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Monthly Archives: January 2007

Ikea Nesting Urges

MALMÖ—We made the pilgrimage to Ikea the other day. The vast box of its structure rose above a parking lot filled with sensible cars. Lena got a large, flat cart to push through the mammoth interior design store famous for its well-designed, reasonably priced wares of decent quality. Soon we were navigating a sea of […]

You Knew I Was A Swede When You Picked Me Up

LUND—“So what do you think of Swedish music club?” asked Lena’s friend Gabriella. I looked around at the casually hip crowd and didn’t see one person who would look particularly out-of-place at a Cleveland concert. It was an all-ages show at the Lund Cultural Center, a sort of hang-out spot, nightclub and center-for-the-arts wrapped into […]

Herring On My Mind

LUND—The pickled herring comes in long, greyish white filets mixed with onions and scallions and carrot. We’d just bought it from a stand in the Saturday farmer’s market fresh from Gothenburg where I was told all the best fish in Sweden comes from. Lena cut it into chunks, placed a piece on a hard, dark […]

12 Minutes To Malmo

MALMO—The cobbled streets of Lund were shining with early morning rain. We hurried to the station to catch the 8:33 train to Malmo, dodging green city buses, bicycles and the other damp pedestrians heading to work or class or whatever errands brought them out at that hour in the cold, grey Swedish December. The offices […]

I Am On A Plane To Sweden

———-Compiled from fragments in my journal, 7/8 December 2007: I am on a plane to Sweden. No, technically I am on a plane to Amsterdam after a plane to Detroit after leaving Columbus, Ohio. When I land at Schiphol I’ll then be on another plane to Copenhagen, Denmark and after that I’ll be on a […]

The Long Central American Goodbye

“The sense of unhappiness is so much easier to convey than that of happiness. In misery we seem aware of our own existence, even though it may be in the form of a monstrous egotism – this pain of mine is individual, this nerve that winces belongs to me and to no other. But happiness […]

The Farthest You Will Go

“Most journeys begin less abruptly than they end, and to fix the true beginning of this one in either time or space is a task which I do not care to undertake. I find it easier to open my account of it at the moment when I first realized, with a small shock of pleasure […]

Speak Spanish In One Easy Lesson

“Compadres! It is imperative that we crush the freedom fighters before the start of the rainy season. And remember, a shiny new donkey to whoever brings me the head of Colonel Montoya!” –Montgomery J. Burns Do you want to learn Spanish but find all those tenses confusing? Are there cute Latina girls you’d like to […]

F—ing Monkeys

ANTIGUA – On a sunny day we pulled our bags onto the sidewalk from inside Posada Viajero. Waiting for our mini-bus to Guatemala City from Antigua we fell into conversation with the woman beside us. Joan was from Washington Sates. She around 60 and had thinning, dyed red hair pulled back in a pony-tail. When […]