I had an interesting experience this afternoon at the end of my first week of Swedish classes. I have learned a LOT about Swedish in a week and that explains why, for the first two summers Mariette and I visited, whenever I heard Swedes talking it sounded like one long string of syllables but no individual words. I realized today that the way Swedes pronounce words is often not the way things are spelled. I’m not complaining, seeing as my native tongue allows for pronunciations of the letters “-ough” as “o,” (though) “oo,” (through) “ow,” (bough) and “uff,” (rough) at least.
At any rate, I was totally engaged with what the teacher was going over –and I can tell my brain is getting a workout as I could not for the life of me remember the names of my two niece’s husbands while doing a writing exercise but, sitting here immersed in English thought (“aw”, that is another one), I can recall them easily.
When class was over and I stepped outside, I was instantly transported back to my college days at UC Berkeley in the fall with the air has a nip in it and kids are leaving school on a Friday afternoon. It was a near revivification of my college days in the late 60s (minus the tear gas and National Guard, of course). It was an absolutely gorgeous fall afternoon, except that it is before Labor Day. To me it felt like mid-October in the Bay Area and I really felt like seeing a football game, American football, not soccer. I checked the TV listings for ESPN America and the prime time game is, ugh, Ohio State vs. Akron. Who cares? The Oregon-LSU game airs at the timely hour of 2:00 a.m. here on Sunday morning.
I drowned my sorrows in a bike tour of the area and here are a few photos.
There is an archeological dig occurring right downtown near the river that bisects the city. At the woman’s feet is the wall of a house that was build in the 1300s when the city was founded. They are attempting to map what Halmstad looked like in 1307 when it first existed. It is astonishing that there are funds to finance such a project when most countries in the world are undertaking austerity measures to deal with crippling debt. Wish they would dig up Wall St. to see where the wigwams and wampum are buried.