Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This is still Sweden

Back from 19 days in the Stockholm archipelago and still glad to be home, although I miss my friends (But I'm not really sorry, because they were very delicious cheesecakes).

Sweden is still Sweden. Ingmar Bergman is dead, may I say a fitting destiny for an 89 year old man who spent a lot of his life pondering over death. The Swedish news are the same. Apart from covering his death (which is about the only thing they cover), they also cover other countries covering his death. "Hey, they talk about us. Look, there's Woody Allen!. He's talking about a Swedish guy. Man, Woody Allen talking about a Swedish guy, saying nice things about him. And there's Ang Lee. Did you know that Bergman's death was the headline on Le Monde....? Oh, man." (SW had a similar entry when Steve Irwin died)

The nights are still white. The water is still cold. The august moon is already rising, making me think of Tom Waits. The wild berries still grow plentiful around the island were I was. Blueberries, wild strawberries, raspberries and some hybrid of blackberries and raspberries that my parents grow. I have no idea what they're called in English, but probably not blasphberries, even though it would be fun and maybe even linguistically correct.

The Swedish teeny terrorists are still the same. A group calling themselves "The Concrete Jungle Indians" are letting the air out of the tyres of SUV's and leaving notes on the windshields saying "Your SUV KILLS!". Which of course makes the SUV drivers pissed as hell and I'll bet ya they drive that baby round the block one more time to get back and the indians. Any teeny terrorist with a brain would of course start a group called "The Concrete Jungle Baboons" (this is funny because it rhymes with indians in Swedish), leave the tyres alone and put a banana in the tail pipe.

The only shocker so far is that you can not pay on the bus anymore.
I was going in to town with the kids to register with the IRS and become a proper swedish citizen again. So my dad gave me a ride (with a boat) to a bus stop on the mainland, still a bit in the middle of nowhere. I step in with the kids and take out my wallet. Busdriver goes:
- Eeeh, yeah, you can't do that anymore.
- What's that now?
- You can not pay on the bus anymore.
- So how do I pay?
- Don't you have a ticket?
- No.
- Oh.
3 seconds silence where I start to think of how to negotiate to buy the ticket when we get back to civilisation. Busdriver goes:
- Do you have a cellphone?
- Eh, yeah. (But I'm not giving it to you if that's what you mean)
- OK. Yeah, then you text H abc to 72510. It'll cost you 52 SEK (about 8 USD) You'll get a reply. That's your ticket.
So on the following two buses I had to take to get all the way in to town I did not show my ticket. I showed my cellphone. Makes me feel really out-of-date-old and really young and insecure on the same time.
- yeah-I-gots-a-text-says-I-can-go-onyebus-please...

When I got to town I bought me some prepaid-tickets.

/J.

3 comments:

secret wombat said...

Glad things seem good in the homeland, deaths of "national heroes" and technologically over the top bus (non)tickets notwithstanding. LB is poorer for your absence, of course, but life goes on. Joe's on wed night remains the weekly social highlight; more an indictment of LB social life than a testimony to Joe's.

Anonymous said...

The hybrid between raspberries and blackberries may be called tayberries, sunberries or tummelberries.

svartpeppar said...

åh jag är nog för trög för att förstå mig på bergman.. tyvärr.