"Gott Nytt År!..."
"yup, I saw that tv show yesterday"
"Gott Nytt År!..."
"I'm gonna read a book now"
"Gott Nytt År!"
"I need a drink"
"but first gotta go to the bathroom..."
*OOPS!*... almost forgot..."GOTT NYTT ÅR!"
heh... if you havent figured it out yet... Gott Nytt År = Happy New Year...
remember when I said that the swedes said "merry christmas" far too often?... I think they worship the celebration of a new year far more than "I-never-met-that-person's" birthday or maybe if you say it in swedish (spoken swedish) its fun to say the words... I dunno... or maybe they just feel the need to inform everybody that it is not 2005 anymore to prevent any misunderstanding when they make plans to meet or whatever... I'm just throwing in some made-up theories, feel free to add yours if you want :)
Some examples, on December 31st or morning of January first, I noticed that on my MSN buddy list... I had about 7 swedes online on my msn, EVERY SINGLE ONE of them had a nickname with "gott nytt år" or something related to "happy new year" on their msn nicknames.... and I had maybe 20 canadians online, NONE of them even made the effort to acknowledge that it's 2006 now... actually one did... but that person was an american... so that person doesnt count :p... If that's not enough for you, I compared my msn buddy list with Elisabet's. The evidence of eagerness to introduce 2006 was overwhelming... Elisabet probably had 20-something swedes online on her list, and only ONE person did not say happy new year... I know I am just making a pointless point... (by the way is there a such thing as a pointless point? heh)
Anyway, I after christmas, moving to Gullmarsplan, it started snowing here non-stop for like 2-3 days giving Stockholm a thick blanket of snow everywhere, it has not melted away yet (it is January 10 now...) Elisabet and I went shopping few times, I thought there would be something similar to Boxing Day Sale, I went shopping on 26th of December, I saw in newspapers that there would be some sale in some stores.... I went to the mall.. and went "huh? that's all?"... it looked like a normal saturday afternoon at the mall... oh well...
For the new year's eve, instead of going to a big party or something else that required alot of "Gott Nytt År!!" that I wasn't in the mood for, Elisabet and some other girls organized a small, more sophiscated and refined New Year's eve gathering. Consisting of only four couples, 8 people in all (I said 8 in case you couldnt do the math). Semi-formal dress, elegant three course dinner and so on. Yeah pictures are coming up at the end, but let me tell the story first :).
On the afternoon of the December 31st, I realized that I wanted a new shirt that I could wear to those type of parties, (an impulse encouraged by my FIRST paycheque since August heh)... So I decided to go to Åhlens City (a clothing and accessories store) with Elisabet and get a shirt.... Elisabet saw a tie that she wanted me to have, I didn't like it at first but I guess I got used to it... (I bet Elisabet is smiling while shes reading this now)... you know, I made a sacred commitment to myself that I would never wear anything pink.... and the tie was 1/3 purple... too close to pink for me but but but... oh well..
After buying a black shirt, I immediately put it on and went to the party I was actually wearing the shirt when buying it :)
8 of us at the NYE party, Elisabet, Jenny, Camilla, Carro, Jesper, Mikko, Magnus and Me. Interesting fact about this select group of people, all 4 sweden women had boyfriend of different nationalities... Magnus is a swede and his girlfriend is Jenny. Jesper moved to Sweden last year from Denmark because of his girlfriend Camilla, Mikko from Finland moved to Sweden also last year and also because of his girlfriend. and of course, me, a Canadian moving to Sweden because of my girl :)... Seems like that men are more likely to move for their girls or is it because Sweden is a better country?... you can argue that idea in my comments :)
We ate porkfillets with fancy dressings on it, played some games and so... am not in mood to go into details for that. Let's skip ahead to the fireworks part... Other difference I noticed is when it becomes 12.00am January 1st, in Canada everbody usually huddle around the tv and wait until the specific second and begin hollering and celebrating. In Sweden, they do it differently, they just wait until it's 10 minutes before midnight and go outside and light fireworks. They don't care about the precise second when it becomes midnight, strange, with all of the "Gott Nytt År!!"s you would be inclined to think they would be more enthusiastic when they know exactly when it is the new year? oh well..... I thought it was fun to go outside and light fireworks and I also thought that we would be the only ones lighting the fireworks... but actuall when we got outside, there was already dozens of people from their own parties gathering around a field lighting fireworks. I think all 8 of us had an opportunity to light a firework, but my firework was a screwed up firework!!...
allow me to explain further... when I received my firework thingy, it looked like a yellow/blue cubic box, about 15cm in length on each sides, and I noticed that the firework would blast off from two opposing sides of the box, I thought it was strange and how was I supposed to light it?. I certainly couldn't light it upright otherwise the other end would shoot right into the ground. I checked the pictorial instructions and it said to lay the box on the ground with the opposing "firework" sides on the side. I still thought it was strange, nevertheless I went ahead and placed the firework on the ground and attempted to light it, at my first attempt, Elisabet, while taking a pictuer of me, noticed that the firework was placed horizontally instead of vertically, she ran to me telling me to STOP!!.. she thought I was stupid enough to light it while it was positioned horizionally... I showed her the instructions... she stared at it with disbelief... we had no idea how the firework looks like but since I was following the instructions then I should be doing it right?.... I also placed it so that all of us were facing the "non blasting" sides just in case... and you won't believe how luckily we were that I did it...
My First Attempt
Second attempt at lighting it up, I still felt uneasy, I rushed back at a safe distance after lighting the fuse (15 meters or so)... then as the fuse disappeared, BOOM! the fireworks went off!!... to my amazement, it ACTUALLY BLASTED SIDEWAYS!!!... we were on a field with at least 40 people gathered around in a circle but LUCKILY on one side, there was nobody in the direction of the blast, and on the other side, the people like 100 meters from the firework so the firework blast did not reach them that far... Everybody in our group was looking at me as if I never had lighted a firework before, I was quick to defend myself and tell them that the instructions said to place it sideways and luckily I wasnt the only one to read the instructions, Elisabet agreed with me so... not my fault :)
My Second Attempt
It had to be the dumbest firework design I've ever seen, who would want to see fireworks flying sideways?... one of the blasts actually went through a tree... ah... dumb firework but it was certainly enteraining :)...
After the fireworks, we got back to Camilla/Jesper's apartment (thats where the party was)... and stayed there until like 4am, by then the Subway was closed (they close about 3am and reopen at 6am), Elisabet and I didn't want to wait until 6am, so we took the night bus, it ended up taking us an hour and half to reach our home!!... an average subway ride would have taken us 15 minutes max. But in all, the night was a fun experience.
The Appetizer, crayfish salad... Like I said in my blog about the crayfish festival, I was never eating it again, and I was true to my word that night. Mikko didnt like it either, so I wasn't the only loser eating Crayfish-less salad :)
Camilla, Brandon and Elisabet
Jesper, Jenny and Mikko
Me, sporting my new purple tie :)
Magnus, after finally opening a bottle of Champagne.. (it took him few minutes heh)
All of us outside lighting fireworks, and I think Jenny is saying "Gott Nytt År!"
Magnus and Mikko inspecting an firework that didn't go off.
Camilla, Jenny, Carro and Elisabet.
Mikko (Finland), Brandon (Canada), Jesper (Denmark)and Magnus (Sweden)
Brandon and Magnus
Gott Nytt År 2006!