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I remembered something Gudrun had mentioned a few days before: when working on television projects, the couple spends long hours with many people. One of the reasons they moved to a tiny island town off the coast of Sweden was to get away from others during their downtime. I guess it made sense that they’d chosen someplace where they wouldn’t be tempted to socialize. In Sweden, they’d found a refuge not only from a major source of strain (people at work) but also from any subconscious desire they might have to build relationships that could lead to a sense of obligation or stress. Maybe they’re more Swedish than they realize.

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catty1 May 7, 2009 @ 9:59 a.m.

One of my great-uncles (married to my great-grandfather's sister) is Swedish and he is a HOOT! But then that might have more to do with the fact that he was a merchant marine for most of his life. He does tend to be the quiet one in the group but he has a very sly, and pointed, sense of humor. Not to mention his endearing mangling of common curses: his interpretation of "I'm pissed off!" is "that makes my urine burn."

And 9 times out of 10, uncle Axel has a vodka martini with meals, never milk. Absolut Vodka martinis, of course. ; )

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David Dodd May 6, 2009 @ 2:35 p.m.

What? Nothing about eating meat? Nothing about atheism? I'm so disappointed!

Just kidding.

I have a friend - Mexican by heritage, he lives in Sweden. Some years back, he discovered me on the internet and became a fan of my writing, we proceeded to exchange emails back and forth. Then a few years ago, he flew into Tijuana unannounced and saddled up to the bar stool next to mine and introduced himself to me in the Dandy del Sur on evening. He had never seen my picture, so he presumed that the only gringo there would be me.

This happens more times than one could credibly acknowledge.

Anyway, he told me about Sweden. The shocking thing to me was that as sociable and conversational and open that I've found Mexicans here, it seemed ironic that he should live in such a paranoid country. Your descriptions from the stories by Urs and Gudrun precisely mirror those of my friend. Of course, never having met his Swedish wife, the possibility exists that there are other motives for living in Sweden that would elude me.

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bohemianopus May 6, 2009 @ 3:22 p.m.

"We invited Urs and Gudrun to visit us in San Diego, but the politically minded pair had vowed not to return to the States until Bush was out of office. The moment Obama’s victory was declared, they booked their tickets."

Hahahaha!!!!!!

I LOVE this line AND these people! Great story!

Pat

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SassySuds June 26, 2009 @ 3:17 a.m.

Just an aside, you don't need to bother with a squeegee on your glass enclosed shower. Use the towel with which you have just dried yourself. It's easier and faster than the hand held tool and much more convenient. Wipe down after every shower and your glass will look great without a lot of trouble. My shower enclosure still looks new after 12 years.

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Barbarella Fokos June 26, 2009 @ 7:28 a.m.

Thanks for the great tip, Sassy, I will try that.

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