Oh, are you from Finland?

Kirjoittaja on New Yorkissa varttunut ja Helsingissä naisistunut copywriter.

Dear Lissu,

New Yorkers are actually the friendliest people on the face of the earth.  Sit on any New York City bus, and you will be best friends with your seatmate before you go three stops.  I have to say that this is true probably 99% of the time.

On the other hand, we have the Finns.  This is an absolutely true story.  The other day I was wearing a t-shirt you gave me.  In pretty big letters on the front, it says:  ”Jyväskylän Yliopisto”.  I was coming out of the Food Emporium, walking back to 72nd St.   Two women were coming towards me, walking downtown.  As they got right next to me, one turned to the other and said:  ”You see that – that’s Finnish”.  I said:  ”Oh, are you from Finland?”   The woman said:  ”Yes”.  I thought I was going to have a fun conversation about how you went to school in Jyväskylä.  I was going to show off and list some of the places I have been in Finland, like Kilpisjärvi, Kemi and Kotka.  But they just kept walking.  The conversation was OVER!!!  Had they been New Yorkers – well, let’s just say we would still be standing on the corner talking.

And here’s another New Yorker story – I think kind of a touching one.  I was picking up a pair of glasses from the Lenscrafters on 82nd St. and Third Ave, right next door to the Cancer Care Thrift Shop.  When I came out of the store, it was pouring rain.  I stood there trying to decide if it was worth walking home in the absolutely teeming rain.  A cab pulled up right in front of me and a woman with two big shopping bags got out.  Thinking I was being a bit funny, I said to her:  ”I owe you at least $5 for this service.”  She looked at me and said:  ”I don’t need the money – but I really could use a hug.”  So I gave her a big hug, and she thanked me and walked into the Thrift Shop.  It suddenly dawned on me that she had probably recently lost someone to cancer, and was donating some things to the shop.  That was why she needed that hug.   New Yorkers, the best!

Love, Mom