Monday, December 21, 2009

12 Days of Swedish Christmas

On the twelfth day of Jul my Swedish love gave to me: (feel free to sing along)

Twelve jars of sill (pickled herring)

Eleven Lussekatter (saffron bread)

Ten Triss lottos

Nine cups of glögg (Christmas wine)

Eight boxes of Marabou Paradis (chocolates)

Seven Saint Lucias

Six Julbords (Christmas meals)

Five golden shots of schnapps

Four Advent candles

Three Årets Julklapp (Years Christmas gift which this year is some mattress with plastic spike kind of things on it.)

Two Amaryllis flowers

And Donald Duck on TV

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sweden Is Nicer In The Summer

For some reason people here seem to be obliged to tell you that Sweden is nicer in the summer. It’s rare that a day will go by when somebody won’t make this revelation to me. Like they are opening my eyes to some profound truth. We’re walking along in the drizzly rain, it’s 3 degrees celsius, haven’t seen the sun in 3 weeks and they say ”Yeah, Sweden is much nicer in the summer”. Thank you Captain Obvious! I never would have imagined that a country that lies north of the 56th parallel, and partially within the Arctic Circle, would experience a more favourable climate in the summer. Isn’t the majority of the world nicer in the summertime? They tell me this knowing that I come from Canada. In the area I come from at the time of print it is -40 degrees celsius, so I am somewhat familiar with the whole deal of having not quite as beautiful weather during the winter months. This isn’t a phenomenon strictly related to Sweden. The Swedes are almost apologetic about the weather. ”You really should come here in the summer, it’s a lot nicer then. This is a summer town”. Every town here is a ”summer town”. I have also been made aware the fact that here in Sweden, in the winter, the length of time during the day in which the sun shines is shorter than in the summer. In fact, in the northern part of Sweden, there can be hardly any daylight in the winter, whereas in the height of summer it doesn’t get dark. This helpful information for those of us that missed that day of 5th grade science. We all get it. It’s nicer in the summer. This is normal.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trains In Sweden

Spending a good part of the day today riding the rails through southern Sweden. Great way to travel….comfortable, no traffic to deal with, see the countryside, I got internet on this thing, I can buy food…top notch. And if I was going to drive it would cost me just as much for gas. Too bad we don’t have better train systems in North America. I know they’re alright some places but you can get pretty much anywhere by train here. I don’t own a car here and I seldom miss it. Just a bike and a train pass. You can even bring your dog on the train if you want. Be aware of that, if you’re looking for some peace and quiet on your trip don’t sit in the dogs allowed section. On the first leg of my journey today I felt like I was at Michael Vicks place. Two mutts brawling in the aisle for forty minutes. No one seemed to mind.