Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wasa this?

Add Wasa bread for breakfast to things I was always adverse to but suddenly developed a liking for. I remember buying a package of it, once, a long time ago in Germany. I tasted it, concluded it tasted like cardboard and it sat in the pantry until I finally threw it away.

But, now, I like it. I have been eating it every morning for breakfast. You can load it up with some cream cheese and whatever fresh veggies you might have available and viola! A quintessential European breakfast. Not the stuff of bacon and eggs but, nonetheless, I am finally getting it.

What is funny is most Europeans, Swedes included, do not eat sandwiches for lunch but they eat the stuff of sandwiches for breakfast. The main meal is lunch. Often times, the sandwich routine is repeated again at dinner time. My husband, like many Americans, typically has sandwiches for lunch to much bewilderment of the Swedes. They insist he is not eating enough for lunch. Lunch should be a proper full out meal.

Moving on, it is not a far leap to turn the conversation as why it is that Americans tend to be so fat, because we eat our main meal at dinner hour. Um, no. Americans are so fat because we eat our main meal at every hour and because food is relatively cheap and plentiful. Oh, and because we don't move a lot. And because we recreate with food. And because we drive every where. Americans are fat for a whole host of reasons but eating dinner at dinner hour probably is not high on the list.

Sometimes the more cantankerous will push the issue further. How can your kids learn anything eating like this at lunch? If they only knew of the peanut butter and jellies, fruit snacks, Chips Ahoys and other crap our kids pile on at lunch. Some schools even patrol the kid's lunch plates looking for offenders who have not completed their entire lunches.

I do not know why sandwiches for lunch brings about such a reaction. I really don't worry myself with why they eat sandwich stuff for breakfast. Hell, I am even partaking in the Wasa.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kill a Fireman, Enter Paradise

This video was made earlier this month. It is so easy to forget the precarious place Sweden is in. When you live in the city center, it is very easy to dismiss these kinds of reports as scare mongering. However, the clash of civilizations is here and very real.

This report is actually in Gothenburg which is Sweden's second largest city located on the west coast of the country. It could easily have been written about the, now, infamous Mälmo. Or many of the suburban ghetto areas of Stockholm.

A testament to the failures of the misguided, purple unicorns and rainbows leftist notion of multiculturalism. Your strength is never in your diversity, EU, but in your unity. It will be a bloody lesson your sons and daughters will have to learn. A hefty price tag you have left them to pay.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Meter Maids

There was a story this past week that meter maids in Mälmo, Sweden's third largest city, will get spy cams to help increase their safety and reduce the incidents of physical threat and violence toward them. I do not know if this problem is isolated to Mälmo or if it is is repeated throughout the country. Mälmo, to put it politely, is a city in transition. Transitioning from the twenty first century to about the fourteenth.

I watch these meter maids with a lot of perplexity. Actually, the term is traffic warden. Warden is much more fitting for the mentality it must take to perform this activity day in and day out. There is no shortage of them and they are constantly on the prowl looking for offenders and writing tickets. Very costly tickets I might add. Tickets like this are, after all, a revenue stream for the state. Lord knows, the Swedish state needs all the revenue it can get. If it can't collect it in punitive taxes and fees, fines are a good alternative.

I do not drive here and everyone tells me that is a good thing because you would invariably receive boat-loads of parking tickets. The parking rules, they say, are so confusing and fluid that even seasoned Stockholmers find themselves getting ticketed. Probably by design. Driving should be discouraged in the new green world. Except for the elites ofcourse. They can drive and when they get tickets they can just get them fixed. Funny how that works.

Yesterday, I saw two parking wardens examining a car. They were in their blue uniforms walking repeatedly around the vehicle. One of them crouched down and seemed to be inspecting the location of the tire of this nice, new blue Audi cross over. They exchanged a few words and parking warden #1 took out his pad and began the process of ticket writing. A smug look of satisfaction peeked out from under his cap. That will teach him for having that nice, new shiny Audi. I know that was what they were thinking.

For sure, it takes a certain, special kind of person to perform this task with cold efficiency. In another era perhaps they would have been asked to be drivers of cars previously used to haul cattle. I would undoubtedly get fired because I would rarely hand them out. Thinking about it further, perhaps I could become some sort of vigilante ticket writer. A sort of Charles Bronson of the parking world, studying and staking out my victims. And I know just who I would target.

