Last week, I found a secret portal that took me to other worlds. No, it wasn’t books, silly, although that was a good guess (and I do encourage everybody to read).
No, this portal was a garage in downtown Stockholm, a block from Stureplan, which is the center of Stockholm’s nightlife – or so I have been told, it’s been a while I’ve been in the city centre after sunset.
The funny thing about my finding the portal is that I wasn’t on my way anywhere in particular. I was just walking around, waiting for a movie theatre to open so that I could go watch Chaplin’s Gold Rush when I was suddenly, unexpectedly taken to another world.
“We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.”
― William James, 19th century American philosopher, doctor, and psychologist
Patient Zero was riding the subway. Well, her name was Jessica Serow and she was neither sick nor very patient. If anything, she was impulsive which is why it was surprising that the whole chain of events started with her reading a book. A book! That alone would make anyone who knew her laugh, but it wasn’t what made her laugh. No, what made her chuckle was something she read. She was alone that day which is why she was reading in the first place. She knew better than to read in company.
(What it was that she read has been speculated wildly. Some say it was P.G. Wodehouse, others talk about an IKEA catalogue.)
I’ve always thought that in a good advent calendar, Door 24 should be the best one. It’s often a double door and in the case of a chocolate calendar, the last piece of chocolate is twice as big as the other ones.
This may not be a good advent calendar because it doesn’t have that.
There’s been traditions, rusty cans, buddies, campfire stories, debates, Finland, dreams, love (because it’s all you need), memory lane, music, legends, hockey, flashbacks, more movies, poses, planes, trains, and automobiles, shopping, empathy, homemade decorations, wrapping presents, unexpected turns of events, breaks, and even re-gifting, but no chocolate, not even a little bit.
I think I made a huge mistake.
Oh well, I’ll just call this one “lots of chocolate”.
The biggest thing about Christmas has always been the Christmas break. First, there were the school days and the break that was weeks long, that sometimes felt almost too long.
Then, in the university, it was suddenly even longer, with the lectures ending in early December so, with careful planning, I could take off to my parents’ by mid-December the latest, after my last exam, and then return in mid-January.
Every time somebody in Wife’s family gets a present that is shaped like a box, just after s/he has torn the wrapping paper off it but before s/he opens the actual box, somebody will say, “oooh, did somebody pull a mormor?”
Mormor is Swedish for maternal grandmother, and pulling a mormor is a reference to the fact that Wife’s mormor often gave presents that were packed inside boxes that were just the right size for the purpose, but wasn’t the box in which the actual present came. For example, cookie cutter may have been in a razor box, creating confusion and hilarity.