I’ve been obsessed with the Nordic countries for more than a decade. My first obsession was with Sweden. I remember dreaming day and night about the day when I’d finally set foot in Stockholm and eat my first tunnbrödsrulle. I collected songs, pictures and all kinds of other stuff related to Sweden. I even tried learning Swedish online, which was a total failure (I couldn’t even get hello and goodbye right, so my first email to El Vikingo started “Goodbye! My name is …”).
But long story short, my dream finally did come true and I ended studying in Sweden. I also brought one of the locals back home with me, but that’s another story.
I had been dreaming about Finland, too (though El Vikingo can never understand why). I’d look at the pictures my Finish friends would send me and imagine myself walking around in Helsinki, visiting marimekko stores and spotting people from Hel looks (I know, I’m a nutcase). I even learned a Finnish phrase: “Minun nimeni on Bere.” (According to El Vikingo it means, “Please, take me out of this hell hole, I want to go back to Sweden.)
And then came my obsession with Japan. I just love their clothes, their cherry blossom trees, their matcha, and their amazing people. The japanese I have met in my life have always been so nice and kawaii. And of course I also learned a phrase in Japanese: “Namagomi namagome namatamago.” It’s funny how every time I met a Japanese person I said these words and they’d get very impressed. (Don’t remember what it means, but it’s probably something like, “Could you please point me to the closest manga porn store, por favor?”) Anyway, one day I’ll live in Japan too.
Sometimes, when I’m obsessing about living somewhere, I start buying things connected to the place, because somehow I think they will get me closer, or at least they’ll keep me focused on my goal. I’m not sure when or how I found the Japanese clothing brand Minä Perhonen (incidentally a Finnish name which means “I butterfly”), but I have been pinning their clothes to Pinterest for a while now, and all the time I’ve been wondering about the designer, and how come a Japanese man got so obsessed with Finland that he decided to name his brand with Finish words.
So yesterday, when I saw this Minä Perhonen book, I knew I had to buy it. It’s in Japanese, so I can only look at the pictures, but I know it’s one of those lucky charms I need to make my dreams come true (don’t worry, Vikingo, I’m not gonna force you to Finland).
Japan, look out, I’m coming for you.