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Of Underdogs, Good Friends, Animals and Rock…this much I know. April 10, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.

Jesus is risen. Its true, and has been for nearly 2000 years but once every year we sit back and really meditate on its meaning, during Easter. No holiday is dearer to me and no event more important to the foundation of Christianity then the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Happy belated Easter to you (glad påsk på Svenska) and I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend with family and friends. Since Mark left last week things have been nothing but busy, which I suppose is par for the course. I’ve done my best to catch up on Toxicology reading and attend labs as well as lectures, all of which I find very fascinating and applicable to my physiology major. Honestly, who doesn’t think poisons are cool? So I got a phone call on Good Friday morning from my good friend Jonas. Apparently he had tickets to the opening game of the 2007-2008 “All Svenskan” premier soccer league and had a friend cancel – giving me the opportunity to step in. And I did so gladly. The game was David vs Goliath, better known as Brommopojkarna vs Djurgården. The “Brommo Boys” as they are affectionately called are completely new to the upper division, having won the championship at the lower league and thus having the privilege to play in the big leagues. Djurgården on the other hand have won the premier championship 3 of the last 5 years, in dominating fashion. Here is Jonas and I getting ready for the blowout on a parkbench…doing what else? Why having a couple beers of course, looking like a couple bums.

You wouldn’t believe this but it actually started to hail on us shortly after this picture. Stupid spring weather in Sweden, you never know if it will be sunny or snowy, and thus have no clue what to wear. We got to our seats on the Brommo fan side and the game began just like that. This was a dream come true for me as it was my first time watching a soccer game in Sweden, one of many goals from my yearlong checklist.

Thanks for the tickets Jonas, I owe you one. Oh and believe it or not the Brommo boys actually won! 1-0! It was the most embarrassing result in years, according to Jonas, a very distraught Djurgården supporter. I guess sometimes even David wins.

So I get back later that evening and Mela calls me up to have dinner at her corridor in Flogsta with friends. Who am I to say no to cute German girls cooking food?! Thank you Mela and the rest of the crew for a great evening, that casserole was like jätte yummy… if I can even say that. Here is the group all together, well except me cause I’m obviously taking the picture.

Mela and Stefi, I owe you both dinner at my place once I get back from Russia. On Saturday, out of nowhere, Jan busts into my room and threatens to MURDER ME WITH A CLOTHING HANGER!!!

Naturally I had to dispatch the foe with my advanced knowledge of Swedish/Viking martial arts, and that was that. Moving right along, now its Easter Sunday and Ryan tells me he and Meg are planning on going to Skansen to check out the Påsk Marknad and want to know if I will följa med, which I do. The sun was shining and the day was just perfect to walk around and see this gem of Stockholm.

They always look great together. Oh, and they also asked if I would be an official usher at their wedding (in Seattle) this next winter, which of course I agreed to. Looking very forward to that. In and around Skansen there are thousands of animals, some caged and some not. We saw moose, reindeer, grizzly bears, lynx, minks, seals, bison, horses, pigs, you name it. Here are a few that I thought were especially cool.

There really wasn’t so much between myself and the giant bison, so it was a good idea not to make him angry. I could see the headline in the paper now… So after we finished at Skansen we had dinner together near the main station. It just so happened that this night, on Easter of all nights, I had tickets to a concert. Not just any concert, a Nine Inch Nails (NIN) concert. I know what you are thinking. I know exactly what is running through your mind. Are you kidding, NIN on Easter? What kind of godless pagan are you?! First, I actually bought tickets to go see the opening act primarily, Ladytron, and NIN was just sort of an add on after-thought to me. Second, I had no idea when I bought the tickets months ago that it would be on Easter, as they were only to play in Stockholm for one night before moving elsewhere in Europe. What was strange was our dinner bill actually added up to 666.00 kroner between the 3 of us…which was an unsettling, if not humorous omen of what might come later that night.

The crowd was intense, and the music deafening. I fought my way to 3 or 4 person rows back from the front of the stage, close enough to hit Trent Reznor with a meter stick had I had one. It was crazy to stand so close to a musical legend who has influenced so many bands and so many people’s lives in my generation. Ladytron was just as good as I expected them to be in opening, and both front-women sang very well live, better then I thought they would. I knew the words to every song they played, but looking around the crowd it seemed I was one of only a handful.

Naturally people screamed, sang and jumped around excitedly when NIN finally took the stage. It was a fight to stay on ones feet. You had no control. The crowd seemed to have a will of its own, and you were along for the ride. I think the last time I sweat so hard was in the summer of 2001, in India. It was crazy. Those of you who have been GA at a major rock concert know what I’m talking about.

Trent sang his heart out and put in as much energy as the crowd put back out. Thats always a good thing to see. The songs were a mixture of very hard, and very soft favorites from across the many years of NIN, and I don’t remember the exact set list, but the whole concert was great and I’m glad I went. I was even more glad when I was back at Ryan and Meg’s and had taken a shower. And now I’m in the process of packing for Russia, where I will travel to tomorrow. I’ve read the books, I have a strategy, I’ve prayed for safety and I’m ready to go. Theresa (my Austrian roommate) and I met a few times to go over what we want to see together and are both happy to have a friend to watch out for the other. It goes without saying that a big update will follow when I am back in Uppsala, which won’t be until next Wednesday. Until then I ask for your prayers. Have a great week and barring a run-in with the KGB I’ll have a lot to talk about soon!



1. Mark aka 'le Engla' - April 10, 2007

Were the bears behaving themselves this time? (reference to our Skansen experience) I remember talking with you and Jonas about the football game–I can’t believe that the Brommo Boys pulled it out! ….and of course as we discussed I’m extremely jealous not to have gone to the concert….couldn’t it have been a week earlier?!

2. Mela - April 12, 2007

Hej Kille,
inget problem, det var sa lite 🙂 ! Ha det sa trevligt i Ryssland och messar oss när du är tillbaka i Uppsala…Sköt om dig och vi ses,

3. Melinda Larson - April 16, 2007

Hi Sweet Buddy!!
What great info. on your blog!! I have enjoyed it so much and think it is definitely worthy of publication. I am sending it around the loop of personal friends who may be contacting you. I think even Oprah may be interested!! Don’t tell Dad if she invites you on the show!!
So glad life has had so many opportunities and you have seized each and every one. Loving you as always,


4. swedishfish - April 21, 2007

Nice pics! I wish I’d gone to the NIN concert, but that’s okay; I’ll wait until they hit Red Rocks (which I’m sure they will do sometime).

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