...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring and easter, and lots of good weather

On miscellaneous signs of spring

Not all flowers and trees apparently bloom at the same time when spring comes. Certain types of flowers are an early sign of spring and even start blooming under the snow, while some others don't sprout out from their dirt beds until it's warm and comfortable outside. Not all trees grow leaves at the same time either. Other trees and bushes are already growing miniature leaves as I write. On other bushes, the leaves-to-be look like tiny green spheres on a stick. Some othe the other trees are still bald, some have grown buds and others none at all. I think early spring is exciting-- it's like watching over your vegetable garden waiting for things to grow, but you get a feeling that aside from just you, everybody else is holding their breaths in anticipation too. They just seem to be more alive nowadays.

More people are out doing shopping and some have actually started to wear sunglasses. They also have registered their summer cars again and there are increasing numbers of convertibles on the streets now. When we went out for a drive near the water, we saw people in the boatyard already preparing their boats for the summer. Skateboarders and rollerbladers are back too, and other pedestrians have taken their colorful clothes back into their wardrobe. The police are busy with their summerly task of chasing off alcoholics drinking in the sun. Restaurants have started to serve al fresco again, and--this must be a sure spring sign--ice cream stores have opened!

"Ice cream weather," as Swedes say

This is Halvars, the first ice cream parlor to open this season and where we got our spring's first ice cream last week. Believe me, the line was long then, and despite them having two windows open it still took some 20 minutes in the line before we got served. The lines were even much longer by the time we got our ice cream, that customers had to bend the line so pedestrians could have access to the pedestrian path. Playing on words, I thought how Halvars Glass (Halvar is a name, so that makes it Halvar's Ice Cream) could be permutated into Halv års Glass (Half Year's Ice Cream), since the ice cream parlor is actually just open for half the year! Despite the sun being out, the wind is actually still quite chilly sometimes and eating ice cream in this weather is a bit like eating ice cream in an air conditioned room. But that's the point of eating ice cream in this weather: you look for a spot of sunlight to sit on. Or then again, maybe the Swedes just want to reach their whole year's quota of ice cream when the ice cream parlors are open.

It's Easter...watch out for birch twigs!

As for these strange things, they're the season's decorations now. You might think that they're some fertility symbol for spring -- and they could actually be that -- but the original purpose of these birch twigs (if you take the feathers out, which are only decorative) are actually for penance. In the old days during Good Fridays, the head of the household would whack all the members of the family on the butt with these twigs so they could all be penitent. I kid you not. Besides, it's nothing next to voluntary crucifixion that they practice out there in Pampanga.

Ahoy! An annoucement! 3 folders of Norrköping pictures uploaded at The Cheese Cutter since yesterday. Knock yourselves out! In answer to Cheryl's comment there, everything except the Spring 2006 pictures (which were shot with my dad's Canon Powershot A40 -- I returned that camera to him last summer) were taken with a Canon Powershot S2 IS.


Blogger Cheryl said...

ah, so dito ka pala nagreply sa multiply question ko! hahaha. thanks! my cutie-patootie small camera is about to die on me, i think, so im scouting around for something new :)

u know, reading your entries, it's the first time i've actually really thought abt the changing seasons and its more mundane effects on life, e.g. not wearing the same set of clothes for a whole year! hehehe. which season do you like best?

2:58 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

That's a tricky question... summer is plain hot, spring and autumn has chilly wind and rains (when the sun is not out--and when that is, is pretty unpredictable), and winter makes plain walking slower than it usually takes. But I think I like autumn the best... I dunno, the colors just seem too artifial that it's amazing to think they're actually natural colors. It's easy to think about nature a lot when the seasons change... yun lang :-)

10:24 AM

Blogger jenny said...

Hi Joy!

Your blog are looking fanatstic as always!
Much food and your life in Sweden are coming along really well it..
Me and Michael are doing good up here in the northe and if you ever decide to travel up here you are most welcome!

Jobs fine and our yogacenter also doing well!
Michael are learning Swedish and his lauguage skills are getting better for every day...

Hows the others that we did the studies with, doing fine?

Adios from us and take care and send alll the best for Marcus!

Jenny and Marcus
( Friend from the Master program in Applied Ethics)

9:05 AM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Hi Jenny!

Nice to hear from you! I tried mailing you last time but my mail bounced back :-(

Coincidentially you know, I saw a post-it on which you wrote your phone number and email address yesterday, stuck between the pages of a book. You wrote that to me when we went out watching movies in Norrkoping! So, it's a bit "telepathic" of you to have written your comment today :-)

I'll try to email you again with something longer. But anyway, school and life are fine :-)

Hi to Michael!

7:18 PM


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