Spring of 2004, I was wandering around Scandinavia. In my travel sack I had; a bag of whole oats, sunflower seeds and sea salt. I can’t eat oatmeal without salt. It’s just wrong. With that breakfast everyday, anything else I scavenged to eat was inconsequential. I ate a lot of pumpernickel and was stoked to find small pop top tins of lentils.
Home base is a fertile region of British Columbia. I am spoiled by an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. I remember eating a terrible apple in Helsinki but really good radishes in Jonkoping. Granted it was May, growing season hadn’t started and I was dirt poor so I passed up, what I considered, expensive produce.
I tried making my brother sunflower butter without roasting the seeds and overheated my food processors motor three times. I attempted to lightly toast the powdered sunflower seeds, to release the oil, and burnt it. Lesson learned. Skillet -kill it- first.
There’s a stereotype that Finns are icy, stoic people. I got off the train in Tampere and couldn’t find anywhere to stay. I decided to wander around for the day and catch the last ride out of town. As I was walking I could hear a sound check and blast beats across the river. My heart raced wild. I walked backwards in front of a group of tall, long haired guys – figuring they probably spoke better english than I do, amongst other languages, albeit, another stereotype.
“Sorry… I’m Canadian… I only speak english… what’s going on?’ They kept walking forward, I kept walking backwards. Tight lipped, exchanging glances back and forth. As a stubborn, saturnian goat, I refused to give up till I got a response. I pointed across the river – I really didn’t want to point because it seemed like the basest way of communicating – all four broke into the widest smiles and proclaimed in guttural, chorus: “Slayer!!”
The show was sold out and with no where to sleep, I skipped trying to swing getting in. I regret that decision somewhat. I’ve only seen Slayer twice back home, in Finland it would have been rad. On that trip I also regret missing Gorgoroth in Bergen.