Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Superstition and Skating at Sandals

As fabulous as the past week or so has been, galavanting around in Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Leiden, and as nice as it is to be back in Gothenburg, I have very, very sad news. You know how athletes will win a game while wearing a certain pair of socks or jersey or jockstrap, and then they decide to never wash that garment ever again as to not dilute the lucky particles of magic, or whatever? Well, I found my proverbial unwashed jockstrap.

When I was 12 or so, I was going through security when I realized that my bottle of lotion was still in my carry-on, currently being scanned by the menacing faces of TSA. I was sure that I would be arrested on the spot and jailed, and I had awful visions of damp, clammy interrogation rooms with one flickering lightbulb that kind of hangs and swings from the ceiling. To my surprise and delight, though, no one noticed. Since then, I've made a point each time I fly to pack a bottle of shampoo or Diet Coke or some liquid larger than 3 oz in volume in my carry-on, just to see if TSA will do their job properly and oh, I don't know, detect it. Also, I have never, ever experienced a flight delay before. Not even a minute. I thought the two were completely unrelated, until yesterday.

I put all of my travel-size liquids in an approved plastic bag on my flight back to Gothenburg from Leiden, and what did it get me? A seven hour delay. I arrived at Schipol at 8:20 AM only to find my 10:10 flight had been pushed back to 10:40, just enough to miss my connection in Frankfurt. Instead, I was placed on a 1:50 direct flight, which became 2:25, then 2:35, then 3:05, and then finally 3:45. The experience could definitely have been worse, but I've been spoiled with a previously impeccable flight record, and with neither a computer nor a crossword puzzle, the boredom was absolutely crippling. I think I took a nap in about five different spots in the airport, just to switch it up. Variety is, in fact, the spice of life. CALIENTE.

Anyways, the past 24 hours in Gothenburg have been great. I was greeted with a solid foot of snow on the ground,

and quiche! Katrijn made a delicious dinner for me and Dusjan, complete with appetizer, dessert, and wine. It truly hit the spot that was my empty, withering stomach after being stranded in an airport that charges like, a million euros for a sandwich.

With only a few more days left until everyone starts leaving Sweden, we've been trying to pack as many activities as possible into the remaining week. Today, Tara, Joy, Alex, Jasmien, and I laced up our skates (new favorite hobby: carrying my ice skates around my neck and looking really cool and Swedish) and headed to the outdoor rink at Heden.

Before Sweden, I had never been skating outdoors, so this is still quite the novelty. None of us are very good, and spend most of our time waddling and envying Alex, who learned how to ice skate and play hockey in gym class in Canada, but it's still a great time. I even learned how to do a crossover and a T-push today! I also invented a new move, the Skating Shimmy, where you move your hips and shimmy in such a way that you propel yourself backwards. Other accomplishments: Crank That Soulja Boy dance ON ICE.

Added bonus: it was totally toasty today. 32 degrees Fahrenheit, rock on!

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