My first Midsommar
I had heard so many things about Midsommar. It has to be the most popular holiday here outside of Christmas. So when it rolled around I was ready to have a good time! We were going to the summer house and we were going to have a blast. We headed up to Norrtälje on Thursday. My wife Swedie was to be my tour guide of sorts to help me through my first midsommar.
The drive was shorter than I expected. It only took us about an hour fifteen. As soon as we arrived, I was greeted by the heaviest, most aggressive mosquitos you could imagine. I figured we were just in some mosquito patch or something, but I was assured by my bro-in-law that this would happen all weekend. Great. Now, I'm familiar with mosquitos thanks to South Florida living. And for some reason I never get bitten up too bad (that plus my inability to get hangovers are my super powers). So I was ready for this little rendezvous with some pesky insects. They didn't bite me up too badly, but they were fat. I could feel them land on me right before they decided my blood wasn't good enough. Or right before I smacked the shit out of myself and look at my hand with the glare of a fatigued hunter. They buzzed in my ear and they sounded all out of shape and fat. On the way to the summer house I had ordered a "large" (small to medium in the U-S-of-fat-ass-A) drink from a fast food joint. Somehow that little drink had filled my bladder up. I was ready to run to the bathroom. Tour Guide Swedie informed my that I had been in the bathroom as soon as we arrived. Apparently at the summer house men pee outside and women pee inside. Super power or not, I didn't want to risk one of the few bites I get being... down there. But I had to pee badly, so I penguin-ran to the wooded area behind the house. I never really understood my dog taking so damn long to pee until this moment. There were so many options! I two-stepped it back and forth for what seemed like forever with my hand on my pants button and then finally decided on a spot (which I would revisit throughout the weekend) that was obscured from plain view and had no chance of being stepped in somehow. I unzipped and started to go. RELIEF. I even tilted my head back as I cleared my bladder. I opened my eyes and saw... mosquitos! I looked down and those fat mofos were trying to land on... ME. I didn't want to overreact and get pee all over myself, but I'll be damned if I get bit down there. I swayed around as much as I could and blew a few hard breaths down towards my crotch until I was done. Thinking about it now, I'm sure I looked like I was dealing with a painful STD or something. Anyway, it worked and that was how I was to pee for that weekend. I hung out with my in-laws and caught up a bit. Tour Guide Swedie showed me around. It is a nice house. There are separate sleeping cabins, multiple sitting areas, trees to pee on and everything. The bathroom was nice. There's a toilet that I can use sparingly and I figured it was because of a water-saving thing. There was also a potpourri bowl with wood chip looking potpourri in it and a wooden spoon sitting underneath the sing. Interesting decoration choice, but to each his own. I sat with everyone and we caught up, laughed and talked about how the weekend would be. Tomorrow would be the actual holiday. I was also psyched about the game that night. It was game 7 and I was sure my Heat would win. Let me check real quick to ensure that I'll be able to see the game... What? It's not working? Well let's try... What? That neither? One more thing... NO? So I won't be able to watch the game live?... So the drive back to Stockholm only took about 50 minutes or so. My bro-in-law floored it! I napped on the way down and he would nap on the way back. We had to get my computer because I was not going to miss this game. We also stopped and picked up my sis-in-law. We were back at the summer house before 2am. The game would be on at 3. Yay! I didn't get to sleep until after the game. We hooked the pc up to the TV and my in-laws came out and cheered the Heat on with me. I swear they are the best in-laws one could ask for. Miami won (good thing for the entire house because my weekend would have been ruined) and my adrenaline rush finally died down enough for me to sleep at 0630.
I woke up a bit before 1100. I had slept on the couch with a smile on my face. The press conferences had watched me until someone turned off the TV. I brushed my teeth and went to my spot to do my mosquito pee pee dance. Lunch was going to be served soon, so I decided to wait to eat. I snuck a few bites of the food that would be put out. There were sandwiches, shrimp, meatballs, potatoes, some salmon, sill, something called Johnson that was bangin', salad and of course, alcohol. I was ready to throw DOWN. We all sat outside in the beautiful sunlight and ate together. It was nice. We toasted a few times and they sang some drinking songs while I looked like an idiot waiting for the song to end so I could do my shot. The shots were nasty as hell and Swedie's uncle kept wanting to take more with him and his friend. Of course I never turned any down, but it was nasty nonetheless. The food was done and it was time for the festivities. Though I had been fighting it, nature was making her other call. The one on line number 2. Oh well. I guess I'd be wasting some water. I B-lined it for the bathroom and closed and locked the door. Should I Candy Crush? Nah. Let's make this a quick one. There's festivities! So I lift the seat and it looks like NOBODY flushes around here. I didn't even see any water. Just a bunch of toilet paper. I guess they are trying to conserve. Maybe because it doesn't smell. Then Tour Guide Swedie came to the door.
