To My Hypocritical Finnish Friend

Part of me hates to do this, as I really like this person. But she’s been pissing me off lately

My Fin,

You and I have been friends for years. You came to the US a long time ago, in your own words because of the economic opportunities. You are highly educated and very smart, and US industry employs people like you.

I think you like it here, but for ten years I have smiled politely as you compare everything in the US in a mildly unfavorable way to Finland. Finland’s food is better. Finland’s attitudes towards alcohol are more mature (bullshit, you’ve a lot more drinking problems than the US). Finalnd’s weather is better, as it apparently gets too hot in most of the US. Even, and I am not making this up, Finland’s birch trees are better. As I said, I like you and I have always assumed this was a little bit of homesickness. I admit to being a bit merciless in my teasing about the birch tree thing, as that’s just silly.

But, in the last few weeks, I have had to listen to an endless stream of complaints about how many migrants are resettling to Finland. There are too many of them! They don’t speak the language! They complain about the food! They are ungrateful! They aren’t really refugees, they are just looking for jobs (which, even if true, so what?)

You fucking hypocrite. By your own admission the people of the US have made you feel welcome. By your own admission, you came here for the financial opportunity. YOU complain about all things US. And the only response you have to any of this is that “it’s different?!”

Well, he might have a point about the birch trees, what with the borers and all.

Man, the Pit has really gone downhill. Right now the top threads are pitting “,” Wikipedia, some Finnish lady who doesn’t like our trees, and the OP’s mother.

Quite frankly, I think this is a common attitude for a lot of expatriates. People leave their home country and there’s a ton of stuff they miss, they’re going to talk about it because it’s stuff that’s on their mind, but they’re not going to talk so much about the things that they like. People always tend to complain more about the negative parts of changes than talk up the positive parts of changes. But at the same time, unless they left their native country because it’s a shithole, they’re still going to be defensive of their home country. I’ve known plenty of other immigrants to the US who have similar sorts of hypocrisy as the friend of the OP, and I know some people who’ve left the US to live in other countries who miss our food, miss our weather, miss whatever else and still complain about people immigrating here.

My advice, if you like the person, just let them know you don’t want to talk about some of these things. Everyone has certain hypocrisies, sometimes they realize it sometimes they don’t. If it’s not a big deal, let it go; if it is, then move on.

It’s part of a common world wide attitude towards America. Everyone wants to be here, everyone wants what we have, but they have to say they hate us to get cred with their peers. It’s not like Americans don’t do the same thing in other countries, except that everything actually is better here.

This is true. I talk about how certain things are better in the UK constantly, but that’s because I just sort of assume that Americans like the way things are here by default. In other words, I’d be explaining something they already know if I told them how steak was better here (it’s not, but it’s a damn sight cheaper).

None of that changes the fact that I live here and want to continue living here and only ever thing about moving back to the UK because I miss the half of my family that’s there.

For the record, here are a few things that are better in the US than the UK:

  1. The weather. In Florida, anyway. If I was in Minnesota I’d probably be telling the country to go fuck itself through my chattering teeth.
  2. TV. Most of the programming is awful, but there’s so fucking much of it (this is less true nowadays than it was when I left, when there were only about 30 channels even if you had satellite).
  3. Prices. Everything’s so cheap! And not just in megaconglomerate stores like Wal-Mart.
  4. Women. Again, this might be Florida-specific.

I’ve never personally experienced it, and appearance doesn’t always correlate with flavor, but the search “Finnish food looks like shit” brings up some very unappetizing photos on Google Images.

Just to clarify, the real pitting is directed at the hypocrisy of her not wanting the Syrian refugees in Finland, not her complaints about the US. Those I actually understand, and in some cases she has got a point (it ain’t perfect here, after all).

And having been to Finland numerous times, the food is definitely a mixed bag. The fish is great, reindeer is delicious (even if it is a tourist food), but yes they eat some weird looking stuff.

Well, I’m guessing any search that included ‘…* looks like shit*’ would not bring up stuff that looked it’s or their absolute best.

It’s kinda a given.

As to the OP, it’s nonsense. I cannot begin to imagine wanting to live in America, but if I did I would not be hypocritical to dislike changes back wherever I came from.
And large fat countries such as America can absorb many changes and many incomers that will wreck a small country.
It’s like leaving a tiny village in any state of America and settling in New York, a fond practice of many 19th century robber barons; one may still be legitimately upset when bigger business and corrupt local government pulls down the old mill and puts in a 100,000 sq foot Cineplex, builds hideous houses to accommodate an influx of newcomers who use it as a dormitory town, and install a 6-lane motorway.

Yes, the hypocritical part I’m totally down with. That is, she should shut the fuck up.

Ha ha ha. Nice one.

Miss Manners once suggested coming back with something along the lines of, “I know, so it’s surprising that our worst food, McDonald’s, is so popular in _________. You’d think with such excellent food they wouldn’t choose our bottom feeder restaurants.”

I just checked that there are McDonald’s, Burger King’s, and Pizza Huts in Finland.

Miss Manners is occasionally stupid. McDonald’s sells more meals per year in the US than in every other country combined. That doesn’t mean it’s good.

It’d still point out to the OP’s friend she’s being a dick.

I doubt it. Have you ever pointed out someone’s hypocrisy and had them respond, “hey, I never thought about it that way”? No. People just don’t do that; they invariably say, “no, that’s totally different” and give you a nonsensical reason why they’re not hypocritical that makes sense only to them.

Well, THERE’S a surprising and meaningful result.

actually, I have changed my mind when someone pointed out the fallacy of my thinking. I don’t remember the specifics but I do remember thinking, “huh, they are right and I am wrong”

Perhaps you missed her point.

I, too, am completely finnished with all these ungrateful immigrants.

Somebody had to do it!

The birch trees are getting bored now? I thought it was just the ash trees.

How do you entertain a tree anyway?