Saturday, April 18, 2009

En mycket glad påsk

Jennifer For Påsk we were invited to the home of our Swiss friends G. and D., who planned to make a traditional Swiss Easter dinner for us and another couple, A.-C. and A., who are from Brittany and Austria respectively. For some reason it didn't occur to me until the week before that we should bring cascarones*; fortuantely we had already decided that we would make quiche, so between that and a few more egg-heavy meals, we managed to have 21 cascarones ready to go.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Narrow Escape

JoeWe just now had our first visitation from the witches, and it was a close call, let me tell you. My impression was that they were not supposed to come by until Saturday, and not wanting to have a house full of candy when it wasn't necessary I had not, therefore, been stocking up. Nevertheless, I was downtown in one of the nicer grocery stores this afternoon, so I figured it was time to stock up. Not a moment too soon, as it turned out!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tre Gånger Större

Joe Winter has finally ended in Uppsala, and with the melting of the snow Spring's bounty is revealed: in the gardens, crocuses in bloom; on the streets and sidewalks, a 3 cm deep layer of gravel; and in what used to be an empty lot in Bolanderna, Uppsala's new mega-IKEA. This weekend was the store's invigning, a fact which I learned from my Swedish instructor, who is always eager to let us know about things we should do to be more Swedish. Mind you, this isn't the first time IKEA has come up in class: on the very first day the teacher wrote the name Ingvar Kamprad on the board as an example of a famous Swede (he's the founder of the company, hence the I and K in the name), and we learned numbers by discussing how many IKEA's there were in various countries ("Det finns arton IKEA i sverige.").

Sunday, April 5, 2009

First derby

Jennifer Last Wednesday night, 1 april, we went into Stockholm to go to a soccer match. Our local team that we cheered for last year is no more. They had such a bad season that they were relegated to the lower division, and I would have supported them there, but then the team went bankrupt. Therefore, if I am to get my football fix, we are going to have to go into Stockholm a little more often than we did last season. The stadium of the Stockholm team we've picked, Hammarby, is quite easy to get to, despite the little adventure we had last year getting to this very same game.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fika småpratar 2: A naughty word

JenniferSome while back, when my officemate S. and I were the last ones to leave fika, I dropped the F-bomb on him. Yes, there is an F-bomb in Swedish, but it's not what you think it is—the English F-word, here in Sweden, is nearly meaningless, and is used by parents in front of their children, and by teeny-bops in front of their grandparents. This constant and casual use has two effects on the poor English speaker: first, she becomes quite inured to hearing the F-word; second, and much worse, it robs her of a precious descriptor. V. and I were commiserating about something truly horrible that the GenBank repository for DNA sequences had changed about their file formats, and I used the F-word to describe them. He didn't react at all.