Tomorrow most of you will be watching football and eating turkey. Swedes do not celebrate Thanksgiving, though if there is a country that has things to be thankful for, it is Sweden (also Norway). Not part of the Euro zone, low unemployment, healthcare, etc., etc., as I have pointed out in the past. Of course, the language is a nightmare (so far), but they even solved that by everyone learning English in school. Halloween did not used to be a thing here but is creeping in more and more. Possibly, Thanksgiving will not take hold here because the Christmas season kicks off this weekend with the crowning of the Lucia pageant winner for 2011. More details coming.
Among the things Mariette and I have to be thankful for, just today, is a new (used) TV that I picked up this evening for the grand price of 100 kronor, or $14.45. Our current one was getting really funky with oddball color. This one’s picture is crystal clear. I biked back into town to the guy’s house and we loaded it into the little trailer in back of my bike and I pedaled home. Talk about a small life! The weather out tonight was a surprisingly pleasant 40 something degrees. The Norse gods are obviously breaking me in gradually.
I was not worried about being blindsided in the dark by a moose because of an item Mariette saw in today’s paper. There is a website called “1177” here that was just voted the best website in Sweden. Here it is in its simplicity: you can call 1177 on your phone and you will reach a registered nurse any time of day or night who you can talk to about any health issue you may have questions about or need help with. You can talk as long as you need to to get the advice you need to help you. If you are out of the country and, say, ate some bad pizza in New York, you can dial Sweden’s country code and the number and get help just the same. On the website itself there is a lot of information about health matters, but this phone line to a real human with the experience to help you with any issue is really something. All free, of course. Isn’t socialism amazing? I am coming to understand that the word fundamentally means that the society is people based, as opposed to, say, capitalism which is money based.
Now, if only I can get the 49er – Ravens game tomorrow . . .
Have a great holiday, everyone!