Thursday, October 30, 2008


The sign on the Grand Hotel said WARMT VATTEN and even though we had reserved a room in a cheaper hotel we could not pass up the warm water one. And Grand Hotel sounded so fascinating and so Greta Garbo. I had told S about a young engineer I had met on board the Gripsholm, who had promised dinner whenever S and I reached Stockholm. We called him and he invited us for dinner and the opera. We saw Madame Butterfly, sung in Swedish. The music was great but the language was startling.

Our first bath and shower was wonderful. We spent hours getting ready for our dinner. What do you suppose we will have for dinner, asked S. Meat was very heavily rationed. But fish was available so maybe we would have some fancy fish dish. I told S not to ask for seconds for that often was tomorrows lunch for the family. I remembered that one fairly small roast of veal on Sundays when I was young, was enough for two or three meals and maybe even a sandwich toward the weekend. A lot depended on carving skills and several paper thin slices arranged properly on the plate made you think you were given a huge meal.

The cocktail hour was spent by our host telling S about his research in the freight business. He had spent his senior year creating systems that seems much like freight is handled today. The container and marine shipping on paper looked like our systems now. And the was so excited about his future we were both convinced he would go far. For dinner we had wild meat shot by our host, and the amount was fabulous and we ate till we groaned.

Next day we spent almost entirely in our room. I can't remember how many baths and showers we had but at the end of the day we were clean and happy. We were back to being ourselves, and the world was again on an even keel. And I was especially happy getting rid of the sense of inferiority that my mother always managed to give me. After a couple of days sightseeing in Stockholm we departed for Gothenburg. There we were invited to a cocktail party by the family of the man who owned the beauty shops on the Swedish Liners. We were invited to come at eight o'clock and we knew some of our friends ate continentally late. We arrived at the appointed time and the house was full of people and we were served drink after drink and there was no sign of people getting hungry. I asked someone in the ladies room and she said 'we all ate dinner before we came'

I don't remember if I told about our host's stuttering in a previous blog. His stuttering was nonexistent. I will tell you in a following blog about my discussion about the rapid cure.


Anonymous said...

Oh my. You must have been quite drunk! The rapid cure, for what?

educatedeclectic said...

And today, many more families are having to go through this readjustment, when a spouse comes home after such long terms in Iraq, etc.

jessica said...

I love Stockholm, esp. Gamla Stahn (not sure if I spelled that right)! I made friends in college with some Swedish girls and I went to Sweden for three weeks with one of them in December about 8 years ago. It was great to learn about Santa Lucia and see the little ceremony, and to celebrate a traditional Swedish Christmas -- I didn't eat any herring, though. I tried to learn some of the language but found everyone spoke perfect English.