2010.01.24 - Copenhagen

Sweden Diary - January 24th 2010

Weekend trip to Copenhagen

Hey - I think I missed a week there ! I guess I was too busy or something like that..... or too lazy! Or too cold, as the below-zero temperatures continue here in southern Scandinavia, which is pretty unusual for us. It normally only last for a few days up to two weeks, but now it's been a month already. The canals are frozen and some of the bays and smaller harbors are icing up. The Danish snow plows of the sea - the ice breakers - may still get a chance to show what they are made of after 14 years of retirement (or at least paid leave!). Not the most strained pieces of equipment!

The lakes have been converted to ice rinks

...and the canals into arctic training grounds for the fire fighters

The Friday before last Paula had a few of her girlfriends over for a late dinner. I joined in from time to time until I had to call it a day. Paula held out quite a bit longer, coming to bed at 4 in the morning. It's been a long time since that happened last! Ana Ruth went straight from the "party" to work at 2 in the morning ..... you should think they were all teenagers at the rate they are going!

Paula with the girls - Shirley, Ana Ruth and Laura

Saturday afternoon we took the train over to Copenhagen to pay a weekend visit to some of our friends over there. We started at my cousins new house, where we were invited (or auto-invited!) for dinner and sleep-over. It was so good to see them again and with their daughter Lisa in the walking and talking age the house is a little livelier now (though it was never not lively!). They have moved out of their apartment for 14 years or so and into a small townhouse very close to where they lived before. My cousin Ingerlise is not overly excited about the move, but I think that can be contributed to our family heritage. As she said she also still misses a car which they got rid of yonks ago! Matthias on the other hand IS overly happy to have moved and I will take his side on this one. It's a lovely house and it's priceless to have a garden and still be so close to everything - all for half the rent!

Matthias behind the camera, Paula, Lisa and Ingerlise

She's just so cute (well ... they all are!)

And the night wore on ....! haha ...

Ingerlise and Misseline

Chilling at breakfast

Cold .....

Sunday morning, after breakfast and a chat, Ingerlise and Lisa kept us company in the freeeeeezing cold on our way to our next appointment. Paula's old colleague Patricio and his partner Arvid had invited us for brunch. It was a short walk over to their apartment but boy was it chilly! I was not born for this !!! I was on the other hand born to eat potato paella and fresh buns and cheese, which was what they had cooked up for us. Yummy ! Patricio was happy to talk to somebody who could (finally!) understand him when he talks in his mother tongue (a slightly modified and machine-gun-quick Spanish) and he and Paula fired off loose rounds for several hours ! While they were busy talking about old colleagues, Arvid and I sorted out the world situation!

Patricio, Arvid and Paula

Next stop was at Rocio and Thure. Time had passed by without notice at Patricio's so we were a little late. I wasn't really aware that we had a set meeting time, or I would have dragged my wife out of there by the ponytail in time !!! It was really nice to have enough time to sit down and talk and not having to feel pressed for time, as has been the case when we have been home on visit the last three years. Now we only had three visits in one weekend and not 10 visits in one day !

Calvin, Thure and Rocio

Look - my head is half the size of Thures !! I love this perspective!!

I am sure that we will be seeing more of Rocio and Thure - golf trips are already being planned for the spring!

During the work week I still have not been up for much. When I finally get home I am too wasted to do anything. It will get better - it already has - but new job, new colleagues - same old body! Monday after work I joined a presentation done by my old boss at the Danish Technical Marine Society. It was a good chance for me to catch up with some of my old co-students and colleagues and at the same time hear what's moving in my profession. Yes i know - so very nerdy!!

But then let me tell you about Friday, which was much less nerdy. After work I went over to my friend Jakob's place for dinner, drinks and a game of Risk .... damn ... it just got nerdy again !! Anyway - great food, drinks and good company. Got home at 5 in the morning after missing my train in Copenhagen and having to wait one hour for the next one!

At Jakob's on Friday

Saturday we went to Ikea for a few necessities. Paula was the one feeling a bit hung over even though she had been at home the day before (?!?!), so we didn't hang out more than we had to. In the evening we met up with Tom and Noelia for Japanese at the Hai restaurant here in Malmö. Funny to see how the Danes have conquered Malmö. Some years ago Swedish was the only language you would hear walking down the main drag in Copenhagen - now it's the opposite world! Well, i shouldn't speak too loud - I'm one of them and i still haven't got the Swedish gibberish down tight!

Tom and Noelia at Hai

Diggin' in !!

Tom taking the Korean concept of sitting on the floor a bit further

Today I have been trying to organize a trip to Greenland: I found out that a friend of mine is living there until July only, so what better excuse than that to go visit ?!? Not wanting to go on an organized tour, the planning takes some time. I have to crosscheck ferry schedules and plane schedules to make sure that what we want to do is in fact possible.

The rest of the time has been spent writing up the Taiwan page under Travels. I have been dragging it out for too long and have started to forget what we did when .....

Later today in the evening we will have the first visitor of the season dropping by. Wilson whom we met in Tibet is coming up here for 4 days before flying on to New York. I am anxious to see if he is dressed for the weather !!!