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Published: August 19th 2007
The cooked Crabs!
Leena showing me the cooked crabs earlier in the day!
This morning I woke up at noon. I guess I’m not over jetlag yet! After breakfast, or should I say lunch, Leena, Ema and I went to Mylly (pronounced Mooloo, aka the Mall) to buy Erkki his birthday present! I got him some scented candles for the sauna the day before so I just came along to sitesee! On the way home Leena drove me on yet another tour of Naantali. We visited all the new houses! They are all so colorful; there are wooden ones and stone. It is not like New Mexico in a sense that all the houses here are the same style; high metal pitched roof, wood panals or stone fake panals, and all pastel colors. We also stopped by Leena's work so she could show me around. Leena sells kitchens, and they are all really really pretty pricy kitchens. Google "Nixi" and I think you may find some pics! On the way home from Nixi we stopped at this BEAUTIFUL sunflower garden where anyone can go and cut flowers. We brought out sakset (scissors) and we made a few bouquets for crab night! We got home from out little outing at around 6:30 and crab night
Bucket o' Crabs
Before being put on the platters!
doesen’t start until sunset so I had until nine to do whatever. I took my camera and went down to the dock near my house to call home! My cell phone is prepaid and I wasn’t sure how many minutes I had on it internationally, but I wanted to try anyway. I spoke with the family for about 20 minutes before I ran out of minutes. At first I was really bummed and sad because I hadn’t gotten to speak to Emily yet but I think it was fate because as I was walking back up the steps all these kids from school came up and introduced themselves to me! I think there were at least 15 of them and they were really nice and funny. One guy told me his English name is Bobby Brown and anothers is Toni Malony; I still don’t know what there real names are! I talked with them for an hour or so then I ran back home to change into nicer clothes for crab night. So Crab Night…what a night! Crab Night is a Swedish tradition adopted by the Finns. The crabs are either bought for around 2-5 euro each or caught for
before i decorated!
free in the lakes near by. They are not large crabs, actually I wouldn’t call them crabs, they are basically crawfish. Usually only a few are eaten by each person because they are so expensive. The neighbor, Marru has a new boyfriend and he caught 194 of them at a lake in northern Finland! We had two large trays full of them! The crabs are cooked live and then served in their shells on a platter (in the pictures) and they are decorated with dill flowers. That was my job, after lighting all the candles; I got to decorate the crabs! There were nine of us in all, Leena, Erkki, Ema, her boyfriend Tapio, Marru, her daughter Heini, her son Henri, and her boyfriend Mondi, and Me! Heini is Ema’s age and Henri is a few months older then me (we actually have an English class together). We ate inside the enclosed porch with candles and paper lanterns decorated the trees outside. It was really beautiful. When we first gathered around the table they switched us kids around so we would be sitting boy, girl, boy, girl, (traditional), then the person to your left helps you tie your crab bib
isnt it pretty?
around your neck, (at this point I was laughing, the bibs were just like baby bibs with a huge picture of a lobster on them!). Then we gave Erkki his birthday presents and sat down to eat. Everyone counted to three and said “grab the biggest crab” and everyone started peeling the crabs. I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing so I followed along and grabbed the biggest crab I could see and plopped it onto my plate. I have to tell you, I was scared. Everyone was watching me and I was so sure I wouldn’t like it! Heini and Henri taught me how to take off the tail and what to eat and what not to eat. I had peeled three by the time I finally decided it would be a good idea to try one. I did, they were pretty good! I peeled a few more and then Mondi made us some toast to eat with them. You first butter your toast, line it with your crab meat, and add a bunch of dill. It was really good on the toast! By this point everyone is drinking wine, laughing, flinging pieces of crab and Leena
Heini and I
frequently asked me if it was horrible, I could only laugh. By about 11:00 everyone had eaten about 20 crabs each and there were at least 8 empty bottles of wine under the table, that’s when Leena brought out the song books. Then we sang, hilarious Finnish songs and drank more wine. Finally by 1:00 everyone was full. Ema and Heini brought out the apple pie Ema had baked earlier and we all ate desert. I thought the night was surely over after desert was finished but right when all the kids had finished desert Henri and a drunk Heini grabbed each of my hands and said, “get yourself a jacket, were going clubbing”. So Ema, Tapio, Henri, Heini, and I got on our jackets and started to walk to town. The only dilemma we realized on the way to town was our age. Henri and I were both underage. The club actually only allowed 22+ but Ema and Heini were used to getting in. We figured out a plan: Ema gave Henri a free pass (to make it seem like he went often) and he went in first with Tapio, then Ema gave me her other free pass and
Tapio, Ema, Heini and I
I went in by my self! The bouncer guy said hello to me in Finnish and I replied in Finnish and walked right past him to the cashier person who also greeted me in Finnish, I said hello and when he realized I spoke English, he let me in free of charge, even without the free pass! The club was in right on the boardwalk of Naantali, we could look out the window and see the sea! It was so pretty! So when we got in everyone ordered drinks, I had some non-alcohalic apple cider. Tapio was hilariously drunk at this point, dancing at the bar and Ema and Heini were sitting at a table talking and listening to the music. Henri and I were laughing at Tapio. I was speaking to Henri in English (obviously) and this guy came up to us and started talking about how great it was to hear a native English speaker. His English was really good so I thought he was from the states too. I asked and he said he was from Sweden and his name was Ben. He asked Henri where he was from and Henri said “America”! We cracked up laughing
we have English together, he is pretty cool!
and the Ben went back to dancing alone on the dance floor! Finally some music came on that I recognized and Heini, Henri, Ema and I went to dance! It was SO much fun, we danced to like 15 songs! Then the parted ended at around 3:45, and we walked back home, ate some ice cream and went to sleep. Yup…Crab Night was amazing!!!
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