So my first day back in glorious Skåne (which is the cool, Swedish name for the southern area of Sweden where Malmo is located) was spent doing precisely… nothing. Okay, not true. I slept and graded papers. And that felt like a vacation in and of itself. It was nice not to have pressure on myself to make the most of everyday and see all the sights and such. I could sleep and work and then take a nap. I needed it, honestly.
Now here’s the problem with this kind of schedule, though: I’m not sure when I did the things I did do (does that make sense or do I sound like a Danny Kaye film?) but I’ll try and give you the high lights just the same. I think I spent two days just catching
up. Which isn’t to say I didn’t do anything, but it was more mellow and relaxed. Malin and I spent some time working on the article I’m writing about her and we also went out with her friend Marie (who is an awesome artist) to lunch and things. Then we went to the beach! Yup, here in Sweden they have beaches! Now, it wasn’t what a normal Vegas boy would consider warm, beach weather, but we had a grand time. It was in a
small town south of Malmo, which we were going to because Marie said they had the best ice cream there. We stopped at the beach first, though. I even went into the water, (yeah for waterproof cameras!) which was really cold. Afterwards, we sat on the sand and came up with ideas for Marie to write and draw a children’s book around. She’s that good, too. She could do it and it would sell! But after lounging around, ice cream began calling our name. So we stopped in at the little place and they did indeed have a damn fine cone of ice cream. Then we did a little bit of shopping in this expensive second hand store before heading home.
Do you remember the theatre I told you about? The one Malin’s dad helped build which is about an hour and a half away from Malmo in a little village called Skillinge (which, I’ve learned, is actually pronounced Whhiilling)? Well there was another show going on there, called Boogie Woogie Burlesque and Malin knew pretty much everyone in the show.
Now, here’s the thing about going to theatre in Sweden as an American. Odds are you’re not going to be speaking the same
language as everyone up on that stage. We had thought about this and figured that the show was more of a concert with a loose story-line so it should be okay. And it was. I didn’t follow the story one little bit but the music was great and the magical variety act, a guy named Mephisto Jr. (Thorston Andreassen) did his act, which was very verbal, in a mish-mosh of German and Swedish and while I didn’t understand a thing, I laughed so hard I was crying. Then there was the music, a collection of standards and new pieces, all boogie woogie and all played brilliantly. It really was a fantastic show! Afterwards, we hung out at the theatre with the guys, shooting the breeze and enjoying the theatrical camaraderie. It’s a different vibe hanging with theatre people rather than
solo performers. It felt good. It’s been a while since I’ve done something like that. I also met Malin’s brother Ola, who is also a magician. Really fun guy. I bring him up now, because he’s going to come back later when we get to the crayfish party (which is what we in the writing biz call foreshadowing).
Oh yeah, before the show, we had lunch with Christina, Malin’s sister, and her brand new, as of a week ago, fiancé, Henrik. You remember them from the infamous first trip to Puttgarden (ahhh… the good old days, when this blog was small and manageable and only read by family members instead of half of Europe). And after lunch we still had time to kill so Malin drove me to this great old church (which was closed) and told
reminded me of how she made it vanish last year during her big show extravaganza. Pretty amazing feat, really. And no, I’m not going to tell you how she did it.
So then, it was off to Copenhagen.
I figured I should probably get back to doing that touring thing I was supposed to be doing and since
Copenhagen is only a half hour away by train, I may as well got on with it, right? So Malin, Marie and I headed down to the station, hopped an intercity and made our way to Denmark (okay, side note here – but a few days later, when I went over by myself, it felt SO cool to write a note saying “gone to Denmark, be home before dark.”).
We stumbled along back streets and poked our heads into bookstores. We found cool little cafes and
expensive coffee shops. I took pictures of living statues and with dead ones. What we didn’t do, was see the Little Mermaid. At least not the real one. At this point, it’s almost a matter of pride. We did, however, go to
Copenhagen’s other main tourist draw – Christiana.
Christiana is a 1960s era commune in the middle of a 21st century city. It has its own laws and own government. It buys electricity and water from Copenhagen but everything else is self-sufficient. They have a street called Pusher Street where drugs (but no longer hard drugs, just pot) are sold. We went and walked through and it was interesting, but I didn’t quite get the draw. I’ve lived in Venice Beach and old hippies just don’t excite me. I’ve had WAY too many conversations with guys who are too smart but have decided the game isn’t worth playing and so they just exist and float along and that’s what this place seemed like to me. The original idea was probably very good, but it’s been commodified to the point of playing at being hippy.
So yeah… not so much with the Christiana (but nice picture, eh?)
The few days after that were made up of working and writing and translating a book for my degree. And then I had to do something every English Lit person must do…I went to Elsinore!