Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fika småpratar: A Freudian slip

JenniferAt afternoon fika today I attempted to speak Swedish, and was describing one of my samples. I'll report the content of the conversation in English, with the Swedish in parentheses:

Me: "I have a sample that comes from... Wolf Island." ('Jag har en prov som kommer ifrån... Wolf Island.')

Grad student N.: "Every beer?" ('Varg Ö?')

Friday, May 22, 2009

A game in Stockholm

Jennifer Joe is awfully busy with homework and tests and group projects and things like that these days, so last weekend I trundled off into Stockholm by myself to watch a soccer game. Good thing I checked the home team's website just before I left and found out that the game was not being played where I thought it was being played—that pitch had been usurped by the European women's championship rugby tournament. Instead, it was being played in an even cooler place, Stockholms Stadion, which was built for the 1912 Olympic games.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fika at the Soldier's Holt

Jennifer Not a five minute walk from our apartment is Soldattorpet, which means "The Soldier's Holt." The Upplands regiment of the Royal Army had several companies; Upsala [sic] Company in turn had eight soldiers, one of whom was sponsored by the village of Norby, which is now the suburb of Uppsala that we live in. In or around 1680, Norby set aside a small area of land for its soldier to farm and live on (a "torp"), and this particular torp has had a soldier living on it up until the 1940s. A local nature trail, one of Linnaeus' botanical walks, has a trailhead right beside it, and apparently Soldattorpet a popular place for people to sit after their stroll through this end of Stadskogen.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fika småprater: Evaporated milk

JenniferDet finns ingen "evaporated milk" i Sverige. Well, that's not entirely true, of course, but it is an odd specialty item that you can only find in the foreign section of some grocery stores, or Asian markets. For some reason evaporated milk came up at fika last Wednesday, and the Swedes had never heard of it. Sweetened, condensed milk, yes: evaporated milk, no. "It's not sweet?" they said, puzzled.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Comrade J! and May Day

[A post attempted in the vein of Wodehouse;
here's a link to Comrade Bingo in case your memory is hazy]
JenniferLast Thursday, Sista April, was a big holiday in these parts, in which all the Uppsala University students engage in entertainments like spraying champagne about and pelting each other with baguettes. The older and more restrained alum show up as well, in their student hats, and reminisce about the good old days, though they generally prefer to filter their champagne through the kidneys first, rather than pour the stuff directly into the drains leading to the river. As previously reported, Monty and I had met up with such a bunch in Engelska parken, where the alum of a certain age loll on the grass. It was there that we met up with my old pal Kipper (post-doc K.) and her claque, eating their s. and sipping their ch.

Friday, May 1, 2009

De mest Uppsaliensk dagen för alla

"The most Uppsala-esque day of all"
JoeSo our MP declared last night, standing on the burial mounds of Gamla Uppsala as the majbrasan burned merrily below. In translation, her next assertion ("I resten av Sverige är det Valborg, men i Uppsala är det sista april") doesn't make much sense, but as we mentioned last year, the day before Förstamaj is a special day in Uppsala, full of traditional celebrations like hat throwing, river rafting, and picnicing—but mostly very, very full of drinking.