and they would see us partying inside. A particularly funny version of this included a dad anxiously punching the door button while dragging his wife and two kids in tow. Prrrreeeeeettty sure you don’t want to get on this tram, Good Sir.

After two hours of this we eventually arrived at the center location: Kaivopuisto Park. The mecca of all Vappu-goers. According to publications, 50,000 attended Vappu. Quite a following. Look at the pictures of the crowds:

We ended the night at 10:30pm. It was still light outside, looked more like 6-7pm. I'm never going to get used to this 18+ hours of light thing, it's so strange. Anyhow, overall it was a great day with lots of fun to be had. I survived my first Vappu and I’m proud of it. :)

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