In the Secret Garden of SwEden

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  •  27-1-2018
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Автор:Colin Moon
Издателство:Mercuri Kongress AB
ISBN:9789197622219 Тегло (гр.): Формат: 120 / 200 Състояние: Мн. добро
In the Secret Garden of SwEden. Colin Moon

Before I ever set foot in Sweden I knew for sure that Swedes were socialists, that they drank themselves to death and that they had sex anywhere at any time. Now that I’ve been here for a few years I know that only one of these is true.

In Sweden in the early 80s all the good things in life were either immoral, illegal or heavily taxed. I came to a land where supermarkets covered over weak beer with a blanket at 8pm, where the highlight of Saturday evening’s TV entertainment was Anslagstavlan and where it was illegal to shower after 10pm at night.

In the early 90s Sweden was still a land where it cost as much to fly from Stockholm to Goteborg as it did over the Atlantic, a land where Swedes spoke quietly on the telephone and where people wore gloves as early as October.

It is now the 2000s. Swedes are still convinced they are nothing special, rather dull and simply quite ordinary. Do not let them fool you. They are just as weird and wonderful as they have always been. They just need a little help to show it. Welcome to the garden, the beautiful, blossoming garden of SwEden.
Mercuri Kongress AB
ISBN 978-91-976222-1-9

OK, so why another book about Swedes?

There’s so much to say. They never cease to amaze and amuse me. And I quite like them.

What do you like most about living in Sweden?

I’ve learnt the names of insects. For me before they were just horrible little bastards that bite. In the garden of SwEden they have names like mygg, bromsar and knott. Swedes also know the names of trees.

First insects and now trees?

I was born in south-east London and there we had two types of tree - a tree and a Christmas tree. And that was usually plastic. In Sweden they pick up a leaf and can tell you immediately if it’s a leaf from a woople-doople tree or a hurdy-gurdy tree.

Anything else?

The singer, Lena Philipsson.
Garden of SwEden

Lena Phil...?

I’m in love. Oh, and the actor Mikael Persbrandt.

That’ll confuse the readers. What’s the best thing about Swedes?

Their teeth.

I beg your pardon?

Swedes in general have nice teeth. I’m British and our teeth are as bad as our plumbing.

How Swedish have you become?

I hope one day to become normal just like the Swedes. I now start thinking about the coming weekend as early as Wednesday afternoon and I dress warmly in April even if there is a heat wave. It is, after all, only April. My pronunciation of sjut-tio-sju has been highly praised and my singing of Helan gar has been warmly applauded.

Was it easy to learn Swedish?

I’m still learning how to pronounce it. I get my dots mixed up sometimes and say I’m off out to feed the widows instead of the ducks (йпког/ ankor). And I sexually harass my neighbours when I should bump into them (stota pa/stota pa).

What about being ‘lagom’?

I think I felt lagom once, one afternoon in November in Sheleftyou.

You mean Skelleftea.

Right. I was there once. Nice place. But it rained. It was like being in a car wash for a week.

How do you cope with the climate?

Well actually, I quite like rain. At least you don’t have to shovel it. I was brought up with it. Swedes always talk about the weather. It’s a safe subject to talk about. And anything that is safe is fine with Swedes. See the zipper on these trousers? It was a Swede who invented it. And you can’t get much safer than that, can you?

After all these years in Sweden you must have got used to most things Swedish by now.

I can’t manage Swedish measurements. Wine comes in 75 cl, cream as 3 dl, so what on earth is 500 ml?

The author on Swedish Television singing a well-known drinking song - the glass contains pure Swedish tap water.
Garden of SwEden

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