Friday, July 5, 2013

Hej, hej! Oh, crap.

Good god.  I swear I'm the only person I know who can lose a wallet in a foreign country.

Yup, that's me with no money.

Yup.  Yesterday when we were in the city in Luleå I dropped my damn wallet and couldn't find it.  I cancelled my debit and credit cards and my check card for my ING account.  I called the international collect call number for Wells Fargo and they are going to FedEx cards to me here in Sweden.  You have no idea how many times I had to spell the street name "Gnejsstigen" to the southerners on the phone.  Heh.  They kept adding all kinds of extra letters. 

Your word is "Gnejsstigen"
Our friend Joey (an American from Jersey who is the actual owner of Georgia & Per-Erik's dog, Bailey) left his wallet on the bus once and not only did someone turn it in to the police but all his cards and money were still in there.  So Monday morning we'll go to the police station in town and see if someone turned it in.  Otherwise I will have to get a new license when I get home (and gas rewards card for Cub!!).  They can have the $2USD and the 40SEK in the wallet, but it'd be nice not to have to replace everything else in there.  Cross your fingers someone turned it in, OK?

The good news is that I'm still healthy and alive and I had a place to stay and I'm with people who can spot me some cash if I need it before the cards get here.  So, ultimately, everything's going to be OK, I am just pissed off at myself for losing it. 

*Insert favorite curse words here*
Today we're headed to the Jokkmokk!  I get to see REINDEER and meet Sami people!  I'm so excited!  I will post pics here, later....

'Til next time,

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hej frå Sverige!!!

Hi everybody!!!

It's been a LONG time since my last post.  Currently I'm coming to you from
Luleå, Sweden. Approximately 62 miles south of the Arctic Circle.  I'm visiting my wonderful friends, Georgia and Per-Erik Mäkitalo.  

It took 3 planes to get me here.  Now let me interrupt myself and back up a little...

OK, so you know how we discussed me running un the first post of this blog??  Yeah, about that. As it turns out, I hate running even more than I thought I would but more on that later! So now if THIS buy is chasing me:
Remember me?  HUNGRY!!!

Well, he's probably going to grab me with those As Seen ON TV grabbers, roast me off a crackling fire and eat me with Heinz ketchup and some nice French's yellow mustard.  

Why is this relevant, you ask?  (You have to ask that a lot with me, don't you?)  Because today, whether I liked it or not, I HAD to run.  I got to the MSP airport in fine time to catch my first flight (thanks to my intrepid driver, Donna Schader).  I got on the plane, we backed away from the gate and began to taxi.  And we taxied.  And taxied.  And taxied.  And taxied.  At some point, I think it might have been about 10 minutes into a 15-minute taxi, I began to wonder if we were going to DRIVE to Chicago. 
"I think it's the next exit, Bob.  Use your turn signal, I SAID USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL!!"

We got into Chicago O'Hare about 25 minutes late and, after power walking from the gate to the train going to the other concourse I had to literally SPRINT to get my flight to Stockholm.  It's a good thing I lost a bunch of weight because I'd NEVER have made it to the gate which was, conveniently ALL THE DAMN WAY ACROSS THE TERMINAL FROM THAT FREAKIN' TRAIN.  

The nice thing was that I didn't have to sit next to any crazy people or people who talked to me incessantly.  The other lovely thing I noticed is that I don't take up as much room as I used to on planes!  I didn't feel like I was crammed in like a.....well, like a thing crammed into another thing with lots of other things.

"I don't know, Marty.  Do you ever just feel like there's somebody riiiiiiiight behind you?"  
 "Every day, Jerr, every damn day."

I wasn't all sweaty and stinky just sitting there, trying to make myself as small as possible.  I was sweaty and stinky all right, but it was from the 65-mile run from the train to my gate.  I got a few hours to rest in Stockholm and then got on what was probably the nicest puddle jumper I've ever been on.  This thing had leather seats! 

G & PE took me around and showed me just some of the sights in the town, we had a DELICIOUS dinner and now we're watching the "24/7 Rangers v Philadelphia" a documentary made about their road to the 2012 Winter Classic.  There are so many F-Bombs being tossed about I think sailors would blush!!  Ah, hockey players.  Gotta love 'em!  Now we're going to make popcorn and then I'll be off to bed!

'Til next time,