"Jon, open the door."
"Are you gonna do number 2?"
"Well let me tell you what to do."
Then she explained that this toilet doesn't have water. I will soon be shitting in a large plastic bag that has other people's shit already in it. That potpourri I saw? That is really to mask the smell of all of the doo-doo that is under me right now as I sit. When I'm done, I am to scoop the wood chips onto my poop with the "decorative" wooden spoon. Then wipe and act as if everything is normal. My urine is to go in the section at the front of the toilet seat. It has a drain that probably goes to the ground. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. All I could muster out was. "So what happens with all the shit?" She said somebody takes the bag out later. "Oh." Well sign me up for dish duty... So after taking the most incomplete dump ever (who knew flushing felt so important), I went with Swedie's uncle to the clearing where the neighborhood would celebrate Midsommar. For those of you not familiar with Midsommar, here's my version: It is a holiday celebrating fertility. There is a large stick that is covered with flowers and placed in the ground on the first day of summer and everybody dances in circles around the large wooden fertility penis that is said to be to make the earth fertile or something like that. It dates back long ago and the tradition is strong here. So anyway the crowd went around the penis that was laying on the ground (flaccid I guess) and then some guys picked it up (me and bro-in-law included) and placed it in the hole. Everybody clapped once the penis was completely upright. Then we made a circle and someone put on some songs that everybody but me knew and everyone did the choreography. We hopped like frogs and other animals at times and pretended to do some laundry on one song. No kidding; people were pantomiming ironing the clothes that they just washed in the last verse. You may be wondering what drugs were handed out. Oddly enough, everyone seemed to be sober. It was interesting and fun. After that, there was a tug of war competition between people from Stockholm and people from the rest of Sweden. I work out. I was ready to represent my new city! I was at the back where the strongest should be. Me and every other person from Stockholm had on Chuck Taylor's. No traction. I went from at the back to on my back in seconds. I didn't even know we had started. There wasn't a gun shot, countdown or anything. I looked like a strong idiot sliding around out there. It was fun though. Embarrassing, but fun. The festivities were over now and it was time to walk back to the cabin. The rest of the day was very relaxing. We drank, threw around the football (yeah I taught anyone who cared to learn how to throw a football) and played some Spades. What more could you ask for? We also played a game that I've never played before with wooden blocks in the ground that you have to try to knock over with a wooden stick. Then you try and knock down the castle block in the middle. That was fun. Everyone pretending it's just for fun, knowing you want to destroy the other team. This night was a cabin night. No post-game sofa stuff this night. Swedie and I had our own cabin. Ooh, it's about to go down! Right?... Wrong! Separate twin beds. Hers was a rollaway cot and mine a mattress on top of a box spring. Mine at least a foot higher than hers. May as well have been in bunk beds.
This day was for recharging. We'd be leaving in the early afternoon. It was too windy to take the boat out, so we were just going to chill. I got up and made a huge pan of "griddle" for everybody (bacon, cheese, potatoes, onions, BANGIN'). We ate that and rode that right into lunch. Bro-in-law said he would make the drive home, so I had started drinking at breakfast. You just can't beat that. We laughed some more and chilled some more and threw the football around a bit more until it was time to go. I wanted to stay longer, but Tour Guide Swedie had to work on Sunday. It's good to save some for next time anyway.
Overall, Midsommar was nice. This city boy had a good time. Everyone was in good spirits. The weather was on our side and the booze was flowing freely. It's a great way to kick off the summer and a new lead-in to my birthday. Oh yeah. I'm going to like this holiday. 'Til next time...
|Teenagers. Doing what they do...|
|Some of the food.|
|More of the food.|
|Yes that is a strawberry in my champagne!|
|Tour Guide Swedie's immediate family (sans Bosse).|
|Thomas (the uncle).|
|Sibling love in the sun.|
|A chill spot.|
|The guard dog Jasper.|
|Best mother-in-law ever!|
|Maxin' and relaxin'.|
|Birgitta made tiaras out of flowers. Her talents know no limits.|
|Lasse, Suzanna and Magic.|
|All hands on the tree penis!|
|Gotta find the hole.|
|There we go!|
|Did I mention my stupid nipples?|
|Birgitta knitting or crocheting or something.|
|Just chilling. We all felt safe.|
|Thomas and Nat-Nat!|
|Fun times with the fam.|