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Snuggling With the Enemy

My Fake Magazine of LIfe in Sweden – by Scott Ritcher, American publisher of a real magazine called K Composite

Archive for August, 2011

Just a Reminder

Monday, August 29th, 2011

This sign is in the elevator of the apartment building I moved into earlier this month:

“Household garbage should be thrown into the designated placeand not off the balcony. Thanks for your help in keeping it clean and pretty outside the building.”

Oh no problem. You’re welcome.

It wasn’t me, by the way, who threw garbage off my balcony. Nor was it me who designed the award-winning flyer.

(What are the arrows showing me?)

Not throwing bags of garbage off the balcony may seem like an obvious thing to most people.

However, there are a few more signs I’m thinking about making and posting around the building, just to make sure everyone knows the rules of common courtesy. For instance:

“Please don’t record your bullshit Swedish hip-hop album in an apartment building at 1:00 in the morning.”

I know what you’re thinking. “Swedish hip-hop? What the hell?” Yeah, I know. And you maybe haven’t even heard it. If you’re reading this in America, relax, you will never hear it.

I understand that just like any other music, there is really good hip-hop and really bad. Personally, I can’t stand the really good stuff, so imagine how bad this must be.

If you associate hip-hop with urban struggle, I’m sure you’ll have no problem picturing the overwhelming oppression of universal healthcare, subways that have new-car-smell, city sidewalks crowded with model-worthy beauties draped in next year’s fashions, rolling countrysides dotted with charming summer vacation houses, and armies of cops who pose for pictures with tourists and carefully help drunks so as not to injure them.

Straight outta Dalarna, bitches!

So anyway, yeah, I need to make a sign outlining the appropriate hours for laying down your dope tracks. I just don’t wanna hear the advance tracks before your MP3 drops.

If you ask me, the appropriate hours for recording Swedish hip-hop are, well, never. But since I am a guest in this country, I’ll be generous and ask that we shut it down around 10:00 pm. I think that’s reasonable.

I may offer my services to my Swedish hip-hop neighbors. You know, as an American I have a lot of street cred that these Svensk homies just can’t buy. I can tell ‘em all about what it’s like growing up in Middletown, Kentucky. I mean, if they wanna hear me drop some science (off the balcony).

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Princess Preggers!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Well it’s like the wheels are about to come off the tabloids here in Sweden over the past week, on the heels of the news that the crown princess has a little majesty in the oven.

Victoria, the oldest daughter of the king and queen of Sweden — not to be confused with Madeleine (the cute one who likes to party… she’s like the Mary-Kate and Victoria is like the Ashley) — got married last summer to a commoner, Daniel Westling.

It now seems that Prince Daniel has made short work of getting some more Swedish blood back into the royal lineage.

The Swedish Royal Family has a mix of French and German heritage at the moment, with a dash of Brazilian, depending on how you’re keeping score.

Just a year after Sweden was wrapt in royal wedding fever, now royal baby fever is the wildfire du jour.

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The morning after the announcement, I was on the train to work when I took a quick look at the Expressen newspaper’s website on my iPhone.

The site was ablaze with every angle of the pregnant princess story. In fact, I counted the headlines: eleven of the top 14 stories were related to the royal pregnancy.

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The free daily Metro paper dedicated a magazine-style cover to its front page, which is usually a standard newspaper style headlines-n-articles things.

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One article I read was completely dedicated to speculation about the exact moment the princess got knocked up. Best guesses are placing the moment some time before a late-May visit to Munich or some events around Sweden’s National Day on June 6. Too much information?

Another article asked people on the street what they think the child should be named. One guy said Mohammed if it’s a boy and Aisha if it’s a girl. Just to do something unexpected.

My vote is for Princess if it’s a girl or Prince if it’s a boy. Chances are, this kid will be king or queen one day. How awesome would it be to have a King Prince or a Queen Princess?

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Hand waving (registered trade mark)

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Please don’t wave your hand unless you’re prepared to pay trade mark licensing fees.

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West meets further west

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

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Vintage punch card washing machine

Friday, August 19th, 2011

This is a really old Swedish washing machine that uses metal punch cards. The various cards have different programs coded into them.

For instance, the yellow card on the top is for color wash with a normal level of dirtiness. As the cycle advances, the different holes trigger cogs in the top of the machine that flip internal switches.

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The photo below shows how the cards are fed through the top of the machine.

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The machine is apparently from around 1959 and is called an Osby Automat.

Osby is a town in southern Sweden where this “hålkortsmaskin” (literally “hole card machine”) was built.

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Old Ericsson telephone

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

This is an emergency call box located on the platform at the Stockholm Södra Pendeltåg train station. It was made by the Swedish electronics company Ericsson and it looks old. You’re welcome.

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Old timey flatbread box

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

This is an old container for knäckebröd, a popular style of crisp flatbread that Swedish people love.

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Swedish fire department

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Here’s what the fire department looks like in Sweden. I thought you’d like to see what real socialists look like, you know, since the fire department is a very popular socialized program in the United States.

Don’t worry. Everything was perfectly fine. The building is still standing and everyone is okay.

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Junior’s First Swastika

Friday, August 12th, 2011

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Best captions:

1. I’m so used to drawing them upside down on highway bridges that it’s kinda weird when you’re looking right at it.

2. I’d like to be a better racist, but I’m not very good at art.

3. Go on, junior. You can do it.

4. Shit. I can’t even be intolerant right!

5. You’ll get the hang of it. Just keep on hatin’.

6.Let’s see, it’s like this… No wait a minute. Hang on…

7. Sheesh! Way to go, dummy. Thank God the Führer isn’t alive to see this!

Add your own below…

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Say it with roses

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

This optical shop near Sankt Eriksplan which still has an old-timey clock on the front of its building from when it presumably used to be a flower shop.

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