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Bandy-SM! Packages! Huskies! oh my! March 20, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.

Greetings, hello, welcome to another chapter in the never ending (I wish) saga of life in Sweden. We have a big update on our hands, oh yes, and I your faithful Swede am here to bring you the details. Life is crazy busy right now in Sweden. What else is new? Instead of doing this update I *should* be finishing a paper due quite soon, but it can wait. You my ravenous friends, you cannot wait. Every year at about this time is Uppsala city’s largest sporting event of the year, the championships of Swedish bandy. For any of you who don’t know what the heck bandy is, I’m here to help. The readers digest version: its ice hockey, with a round orange ball instead of a puck, on a ice rink the size of a soccer field and a goal size between that of a hockey goal and a soccer goal. From what I understand this sport only really exists in Scandinavia, but take it from me: it is high paced, rough, the body checks are brutal and the games are long and exciting (two 45 min halves, just like soccer). In any case I bought two tickets thinking it would be fun to go with someone (sporting events are lame going alone, eller hur?) but couldn’t find anyone free until…my friend Amelia showed up! You may remember her from a long long long post ago (there is a picture of her and I) when she came up from France (where she is studying abroad, she is a Husky just like me!) to visit myself and Ryan in Stockholm. Well she contacted me a few days ago saying she had friends visiting from UW that wanted to see Sweden so naturally I had to take her to the bandy champs.

The city was packed, the stadium was packed, I had never seen so many people in Uppsala before in my life. It was insane, there were drunk fans everywhere, people peeing on trees and bushes or on the street in public and no one seeming to mind. As if timed perfectly when Amelia and I got there the place exploded, literally, in fireworks. Not pretty little foo-foo French style fireworks, no, these were strong, Viking, thunderous explosions. Imagine having about 4-6 shells exploding every few seconds, only about 25 meters above your head with the force of about 5 M-80s per shell, for several minutes. Usually I never plug my ears but I wouldn’t have been able to hear again had I not after that audible assault. In any case, ears ringing, the place shook with cheering. The two teams had their respective massive groups of fans (just like you see in the world cup) and they had special chants, as well as jeers that they threw back and forth. It made the atmosphere thick with tension, excitement and anticipation for the game to come. The game itself was great, fast paced and full of twists and turns. There were actually no seats for sitting, no reserved places, everyone stood the entire game. Thanks for being a sport for standing so long Amelia, you rock! Below here, you can see an interesting “free kick” so to speak outside the goal box. The team lines up in front of one another and charge, trying to block any shot attempt, its very interesting to watch and actually a lot like soccer now that I think about it.

Really a good memory. Oh, and I have no idea who won – its not really important. Moving on, I wanted to give a shout out to my very good friend Mr. Mark Engle for sending me the best care package ever. This guy must know me because I got wheat thins, chocolate covered coffee beans, beef jerky and a host of other items which I simply cannot find in Sweden but that I love. He even managed to burn me some of his favorite German music. Amazing! He must be buttering me up for his impending visit in 5 days and…well, its working. For sending me a taste of home, and making my day, week and month I want to offer a huge thank you. Check out all the goodness!

So I was privileged and honored to host Amelia at my place for 2 nights, and the second one her UW friends came over for coffee and it was just great to meet them. I can’t explain the feeling to someone who hasn’t studied abroad, but to have 3 people from my home university in one place chatting about how great Seattle is and how much we love UW, yet removed thousands of miles away from that place, it was a very ‘homey’ and nice time. Here are my lovely Husky lady visitors. Everyone say “ost”!

Nothing but good memories is what that is right there. Alright I’m not going to lie, its time for me to get back to this dreaded project/paper. I’m presenting my work tomorrow and Thursday so if you feel so inclined (and read this before that date) please pray things go well. Thats all I’ve got, live life to the fullest my friends, you never know when God will call you home. Many blessings, until next time.



1. marcovinicio - March 20, 2007

Bandy, eh? Sounds like the Canadians could learn a thing or two from the Scandinavians. lol

2. Brendan - March 21, 2007

So, is that where the expression “to bandy about” comes from? Ah—according to Dictionary.com, bandy (as a word) is of British origins. Interesting.

3. David Aaron Engle - March 24, 2007

That rocks that Mark sent you a care package …

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