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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Swedish Wedding


Church in Gothenburg
Originally uploaded by SSkills12

Certain Someone and I finally arrived in Gothenburg via the X2000 train. The three hour trip comprised on of some lovely scenery ( mainly farms). Certain Someone slept most of the way and then we joined some of the wedding party friends in the trains bistro. Of course he had to travel first class.And I don't complain. We were booked in the SAS Radission right in the town square .The rooms were funky and modern. We only had time for a quick freshen up, nap, change ,and then off to Askims Kyrka for the wedding.

We took 3 taxis to the church after a champagne cocktail in the lobby. The church was a beautiful Scandinavian style church with a high white spire peaking out over the spring foliage.The ceremony started a little after 5:00 pm and was pretty brief. Funny no matter what language the service is in,a Christan ceremony is pretty much the same.I totally knew when they where doing the 'Our Father', etc. The guests then assembled outside the church and pelted the couple with rice before they drove off in a silver Mercedes to the reception. The reception was held in the famous Jungman Jansson restaurant. Its quite famous in the parts for its seafood. The whole party arrived in a coach bus to a breathtaking area right on the sea. It kind of reminded me of Cape Cod or somewhere on the east coast. There where little rocky islands scattered throughout the sea,and all the upscale locals where out polishing and fixing their boats.This was no fisherman's village , but a posh coastal town. It seems a lot of weddings where held at the venue which was open just for us. After a toast with Moet outside on the deck, the toastmaster and mistress started their spiel. I was touched as they singled me out in English as the 'English' speaker and apologized that it would be a long series of speeches in Swedish but I was seated next to another English speaker. They are serious with the seating plan, and Certain Someone was across from me , but a little away.Most Swedes love to show off their English ,so I had no problem finding a conversation. Anyway I liked to zone out and follow. Little did I know I was in for about 6 more hours of seated toasts, roasts, familial skits, speeches,etc.Everyone asked me to how this differs from weddings in the USA. A lot! I tried in vain to imagine engaging in the fairytale skits, song writing drinking songs,and good natured ribbing from friends, and co workers. The food was excellent. We started with lax( salmon) wrapped around a shrimp stuffing. The entree was flat fish lightly breaded with a rich Parmesan cream sauce and a potato mousse.Lime parfait with fresh berries and Aunt Ulla-Britts wedding cake with coffees and various liquors. I was done in and was to lazy to move once the the dancing started. Some tradition were different like when either the bride or groom left the table, then the opposite sex ran up to kiss the remaining partner. The brides brother who lived in California brought over the American tradition of hitting the glass for the couple to kiss.The music was retro American pop and disco. And what would a Swedish wedding be without ABBA?Certain Someone and I aren't much dancers and we observed. I was getting tired and cranky. We finally left around 2;30 am . The sun had managed to set and rise during the festivities. A lovely new experience for me. Certain Someone grabbed a burger in front of the hotel as we arrived back into the city. A drunk Norwegian woman tried to get in our cab before we could get out. I found more drunk Norwegians in the lobby. We went to bed and got up for breakfast with friends and a quick walk around the city.

Tonight we fly to Germany and I'm a little nervous. I called My Swedish aunt this morning to offer my condolences. My Austrian uncle already knew about the his brothers passing and cleared the way for me to call. Let bygones be bygones. So this week was one wedding and no funeral, but a welcoming glimpse into my future life .

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