Day 33 — One More Great Thing About Sweden

I have been watching ESPN America recently, catching broadcasts of major league baseball games, the Giants and Phillies on Sunday and the Red Sox and Twins today. It is so great to watch a baseball game on TV without commercials. When one half inning is over the show cuts to the next half inning without interruption. Commercial free sports is a really, really great thing about this country. Some stations do have commercials but it comes every half hour and is announced as its own little segment.” Reklam” is the Swedish word for advertising and when that word comes up you know to take a bathroom break or go fix a snack.

Went out for a walk during a rain shower early this morning and stopped into the little store that stocks items for the vacationers in the nearby cottages. I found these two items in a bin of caps and was definitely surprised by the SF Bay Area connection.

They got the script Cal right but couldn’t have gotten the colors more wrong. Whoever designed the cap must have allegiances to Arizona State. Next up, hockey.

At least they got the teal right on this one for the Sharks. No other caps in the bin had any other sports logos on them. Any American sports gear you see in Sweden is almost invariably New York Yankees gear, since Swedes mostly visit the East Coast when they visit America.

One other great thing about Sweden while we are at it is all the free blackberries you can pick. Mariette got these tonight. I can’t wait for dessert tomorrow.

Final comments on the Tall Ships Races festival over the weekend were unanimously positive. More than 400,000 people attended in total (the newspaper headline I quoted on Saturday stating that 300,000 attended on Friday evening was obviously grossly overinflated) and the sailing organization that runs the races said that things went so well that they are prepared to break precedent and bring the races back to Halmstad as early as 2016. (They have never hit the same port twice apparently.) No serious incidents reported (beyond some concert goers singing out of tune) and the place was kept fairly immaculate by volunteer crews and many trash receptacles throughout the venue. Traffic and parking was never a problem thanks to the city’s campaign for other means of transportation. (We went there three different days in a car and never had a problem finding parking nearby–I guess there are advantages to not speaking Swedish.)

Still, nothing tops being able to watch Tim Lincecum beat the Phillies 3-1 commercial free.

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