Taru Anniina Liikanen
Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Recovering political ghostwriter. Fiction, relationships, politics, bad puns, popular and unpopular opinions. Occasional dinosaurs, because dinosaurs are the best.
Traces of a Life
Ilona arrived at the house closer to 8 pm., but thanks to the spectacular Finnish summer weather, it was still bright as day. The sun was high above the tall pines that lined the field behind the sauna and the barn, which was a good thing. There was barely any light this deep in the countryside, and the next-door neighbor was half a kilometer away. Getting inside the house with her bags would have been a pain in the dark.
The jungle decides when to give life, and when to take it away. In Juan’s hand, the machete glistened whenever the few rays of direct sunlight that managed to penetrate the jungle touched it. He made his way expertly through the plants, cutting as little as possible, disturbing the peace only in the measure he needed to get by. Diego struggled to keep up, his long and lanky body having to contort itself to fit through the holes his shorter friend had made in the vegetation.
Time for Laughs
Right at the end of 2019, I decided I wanted to become a stand-up. Timing, obviously, has never been my strong suit. I can't say it had been a lifelong dream, but I was always a comedy fan. Growing up in Finland, I learned English from American sitcoms and watched Conan O'Brien every night of my adolescence. When I saw Saturday Night Live and learned who Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell were, it felt magical, like I was witnessing something truly amazing.
The Mistress Movement
My father was the kind of man you’d respect. An honest man, a well-known judge and academic. A family man, careful with his private life. A congressman, one of the best-known legal minds of the entire country and a strong contender for the presidency, if he ever decided to pursue it. A stable leader, the kind of politician needed to pacify Argentina after decades of political divide.
I’ll Be Watching You
“She’s getting out, 7.53 a.m. Going in,” he croaked on the recorder, surprising himself with his voice. He’d spent a sleepless night before heading for his early morning shift and argued with Mari on the phone while waiting for Olivia to get out. On top, the cigarettes he had smoked to keep himself awake over the last three hours had not helped, and his throat was feeling seriously scratchy.
- First Place in The Remarkably Real Challenge
My Favorite Thing About BEing Finnish
So, Finland is the happiest country in the world, four years in a row. Amazing, right? There are many things I love about Finland. The amazing social security, the rye bread and licorice, the midsummer nights when the sun comes up at 3 am, and Finnish people’s honesty. The total lack of small talk and polite chitchat when you really want to be quiet. And the natural social distancing we’ve practiced since way before the pandemic.
Democracy and Free-Market Capitalism? Probably Not Eternal
Rules are important. When you follow a common set of rules, you ensure a certain level of fairness to all those involved. This is why institutions are important in a democracy. We vote, and we expect the people we believe in the most to win the vote and bring us necessary changes. But when the other side wins, we expect them to follow the rules, and not change too many things.
The 5-Ingredient Rule Changed the Way I See Food
When I was 19, I found myself a little lost with food. I was living alone for the first time, and working until late every day as a cashier in a supermarket. My apartment was right in the center of the city, across the street from a McDonald’s.