Saturday, April 26, 2008

Out for a Rugger

JoeAt her conference a few weeks back, Jennifer met a fellow researcher who plays rugby for the local women's side, Uppsala RFC. As today was a particularly pleasant day, we decided to get out in the sunlight and air a bit by going to today's match, versus Attila RG of Älvsjö (a particularly unpronounceable suburb to the south of Stockholm). Uppsala RFC's field is part of Fyrsihov, a large rec facility on the north side of town. Most of the place is taken up by the large building with the indoor pools and the bowling alley, with the rugby field and a number of football pitches lying to the north on Badmintonstigen.

We missed most of the first half, but the admission was only 40 SEK for the two of us, and we found quite unexpectedly that they had rough-hewn stands (despite their made-by-a-lumberjack appearance, they were still much more comfortable than the seats at Studenternas, but more on that in another post). So we paid the seven year old girl at the gate, and grabbed a semi-comfortable spot. At the half, we decided we could each do with a korv med bred, so I tromped back over to the little tent where the fellow was cooking sausages on a grill. Apparently he only handles the cooking part, though, as after smiling at me he simply nodded, and waited for the seven year old to come charging back over to take my order. My plans for ordering a couple of hot dogs in English momentarily dashed, I sucked it up and said to her, "Två korv, " to which she patiently (and slowly) replied, "Två korvar," before turning to the guy at the grill and merrily belting out my order. Was having my grammar corrected by a second-grader humiliation enough for one afternoon? It was not. A moment later, the gentleman asked me something incomprehensible in Swedish, and on hearing my "Jag förstår inte svenska" he immediately turned to the little girl and said something to her about me being an Englishman. She replied, "OK," and then turned back to me to say in perfect English, "My father is Richard, if you know who that is." I confessed that I did not (it turned out later he's the coach); she handed me the mustard, took my 20 SEK, and watched me slink away to hang my head (and eat my hot dog).

Forty-five minutes later I had learned two things: (a) Attila may be the oldest Rugby team in Sweden, but Uppsala is way better, as reflected in both the run of play and the final score of 29–5, and (b) jag förstår inte rugby. Still and all, it was a nice afternoon in the fresh air, with a pleasant view of some apartment blocks. Oh, and the Tuna Allotment… which is just going to require another post, on another day, I'm afraid.

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