...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Reminds me of a picnic (backlog, 1 of 2)

Back to the topic, and to updating my backlog (or backblog, hohoho)... I'm planning on a couple of more entries (including this one) before my flight next week; otherwise I'll never get these entries done!

This picnic took place last June after graduation, but maybe I wasn't able to write about it because I was busy writing other stuff, namely, biking and lactose intolerance. :-) Remembering the picnic is a good excuse to write about the Swedish lanscape though, and a bit about Swedish--and as it turns out, Argentenian--food. My hosts were Argentenian classmate Ayeray and her uncle, who lives in the Swedish countryside in a small elvish-sounding village (a village so small and far away that buses pass only once a day.) I won't bore you with a long essay, but I'll describe some pictures for you:

We took a tour of the area to this stone circle from the Swedish iron age. Ayeray's uncle said that this stone cirlce, called "judge seats," was likely the meeting place for elders in the old times. (Wikipedia has an article on such stones, but here it says they could likely be burial stones of some sort). The one we visited was a bunch of 13 or so rocks of about the same size (only 9 are still standing) placed together in a circle. I admit that I felt at awe at the thought that ancient people used to gather where we were just standing, probably discussing iron-age matters of importance, whatever those may be. The rocks are mostly left alone as they were tens of hundreds of years ago (except for the sign that describes them), adding to the eerie feeling that in the middle of nowhere, some ancient guys carried those rocks all the way to where your foot was.

In contrast to this, the Filipino love for "opulento" decoraciones turned the original site of the Legazpi-Sikatuna blood compact in Bohol into this (please note the "ship replica" at the back, and Legazpi's Platonic pose at the mural). In fairness to Boholanos, though, I had a great time in Bohol which you can probably read about in Marcus' travelblog when he finally updates the Bohol story.

Driving around took us to this rune stone (picture at left). I forgot what the explanation was for this particular Viking stone, but it is same kind as the popular (and biggest) one which we visited last October (picture of that at the right). Wikipedia can again help you if you're curious, but basically the stones have stuff etched on them, which in the case of the biggest stone, was one person's life story.

Food! We barbequed these (or rather, Ayeray's uncle did most of the work as we sunned ourselves after a long Swedish winter.) We did pose near the barbeque though, for about 15 seconds for a photo-shoot :-) A creative addition to the meat was barbequed Swedish sausage (Falukorv). Originally, Falukorv were made out of old oxes (correction: oxen, as Liz pointed out!)--the beast of burden from a large mining industry in Falu, Sweden. Present-day food-and-drug regulations won't allow this of course, so now the Falukorv is made out of something as mysterious as the ingredients for the Filipino red hotdog. Who knows what's in these sausages?

More food! A super-nice end to the super-nice picnic: dulce de Leche ice cream! Dulce de Leche, I've been told, is popular in Argentina to eat on deserts (including churros), and people can make it themselves out of large quantities of fresh milk. Perhaps this is the reason why it's not as popular here. The ice cream, though, was very delicious. I know most of my friends would eat a second serving, as I did :-) Peachy, where are you???


On the topic of food...

...and to please friends, is this food survey grabbed from PJ:

How do you like your eggs? hard boiled.
How do you take your coffee/tea: black
Favorite breakfast foods: Not sure, but I tend to eat the same thing. I've been having oatmeal for weeks.
Peanut butter: smooth or crunchy? crunchy
What kind of dressing on your salad? vinaigrette
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
You’re feeling lazy. What do you make? I don't think I'd bother to make anything if I were lazy. I'll probably eat what's available.
You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? I used to order what had everything on top, but I like plain cheese lately.
You feel like cooking. What do you make? Seen my blog post on desserts?
Do any foods bring back good memories? When I eat tinapa, I remember Batibot and taking siestas.
Do any foods bring back bad memories? Hmm, the day when Val, Jai and me tried cow brain... that was a bad memory.
Do any foods remind you of someone? Camillo, I can't eat Cream-Os now without remembering that you ate that thing every day for lunch for a year.
Is there a food you refuse to eat? I eat liver steak with reluctance.
What was your favorite food as a child? smoked fish (i.e. tinapa), and strawberry yogurt. I still like both things a lot.
Is there a food that you hated as a child but now love? I used to hate carrots until Lea told me Bugs Bunny likes it.
Is there a food that you loved as a child but now hate? No, not really.
Favorite fruit & vegetable: Believe it or not, I like ampalaya, (bitter gourd, or was it bitter melon?) I love avocadoes and mangoes.
Favorite junk food: Lay's. Plain.
Favorite between meal snack: It varies, but usually anything edible I can get my hands on. As a kid, I used to snack on cold rice (strange...) or powdered Milo (yuuuum!).
Do you have any weird food habits: Eating with a spoon and fork is not a weird food habit where I come from!
You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? No idea!
How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? Moderately spicy is good. We once tried this godawful spicy kangkong in Thailand that came out just as hot the next day. I'm unsure if I want that experience again!
Can I get you a drink? gin and tonic
Red wine or white? red
We only have beer: anything that dosn't taste watered down.
Favorite dessert? tiramisu, leche flan, revel bars... Hmmmm
The perfect nightcap? I dunno... sirit!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Oxen", Joy, not "oxes"! -lizzy

8:09 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Darn, you're right! :-) I have to correct that... haha

8:08 AM

Anonymous pj said...

Joy! it's not about the picnic either hehe. Syet talaga yung cupcake blog na yun, no? I want to be her friend/taste-tester and just inhale all those cupcakes. hehehe. :)

4:24 AM

Blogger Alex S said...

Thanks for leaving a footprint in my blog, i must say I was quite surprised when I looked you blog up.

Swedecheese =) Falukorv =) Kladdkaka =)

It brought a smile to my face to see someone writing about my country so far away and i just burst out in laughter when I saw your headline:

Because you thought Sweden was Switzerland =D

Great blog, keep it up!

6:25 PM

Anonymous cheryl said...

joy, unrelated topic: i'm thinking of taking kendo classes (hello, tatewaki kuno!) hahaha. san ka nga nag-aral before? thanks!! :D


12:30 PM


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