So Muumi, Professor Balthazar and a gummy bear walk into a bar…

Well, technically, they walked into Demola.

But let’s start this story from the beginning, shall we?

First of all, do you know what do Austria, Croatia and Finland have in common? Couple of answers instantly come to mind.

A culture of working really hard? Sure, if you count all the Croatian people casually drinking coffee outside in the sun during (paid) working hours as working hard.

Beautiful mountains? Nope, sorry Finland, Lukonmäki won’t cut it.

Great sense of humor? Not so sure about that one Austria. (Es tut mir leid!)

A dislike for anything Swedish? Well, we’re kinda already getting warmer now. (Don’t take IKEA away from us though, please! Nor Saab. You can leave H&M here while you’re at it as well. Feel free to take ABBA with you though!)

Great cartoons? Bingo!!

Sure, we could have decided to go through all the 72 pages of the Finnish language course notes Ms Mirja painstakingly prepared for us, or try to learn all the exceptions to the rule which is part of a bigger group of exceptions that make the rules when deciding whether should a word start with “der”, “die” or “das”. However, after much deliberation, we decided against our better judgments and opted to watch cartoons on YouTube instead.

The author of these lines embarrassingly proclaimed that he “doesn’t really understand what this Muumi fuss is all about”, then added “isn’t Muumi just a hippo?” and finished the dirty work with “isn’t Muumi Swedish anyways?”, leaving everyone in the room utterly shocked by his ignorance.

What followed was probably the most eye opening 23 minutes of my life.

It didn’t take long for the story of what spring brought to Moominvalley or Muumilaakso to capture my heart completely. I learned about Muumipeikko, his parents Muumimamma and Muumipappa, his immature friend Nipsu, his lady friend Niiskuneiti, adventurous Nuuskamuikkunen, and feisty Pikku Myy. I also learned about the evil hat and that there’s nothing in this world that can compare to motherly love.

After this warm and emotional story, it was time for something interesting and yummy. With the assistance of the helpful German mouse who preferred to remain nameless, we learned one of the greatest mysteries known to mankind – How in heavens are gummy bears (Gummibärchen) produced and why are there no blue ones? To find the answer to these questions, google “Die Sendung mit der Maus” and prepare to be amazed!

And finally, I showed Janika and Thomas possibly the only thing we Croatians like more than our beaches, sunny weather and 3 hour paid coffee breaks – Professor Balthazar. They saw the story of Viktor, who spent his days standing on the main square of Baltazargrad selling his world famous eggs to his fellow citizens, who depended on them to perform their daily duties impeccably. However, that was about to change. If you want to find out more, don’t forget to look “Victor’s egg-o-mat” on Youtube!

Before I wrap this up, I would like to thank good people of Demola for letting us use their big TV screen and comfortable couches, as well as those delicious cookies. We are aware cookies weren’t meant for us, but we’re completely prepared to pretend it never happened if you are too!

Until next time!


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