Thursday, February 16, 2017


Today there was penkkarit, a fest in Finland when the high school last graders finish their school time and start to prepare for the final exams. After today they won't have any lessons anymore, so they'll celebrate. Traditionally they dress funny, board a truck (each school has one), drive around town and throw candy for passers-by.

I celebrated my penkkarit in 1999 dressed up as Darth Vader. It was the time when Special Editions had already come out, but the props were really hard to find as there were no chance to buy anything from the net. But I had bought a Vader mask (it even changed your voice into Vader's voice) from Kukunor, a comic store in Helsinki, and went around the school with my pals before the truck drive. In maths class I asked the students questions like "What's the outcome of two stormtroopers and three rebels?". (The answer's not five. It's a fight.) It was fun.

Me in Vader costume in 1999

When I took part in the famous green Kiwi Experience bus in New Zealand, one evening we were supposed to have a garbage bag party. Each was to buy a couple of black garbage bags and make a costume out of them. Nothing else fell into my mind, so I happily created a Darth Vader costume - again.

Me in Vader costume in 2007

It actually worked really well, even if the sunglasses got misted up all the time because of my breathing. But since no one really remembered me from the bus, everyone was trying to figure out who I was. Especially since I had built the mask so that I could just lift the flap a bit to drink with a straw, so I didn't need to take it off. (Unfortunately, small groups had already formed and the prize for the best costume went to the most popular guy.) There was a guy who really tried to find out who I was, but I just told him we'll see in the bus tomorrow. I was already sitting there when he came in and I can still remember how he scanned through the whole bus, until he saw how I was smiling and waving at him. He pointed me with the finger and shouted so that the whole bus could hear: "She's the one! She was Vader!" We actually came good pals and hung around for the rest of the trip. Haha, such nostalgic memories! :D