Well Karine asked me on the comment board if I enjoyed Scandenavia so I figured that’s as good a thing to post on as any… so here we go.
The countries I visited had far calmer and far nicer citizens than what we have here. Canadians are so nice? Bullshit. Go to Sweden. The people in Denmark were nice too but not as nice as the Sweeds. When we got there we were having problems finding our hotel so we stopped and asked a woman to help us out and despite the fact that we were completely butchering her language when saying street names she just laughed with us and even offered to walk us over there.
They were full of understanding and the patrons in the restaurants were more than happy to explain to us what things were on the menu or go find someone else on staff that could speak English if they did not, themselves.
People over there are smaller than here. (in general). When we got to our hotel and went to get in the elevator me and one other guy went and found it tight and then a third behind us came in and that was it for space so we thought “ok, it’s just a small elevator.” Half way up to our floor we noticed a sign that said “Capacity. 6 Persons”. We looked at each other. We had 3 in there and there was NO room. So when we came back down to the lobby we brought a small sign with us and put it as an adendom under the capcity sign that read “6 Persons… or 3 Canadians.” The hotel manager, rather than getting worked up, loved it and in fact left it there all week and told us on our last day that she was going to keep it. Everything over there is just so much more laid back.
Karine, my friend. I do have one huge bone to pick with you and I’d like to see you speerhead an effort to fix this. TOO MUCH SMOKE! Here in Canada, you are not permitted to smoke in many public places and in others there are designated areas for it. People just lit up where ever they wanted there and man on man is it thick. It has to be a majority that smokes. I don’t know what the legal age is there for smoking either but in the internet cafe that we used there were some smokers there that did not look even close to 16. (the legal age here). If we spent more than 10 minutes in there our eyes were watering and coughing. It was thick. Work on that. This is very important Karine. I leave it in your capable hands to fix. Don’t let me down.
We checked out the Royal Palace in Denmark which was really neat to see. We also were supposed to see the Carlsburg Brewery but when we showed up there on the Monday (the last full day of our trip) we were greeted by a sign that said the brewery was closed on Mondays… and only Mondays. A feeling of tremendous crushing defeat hit us pretty hard. If there was a positive to take from it though it is that it made for a great picture. 5 Canadian guys standing around a sign saying “CLOSED!” looking like they’re going to cry. What a terrible feeling… but what a great picture.
We saw a Swedish Elite League hockey game while we were there. Good skill level out of the players but the small Canadian contingent of the crowd was getting pretty restless. There were guys doing all they could do to slow up and stop as to not hit anyone in the corners. We could understand and expected them to not go out of their way to hit anyone…. but bailing to your stomach to stop yourself from bumping in to someone else seemed a bit extreme and drew loud, lusty booing from our section much to the laughter and delight of the few Swedish guys that had come with us. The crowd went crazy when two guys bumped in to each other at center ice. Neither of them even fell and it looked like it may have even been accidental. We didn’t get the cheering… but joined in anyway. The game ended up going to Malmo (the home team we were cheering for) after overtime and a shootout. If you’re gonna see European hockey, I guess you might as well see a shootout.
The best part of the game actually came in the warm ups. Malmo came out first and the home crowd went crazy and they had the big light show and intimidating rock music as they took the ice. Then when the opposition came out the lights all came up and they played the Chicken Dance. You’d see these guys take the ice lookin’ all tough and then ease up and goin’ “Aw shit. It’s hard to look tough now.” It was great. You don’t see that in the NHL…. I think you should though.
We were going to take the train in to Norway but simply ran out of time. We also wanted to see Stockholm but that was at least a 6 hour train ride from Malmo so that wasn’t possible as a day trip. They had outdoor skating rinks everywhere in Malmo which I thought was really cool. It looked like stores and stuff just started them up in the middle of town and they had music playing and there were always kids out skating on them. No wonder the European hockey players are quicker. They can get free ice-time whenever they want. Sure they didn’t have sticks but at least they’re skating. Our kids have to pay big money for an hour of ice time. Kudos to the Sweeds for that.
One other task for you to get on Karine is to GET A 7 – 11 or something opened over there. Some kind of 24 hour convenience store. I think its great that most stores and malls close at 6. it keeps people happy cuz they’re not working their asses off but, god damn, one or two 24 hour convenience store would be great. Most of the convenience stores closed at 6… we found ONE that stayed open until 9 and we thought it was great! I mean after playing all day or being out doing anything you want to grab some chips, or juice or pop or whatever. No one’s done with what they’re doing at 6. Think of it this way. If you work at a clothing store and you get off at 6 and on your way home you need to stop and grab milk…. where are you going to do it if EVERYONE closed at 6? That was our biggest beef besides the smoke which I don’t think can be changed… but this can. I’m sure no one ever there even notices cuz thats just how it is and how its always been but for the sake of your tourists, let’s get a few opened up.
Last thing that was nice to see was the lack of homeless people. I don’t know what the ratio is compared to here… it may even be higher but we only saw one all week and that was in Denmark. Although he didn’t do much to endeer himself to us. We walked by him on the street and the conversation went something like …
Bum: Hey guys, spare some change?
Bob: Sorry man, Got no change.
Bum: Oh come on! you fat Americans can’t expect me to believe you have no money…
jeff: Well you ain’t gettin’ it now. Fat? maybe. American. hell no.
So i guess the homeless there are a bit more forceful… and really.. no Canadian likes being called an American…. and no one likes being called fat while considering helping a guy out with a few bucks.
So that was it. I really enjoyed it over there. It’s so much more laid back and people aren’t rushing everywhere like here where it’s “ME ME ME ME!”. It was a great trip. We’ll be going back in 2 years and I’m looking forward to it. And I’ll get in that damn Brewery, yet.