Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Hjärtans Dag

Joe Well, it's hjärtans dag, which means it's also the 17th anniversary of the first time I asked Jennifer out on a date. Our anniversary doesn't seem to get as much media attention here as it does in the States, but we decided to celebrate anyway. We had lunch today at the cafeteria of the Evolutionsmuseet at the EBC where Jennifer works, for a traditional Swedish Torsdag meal of split pea soup and pancakes (with creme fraiche and strawberry jam, of course). We had planned on spending  little time checking out the Svensk Fauna wing of the museum afterwards (as opposed to the Utländsk Fauna wing) but this is Sweden, so the museum was closed this afternoon for no discernible reason.

On the walk home I stopped by the Svenskundervisning för invandrare (SFI) office, which is supposed to be open for drop-ins from 13–15 on Torsdag afternoons, but they have also closed for the week with no visible explanation. Is something going on this week, or do official offices just close in Sweden for a holiday that no one here seems to celebrate? Ah well, at least I managed to get myself a city library card, and, as a result, a copy of the most recent Steven Erikson book, Reaper's Gale, which hasn't been released in the U.S. as yet; if you have any interest in fantasy at all and I haven't already recommended the Malazan Book of the Fallen to you, then I have been remiss in the extreme—he makes Robert Jordan look like a mouth-breathing hump, with all due respect to the dead… what was I talking about? Oh, yes, well obviously the library was still open, so it wasn't a complete governmental shut-down.
For dinner we had a salmon fillet glazed in a honey mustard sauce, with apples sautéed in rosemary butter and a bottle of South African Pinotage. The salmon here is excellent of course, and not really more expensive than any of the other meat. Also, it turned out we each bought chocolates, so for dessert we had one of our few remaining Zingerman's salt caramels, some cognac truffles, and some cayenne pralines (which in Sweden appears to just mean 'filled chocolate candies', not anything involving pecans, which don't seem to exist here). Actually, I'm quite full. Oh, and we watched SVT's coverage of today's skidskytte in Östersund (we're still marveling at getting 2-4 hours per day of cross country skiing coverage on television).

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