Caroline A. and Suzanne met during the senior year of high school, when Caroline left her home in Sweden to spend a semester in the U.S. After graduation, we took Suzanne on a trip to Stockholm. We hit the tourist spots, hung out with Caroline’s family, and helped celebrate her birthday with a pig roast.
Sweden made a big impression on us all, especially Suzanne. Later when she was attending business school in Switzerland, she met Erik, and that was that.
Nowadays I have Swedes as Facebook friends, which forces me to rely a good bit on Google Translate. that can be fun but puzzling. When Caroline writes –
“Tack så mycket! Nu ska vi bara ta kål på det förbaskade viruset som belägrat min kropp och sen fira lilla mig. ” –
I can sort of understand Google’s “Thank you very much! Now we just kill the damn virus that besieged my body and then celebrate the little me. ” — I especially understand the universal emoticon.
With “Finsk midsommarsoppa: häll upp vodka i en blommig sopptallrik,” I barely need Google Translate to tell me it means “Finnish midsummer soup: Pour the vodka into a floral soup plate.”
But more often than not, I find myself skirting the edge of a dark intrigue. Consider “och inte lär de sig. Plattsättaren la ner jobbet direkt då uppdragsgivaren lämnade landet. Nu är det hot som gäller eftersom vädjan inte fungerar,” which means, says Google, “rather, they learn. Flat assembler put down the job immediately when the client left the country. Now is the threat posed by the appeal as not working.” Hmmm. I believe an international crisis is brewing. Hard to say where, though.