Something Swedish

A Splash of New York


So, our guests from New York are on their way back home- it was awesome to see them and to be with friends from home for a few days!

Admittedly, their being here did confuse my brain a bit- arriving straight after Easter when I was exposed to almost all Swedish language and culture for three days straight at my in-laws, it felt extreme to be with them with no transition. They instantly noted that I picked up an almost-not-really-Swedish-accent when we met up on Sunday and by Tuesday I sounded like a New Yorker again. Going (running) to SFI straight from dropping them off at the train station on Wednesday was pretty unproductive as my mind was not really understanding Swedish again yet.

On Easter Day morning (don’t worry, we celebrate on Saturday here in Sweden!) hubby and I went to Goteborg. We stayed at the Ibis – a boat hotel!

Then we all set out with two museums in mind. We went to the Goteborg City Museum, which has the remains of the only viking ship in Sweden (or at least the largest amount/best preserved). The exhibit also showcased weapons, coins, jewelry, pieces of clothing, and more. The rest of the museum was a little more broadly  themes around Swedish life, culture and history, not only the viking age. We then took the tram to the Art museum, which has the largest amount of Scandinavian art.

Later on we made our way to Fangelset, the venue for a melodic death metal show, an old prison across from a cemetery. Our guests were very interested in seeing the metal scene in Sweden, so going to a show was top priority. The bands we saw were Agalloch and Velnius, both from the U.S. ironically, but nonetheless the crowd and atmosphere was Swedish. While death metal isn’t exactly my scene, it wasn’t my first time going to a show and I immediately saw that this was different. My husband must have seen me looking around because he leaned over and explained that Swedes just stand and listen, pay attention and appreciate. There was a lack of wildness that I had anticipated, there was no movement anywhere outside the slightest head bang which usually stayed within a 30 degree angle like an exaggerated and aggressive nod of approval. There was no dancing, moshing, moving, talking- I felt like I was standing amongst the  zombies. Eventually we spotted two or three who really stood out in the crowd, but would still be considered tame. There was also a lot more personal space, no pushing or shoving or standing on top of each other. It was a fun change of pace.

The next day we went back to Halmstad, the contrast between Goteborg and a smaller town was unpleasantly exaggerated by being a red day (holiday) and the windy rainy weather. Our options for Monday were extremely limited but we made the best of it by introducing them to Swedish pizza for lunch, relaxing, having a home cooked diner, playing pool, and then going to McDonald’s since it was sadly the only place open to just sit around and have some coffee.

The next day we set out for a Swedish Lunch Special, which is from 11- 3. After looking at a few menus and options we found a place just in time (2:45), most places were already done serving and we were the only ones at the restaurant that late in the afternoon. I was excited that our guests loved the traditional food and were impressed by how cheap lunch specials are in Sweden. Then I showed them the castle, old prison, and church. Site seeing is no fun in the rain so we were going to cut it short as we stumbled upon a cafe which I have seen before but haven’t yet tried.

It turns out to be the second oldest building in Halmstad (Aside from the castle and church) and it was absolutely perfect and picturesque! I will definitely be going there more often, they have good coffee, a great selection of tea and a charming…everything. We took quite a few photos and I plan on going back for more! It was nice change to step away from the larger cafe chains in town.

A few hours later we all got dressed up and went to Verona for a nice dinner. They loved the food and really enjoyed the planksteak- success! I really wanted to get a photo of the four of us, but it just never happened. Afterwards we went to another coffee shop until it closed.

Even though the weather was gloomy and it was a holiday we had a great visit and it made me even more excited to visit home in June/July! It was special to have guests from New york after being here only 5 months! I love playing host and showing people around, hopefully next time we have guests we will have more room and nicer weather!


12 thoughts on “A Splash of New York

  1. Wonderful photos and some really great times. Thanks for the tip about the cafe. If you want some great vegetarian food try Spis and Deli in Lillatorg.

  2. Hey! You saw Agalloch! That’s awesome. I’m writing about them for a term paper- looking at how various environments influence black metal sound. I’ve heard European crowds don’t mosh like we do but I didn’t realize it was that different! I’m not familiar with the other band- will have to check them out- but Agalloch will make an appearance on my site soon as I plan on posting parts of my paper. Glad you got to spend some time with your friends!

    • Wow, what are the chances? Even funnier since I found your blog while trying to get an idea of what bands to see when they are in town. I was going to linky you when I wrote that part, because I don’t know much about the genre- but they called it death metal and you call it black metal so I got confused :/ I’ll stick with regular old metal, although we did buy a CD 🙂 It was a cool experience though, especially the crowd. Nice paper thesis, sounds interesting

  3. Agalloch is one of my favourite bands! I’m so jealous!!!!

  4. Fängelset is in the neighborhood I live in! They have a Kulturhus in the same building, which houses the library that I now use. =) You guys were so close by! Looks like you had a lot of fun!

    • Oh, neat!! Yea, we did. Maybe someday we will meet at the Fangelset haha “I first met her at an old prison across from a cemetery” Sounds like a good story 😛

  5. Now this actually surprised me :O

    Despite listening to Death Metal, I’ve never seen any show live. I automaticly assumed the audience would go wild, and more so than at other types of metal shows. Guess not, eh? 😀 Because I’ve been to others, to as lightwieght acts as ‘hard rock’, and I certainly weren’t alone in cheering, screaming, banging my head, clapping hands, jumping etc.(Mosh-piting can sometimes be considered, by Swedish metal-traditionalists, to not belong, though)

    I’ve always said there’s something deep and contemplative about death metal. Maybe that’s why they are calmer? Death metal *is* often my prefered music of relaxation. Might be on to something. Or not. Moving on!

    • I get it though. It’s not poppy, and in many cases incredibly technical. Paying hard attention to it makes sense to me. Honestly, I can say the behavior at the metal shows there make more sense for me than the ones here in NYC.

      • I like your jacket!

        And yes, I think I see your point. While I can enjoy going at if there’s… well, let’s call it “pop-metal” for the ease of it, the death (or black?) variant – if it’s any good – does demand some focus.

        Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed your visit 🙂

  6. Actually most of the shows I’ve been to in Sweden has been mental with people climbing on top of each other :’)

    I guess it depends a bit on how stoked the crowd is on the band itself, and if they have black metal influences or not (black metal and acting cheery in the crowd = instant punch to the face by some grim looking person hah.)

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