Sunday, July 30, 2006


Sailing is math. At least that’s my conclusion after a week on the water with three engineers. My previous sailing experience had been with smaller boats and old fashion sailors. I was taught how to figure out what direction the wind came from by licking my finger and putting it up in the air. Not here. There where quite a few clocks and digits that told what direction the boat was going, what angel the wind was blowing from in relations to the boat, the depth, the speed, the angel the boat was leaning and lots more. Some of them I never bothered to understand. The guys spent most of the time calculating wind speed and direction with planned direction and distance. They made nice straight paths on the GPS. Which where only interrupted when I had to go to the bathroom… One of the inconveniences with being a girl: you can’t just strap on a safety rope and hang from the side of the boat when you need to pee. At least I didn’t want to.

The boat was nice and stuffed with wine glasses from Iittala, glasses for drinks, cognac, shots etc. More glasses than I have at home. The owner (a business associate of one of the “sailors”) had also left tons of boxes of wine, nice bottles of wine and beers. You might say we where all set on that department! No room to put our stuff due to all the glasses and wines. But that’s ok.

The only place I have sailed before is in the Stockholm archipelago which is full of small islands so you have to keep switching directions all the time (not sure what the correct term for this is in English) (it’s “kryssa” in Swedish). Not here. Since we where sailing from the east coast of Sweden starting in Visby, Gotland – going around the south of Sweden up to Gothenburg on the west coast, the rout did not have many obstacles in it’s way. Just open waters basically. We set the autopilot on one direction and just sailed. Didn’t have to do much actually. I’m used to being in charge of something, usually one of the sides of pulling in or letting go of the front sail. Here the front sail was automatic. Sometimes it needed tightening, but since it was so big I wasn’t strong enough to do the last bit which always seams most important anyway.

So what did I do? While the guys kept busy with their mathematic calculations and occasionally changing the sails (it seamed like they had do be occupied with something at all times), I finished a book, worked on my tan (the days we didn’t wear our ski-jackets that is!), talked to my guy-friend onboard and sent text messages to my girl-friends on shore. During our night-sailing sessions I had the graveyard shift with the least talkative guy. I didn’t know this before we had the shift together (1am - 4am) but I got painfully aware since the tree hours felt like the longest ones in history. Imagine being dehydrated, suffering from lack of sleep and not really in tuned with the sea yet, and then having to stay awake for three hours with a man who says NOTHING during this time. I tried to start conversations by asking him questions about things I thought he might be interested in. He answered them in the shortest way possible and didn’t ask anything back. Jolly!

Although the week was fun and full of sailing, sun, wine and good food – the way these men all got excited when the engine broke: they read the whole manual and had the problem figured out within a few hours. Or how they could discuss cell phone technology over an entire dinner. Not a single word about relationships, art or other “soft” issues. To be frank: they where boring and single minded. That’s a bit harsh: I know. My friend is a keeper and not dull and one of the guys is a fantastic chef. They’re not a drag all the time, I’m sure. But if I can sum the topics up: that is my conclusion.

When the owner came to get his boat back, he turned out to be an attractive man in that undefined age between 38 and 55. He brought golf clubs, tennis rackets and he was very social and friendly. So when his wife was coming, I was expecting a cool woman in his age, with an interesting career-job, fit and with good social skills. His match basically. I got so disappointed when this young girl in her lower twenties came. She didn’t have a firm hand-shake and hardly looked people in the eye. I’m not sure, but I bet she doesn’t even work – at least not because she thinks its fun and challenging. What a bore! I asked my friend what he thought about this and he just said “it’s another statement showing how wealthy he is”. Excuse me?! Why is a pretty girl with no thoughts of her own a sign of wealth?! I’m guessing he’s no more fun than the other guys I have sailed with, and he would get a low self esteem if he was to date a woman his equal. I am fascinated by people who think about relations and context of things. It could be religion, politics, psychology, society, art or anything. People who might not expect to find definite answers and who doesn’t se everything as right or wrong, black or white. Not like the square headed men who have not discovered the beauty of a woman’s mind, and only see her as a threat or an object. Why are things not changing?!

