Another thing I'm doing is basically the same thing as the first, but more the core of the matter: I'm just promising myself that I'm going to love it no matter what--if it rains, if it snows, if it goes all Cloverfied... Anything except missing the flight or some crap like that. That you can't make fun. And another thing I'm doing--and this is turning into a list of its own--is making it into some kind of social experiment. And probably recording it all too, cux I might as well make audio magic out of it too, right? But back to the social experiment. Yes, this is definitely going to be part of it. Hmmm, maybe 'anthropological observation' would be more fitting a term. Anyway, I'm going to observe any little thing I can think of, and I'll have to think of it before I go, and notate it. This all sounds way more highfalutin and smart than it is, but go with me here. So I'm trying to think of stuff to observe. And I've come up with two thoughts so far. So this will be the beginnzing of a bunch of lists, if not here than in my mind. Especially when I'm feeling contemplative. May it birthate many more lists.
(I think my 2Q:09 resolution will be to be the kind of person that people make lists about. Then someday 40 years hence I'd like to be talking to someone who is a close friend and have hir say to me, "Do you remember the Count of Boobookabooshkoo? He must have made 60,000 lists about you, he felt so strongly about you. For a summer there he had a staff of 1600 just sitting there paid top dollar to make lists about you all day. He had the country's best poets working for him. You know, like the person who wrote Toxic. Remember they were all published a couple years later and every contributor named a co-poet laureate of the country? It almost got a Nobel.")
NOTES FOR STOCKHOLM 1
--Look at the old people. You know how old people here, even the rich ones, look just ground down and beat the shit out of? See if they look that way there. Here's a rich, developed country with a good safety net and a populace with a reputation for good behavior at home. (Wow, Sweden really does have a good reputation, doesn't it? I suppose it can only be good for me to like it, right? I could imagine someone saying, "You know Ed? I used to think he was hopelessly godless, destined to blaspheme 1,000 things before he even wakes up in the morning? Well, did you know he likes Sweden? I always thought he'd want to live in some genie bottle lounging on rugs and inhaling and exhaling nothing but pure, overpowering pleasure. But maybe I was wrong--maybe he can live in a small town and behave like the good kids. I'm gonna introduce him to my friend Jesus again.") So add all these things together and surely you'd find "a good place for the elderly" in there somewhere. It just goes with the territory. That said, if that were the only thing that mattered to me, I suppose I'd be all about Japan, because they respect their elderly there. I think. But who wants to go through all that schooling and pressure?! And isn't that where they have suicide waves? Nej, tack. But more importantly, I think if life there really is easier because of social welfare and everything else, I'd expect the older people to not look as eroded as they do here. We'll see.
--Check out the rats in the subway. Are they huge and brawny, big as cats but a little icy and reserved? (Because it's becoming a cliche that they grow 'em taller in rich parts of Western/Northern Europe. Because they really do grow taller. And there's that Swedish cliche about the guys being tall and blond and built. So if the people grow bigger, do the rats? Are they well-nourished too?) Are they blond? Is there language very musical and heavy on the 'r' phoneme?
--Make more notes later. Bloggerate this so you don't lose it.
So that's my forsta list, in progress. More to come if I think of something and am not too lazy to put it up.
GLORP! (it's not the new beep, exactly; but I end my emails with various single-syllable such words, so I'm being colloquial here. But I'll beep anyway. BEEP!)