Thursday, 18 June 2015

On updates and midsummer's eve.

While Ulf may have received a poor (albeit well deserved) reception to his midsummer's party in the story, on one point he was right.

Effectively Sweden closes shop on that day, and the weekend that follows doesn't see much activity either.

I don't know what holidays or celebrations you readers are familiar with, but at least play along with the thought that there are days during the year where the entire nation shuts down.

In Sweden you're more or less regarded a bad human being if you don't celebrate midsummer's eve. Or at least considered as an example of a failed human being.

That said, tomorrow is midsummer's eve. As I have no plans to join neither the bad ones nor the failed I'm going to celebrate together with friends and family.

We'll set up our shabby party tent on my mother's lawn like we've done the last fifteen years. We'll put the tables inside in one single row, because that's traditional as well. And we're going to eat pickled herring, lots and lots of pickled herring, and sour milk (even though not from Hokkaido because Sweden produces all the fermented milk it needs). Boiled potatoe, the small one from this year's early harvest, is a must. Bread, butter and cheese, and a little bit of meat for the few renegades who refuse the pickled herring.

A dozen kinds of pickled herring, or more. Salty, sour, sweet; marinated in custard, tomatoe sauce, liquor sauce and lots of other treatements that most sane people from outside Sweden would find vile and revolting.

But we love it here.

We are also hardly considered sane. We love that as well.

Oh, and I almost forgot the schnapps. Several kinds of it as well. In difference from the members of the Himekaizen Cultural Exchange club we're of legal age and don't have to make do with the truly vile substitutes that can be bought. Just trust me on this one. If you don't want to drink booze go with water or anything else that you would normally prefer. The non-alcoholic schnapps sold is simply not meant for humans to drink. Just stay away from it unless you want to end up sulking in the corner of a ramen shop...

All in all the frame story depicts a midsummer's party more or less the way I've experienced it since my late teens. The exception being we don't have tons of Japanese guests of course, and we usually don't have the fabulous weather I've given my characters during midsummer's eve 2040.

And as Sweden shuts down shop for the weekend, so will I. Don't expect any updates until Monday.

And enjoy your midsummer's eve, because I will.

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