Summer is here! That means, the blog is back (it was on holidays), I am back (I was on holidays), and life can go back to normal! People went places, saw old friends, had nice vacations – and pondered over life. And sometimes the craziest enlightenments pop up.
Have you ever wondered how it’s possible that in soap operas there is so much drama going on? Is there just a very creative writer behind the scenes, or could it possibly have some connection to real life? If you compare the genre with other TV series, you might discover some similarities under certain circumstances. Take Lost, for example, this unrealistic TV show from 2004, that played entirely on one island. The thing this one had in common with average soap operas is the lack of variety of places and people.
That inevitably leads me to the theory that locking up people in a relatively restricted area will result in drama. They will hook up with each other, and swap partners as if it was the 60s again. Brothers will fall in love with their sisters because they don’t know anyone else, and scandals and intrigues will pop-up magically because people are bored with their daily lives in the ever-same environment.
If this sounds familiar to you, you probably either live right here in Oulu, or in an equally small place with a limited amount of people to choose your friends from. Then it is not about what you want, you just take what you get. And then you try to deal with it.
Cleverly remaining an outsider observer will probably guarantee you the best real-life soap opera you can possibly think of. Returning from my home country and having seen “normal” life, where everyone lives in a different district, I cannot help but notice the huge difference to here. Back there, hundreds of people encounter each other daily. I got to hear different opinions and discuss with people in different stadiums of their lives, some are still studying, some are working in various positions; everyone has their own life that rarely touches that of the others. When I invite for a get-together, my friends usually don’t know each other, I am the connection.
Not in the soap opera life here. Everyone knows everyone else. We are one big group of international or internationally minded students, only some have entered working life by now. That means similar daily life for everyone. We use the same pharmacy, the same restaurant, the same gym. We go out to the same clubs. It sounds unreal – and dangerous. ‘Cause in a place where “the group” has such an immense power, bored people can use this against each other when they want to be mean. If a minority of people is excluded from a plan, no one else is left to hang out with them. If exes are passed on naturally because there is no one else, frustration and anger are predefined.
If you are having a fight with someone, there is no way to avoid each other for a while – you meet either accidentally in the limited area, or almost deliberately on one of the get-togethers. If you tell something to one person, you won’t have to bother telling anyone else – it will make the round faster than you can leave your house, whether you like it or not. Living as an international person in Oulu is a bit like living in a commune, but less deliberately, and with less drugs.
Well, at least there is certainly stuff to come in the next weeks to create a highly entertaining blog for you to read (if you like soap operas). With only one difference: (Un)Fortunately, the characters who are fed up with this whole thing, or don’t fit in anymore, don’t die. You will have them forever. But heads up: eventually, the lucky ones just leave the stepping stone Oulu one day and move on to a bigger place.