Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sweden Sizzles


SWEDISH FACT-OF-THE-DAY:
In 1943, 17 year old Ingvar Kamprad founded the international furniture powerhouse IKEA. The acronym stands for Ingvat Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd. Besides his intitials, the E stands for the name of the farm on which he grew up and the A is for his home parish in Småland located in southern Sweden only 50 miles northeast of Hässleholm.

Myron Bolitar Mystery Novel #1

Because I tend to sleep a lot less at night than Laurie, I'm getting a lot of reading done which I love!

As you may recall, Mike and Susan D'Antuono sent me a nine-pack of books recently. Up until now, I have been alternating reading a Kurt Wallander mystery with an Emigrants series novel for the past two months.

Now that I had finished the Emigrant series, it was time to dig into a very different protaganist, Myron Bolitar - Sports Agent/Detective.

While the Kurt Walander character is dark and introspective, in a word troubled, as was the emmigrant Karl Oskar Nilsson, Myron is an upbeat East Coat wise-ass, think "My Cousin Vinny." It was both a quick and a fun read.

Since I have been unable to find Wallander mystery #7 in the local bookstores, it will be on to Bolitar Mystery #2, cleverly denoted by the D'Antuonos with the sequential number they hand wrote on page one of each of the six Bolitar books they sent me, even the one that proudly proclaims in red and white on the front cover "The First Myron Bolivar Novel."

Does anyone know where I can find an interesting sidekick like Windsor Horne Lockwood III?

Yesterday, as we were leaving Krisitianstad, we ran into Hurricane lineman Andre Sjölund who was just arriving at the train station. He raved about the moose meat that is served at Kristianstadsdagarna every year and how he usually comes to at least three days of the festival just to taste the savory meat of what is Sweden's King of the Forest.

It was hot and humid, Laurie was tired so we continued on our way home, but today I was bound and determined to make a triumphant return to Kristianstad to follow up on Andre's advice.

It was HOT. The mercury reached 35˚C = 95˚F today, the hottest day in the Skåne region since 1994, I'm told.

Now, it does get cooler once the Sun goes down, the only problem with that is that the Sun doesn't go down for very long this time of the year!

Laurie opted to stay home so I was on my way to Hässleholm Central Station for what should have been a quick 90 minute round trip operation.

KEY WORDS: ". . . should have been . . ."

Darth and the boys were looking
for the moose meat queue with me

Toasty inside of those outfits I'd guess.

EUREKA!!!

An unassuming booth, could the moose really be that good?

Its Moose Grillin' Season

"One moose meat pita, please."

It was incredibly tasty! Hard to describe it but if any IKEA in southern California stocks it, I'm on it!

Even the two conductors from the train I rode into town were eating here during what was now the 30 minute wait before the return trip to Hässleholm. Perfect, we would all eat a moose meat pita and turn right around on that next train out of Kristianstad . . . easy.

GREAT call Andre!!!

Lonely Ballon Man

The heat would again hurt attendance at the festival, thus ballon sales were minimal.

Conditori Duvander Surprise for Laurie

If I hustled, I could buy some fika to take home to Laurie. Everything was going as to plan. I got back on board the train with five minutes to spare, I was all over my timetable.

Then it happened, the announcement . . .

All of our Swedish trains run on non-air polluting electricity. The heat had blown the train system's transformer in Hässleholm so we could not return by train. A bus would be here soon to take us to Hässleholm.

Now this is a major issue for the Swedish train system. Hässleholm is the only city in Skåne that has five different rail lines converge in one city. In other words, cross Skåne travel is pretty much shut down until this problem is fixed . . . on a Sunday.

The crowds kept getting bigger

No, that is not our bus in the background, that is a normal regional bus making its routine run. Time kept passing, it would be two and a half hours before the right three buses finally arrived. Trains kept arriving, dumping their passengers and returning to their points of origin since they could not continue on through Hässleholm.

I sensed a mob mentality brewing, if and when the buses arrived. Would the sun baked throngs storm the motor coaches in order to not be left behind?

It didn't help that when our three buses did arrive, their destinations were not marked thus creating confusion as to which bus to get on. I got lucky and found the right one on the first try.

I finally got home with two very melted fikas about three hours later than anticipated, but still in plenty of time to watch . . .

The World Cup Finals
Netherlands vs. Spain

The long anticipated 64th game of the World Cup Tournament was finally here. We sat down, ready to root España on to victory.

Can you believe it, it was 0-0 at the half???

That's when the tropical storm hit the greater Hässleholm Metroplex.

It got ominous outside

O.K., it wasn't this dark, it was just me experimenting with the settings on my new Nikon D3000.

Did I mention I got a new camera from Laurie for my birthday?

My first Nikon D3000
Lightning Strike Photo!

No, I have no clue what my F-Stop setting was when I snapped it.

The second half started up with us having to close all of our windows due to the torrential downpour attacking Icelandia. Great, now we had no ventilation to speak of . . .

After 90 hard fought minutes, it was still 0-0. Now I said hard fought, there were a World Cup Finals record 14 yellow cards in the game and the Netherlands would have to play short handed with only ten men on the pitch at the end.

We're going to a 30 minute extra time period!

At the 116th minute it happened

Spain's #6 Andres Iniesta beats the Netherland's #23 Rafael van der Vaart to score the first and, as it turned out, only goal of the game.

The Netherlands had a great chance to win it in regulation when Arjen Robben had a breakaway. Spain's goalie, Iker Casillas dove to the right of the goal on Robben's fake, Robben then pounded the ball to the open left side but the ball found Casillas' foot and ricocheted out of bounds.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

"The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat"

FINAL SCORE: Spain 1 - Netherlands 0

Spain became the first country to ever win the World Cup after losing the opening game of Pool Play, a 1-0 loss to Switzerland.

The Spaniards won their last four games of the tournament by identical 1-0 scores. Who could ever see that one coming?

Spain's first ever World Cup Championship

VIVA ESPAÑA!!!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hehe nice to hear that you liked the kebab, you only forgot one thing on it, the lingonberry jam is a must on the sweet meat! Im heading back there again this week to have another of the awesome moose kebabs.
And hopefully the the trains will go as normal.

//André

Michael Contreras said...

Moose and lingonberry...priceless.

David said...

I think I see a business opportunity here: McMoose!