Tuesday, September 28, 2010


So they're shooting a number of scenes for the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster version of The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson here in Uppsala. So exciting! In case you live in a hole, this book/movie is one of a trilogy and it's awesome. I discovered it a few years ago, before the Swedish version of the movies were made and now Hollywood. So that makes me cool, edgy and avant-garde. Unfortunately, at the time, they only had the first book translated so I had to wait rather impatiently over the course of two years for the remaining two to come out in English.

Kind of sad though because the poor author died after handing the trilogy to his publisher. He never lived to see the success it had become. Did I mention Daniel Craig is playing the lead, Mikael Blomqvist, and the leading lady was a role sought-after by a number of Hollywood starlets but secured by a relative new-comer? Good for her! Anyway, the buses all have signs on the back saying Drottninggatan (a street in the old town) will be closed between such and such a date for filming the movie. Cool. The other day I forgot and had to detour but seeing some 1930s cars parked along said street was reward enough for the extra 10 minutes it took me to get to little man's school. Waiting to run into Daniel Craig now. I have a feeling we're gonna be BFFs.

Went to a Swedish kid's birthday party the other day. Another low-key affair. Hot dogs, ice cream and cookies for five kiddies. Such a stark contrast to the excess in the Americas.

My desire to learn the language has waned. I definitely feel guilty for being here for almost two years and not having progressed much. I'm also consistently reminded of this character deficiency when groups of acquaintances no longer speak to me in English, figuring I MUST know the language by now. Geesh. And I should really. But I'm just not "into it". My mind and my heart are elsewhere. Kind of like I'm subconsciously checking off days on the calendar until I can leave.

You really need to check the labels on meat here when you're out grocery shopping. They leave dangerously-close-to-expiring meat on in the fridges. I dig to the bottom for the good stuff. And what's with Stina's Chicken anyway? Seasoned frozen chicken pieces in an oven-proof tray that make dinnertime a cinch and are pretty popular here. But to open it up and still find a few feather bits hanging off your meal? Not cool Stina, not cool.

If you believe election results and the media, apparently at least 300,000 Swedes are racist. Big election here a few weeks ago and "shockingly" enough, an openly racist (some may argue this point) political party called the Sweden Democrats got a little over 5% of the vote and now have a few seats in parliament (they needed a minimum of 4% I think). The government is unfortunately a minority government so the ruling party or the opposition actually need to cooperate with this other party if they want to get anything done over the next four years (which both have said they wouldn't). Anyway, there's been a huge uproar in Sweden over this, everyone "shocked" and "dismayed" that this could happen in Sweden. "Everyone" banding together to condemn this "horrific" result and many are very embarassed. Basically, this party wants to put an end to immigration or extremely tight sanctions on it claiming Sweden is no longer Swedish, immigrants are stealing jobs from Swedes, etc.

According to many, Sweden has had a very lax immigration policy. There are actually towns here where Middle Eastern immigrants outnumber Swedes by huge margins and people feel that integration within society is virtually non-existent as immigrants tend to reside in certain areas, areas that "Swedes" avoid. I will say that every time our company has posted a job opening, 95% of the applicants are of Middle Eastern decent. To me, that says they're having a tough time.

I've read a lot of blogs and English media coverage on this subject and have come to the following conclusion: 5% of your voting population actually voted for this party. It seems you have a problem with immigration and no other party is addressing it so those that have a problem with it are turning to this "openly racist" party as they have no other options. Maybe you could do something about it? To the benefit of Swedes and immigrants alike? I'm not smart enough to know what "it" is but smart enough to know that something needs to be done. In case you're interested, have a look at Hairy Swede's blog and read through the comments to see how heated this issue is: http://welcometosweden.blogspot.com/2010/09/swedish-elections-in-us.html

Now I remember what I wanted to focus on in this blog post, but gotta get to work, so next time: IKEA!

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