Friday, October 23, 2009

UN Day

It's United Nations Day at my kid's school. Apparently, it is a real bona fide day acknowledged by the rest of the world. I had half a mind to keep them home in protest. Really, though, my kid's already know more accurate information about the UN than most adults. I can only imagine them raising their hands and saying, "My mom says the UN is a corrupt and vile institution and that it has never met a dictator or murderous regime it does not defend".

Actually I am glad to see displays of national pride. I am surprised that kind of thing is still allowed. So, for that reason alone I could support it. A one day celebration of people coming together. I can get behind that notion. You can try to erase borders, language and culture but we will forever be a planet of star and unstar bellied Sneetches. A timeless truth.

The kid's broke up into their countries and marched through the surrounding park area. Surprisingly, the Americans were the second largest group behind Sweden. They were encouraged to dress in their country colors and traditional costume if they had it. Many did. As always, the Asian countries were the best with beautifully patterned and colored kimonos and traditional garb. The Indians were not far behind with some pretty impressive duds.

There were lone flags, flags I did not recognize and kids who have been expats so long and in so many locations they did not know whose flag to march under. Surprisingly, the biggest show of nationalism came from the Brits. I tried to get the American kids to let out one big giant, heart felt "Boooyah" but the closest I got was four of them chanting "USA, USA". And no they weren't my kids, some other future jingos. Bless their little hearts.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Burning the Bunnies

They are burning bunnies for biofuel here in Sweden. Well, they cull them from the parks to prevent damage to the greenery. And then they are burning them. Making use of the cadavers. They freeze the bunnies until they are ready to use them. I would be curious to know the energy in-energy-out equation for this endeavor.

They theorize that it is irresponsible pet owners who are responsible for the over population of bunnies. I do not know if I buy that. There is an expression, "breeding like rabbits"...Plus, I'd wager buying a bunny in Sweden is akin to buying anything else in Sweden. A fairly large investment. Let's see...a new coat this month or buy a bunny and let loose in park?

I would think, perhaps, if killing the bunnies is the best option there could be better uses for them. People eat them, their furs can be used for clothing. I have even read the recommendation of using them, at least, as a food source for zoo animals. Ah, but ecomania is all the rage and burning food stuff for energy is the left's newest passion. They've single handedly influenced enough corn burning to triple the cost of tortillas in Mexico. As if the average Mexican peasant is concerned with going green.

Culling in the parks may not be a bad idea. Maybe, though, let's leave the bunnies alone and stick to the junkies and other sordid characters that inhabit so many of them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Snow Already?

It snowed today for about twenty minutes. That was several hours ago. Now it is blue skies again. It's that ever shifting, schizophrenic Stockholm weather for you. Still and all, it seems rather early for snow.

The high today is a balmy 41. Contrast that with the 98 degrees forecast for Phoenix this Friday. Overall the cold is not really getting to me yet, though. The only time it seems a little daunting is when I remind myself that it is only mid October and it's slated to be cold for, at least, ummmm, seven more months.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hotbox Cactus

I purchased a cactus today and it brightened my mood. It is a little slice of Arizona. I was in Lidl and they had a fresh shipment of them just in. It was odd to me that they would have a random shipment of cacti, even stranger since in another month we will be very short on daylight. They were set up by the registers as a sort of impulse buy. For 29 sek, I just couldn't pass it up. Especially since, they were adorned with a little Mexican guy in a sombrero. I was sold.

I miss my dessert plants. I saw a large agave for sale down the street for about $300. It was the kind of agave I can get at home for about $20 and in six months have propagated into 20 more agaves. Understandably, agaves are not as easy to come by in Scandinavia.

Truth be told, I think this may actually be a succulent and not a cactus. Close enough though.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hej då

I have not written this past week as my niece was here visiting from the US. She came with her boyfriend who she met in the states and who resides in Norway. They took the train over from Oslo, after spending an inseparable month together. He returns to Norway; she, the states.

My heart is heavy for them both today. Not so much because I miss their presence, though I do. But I know the sadness they must feel not knowing when they will be reunited. It is a quintessential love story, one I hope she does not mind me sharing with the thirty or so regular readers of this blog. She, the free spirited, independent and sensitive young American woman, he the mild mannered intellectual European who meet by happenstance. Now only the vastness of the ocean separates them, at least temporarily.

Only five words come to mind: Love will find a way.