Thursday, October 18, 2007

10 things I learned about Sweden in 2 days' time.

1. Nobody locks up their bikes here. Which is some kind of crazy, considering everybody rides a bike. It makes for piles and piles of bikes on cobblestone streets. Warms the heart, it does.

2. Yes, the women are largely blonde and beautiful and resemble the best-dressed runway models you ever did see. In addition, they’re cold and distant and aren’t very friendly. When you notice them noticing you just long enough to promptly ignore you in return, it makes you feel like a bit of a schlump.

3. They also don’t like getting stared at, so try not to do so if you can help it at all. And quit going slackjawed already. It’s uncouth, man.

4. Crepes taste better here. Especially with rhubarb compote to put in their middles.

5. Old music store owners tend to get really rankled when you ask directions to the “only all Elvis store in all of Sweden” store rather than buy their overpriced Elvis mug.

6. Nobody knows where the museum is that houses the lone Viking ship in all of Sweden. Either they’re keeping it a really good secret or the guys of Lonely Planet books were trying to pull a fast one on us tourists.

7. There’s not much in English, which is a pain. You can get out of a street survey, however, as well as signing up for a new cell phone, when you let on you don’t speak the Swedish. One of the few times being a temporary immigrant comes in handy.

8. On that note, it’s hard not to picture the Swedish Chef when some of these folks are jabbering away. And, once you’re able to make that distinction, everything—and I mean everything—gets funnier.

9. The hotel windows open here. Sure, it’s chilly outside, but sleeping comes easier with ‘em open. It’s a bit like camping in Europe. And it’s vunderful.

10. Only in Sweden can a club DJ get away with playing a song by the Doobie Bros, follow it up with classic Prince, follow THAT with Billy Ocean and not have a single person in the place bat an eye. I’d call out the 1-2-3 punch of Survivor, Bon Jovi and Gloria Estefan that came next as some kind of auditory sin, but nobody seemed to mind that, either. Fact, they were playing air guitar solos to Jon (and it was “You Give Love A Bad Name,” to help complete the picture). I hope the DJ was drunk. It’s all I can say.


ewesa said...

woohoo, Go Jon!

aisy said...

mmmm, crepes. does your company need a travelling therapist?

Angie said...

I wish I were tall, blonde and beautiful- I think I would be cold and unfriendly too- just because I could.

I want the Swedish chef to make me creps out of rubber chicken compote.

Angie said...

creps = crepes

in case there was any confusion

MAnderson said...

This entry makes me very proud of my Swedish heritage. For the most part.

Sounds like you're having a blast.

Mikael & Senja said...

hey dainon, where in sweden are/were you? välkommen till sverige. and if you didn't know it already, the viking ship is in stockholm.

greets from my new home, the west coast of sweden.

Dainon. said...

I was in Gutenborg (sp?). And if the ship is really in Stockholm, those Lonely Planet folks really did get some facts wrong, didn't they? Sheesh.

Melody said...

I like Jon Bon and you know it, so I hope you were thinking of me! Glad you are having fun.

Laurie said...

Never doubt your talent as a writer, Dainon. Brilliant as always!

I'm dying to hear all about Zurich next!


Bawdy said...

The Nerve of some DJ's!! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Mikael & Senja said...

göteborg / gothenburg. oh, it is really beautiful, i lived there for a couple of months during the spring/summer.

here is the viking ship

will you post more pictures?

Cindy said...

Schmorgen borgen in de soooup. Cookin lookin murked durk.

ZLB said...

before i went to norway i tried to listen to some 'learn norwegian fast' tapes. I never made it past five minutes b/c hearing norwegian made me laugh SO HARD. and that didn't change when i got there. p.s. Gothenberg home to JENS LEKMAN and the SHOUT OUT LOUDS!!! I HEART SWEDEN!!!

Dainon. said...

Ohhh, yes. I bought a Jens Lekman CD in Sweden, his latest. Two reasons: a) He wasn't playing there while I was in town, so it was the next best thing and b) Someone told me he was my musical twin once.

Okay, so that second reason doesn't play into my choice at all.