Friday, January 14, 2011

Basketball coach

Since I don't have (and the way it looks like right now, I will never have) kids in Sweden, I don't know what kids do for after school activities over there. And when I think about what I did as a kid, it isn't really helping since it's been awhile.. and things do change... But I do know what American kids can choose when it comes to after school activities - and a lot of it is sports. Sports is a big deal here. And one thing that I will never (or who knows, give me a couple of years) get used to is is these seasonal sports. If you want to play soccer you have to play in fall. If you want to play basketball, you play in winter. If you want to play softball you play in spring. Even though where I live there really are no real seasons to stop you from playing soccer in winter and softball in spring. I don't get it? Why do you have to jam in a whole season in a couple of months and then - nothing? Is it because you want the kids to play all sports (and be crazily busy all through the year)? I remember playing soccer and we did that all year around - and when it was too much snow you played indoors. And when I got older and taller I switched to basketball, which you also played all around the school year.

Oh, well - that's the way you do sports here, I just have to get used to it.

My Daughter finally likes to play basketball - so she is signed up for the basketball league - that will go on between January and March. I like basketball. It's a social sport - you can play it and hang out. You can play it on your own. Or with 3 friends or a whole team. You don't need a field, one backboard is fine. And with her Swedish decent, she will be tall - which comes in handy when you play basketball.

And I'm not sure how it happens - but I'm the assistant basketball coach.... So every Saturday for 2,5 hours, I'm now helping coaching 8 little 2nd Graders figure out how to play basketball. It's a lot of fun - they are so enthusiastic and way too small for their team outfits no one won't be dunking any scores. If judging by the jamboree games last weekend, I'm going to be a rarity - a female assistant coach... Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Interior design for hardcore Swedes

I haven't been an alien long enough to crave this Dalahäst carpet. But give me another 5-10 years, and I might spend some $2000 to get some real Scandinavian feeling in my house.

(Picture from ScandinavianDesignCenter, who also sell the carpet)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Good time to be an Alien

When I moved out, 10 years ago, it was before SVTPlay, e-book readers or Skype. At least it was in the time of the DVD so you could bring Swedish DVDs with you - if you hacked your DVDplayer. TV3's short newsprogram (what was it called? 3 minutes) actually put up an online version of it's news program online - and you might be able to stream it - but that was it.

Now we live in a time where you can be in France and watch the Swedish princess wedding in Stockholm live on your iPhone or follow the "Julkalendern" (Swedish children's program in December) as if you were in Swedish (and with nice grandparents who send the paper calendar - it's just like in Sweden).

And two months ago I gave myself an e-reader* and now I don't have to wait for the next visit to Sweden to use valuable weight in my suitcases with books to read (even though I ready perfectly fluently in English - it's nice (and important) to read in Swedish as often as I get the chance). With my e-reader I can buy (or borrow when I have my Swedish library card set up) Swedish books in minutes and start reading.

My kids thinks it's perfectly natural to turn on their computer and check if grandmom is online, put on the headset and the video and talk on Skype.

New technology makes life good for aliens.

(I got the new Nook Color by Barnes&Noble - I'm an Amazon fan and a huge user - but with the Kindle you can't read epub files - the standard used by libraries or Swedish booksellers - only the Amazon books can be read on a Kindle. If you want to use an e-reader to read Swedish books - make sure it can read epub files and install Adobe Digital Editions on your computer and hook the e-reader and ADE together - and hepp - you're good to go!)