It’s funny how people can change when store sales come up.
Twice a year Finland’s biggest warehouse Stockmann has big sales called Hullut Päivät, Crazy Days. And really, that’s exactly what they are: crazy days.
When I first came to Finland a good number of years ago, I went to see what the fuzz was all about. I read through the sales catalogue and found a cheap flight ticket to Amsterdam. So I went, waited at the entrance and was amazed and amused by all the people.
Never in my wildest dreams had I thought to encounter this.
The otherwise so nice Finns, private, but nice, turned into the complete opposite. Sweet old grandmas turned into vicious little monsters. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve seen them fight, literally!, over pieces of clothing. Totally out of control.
I had to be on the fifth floor for my flight ticket. The doors opened at 08.00am, I was on the fifth floor by 08.04am (I did understand that I had to make haste with getting to where I had to be), I took a number from the machine and it read 178. So in the four minutes that it took me to get upstairs 177 people had managed to get upstairs ahead of me. Imagine that.
After that I swore to steer well clear of this madness.
Until now… There was an offer in this year’s catalogue which tempted me to put my life in the hands of this insane mad crowd again.
And so six years after my first experience, at 07.50am I scurried towards the entrance.
At about 07.50am there were already some 150 people waiting at the entrance
I got this scary sense of déjà-vu… But I took courage and put myself amongst the crowd waiting.
And a few minutes before 08.00am…
Rows and rows of people, at least 600, waiting for the doors to open
I’m not exaggerating. In the 10 minutes that I waited for the doors to open, the amount of people added up to about 600. In rows and rows pushed against the doors. The trams had trouble passing, because the people just stood everywhere.
And then came 08.00am. If I wouldn’t have been in the crowd trying to survive and stay alive, I swear would’ve wet myself, it was THAT hilarious. The doors opened and people really elbowed their way inside. Imagine those sweet old ladies and sophisticated business women and men pushing each other over, and RUNNING, not walking, but sprinting into the store to get to the elevators first so they’d be on their floor as fast as possible.
We’re supposed to be a civilized species. With brains. But come discount time, come sales time, we just turn into a bunch of neanderthales and if it hadn’t been this hilarious it would’ve been pathetic. Or should I just put that the other way around? If it hadn’t been this pathetic it would’ve been hilarious.
The thing that I wanted wasn’t all that popular, so I was pretty much in clear waters. But no more Crazy Days for me for a couple of years. Unless it’s from a distance to shoot pictures of people who make complete idiots out of themselves.