Monday, September 18, 2006

Forgive Me Father...

...I'm about to sin.

I'm leaving for Stockholm tomorrow morning. Mrs. TBF is already there for a week-long conference, and I'll be joining her tomorrow afternoon. And, I have to say that I'm really looking forward to this trip. Sure, it's not Finland...but it's close enough.

There's a bit of a rivalry between Finland and Sweden. Every year there is a big track and field meet between the two countries (it's possible that it's coming up soon...not really sure), and I recall my dad telling me when I was growing up about the Swedes crying when the Finns would emerge victorious in this meet year after year (not really sure what the true results were), and how the Swedes would never beat the Finns at anything (...except maybe for the gold medal in ice hockey in the Olympics this past winter). My understanding is that the Swedes stole Finnish meatballs from the Finns and renamed them Swedish meatballs, cloudberry (lakka) jam, and even tried to claim they invented the sauna. For all I know, they probably even stole IKEA from the Finns. Plus, they're jealous as hell about Nokia. Just ask any Finn...

But regardless of the Swedes' inferiority complex, I'm looking forward to spending five days in Stockholm. Mrs. TBF and I will be staying at the "formulaic business hotel" during her meetings, but then we'll move on to what we've read is the incredibly posh Grand Hotel on Friday for two nights. We have dinner reservations for one night at a restaurant called Operakällaren, and then we're just going to "wing it" for the other meals.

Yes...I'm really looking forward to it. But don't worry dad - I'm sure I won't like it as much as Helsinki.

P.S. I'm not bringing my laptop this time (The Swedes probably haven't heard of the internet yet...), so I'll update the blog with pictures when we're back at home.

Take it easy TMS and Tobias...just joking.

12 comments:

the medium swede said...

I think perhaps we stole Lutefisk from the Finns and I for one am willing to give it back!

I'm very jealous and wish I was going to Stockholm. I would love to see the mother-land.

Tobias, perhaps you could enlighten this Medium Swede as to what the heck is so great about Lutefisk.

CanadianSwiss said...

So the Finns now eat Swedish meatballs?? ;-)

Have a great time up north!

The Big Finn said...

TMS - I don't even know what Lutefisk is, so I think it must be a Swedish thing. I have no idea if there is a Finnish equivalent.

Kirk said...

I always thought Lutefisk was Norwegian...it's really disgusting.

cncz said...

One crazy norwegian dish my grandma never made us eat down south was lutefisk. She KNEW that it was too exotic for us.
Salmon soaked in vodka however was not too exotic.

The Medium Swede said...

Lutefisk (lutfisk) (pronounced /lʉːtəfɪsk/ in Norway, Minnesota, /lʉːtfɪsk/ in Sweden and the Swedish-speaking areas in Finland) is a traditional food of the Nordic countries made from stockfish (air-dried whitefish) and lye (lut). In Sweden, this food is called lutfisk, omitting the medial 'e'. In Finland the same dish is known as lipeäkala. The direct translation is lye fish, owing to the fact it is made with caustic soda or potash lye.


So it is Finnish!

The Big Finn said...

TMS - Thanks for the info. The Swedish speaking part of Finland is very small. Therefore, I'd say that lutefisk probably didn't originate in Finland.

Samantha said...

I'm pretty sure lutefisk is Norwegian (and I'm a half-Finn from Minnesota). Now you've got me craving lefse....

And TBF, you traitor, going to Stockholm instead of Helsinki!!

p.u. said...

Fascinating...tell me more.

tobias said...

Tsk tsk tsk! The sad truth is that Finns are very preoccupied with this feud, while Swedes completely ignore Finland and never bothers to let anything Finns say or do affect them in any way...
Lutfisk is delicious (or, it tastes nothing, but the sauce and potatoes are great) so of course it is a Swedish invention. So are meatballs. When meatballs were invented, Finns were still living in the trees, eating fir cones.
Let me also add that Finns aren't really good at anything, only obscure sports that nobody else cares for. They are OK with hockey, but never as good as Sweden.
Ah - I love these constructive discussions. You will love Stockholm, but I find Helsinki superior...

The Big Finn said...

Tobias - I think that the Finnish/Swedish rivalry is kind of like the American/British rivalry. Whenever a British person tells me something about how Brits hate how Americans do this or that, or how the Americans have "destroyed the English language", I tell them that that's nice, and that the Americans don't care the least bit what the Brits think.
I find it interesting that you find Helsinki superior to Stockholm. I tried comparing the two, and I found different things that I liked better about each city. More later...

tobias said...

I like them both, they both have their ups and downs, but the biggest difference between them is that I enjoy living in Helsinki, but never enjoyed living in Stockholm...