Fika Fika Fika!
(Swedish coffee break)
I wake up after a couple of hours before arriving at the Högankustenbro, the highest bridge in Sweden. I’m still a little bit sleepy but I can feel goose bumps as we drive on the bridge; it looks like the San Francisco bridge. Fredrick explains, as a good tourist guide, that the bridge was built in 1997, is 182 meters high, and extends for 1210 meters.
We stop at an autogrill for coffee and a sandwich: Fika, Fika! When I step out of the car, wearing only shorts, I freeze: the cold is deadly; but just to see the surprised faces of the Swedes looking at pictures of a man wearing shorts when the temperature is 5ºC is worth it… PRICELESS! How silly I am!
We continue our journey and we are in front of a huge MAX with flags waving proudly.The city is called Örnskönskwik, the birthplace of Max. The one before us is the very first one, before expanding throughout Sweden to compete with American McDonald!
Gl inhabitants of the country are so proud of this fast food restaurant that they have banned both McDonald and Burger King! I imagine them like medieval peasants with pitchforks and shovels who want to ward off the “monster!”
Besides Max, Örnskönskwik (I have no idea how to pronounce it) is famous for the hockey team “Floppa” and its stadium. We pass quickly, then stop at another autogrill. Upon entering Fredrick takes a basket and, as Little Red Riding Hood, fills it with chocolate and other junk as if he is picking flowers for his grandmother. I go to the books, newspapers, and CD section and when I see the New Eurovision cd, I call Fredrick to show it to him. He looks at me for a moment raising his eyebrow and then puts it in the basket along with the chocolate bars.
“Dear Thelma, this CD is the soundtrack of our trip to Scandinavia!”
We take yet another cup of coffee and a Kanelbulle, a roll with cinnamon, my favorite spice! I love the “Kanelbulle!”
Fredrick spreads the chocolate bars in his hand to offer me one, as a magician with his deck of cards: “Which one do you choose?” I choose a chocolate caramel very similar to the Lion. As I taste it, he opens the car trunk where the cd player is. He puts in two cd’s confessing that his stereo can contain up to five cd’s.
As we get going, I put on my sunglasses, playing the role of Thelma; I turn on the stereo, pull my sunglasses down, and say: “Louise, ok, let’s go!