Friday, July 13, 2007
A month away
We've been away from Lindsborg for the past month.
Mostly we've been on a tour with Dean Anderson's travelers. What a time that was, let me tell you.
Like Coffeyville, much of Southern Sweden has suffered from flooding. This follows upon the severe windstorm of last winter that blew down large tracts of timber in Småland and Skåne. The country has done some suffering this past year.
But you wouldn't know it to look at Stockholm. There were more tourists, more workers, more people in Stockholm than ever before. And it seems like a young, vibrant, cosmopolitan city. Kris' comment is pertinent: I thought I was in Chicago.
Every nation, it seems, has come to Sweden. Kids from Turkey, Greece, Ethiopia, Iraq, mingle in Stockholm. The brightest kids are the ones who've mastered at least Swedish and English. The really bright ones add either German or Russian. The really, really bright ones are adding Japanese.
Stockholm is Japan crazy. I hear there are more sushi bars in Stockholm than in Tokyo. Maybe, maybe not. Certainly there were a good number of sushi bars, as well as self defense centers, and even a planned day when families could experience life in Stockholm as if they were Japanese.
I've always thought that the traditional Swede and the traditional Japanese would mix well. Both are quiet and deferential, both quick to give thanks to hosts, both accustomed to self-effacing behaviors. In the case of my family - short. We're very like the Japanese in my family. I tower over my relatives.
So, that's the first impressions from a long trip through Southern and Central Sweden. As soon as I can find a tool to work on my photo, I'll add a photo of Västralånggatan in Stockholm, which, I think, makes my point about the numbers of tourists.
They included the Emporer of Japan. We did not get to meet him.