Monday, September 18, 2006

Making Contact and More

“Hej, Jag heter David”. These first important words are useful to introduce yourself to someone in Sweden. As long as you do not get a puzzled look, you are answered by the usual “Hej”. Meeting Swedes this week was quite a unique experience. I am happy to have met a bunch and able to chat with them. Of course, all spoke good english and I learned a lot from them.

Probably the most unique experience this past week was the Diego Maradona show I attended. The godly number 10 graced Stockholm with his presence to a crowd of 5000 people. Approximately 90% of the crowd was of latino origin wanting to touch and see the football star. Latino-Swedes everywhere, speaking swedish/spanish and screaming, “Diego, Diego, aqui estoy Diego”. The crowd was quite ruly, as Maradona ducked underneath his 4 bodyguards, inches away from the stretched out hands and screams of blue/white clothed fans. By the way, Diego looks a hell of a lot better than a few years ago and he still has his magic feet too.

My school gave me an opportunity to meet some Swedish classmates when they hosted a dinner for us last Thursday. Two 4th year students studying engineering sat at my table and we had a great conversation about Swedish sports. In Scandinavia, they created a variation of the worlds most popular game. A frozen ice field, with 11 players per side, holding a hockey stick and skating after a small ball. The rules are exactly like football, but you play with hockey equipment. Very unusual. Only Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia play this game called bandy. My two classmates have never played, but state it is quite popular.

Of the international students, a few have lived in Sweden for some time. One classmate in particular married a Swedish girl and has lived for 2 years in Sweden. He is a Sikh, but does not wear his turban due to Swedish cultural integration problems. His wife stresses that Swedes would never accept him and confuse the turban as Arabic descent. This was something that shocked me to think that such a progressive state would have such ignorant people, but culturally this is the way it works around here. The couple is amazing and they took me out for drinks and we chatted about their organic designer clothing line. They sell their designs all over Sweden, but insist they are small and do not want to get too big yet.

I always thought getting picked up by a record label was big. Well, on the Friday night, I met a popular stone rock band who say otherwise. These Swedish guys have toured all over Europe and even performed in Hamilton, Ont. In my liquid state, I forgot the name of the band, but it was quite fun hanging out with this crowd. Late in the night we all headed to a famous lounge called Pet Sounds, the drinking hole for Stockholm’s musical elite. Several times that night, a pointing finger would guide me to a person and they would be described as some band member or musician. Since I am musically ignorant, I just nodded with appreciation. Like most party nights, it ended with a complaint that the bar was closed (1pm!!) and that we needed to find an open club. Of course, the search became futile and we all headed in our separate directions.


Well Sweden has chosen a new direction. This one points Right. After a gruelling campaign the polls closed today and revealed that Sweden will join the many other Western countries in right-wing governments. Check out this link to get an analysis of the situation. Things should get really interesting in the next few years!!


Blogger Swedish lamps and other energy tales said...

The name of the band is called Dozer. They play stoner rock. You can check out their sound on their website:

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh--- music! I found the Karpe Diem album! :)

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I will keep my music full of poetry and reflections. Am I missing something? I like to feel the words suspended in an unfinished dream of a better world. Perhaps I am still listening to "just imagine"!!. Perhaps, I am still floating in the twilight between the world and the silence!!
by Random Thoughts

12:43 AM  

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