There is a concept among Finns who drink, that at some point in the night your moral compass disappears and all norms of social behaviour are thrown out of the window. The effects of this can range from talking to strangers through casual sex all the way through to murdering your close family. Afterwards, while your body deals with the physical effects of excessive alcohol consumption, your conscience re-asserts itself by reminding you what a miserable sorry excuse for a human being you really are.
Since my trip to Turku I have been experiencing this moral hangover. Somehow, I ended up in the custody of Turku’s finest. I am assured by Jussi that I did not deserve this treatment, that the confrontation was minor, that they were just driving past and then could not understand my rapidly articulated English and so arrested the clearly drunker party (ie me), but none of this information is helping my moral hangover. Finnish police are pretty quick to bang you up, as leaving drunk people out in the winter can and does lead to death, but even so.
In the morning they said I ‘tried to fight a man’. I mean, what? ‘Tried’? Not punched, not butted, not kicked, not stabbed, but ‘tried’. Jussi says I had some apparently vital and urgent query for a passer by as we were walking to his house, and the guy did not want to answer, so I grew a little louder and followed him for a bit. This must be one of the most pathetic reasons for any incarceration anywhere, ever. Anyway, it sobered me up nicely, and at least now I know I will never need to book a hotel room in Turku. If the man is a FiF reader, I would like to apologise to him for my drunken behaviour. I didn’t mean nuffink, honest.
Obviously that goes for everyone else I encountered on Monday night, from the three Stuttgart fans in the bar at Veritas, to the 10 year old Portuguese boy I cheated against at pool, through Job Dragtsma to whom I think I said ‘your team’s great, I like the kit and…..stuff’, the barman at Pub Bristol who was very accommodating when I spilt my pint, all the Swedish speaking people we met in Bremer and Bristol who were very nice all evening, and anyone else I met after that. I don’t remember much, so apologies all round.
I am surprised I didn’t get kicked out at the game. I was rather loud and attempted to join in the Sinikaarti songs, despite being on the other side of the ground. Probably the large amounts of cash I was putting behind the bar had something to do with it. I don’t remember much about the game, but the press conference was fun. Job can talk for hours, like many of his compatriots, and he always has something interesting to say. I’ve said before I like their style of play (not their kit), and he articulated his philosophy i relation to TamU – that the current TamU team is a product of the decisions made 4 or 5 years ago, and he is trying to build a similar side at Inter. I hope he has success.
Zico Hjelm really doesn’t like me much. He refused to answer my questions in English, and only after Job translated into German did he mumble that he is ‘comfortable with Ratina’. Never mind. I suppose if everyone had taken his attitude with me I may have disgraced myself slightly less on Monday.
In other news, HJK gave Keke Armstrong the boot after their 1-0 loss to Honka. He’ll surely resurface somewhere else, and Pasi Rautiainen or Antti Muurinen will go back to HJK. They are going to announce their coach for ‘the rest of the season’ tomorrow, so we’ll see. It’ll probably be difficult to get either Muurinen or Rautiainen in before the end of the season, so a caretaker looks likely.