Things are pretty much closed on the weekends or are only open for a few hours. I wanted to get a water bottle for my bike (my primary means of transportation–you don’t really need a car in Sweden, the public transportation is excellent. President Eisenhower opted for a national highway system in the 50s instead of a train system) but the bike shop closed at 2:00.
This morning at the swim stadium all the little kids were having their graduation from swimming lessons. It is a huge scandal that one out of six kids cannot swim in Sweden. Apparently, that is not the case chere in Halmstad. The bleachers at the pool were packed at 9:00 a.m. with about 1,000 people, 700 of whom looked to be between the ages of 4 and 7 and all blonde.
Some of the swim instructors dressed as pirates and did some antics in the pool which was unbelievably corny but at the same time wonderful. Then the kids paraded around the pool and got their applause and garland wreaths as awards.
This evening we picked wild cherries and Mariette’s mother boiled them up in an incredible concoction called “kram” (the “a” has two dots over it but not on this keyboard). With cream it makes a great finish to any meal. I plan to put mine on a piece of homemade rhubarb pie tomorrow at lunch. For many Swedes, the big meal of the day occurs at noon, a holdover from the days then it was an agrarian economy and the people needed the energy to get them through the rest of the day. The evening meal is often much smaller.
There is a national policy called “All Man’s Rights,” which gives everyone the right to the land. Anyone can camp anywhere for a night. Anyone can walk anywhere in nature. The fruit on trees and bushes is first come first served. Of course this has to be applied with reason. You can’t spin donuts on someone’s front lawn or pick flowers out of their garden, but wildflowers abound and they are free for the picking. I pick up there is a sense that each person takes ownership for the environment and there isn’t a lot of trash around. That could also be because the city has people to clean the beaches, roadways and bike paths routinely.
Tomorrow is moving day.