So I’m not particularly interesting myself and certainly not entertaining, and maybe that’s why I’m so fascinated by people who are. I’m a thinker but unfortunately not a communicator, I confuse s ex with intimacy. So what’s my point? I don’t know. I got a tad bit discouraged.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Same friend – different year

Starting the morning with a car chase perks me right up! Or bus chase rather as the case was on Saturday morning. I was invited to spend the weekend at my friend’s island in the Stockholm archipelago. I knew that the conditions would be quite Spartan out there, so I had made preparations and packed a couple of bottles of wine, tons of chocolate and other life-necessities. Since the weather was going to be fabulous, I was dressed quite casual in just a small top and linen-pants. After doing some last minute strawberry shopping I realize I was not going to make it to the bus if I took the subway. It is summer after all and the trains and buses don’t go as often. So I get into a cab and ask if he can get me to the bus in three minutes. “Not likely, but we can give it a try” he answers. “My driving might be a little less smooth if we try though” the driver added and took off. I swerved with my luggage all over the back seat – but we still didn’t make it. “Try to catch him at the next stop” I hollered from the backseat and he but the gas pedal to the floor once more. Well the bus had already left that stop, but we caught up with him and followed him. We stopped behind the bus when one of the bridges was opening – or so we thought. “Run out and ask if he lets you on here at the bridge” the driver suggested. So I ran out and darted towards the bus. People who are not used to Stockholm bus drivers probably don’t know how matriculate they are with rules and stuff. There is no way a bus driver lets you on unless you are at an actual bus stop. Many times I have ran alongside the bus until I get to the next stop because I live between two stops and for some reason always get out when the bus is at a red-light after the first stop. Not fun to do in high-heals, I tell ya! But it was worth a shot here. But before I reach the bus, the bridge starts going down and the cars starts driving again. So I turn and run back to the cab. As I’m doing this I notice that my pants are hiked down a bit and my not so attractive thongs are showing. Not just the undies, but the skin between the rim of them and the pants. No, I’m not showing buttocks or anything, but the undies are dated pre the low ride pants era and the linen pants where – well… just not tied tight enough at the hips. What a site for sore eyes this Saturday morning! Oh well. The taxi cuts the bus off at the next stop and I run out to ask the driver to wait just half a minute. Cause I didn’t have cash – only credit card. I didn’t tell the bus driver that though. Bless the Swedish cabs for taking all credit cards! I finally get all my stuff on the bus and the driver is furious! How could I be so rude and let all this people wait! I’m glad he didn’t through me off the bus actually.

After an hour on the uncomfortable bus with the angry driver I was finally at my stop. My friend picked me up in a small motorboat and we drove to her island. The horrid morning very soon disappeared as we enjoyed the sun and the rocks. For you who don’t know: the rocks by the water is smooth in Sweden due to the ice tides a couple of thousands of years ago (or how ever long ago). The rocks have sunken-in parts where it’s just perfect to lie down like in a beach-chair. Wine and strawberries for a late lunch, discussing all important life issues and reading our books. And the sun doesn’t set in Sweden during the summer. The only thing that was missing where a couple of stallions by our side. Or maybe not. I have never dated a guy who wanted to just lie next to me in the sun all day and being happy just laying there. They always wanted to do something. Like beach-volley ball, play in the water or anything but just lay still. Either I’ve just dated hyperactive guys, or I’ve never dated anyone who where infatuated enough by me to be happy just laying next to me and gaze into my eyes and occasionally help me put sunscreen lotion all over my body. I’m leaving this topic now. I will just let myself believe that they have just been normal hyperactive guys.

We did this for two days and when I got home on Sunday I was truly relaxed! My vacation starts on Thursday evening and usually I’m extremely stressed before I go off to vacation. But not this time! The Stockholm peninsula is the place to be in the summer. Everybody you see are tanned and good looking! Not me though: I had my hair in a funny pony tail and my skin was like a palette of white, red and tanned. And my pants had wine spilled all over them and my cute top was full of sot or something. But who cares! Its summer and I love it!