tarnhop’s barhops – Sweden 3

I’m still in Sweden; so we’re all caught up.I’ve had a good time here and I’ve been able to get get the R&R I’ve needed.I think I’ve adjusted to the Nordic midsummer day.Speaking of midsummer, it’s actually a holiday here–Midsummer, celebrated on the weekend following the summer solstice.

As soon as I got into Uppsala, where Ken has taken a flat, we headed to Marsta for a traditional Midsummer holiday.Some Swedish friends of his took us in, fed us, and treated us like royalty.Swedish hospitality is second to none other, as far as I’m concerened.We built the Midsummer Stag which is actually (no joke) an upside down penis.After all, this is a harvest holiday and you can’t have a good harvest if you don’t fertilize mother earth.The boys gathered branches to cover the Stag (upside down cross) and assembled the cross.That’s me below digging out a hole for the Stag with an iron spike.That’s Ken pretending to be Bruce Lee.The girls gather seven different types of flowers to place under their pillows and dream of the man they will marry but they mostly just made wreaths for all of us to wear.

After setting up the Stag we danced around it, sang songs in Swedish, and played traditional games (which it turns out are a three legged race and an apple-in-the-spoon relay race).

It was good fun and we followed up with a bountiful dinner and a walk around the Marcus’s grounds where we caught this great view of the sky.Then we played this really cool game called Kubb.It’s like Bochi Ball and Horshoes but way better.I’m definitely picking up a set when I get back.

We followed up our wholsome fun with a visit to Stockhom’s Musea Modernat to see Paul McCarthy’s latest experiment in depravity.If you’ll remember back to the Guggenheim in Bilbao when I mentioned a lewd Santa Claus photo, it turns out that that was Paul McCarthy.Once again pictures were forbidden but I did manage to snap a few.Here is a mechanized guy humping a tree in a fake forest (looks pretty real, huh) and two fiberglass sculptures of fruit-headed people with enlarged genetalia.If you look between them you can catch a glympse of MJ and Bubbles immortalized in chocolate fiberglass.

Here are a couple more photos from around Stockholm.It’s a seafaring city with an archipeligo off the coast and bridges connecting the major parts of town.In fact, they have a museum which houses an exumed, seventeenth-century vessel of the Gustavus Adolphus’s royal fleet.this thing sunk over three hundred years ago; it was the pride of the fleet, kind of like the Titanic before the Titanic but this one sank after about 300 meters and never made it to battle with Poland. Ha!

Last night we threw a housewarming party at Ken’s place.His friend Andish from Gottenburg is visiting as well, so we called up a few people, cooked a feast, and drank the leftovers from another friend’s party.Unfortunately we couldn’t buy alcohol because we had not brought our passports and the ridiculously strict, state-controlled Swedish alcohol shops wouldn’t sell to us before closing up at 6pm.Here is a shot of Ken trying to convince the manager that “rules are made for people” and not the other way around.There’s another shot of party aftermath and another of Ken and Andish stumbling around the next morning.

That’s it for now.I’m stoked though becuase next stop is Berlin, the European capital of electronic music.It’s also a bit crazy right now because I’ll be there during the World Cup.Germany plays Argentina while I’m in town.And it’s gets better.Rob Van Valen a/k/a Rollin’ Rob a/k/a Cobra has officially relocated to Berlin.

We’ll have to get up and tour the town together.
Posted from Sweden:

posted Thursday June 2006