11. tammi, 2018

Life in a changing world

This December marks the 100th anniversary of Independent Finland. I’ve watched my home country develop for half of it’s independent era, and thinking about that takes me back in time, to revisit the bygone decades and the different eras both in my personal life and in the world around me.

In the 1970’s Kuopio of my childhood, during the age of the rotary dial and the “golden piggy bank”, I could never have imagined a morning like this, where I wake up to a “beep” from my mobile phone in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I check the message on the flat touchscreen of my smartphone to find out that my child’s flight from Mexico to Paris has been delayed, causing her to miss her connecting flight to Helsinki and making the 400km drive from there back home a bit of a tight squeeze before school the next morning. I pick up my ipad, and book my daughter a flight online, using online banking. With only a few taps on the screen the e-ticket arrives on the phone of my daughter, who’s currently queuing at De Gaulle airport. We exchange a couple of whatsapp messages, complete with heart emojis to confirm that the problem has now been solved. All this, and I haven’t even got out of bed yet!

I remember the mornings from my childhood, how I used to listen to the early morning news on the radio and stare at the test card on the tv, patiently waiting for the popular “Hinku ja Vinku” tv show to start. Now, half a century later, I check the latest news from around the world on my mobile device, read through my emails and scroll through the latest tweets and posts on instagram and Facebook. I give a “thumbs up” to the best stuff and download the latest photos of my grandkids on to the memory card on my device. My phone reminds me to take an umbrella with me, since it’s expected to rain over the Yucatan Peninsula today.

At breakfast we skype call our parents. Instead of the astronomically expensive and poor quality oveseas phonecalls of old, we get to see them face to face and speak as if we were in the same room, for free! I notice my mums snazzy glasses and my mother in laws new hairstyle. Before we set off again, Pekka has a quick look at the satellite image of our campsite via google maps, and keys in the coordinates of where we’re headed on to the sat nav. We’re ready for the road!

The google app on my mobile device comes in handy again when researching the background info on Merida, our next destination. Having google in my pocket is considerably easier than carrying around the pride and joy of my school days; the four part “Apollo” encyclopaedia. My understanding of information has definitely changed over the decades; these days it becomes outdated so quickly that most encyclopaedias are already partially out of date by the time they’re printed!

On our lunch break I reminisce about the 80’s and how we used to pack a picnic lunch in a styrofoam box with freezer blocks, to keep it cool for a few hours at least. Today, the solar panels on Epeli’s roof provide enough energy to ensure that the inbuilt fridge freezer in our motorhome is always set to the right temperature and our food stays fresh. In only a few moments, we can turn frozen cordon bleu’s and fresh veg into a delicious meal using our mobile kitchen.

At bedtime, I remember how we used to camp, using tents, foam mats and sleeping bags. Compared to that our current camper bed equipped with a spring mattress feels rather luxurious! How the world has changed! Being a sixties child, our family holidays were to an island in a nearby lake, and I bet I would never have believed it, if someone had told me that I would one day travel round the world in a motorhome!