Sunday, January 28, 2007

Enriching the immigrants' culture

Was changing from bus to subway in Ruoholahti on Friday, and suddenly got a feeling of being followed. Disregarded it as usual (I am fairly paranoid to begin with and a lot of people are going to the subway, and most of them, I would like to think, are not doing so to follow me).

On the escalator the follower passed me and actually turned back to look at me. A Middle Eastern looking man, about thirty years old. He headed towards the center of the train that was waiting. I headed for the front.

Thirty seconds later he found me in the front of the train and sat on the bench opposite me, even though most pairs of benches around us were totally empty, which is a bit of a breach of public transportation etiquette anywhere I've ever been.

"What's your name?"
"Why do you want to know?"
"I want to know."
"I know what you want, and I am trying to tell you that I am not interested."
"Where are you going? Are you Finnish?"

Being in a somewhat aggressive mood, I suppressed the urge to say "I am going to an orgy to have wild sex with somebody who is not you, nosy freak, and no, I am fucking Chinese" and moved to another bench, after which he kind of understood my point and buggered off.

There are many of those. They are always African or Middle Eastern. They come up to me in the streets or in public transportation and try to start conversation by asking a lot of nosy questions. I usually cut to the chase and tell them that I know what they want and I am not interested. They usually try to press the issue. Sometimes they deny any sexual interest and tell me that they are just looking for friends. I don't believe them much, especially since my suggestions that they should go and be friendly with that friendly-looking guy over there are never met with any visible enthusiasm.

You can get rid of about 90% of them just by saying "emmä puhu englantia", but often - always when I am not feeling aggressive, unsocial or tired - I get a feeling that I should explain to them that this is just not a very good approach (meaning that the problem is not just that I don't happen to be interested, but that this approach would scare off most of the women who potentially are). I don't think those guys are purposefully obnoxious, they are just sorely in need of a clue. At some point I started asking some of them whether this approach to finding women actually works. The answer was overwhelmingly "no". I recommended that they try to observe what the Finnish men do, especially the ones who actually do find women, and they to emulate them, but, having very little experience in picking women up, did not think of anything better to say. Any good ideas on what I should tell them?

The only specific points that come to my mind:

- the chances of picking up anyone on the public transportation are small, and on the street close to nil. Finns usually go to bars and clubs and suchlike if they want to pick up total strangers,
- if you want to chat with strangers on public transportation, it is best done by commenting on the world around you. It is certainly not done by asking a lot of nosy questions. There are questions that you can ask (for example if they are clearly coming from some particular event you can ask them about the event, or if they have a weird-looking dog with them you can ask them about the breed), but don't start the conversation with questions about their name, address, marital status, etc.

Any more good advice for clueless horny foreigners?

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