Clean cars

I walked down an average neighborhood street yesterday in Stockholm past about 40 cars. As I looked in each one, I noticed they were all completely clean! No food wrappers, trash or even crumbs. Every car looked great inside.

I think I’ve come up with the reason for this. No one eats in their car in Stockholm. It is not a fast food/drive-thru culture. The most people do around here is to take a thermos of coffee. And they love their coffee so much, they wouldn’t dare leave the thermos behind when they get to their destination.

I went through a drive-thru on the outskirts of Stockholm this past summer. I realized I had never done this in my 14 years in Sweden. They had 2 lanes for cars plus they actually used both the pay window and the delivery window – a practice the US seemed to give up about a month after it was introduced, leaving us with fast food restaurants full of empty windows.

Not eating in the car. Interesting concept. The Swedes may be onto something here.

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Beer and Cheese dip

My friend in Texas sent me this.  I have no words.

 

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Dentist

I saw a dentist office with a video screen facing outside the window showing tools digging through people’s mouths. Why would this encourage me to visit that particular office?  I don’t see hospitals with Jumbo Trons outside showing gallbladder surgery.

“Hmm…I like that they use the Pembroke scalpel. Maybe I’ll switch places.”

Just put a sign up, Dentists. We go to you for YOU to look in our mouth because we don’t want to and we sure don’t want to see everyone else’s. Save your videos for the Christmas party and scrape off my plaque.

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Important questions in an election

We had elections here in Sweden yesterday. I was reading the morning paper which had a section where they ask people on the street “What do you think is the most important issue in this election?”

One person answered ‘schools’, another answered ‘welfare,’ but my favorite was the woman who answered “The dog question. Where I can let my dog loose is something I want the answer to!”

Good point. I don’t see enough parties discussing the important issue of places to unleash your dog. They’re spending all this time arguing about schools, development and immigration, but not one party speaks up for Mr. Woofers, who apparently has trouble finding one of the many leash free dog parks that are pretty much in every neighborhood around here. Right on Mr. Woofers and Mr. Woofer’s caretaker! Important issues!

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Deciphering job ads

I’m looking for something part-time to supplement my translating work.  I like the ads that are straight and to the point.  Too many of them are full of double-speak and fancy wording for menial work.  Let me decipher this for you:

-Provide administrative support and briefings to senior management ( Bring coffee and donuts at the Monday meeting.)

-Organise and coordinate internal and external meetings, preparing agendas, transcribing minutes, reception of visitors  (Book the meeting room, which takes 2 seconds but somehow the “suits” can’t do that on their own, sit in the back with a laptop or pen & paper so we look fancy even though we could just record this and store it in a sound file, sit at the front desk so no one steals our flowers.)

-Support the procurement processes within a specific programme (order paperclips online from Office Depot)

-Perform various other administrative tasks as deemed necessary (We’re gonna need more donuts.)

 

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Quit putting me down, Google!

I make fresh corn on the cob in the microwave about once a month.  I have so many other things in my life to commit to memory, that I never bother to remember how long to microwave corn, so I always look it up on Google.  Little did I know, Google is getting tired of me looking up the same thing over and over again.  Maybe other people don’t notice these things, but I notice when Google’s giving me a little dig.  “You’ve visited this page 3 times.”  It really means, “Seriously? You’re going to visit it again?  It’s 3 – 4 minutes.  How hard can that be to remember?”  Yep, I know what you really mean, Google.

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15 years ago….

… my life changed direction.  15 years ago my husband and I met in person at the airport (No, I was not a mail-order bride)!

We knew each other from the Internet for 5 years before meeting in person, and once we did, we were married 6 months later!

If you’d like to celebrate with me, why don’t you buy a copy of my book? (haha!)  Your contribution might pay for dessert! 

United States - http://amzn.com/1500873772  

Europe/UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1500873772  

Kindle – http://amzn.com/B00MT0VDEG

Plus, I hear it’s the best read of the year!

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Hero!

Can we quit throwing around the word hero? I just saw a sign saying “bicyclists are heros!” Yeah. Thanks for not using a car and all, but hero? Hey grandpa? Remember when you saved that woman when the building collapsed on her? Well we’re both heros now!

And around here, are people really all riding bikes because they care so much about the environment? Because I’m pretty sure a few are saving money on a bus card or just trying to avoid sitting in traffic.

I recycled some cans last week. Where’s my comic book? Where’s my medal? Hero! My kids will be so proud.

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Strange moments

Sometimes when I sit on the subway with my headphones blasting music, I hear a mumble of the driver announcing something from the speakers. Everyone looks around and then we continue. By the time I take off my headphones the announcement is over.

It’s these times when I wonder what I missed :

“Ladies and gentlemen. All passengers exiting at the next station will receive pie.”

Or

“Fellow passengers, keep your eye out for Texans. They walk among us.”

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Busy as a bee

I might have mentioned before that I have 2 kids.  They are now going to different schools in different parts of town so we are learning how to adjust schedules.  In Sweden, the kids don’t have the same classes every day or even the same starting or ending times.  My husband thinks we Americans are weird for having the same classes and times each day.  On some days, my oldest kid gets out at 4 p.m..  On some days he gets out at noon.  Combine this with trying to do some work (I translate documents from home) and my brain is completely fried.  The after-school activities start later in the month.  Somehow I managed to eat 2 crackers with peanut butter yesterday.  So I guess I’m finding a few minutes to myself after all! 

fraz

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