One of the best things about lazing around in a Stockholm hotel room while the wind blows the snow sideways past the window is the subtitles on the television programmes.
They show a load of English language shows, but with subtitles in Swedish. This is useful for trying to pick up a smattering of Swedish on your weekend away. To give you an example: last night I worked out that the Swedish for child is barn. Considering that bairn is a word used in Scotland for child, I find this pretty damn interesting, and very much a bonus for a cold Sunday night in January.
I found this out while I was watching an American made-for-TV movie spectacular called Snap Decision. As with 99.9% of TV movies, it ended in a courtroom drama. As with 100% of the 99.9% of these movies, justice was done in the end, which, I have concluded is the whole point of these things.
Yes, so you have been left on the scrapheap by a world that doesn’t care, which is why you are slumped on the sofa scoffing mayonnaise with a spoon and smoking yourself to the gills, but, as the movies you watch every day demonstrate, there is justice in this world. That is, if the nice photographer lady with cancer -a Desperate Housewife, in this case-who took the pics of her friend’s fatherless kids in the buff was rightly set free by the wise judge, who even took the time out to admonish the sex-obsessed agents of the state who set the social workers upon the distraught family, what more proof do you need of the abundance of justice? Why, it pours forth from the TV every afternoon!
Anyway, Stockholm is a great place, if a bit nippy at this time of year. I got a crash course in Swedish history on Saturday when we visited Skansen and the Vasa Museum. Sunday we dandered around the old town centre, and I took a shot of the below:
Beyond the obvious, I have no idea what it represents. Maybe the louche man in the buff is Zeus, and he’s going to descend Zeus-like upon the swan or something.
Another thing I found out which is handy for learning Swedish: the Gideons leave bilingual editions of the Bible in hotel rooms. So you can easily delight your Swedish friends with useful phrases like ‘pillar of salt’ or ‘light under a bushel’, if that is the sort of thing that gets you going.