Monday, May 23, 2016

A Meeting With a Good Friend Goes Awry

Monday, 213 May, 2016:

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a good friend, Johan Hammarqvist, stating that he would be in Stockholm today on business and would I be able to meet him for fika for about 90 minutes at midday.

Johan and I first met when we both worked in Hässleholm in the Skåne region of Sweden back in 2010. I was coaching the local American football team, the Hurricanes, and Johan was employed as a writer for the local newspaper.

He had spent a year living in West Virginia as a foreign exchange high school student and had grown to love several American sports including American football.

Since I left Hässleholm, Johan has become a vital part of the Hurricanes' Board of Directors and is now officially an American football nut like the rest of us.

Thus I was off to Stockholm Central Station to meet a good friend.

I got to Stockholm a bit early, so it was time to explore a bit more of this glorious city.

 Sculpture in front of the Konserthuset

Farmers Markets
are always a photo op

 I needed a coffee . . .

. . . and strength . . .

. . . I tried but failed

Fortunately for me, Vette-Katten makes a flakey croissant worthy of the name.

Did you know that The Flying Dog
in Stockholm is . . .

I did not know that!

August Palm
Swedish Worker's Movement Pioneer

 The Branting Monument

This is a tribute to Swedish Social Democrat leader Hjalmar Branting (1860-1925). It was made by artist Carl Eldh.

Branting is shown addressing demonstrating workers on May Day.

Some workers seem
to revere his every word

 One little girl just wants
to play with her toy

 John Brown of Harper's Ferry fame
was at the May Day demonstration

"Now what did Branting
mean by that?"

Enough exploring, it was time to meet Johan in Stockholm Central.

Now where did he say to meet?

Oh yes, under that big greenish train
arrival/departure board on the right

Lots of people with
travel on their minds

So we met, head for a coffee shop just outside of the train station and had a grand time catching up. The first 89 minutes of our 90 minute meeting were great!

The last minute, not so much. That is when we got up to say our goodbyes only to realize that someone had stolen Johan backpack that included his work laptop computer.

It was at this point that I discovered the full range of Johan's English language vocabulary.

What a terrible way to end what had been a great morning with him.

 Johan still had a smile
in him before departing

Does Sweden have the death penalty for thievery?

Back on the train, I needed to hustle to Runby Skolan to teach American football to two new classes of ten year olds.

A church's out building near
Runby Skolan

 Great kids today

Always nice to have a group where the majority listens and tries to do the best that they can!

As it turned out, I only had one class to teach today not the two originally scheduled.

What to do with this unexpected free time?

Why a haircut of course!

I left Camarillo four weeks ago today and it was about time for a trim of the old dome to be sure. This place near the Upplands Väsby train station was efficient and charged a modest sum for a haircut and beard trim.

In the evening we had a U15 team practice and it was a good one that I devoted to nothing but blitz pickups from several different defensive looks. Our OL did a great job listening, learning and executing.

This afternoon was a fun day to be a teacher/coach.

Still, I think that if Sweden does not have the death penalty, they should at least consider castration with a dull rock for whoever stole Johan's backpack today.

Just saying . . .


David said...

Very upsetting to hear what happened to Johan, who of course I have not met but by all indications is a terrific guy. Knowing how much I rely on my laptop, I can imagine how he felt. Glad you had 89 good minutes beforehand, though.

Eric Slivoskey said...


I am with you on your suggested punishments for thievery in this fine country!!