Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Summer House

Sweden and the USA are more alike than different. Living here is in no way a cultural challenge like perhaps moving to China or Mexico. The natives really do try to be nice and they LOVE americans as much as they HATE American foreign policy.

But they do have their moments.

In America for a vacation we normally go somewhere hot and warm where we can be pampered a bit and drink fruity cocktails- Hawaii, Florida, California, Southern France, Italy, etc.

Not the Swedes. They all have summer homes in the middle of nowhere. They like to go there and pretend they are living in the 19th century Little House on the Praire style with no hot water, electricity, or anything like that.

That's what we did for Midsummer holiday. We went about 5 hours north of Stockholm on the outskirts of a town called Fränsta. It started out a little chilly and got gradually colder and wetter until we left. The last day it was 11 degrees Celsius on the 28th of June!

Swedish Satanic Midsummer Ritual

The Midnight Sun on Midsummer Eve

Swedes Really Like Summer Houses For Some Reason

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Saga

I'm writing a diatribe against Bush's America... but it's not finsihed yet... and then I was listening to the new Libertines disc and Carl Barat just summed up my feelings so perfectly. Written for nme-posterchild-ex-bandmate-turned-junkie-crackhead Pete Doherty, it works equally well for Dubya. Enjoy...

The Saga MP3 (right-click and save to desktop)

A problem
Here comes a problem
You let down your friends
And you let down the people
And you let down yourself Oh oh oh oh
And only fools, vultures and undertakers
Will have any time for you

A Problem, here comes a problem
When you lie to your friends
And you lie to your people
And you lie to yourself
And the truth's too harsh to comprehend
You just pretend there isn't a problem

I am a pimp and they say
And in my bed you dig my bed
I dig my grave

The truth's too hard to comprehend
You just pretend there isn't a problem
No, no I ain't got a problem
It's you with the problem

Monday, June 20, 2005

Job Interviews

Well I had another job interview on Friday and I think I did well until the end when I started to lie and said that I wanted a family and kids. In American that's a good lie because it means stability and hard work. In Sweden its a bad lie because it means paid paternity leave is imminent. Shit. Then again, I don't think the Swedes care anyway.

Apparently the criteria for getting a job in Sweden are:

1. Having a Swedish sounding last name.
2. Looking like you fit in with the other people.
3. Having lots of interests outside work.

In Sweden once you get a job it's pretty much yours for life and it's near impossible to get fired without a bribe of a year or two salary. Most people don't work very hard, take their job seriously, and spend at least an hour per day planning their next vacation. You see, with 25 days or more plus 12 national holidays and weekends, that's a lot of planning.

That's not to say people don't work hard in Sweden, but slacking seems to be the general trend. Even as a slothy American I don't think I can take that. I am used to misery, long hours, and working weekends. I think I better start my own company.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

God Hates Sweden

Some things are too good to make up.

Apparently God hates Sweden because:

"Swedes are drippings from the Devil's own penis - a veritable sperm bank for Satan's queers."

"Swedish kids are taught it's OK to be gay and incestuous."

"The Swedish King looks like an anal-copulator, & his grinning kids look slutty & gay!"

Nice one. Made me laugh and almost forget my hangover for a few minutes.

This guy really puts the 'mental' in fundamentalist.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Student Exams

I had an interesting weekend in Stockholm. The inlaws were in town from Jönkoping as well as Linda's sister Pia who lives in London. Pia is Linda's older sister and we get along great.

Pia's old boyfriend called her "the cockney Swede" because she has a cockney British accent whereas Linda had a more classic British accent (I don't know what it's called but its annoying and sounds like one has never been soiled... they use the words 'proper' and 'right' alot).

Thankfully Linda moved to America for a few years and developed a more interesting and international melange of British, Swedish, and the awful nasal American twine that we have. Most Americans don't know this but they sound fucking terrible. No we don't have a cold pandemic we are Americans... and when we say words with R in them we sound slightly retarded. But in our defense at least we don't sound like extras in the cast of Mary Poppins.

Anyway... on Friday we went to Linda's cousin's Student Party. A Student Party is a typically Swedish high school graduation affair where the kids dress up as sailors and ride around the streets of Stockholm in the beds of large tucks blasting bad music (Survivor, Europe, awful hip-hop, bad house music, etc) and drinking beer and sparkling wine. They wave and shout at people and the trucks toot their horns and its all very strange.

The parents go bananas over the whole thing. This is a huge deal. Families gather at various points around the city and hold up large signs of the graduate as a young child or baby (usually doing something embarrassing) and yelling "Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah" and taking pictures.

After the trucks stop, everyone goes to the graduate's house and eats a smorgasbord and drinks alcohol until late in the night. Now the Swedish student is officially an adult and gets a free University education, travels for a year, or gets a cush job with tons of vacation and benefits.

It's nice to be Swedish, although it looks a bit silly sometimes.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Adult ADD

Linda had a long talk with me last night claiming that I have Attention Deficit Disorder but personally I think she's