Short Stories. Photos and pictures. Poems even.

Being Finnish in Arizona



We rented a car in Tempe. As usual the conversation goes “where’re you from”.

Long Island. Nice. Did YOU grow up here in Arizona? Yes, I did, right here in Tempe. I detect a slight accent. Where did YOU grow up? In Finland. Nice. I have a friend who is from Ontario (Canada). He is also married to a girl from New Foundland like you. Nice people.

I did not bother to correct her. Being nice people is good enough for me too.


The bellhop at the hotel gave us great tips what to do in Carefree. He was a fellow European. From Bosnia. To his long list  we added an additional hike. We went to hike the Black Mountain, School House Road. Steep uphill on the rocky mountain, vertically up, practically. One could not lean either way to support the steps, or if you did, you would be leaning on a cactus. An older man with Nordic sticks just ran past us. Young people on the path like mountain goats. So we stepped aside  a couple of times. Two girls and a boy were almost past us, when they stopped and the blonde girls said: “Puhutko sinä suomea?” “Kyllä puhun!” I said surprised. She pointed to the other girl and said: “Kuulimme sinun juttelevan, ja puhut aivan kuin äitimme. Hän on Suomesta.” “Ai kun kiva tavata!” We exchanged a couple of words, if we know someone in Arizona, no, how long we staying, 2 nights in Carefree, are we enjoying our stay, yes, what a nice thing to happen to meet you, yes, say hello to you Finnish mom from me. They looked delighted to have met me and I also like nice people!

2 thoughts on “Being Finnish in Arizona

  1. Hih, olipas mukava Arizonayllätys!!
    Tuli mieleen eräs reissu, kun olimme hotellin parvekkeella aamukahvilla ja siinä jotain pölötimme. Yhtäkkiä kuului viereiseltä parvekkeelta: “Ai kato! Ook teekii suomalaisii!?” ja iloinen naama kurkisteli meitä. Sitten teimmekin monta mukavaa retkeä heidän kanssaan. Ihania ihmisiä!

    • kiirus, hauskaa eikös! Monta mukavaa juttutuokiota ainakin ja joskus jopa elinikäinen ystävyys löytyy yllättäen. Meillä on tuttavapariskunta, jonka tapasimme lentokoneessa matkalla Havaijille 1974 ja olemme yhä kavereita. (He asuvat myöskin Long Islandilla.)

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