Thursday, August 23, 2007

surf & surf

If you are very lucky, an old friend feeds you lobster and crab.
And you eat until it's all gone. Best dinner in a long while.
(I got home-grown raspberries too.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'll see you when you dive up

I've spent almost two weeks in Sweden now, and it's pretty much the first time in a year and a half that I have used my first language on a regular basis.

I don't have an accent I don't think. But I do the same thing that I do in the US, a subtle mixing of the languages that I don't think anyone but me can really hear.

If I intend to start a sentence with a "maybe", when I am in the US out will come a "kanske", which is the Swedish word. In Sweden, in the middle of my Swedish sentence there will be an "I don't think" or a "how" where there should have been "jag tror inte", or "hur". It's like my brain knows no difference, and all the words are happily swimming together.

Which reminds me of when my bilingual Mexican American friend heard himself say that he had to go help another friend move her ropes.

Her ropes? That made no sense to anyone.

What he meant was her ropas, which is Spanish for clothes. She was moving houses. His brain had mixed Spanish and English, all on its own. That's how I feel too.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I don't get it

I have spent a week and a day in my old country now, and for the past couple of days stories about Swedish unhelpfulness have been coming from everywhere. (If you read Swedish, here is a really good one.)

There was a one such story in the paper yesterday, and then a visting German person was telling me something along the same lines too. He said that Swedish people will answer direct questions, but no one will ask open ended or follow up questions. Which means that you may be left without useful help after all.

It's embarrassing and odd that people in this safe and pretty country should be afraid of getting themselves involved with others.

Friday, August 10, 2007

sfo o8.o8.o7

those little feet are sharp, let me tell you

This is a Swedish sheep. He thinks he is a dog. He jumped on me and demanded food. I didn't have any.
I like it better when there is a gate between us.
Or even further distance.
Actually, this is good.

Friday, August 03, 2007

don't tell me it's a coincidence

When you see The Bourne Ultimatum, look for this.

oak hill park, san jose, calif.

Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose is huge. And it looks like it is still growing, eating up the yellow hillside inch by inch. As the link will tell you, it is the oldest secular cemetery in California.
People have come from all over the world: From Russia and Eastern Europe, China and Vietnam.
Nils Holmberg from Minnesota fought in the Spanish-American War (1898). He was a sergeant. He died in 1935. That's all we know about him.

Right now there are 237 men in Sweden over the age of 16 who share his name.

it's always a good idea to park in the shade