Letters to Finland

Submitted by nallem on Wed, 09/12/2012 - 10:29

This is a weekly diary comic about my time in Beijing between 2012-2013. I ended up using the posts to make my first full length album, The City of The Dragon.

Our local Japanese mall is closed down.

The news on the TV keep on talking about the Diaoyu* Islands, which China and Japan both claim as their own.

* actually means Fishing Islands

Luckily there are plenty of other channels. Like the channel with Talent shows, the one with Beijing Opera shows and most importantly..

the channel of old kung fu movies. I plan to eat dragon fruit and watch a couple of classics if I get ill, or maybe even if I don't.

I've been working on comics, posters..
and thinking about stories.

The last book I read in Finland was Oscar Wilde's The Decay of Lying. In it he posits that truth is boring and artistic merit is born out of lying. Art is meant to be more perfect than reality, more interesting, deeper.
Wilde was talking about stories, but pictures are in a way a lie already. They are not what they depict, they live in their own seperate reality.

Even the neighbors' wall looks pretty as a picture.

It's been a busy week. On Sunday I went to celebrate the Moon Festival at the local LGBT center.

(Expectations from Finland:)
The actual party:

The warm and social atmosphere was not created with alcohol, but by playing different parlor games. It was nice, when people weren't busy being ironic and self consious.

[Rock-Paper-Sciccors.
A piece is torn of the loosing teams paper. Rounds are continued until the is only one team left standig on their paper.]
[Each team stands on a paper ark.]

And once the ice was broken it was easy to get to know people, to talk.

And it was fun
[I won a bear]

[Finland has it's own luxuries, that I start to notice now that I'm here.]

In Finland, space

On the other hand, here there's cheap public transport

In Finland, lighting
[Some streetlights have solar chargers here]
but here there's public toilets everywhere.

[Also there's a lot of stuff here that in Finland would be luxuries]

In Finland, clean water and air
here, cheap food and stores have longer opening hours

In Finland, cleanliness
[that's a cockroach, in case you're wondering]
Here a lively and liberated street culture

In Finland, relatively equal society, and labor rights
here a less paternalistic government

In Finland, silence
[No drunkards, the streets are for everyone!]
Here a sense of safety in the streets