See what I did there?
Good. It means I don’t have too many Europe fans reading this (Virginia… if you’re reading this, I’m sorry). The short version is that the rock band, Europe, are Swedish, and I’m moving from Sweden back to England (*cough* where real bands come from), and I’m going to do a countdown.
Right. Now that you’ve seen the irrefutable genius of my opening gambit… here comes the long version.
In 10 days from now, I will be returning to my home country permanently. Well… I’m sure I’ll visit Sweden often, and hopefully see much of the rest of the world but, you get the idea. And I will really miss this place. ABBA and IKEA are not the only things to come out of this great country, and although most of the things I will talk about might seem to be of little significance to anyone else, they matter to me.
So over the next 10 days, I will list 10 things I will miss about Sweden, offset against things I have missed about England.
Get the picture?
No? … …Go home Richard, you’re drunk.
What I will miss #10: Swedish Bread
Seems simple, right?
The Swedes know how to make bread. Now… that isn’t to say that the English don’t know how to make bread, but we don’t know how to make it well. And we certainly don’t know how to make it interesting.
There are some places in England where you can buy really great, really tasty bread… but it certainly isn’t the norm.
Over here in Sweden you can buy 30 different varieties of wildly different tasting breads in every supermarket. And that’s before you even GO to the bakery. I’m talking about the kind that comes pre-packaged. This one is rye; this one white; this one has carrot; here’s the same brand but with sea-salt… with lingonberries… with syrup… oats… olive-oil… sunflower seeds… barley… cardamom… flax seeds… poppy seeds… sourdough… hard bread… soft bread…
Perhaps you’re not a very big fan of bread. But I think a love of bread is in my genes. I remember my father telling me, yet again, that some problem I had was due to lack of sleep. Now, that’s not at all surprising in my case – unless you honestly thought I chose “Sleepless Knight” because I like taking late-night walks in steel pyjamas – but he said this to everyone… “Lost a finger? Lack of Sleep” “Fell down a well? Lack of sleep” “Shot in the face by a gun-toting psychopath? … that’ll be a lack of sleep!”
When I challenged my father about this he laughed, and told me that my Grandfather had always blamed everything on “not eating enough bread”.
Anyway, I digress… as usual. Basically the Swedes kick our asses at bread making!
So how do I counter this? Well…
Things I have missed #10: British Sausage
There is no polite way to put this… The Swedes can’t make sausage for shit!
Okay… there were probably a dozen polite ways to say that, but I have really missed the good old British Banger and that’s the kind of shit that will make a man take politeness and jump up and down on its balls until it stops being polite.
So… like the bread… Swedes can make sausage. The Germans taught them. Doubt me? Don’t make me go all “Swedish Tour Guide” on your asses with stories about the Swedish sausage and its ties to the Swedish copper mines. Just trust me on this.
Still. I can imagine the little conflab between the German miners:
“So… if we teach the Swedes to make sausage our lives down here in the dark might be a little more bearable, but if we teach them the really good stuff, how will we ever face our countrymen again! No… I say we teach them that really crappy, boring recipe that we give the kids when they misbehave.”
So, yeah… the Swedes have several different types of sausage, but I’m damned if I can tell you the difference in taste between one and the other (much like British bread).
So I’m looking forward to getting back the British Banger! Tomato sausage… pork sausage… beef… sausage with apple… sausage with Stilton…. sausage with Garlic and Rosemary…. Lincolnshire sausage…. Cumberland sausage… the list goes on and on.
See you tomorrow!