Monday, December 29, 2008


JoeNaturally, we've been somewhat remiss in keeping the updates coming during the Christmas holiday. Never fear, we fully intend to make up for it over the next few days by covering Christmas one topic at a time. To start things off, a brief discussion of walks in the wintery woods. Once when discussing the Swedish national character, one of my professors, Anders, said, "Swedes think they walk in the woods more than other people. They may not actually do it, but they like to think that they do." I can't speak to the difference between the idea and the reality, but I can say that Swedes do seem to enjoy their walks in the woods. This has been especially in evidence this past week: on Julafton we got a light covering of snow, and since Christmas it's been cold and clear every day. There still isn't much light, but between the hours of 11 and 3 it has been gorgeous out, and every day there have been Swedes out taking advantage of it.

We've been taking advantage of the light as well. Today, for example, we wandered a little to our southwest to a large meadow, entirely covered in rime glittering in the light of the sun just peaking over the horizon (which is pretty much all that the sun does now, when it's up). The frost had formed the largest crystals either of us had ever seen, covering pretty much everything in sight. We passed maybe a dozen other people on the way, nothing compared to the pretty much constant stream of people who were out on Christmas afternoon.

The most interesting person? That would have to be a young woman taking a slow walk with her sheep, all the while conducting a long, occasionally animated, almost entirely one-sided conversation (the sheep did make a loud comment once) in what sounded quite a lot like Finnish. As Jennifer said at the time, "This country is funny."

1 comment:

  1. i can't convey how much i love the idea of a woman walking her sheep.