We’re in Texas

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Boston

We’re currently in Boston for the first time. As I’m scheduling this before we leave, I have nothing real to write about the place yet other than I’m hoping we are able to understand people better than we did in Dublin and we are hoping to gain 5 lbs each with good food.Plans for Boston: Day 1: Eat, sleepDay 2: Eat, M.I.T., Eat, Snack, Nap, Eat, SleepDay 3: Eat, park, Eat, look at old boats, Eat, Dessert, SleepDay 4: Eat, boat, Eat, park, take picture of old building, Eat, Dessert SleepAs you can see, I think I’ve planned a very satisfying and exciting vacation to Boston. I just hope I don’t miss any opportunities to eat.beans

Back to Switcher-land

Once again, we are changing planes today in Switzerland….. wait, I’m sorry Switcher-land, as my 8-yr old insists it’s called.

We changed planes here a couple of years ago and he misunderstood the name of the country, though it made quite a bit of sense at the time.

Since then, I’ve been trying to convince him of the right name, but it’s really hard to do when all we ever do is switch planes there.  And today isn’t helping with my argument.

So greetings from Switcher-land!

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More language mistakes

Why do Swedes have to make the word “to hear” (höra) and “whore” (hora) so similar?

This is really bad when I’m writing about something that happened.

“You should hear about…”   (Du bör höra om….)

Yes, I think you see where I’m going with this.

But if I just take away those dots – “Du bor hora om” turns into “You should whore about.”

Sure, it comes in handy when I actually don’t like the person and want to pretend I made a mistake, but it’s pretty tough when you’re on vacation without a Swedish keyboard and you’re writing a friend.  Especially when they’ve been complaining to you about fining a job.

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Oh thank goodness…. summer is saved!

I like the use of the word “fruit-related heist.”  I’m going to work that into my conversations more often.

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More DISASTER Strawberry news….

It seems I missed this story in The Local over the weekend. When I say Swedes take their strawberries seriously, I really mean it. And no, it’s not a joke. It’s a real story.  Forget stealing cars or purses…. strawberries are the hot commodity here.

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Midsommar and EVIL Midsommar

This past weekend, we celebrated Midsommar here in Sweden. It’s a celebration of the longest day (though that’s actually yesterday, I believe), where Swedes dance around a Maypole like frogs…. this after eating pickled herring and drinking lots of schnapps.

So I filmed a little one-minute video of our Midsommar celebration last Friday, Swedes hopping around like frogs, etc.

But while I was filming it, I started to wonder what it would be like with different filters and sound effects.  I think you’ll like the result:

Maybe not the best gift for dad?

Apparently, today is Father’s Day in the U.S. This ad showed up while I was browsing things to do in Houston.

Do you think your father might be a bit afraid if you took him here for Father’s Day?  Not sure this is the best idea.

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Summer Camp

In Sweden, most kids through Grade 3 have the opportunity for a free-time club through the schools during the summer.  After Grade 3, you’re on your own once school is out.

We have a son who just completed Grade 4, thus he has nothing to do now that school is out. I noticed plenty of ads for day camp week-long activities such as soccer camp, art camp, dance camp, etc. However, the price tag is about $200 for a week! So I didn’t sign him up for anything, thinking that the other parents and I could take turns having kids over while adjusting our work schedules.

Turns out, I was the ONLY parent with this idea. Every one of our son’s friends is at some sort of camp all week, which leaves him stuck for a few hours of work with me each day (though luckily I have a job where I can keep short hours when I need to).

Not wanting to leave our son out of “camp” type activities, I’ve made my own camp this week.  It’s called “Camp Price is Right.” Each morning, we sit down to an episode of The Price is Right (a popular U.S. game show where contestants try to guess the price of items through many different small games). We yell out our guesses at the screen “A stereo system? $750!” and quivering with anticipation when the contestants have a chance to spin the big money wheel without going over a dollar.

I’m considering opening this camp up to others.  Here’s why you should join:

1. We learn math. (He spun .55, how much more does he need to make a dollar? C’MON .45!  45!  AHHH!!!)

2. We learn probability. (That last lady got a new car. There’s no way this guy is getting a car. I bet it’s a grill set.)

3. We learn geography. (A trip to Los Angeles? That lady lives in Santa Barbara.  BORING!)

So come on down! You can be our next guest on The Price is Right Day Camp!  The cost is a set of home-made cookies or brownies. Certain flavors of ice cream may be accepted.

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Riddle: What do all Swedes do when it rains?

Answer: They go to Ikea of course!

(ok, not really a riddle… more of a question…. and pretty lame, I know.)

We made our bi-annual, required by Swedish law, trip to Ikea this past weekend on a rainy day. Of course, so did all other Stockholmers. I think we did well this time. With only 4 things on our list, we managed to escape the maze of stylish furniture and accessories with just 16 items. I think that’s a new record for us.

The rest of the afternoon was spent building furniture, of course. I tried to tell my son it was like building Legos, but he didn’t really fall for it. He did manage to hit a few nails and play with a box cutter in the toolbox while my back was turned before wandering to something way more interesting and computerized in his room, leaving me in a pile of screwdrivers and wooden pegs.

But everything has now been built and our apartment will have that lovely new furniture Ikea smell for a couple of days. I think it’s just a matter of time before someone bottles that smell. I’d buy it. I bought “new car smell,” so why not “new furniture smell.” I think I’m onto something here.

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