Wednesday, April 27, 2005

How "Swede" it is

Oh, I know, tacky, tacky, but still made ya' look, eh? Here's a look at a day in the life of a party element :
“Brinnngg! Brrinngg!”
I groggily reached for the phone, regardless of the time, because, you never know: it could be a true catastrophe….or Ed McMahon lost and trying to find the way to my house with my $1,000,000.
“Hello?”
“APJ! I know it’s late, but it’s an emergency!”
“Steve, this had better be good—it’s almost midnight.”
That was the phone exchange last week. Steve and Kajsa called from San Fran to inform me that I HAD to come for the weekend because Kajsa had been notified by the Swedish Consulate that the Swedish Navy had a ship coming into port. (Don’t ask, if I told you why she was on the e-mail list….I’d have to kill ya’)
“APJ, you’ve got to come up! A big ship! Sailors! A big ship! Sailors”
“Kajsa, you’re repeating yourself--"
“Yes, but Steve and I want you to come for the weekend. Come on! It’ll be fun.”
Being as I didn’t have anything more pressing than yard work and laundry (ugh), I headed for San Fran on Friday.
“Okay, according to the website, you guys can go on a tour…if ya’ make reservations,” said Steve upon my arrival.
“APj….you must get on that ship! Take Kajsa – but you must go! And tomorrow there is a dance at the Swedish Hall. You must dance!”
“Yes, Obi-wan. I understand….the force will be with me, yes?”
So at 10:00 AM, Kajsa and APj (me) left for the Carlskrona, docked somewhere near Pier 30.
Okay, here’s where you have to use your imagination, ‘cause I don’t speak or write Swedish. Kajsa does, but she’s not here to help me.
xhxhxhxh,” says Kajsa to the sailor at the gangplank. English Translation: Hello
xhxhxhxh,” responds the sailor, probably thinking, “oh great, another American that has learned to say ‘hello’ in Swedish.
xhxh yyy ff rt,” continues Kajsa. English Translation: We are here for the tour.
ff tt byby rtg,” exclaims the sailor. English Translation: Oh my God, a real Swede! Here, let me bring you on board! Please! Follow me!
So this sailor takes us to the man in charge, who, of course, has a list of names, (and of course our names aren’t on that list) ….but the Viking Princess continues her Swedish persuasion:
xhxh rr tyty up sth” English Translation: oh yes, we emailed a few days ago.
xhxh rr tyty up is tre” English Translation: No problem, we’ll get you a sailor.
So Kajsa and I got a one hour tour of the Navy frigate! It is currently traveling the world as a training exercise for it’s new national servicemen and women. Note of interest: on this ship, the men and the women do everything together: no separate toilets, showers, saunas, etc. In fact, Jerry, “our sailor” told us, “The girls and the boys do everything together. Um, how to say? The girls sleep with the boys…um in the same room. No difference, yes?” (sadly, I am too old and otherwise out of shape to join the Swedish Navy… :(
Six hours later found us at the Swedish Hall for an evening of dancing and reverie. If I may be allowed to generalize: the Swedes are fantabulous dancers. But…I have never heard so much ABBA…at least not in the last 20 years! All the “Party Elements” were there: Me, Superman Steve, Brain Dead Red and Irish Pat. As usual, we got the party started, and almost closed the party! BDR and Steve met an officer who promised us an even better tour of the ship on Sunday, sooooooo, Sunday morning found us back at the ship again for tour-part deux.
Good weekend, lots of laughs and great friends!

2 comments:

scarysquirrelman said...

this is a 5/16/05 post, so i doubt you're gonna read it, but i've got two thoughts:
1) Sweden has a navy? for what?
2) i'd heard for the last twenty years that, although ABBA's career income dwarfed that of Sweden's GNP, very few Swedes actually liked them. was that just smoke or is it something like us and Madonna? we say we hate her, but everyone has at least one cd or tape.

airplanejayne said...

joel,
scary, but I think it is a Madonna kind of thing. All these Swedes, some 19-25 year olds, SINGING ALONG TO ABBA...KNOWING ALL THE WORDS!
As to why they have a navy--hmmm..
not sure why, but one of the best exchanges went like this:
Me: what room is this?
Sailor: hmm, this is, how you say, um Battle Room?
Me: Oh, like the War Room?
Sailor: Yes, that is it. But I don't know how anything works here.