Fredrick is sleeping, but I’m not tired yet; I will take this opportunity to write, especially since there is a very comfortable rocking chair in the chalet offering the perfect set up. Fredrick has called me “Grandma,” but you know, I’m really comfortable with a blanket in a rocking chair, with my glass of wine in front of the fireplace. Why sleep? Why not take the chance to feel this magic moment? When will I again see the light of day at 02:00?
Anyway I’m in Jörn, on top of the region “Västerbotten,” the north-eastern part (in effect Vatter means East) where Fredrick’s parents and relatives live.
From Umeå we passed to Ratan, where the only war in northern Sweden took place. The North was always a poor part of the country, not coveted. In the last century though, a gold mine was discovered in Boliden, therefore also called the “the Golden City.” Since 1924 it has one of the most famous mines throughout Europe; when we drove by it we could see the word “gruv” everywhere; it means gold. There is even the “GRUV och Mineeral Museum,” the gold and minerals museum. Before we arrive at destination we cross an area of the ponds, “Trask” in Swedish. Every village around has that word in its name. The people are compared to Shrek, the greenish ogre, because of the orcs living near the ponds. Rivers and lakes are numerous in the area. The birch trees are also typical of the region; they look like bamboo canes, being so thin and frail.
We arrive to Fredrick’s parents’ house at 15:00. They greets us with hot and homemade Hjortron jam. His mother doesn’t speak English. It could be the reason she seems reserved; since I speak only a little Swedish, it is hard to make conversations. His father is more open, very friendly, smiling and gets along with his English. He shows me the property. Fredrick jokingly warns me not to say “meow,” because his father is a hunter who will shoot at anything that moves: moose, reindeer, including cats and dogs! I look at him shocked, but he tells me that he’s joking. I do note that there are no live animals around.
The house is huge consisting of two floors in front of his wooded property. What was upon a time a barn is now a workshop to fix different things; on the other side is a garage and a cold room where he keeps the moose meat. He also has an old tractor and snow mobiles; in winter cars cannot be driven, even with chains, because of the amount of snow. Finally he shows me the “guest cottage” with 4 bedrooms, a large living room with a fireplace, all in wood style. One of the bedrooms has become a closet where Fredrick put his trinkets, Christmas gifts, books, and University notes. Fredrick takes the opportunity during this visit to wash the car and then to go through his things, deciding what to toss, what to keep, and what to bring with him for his new apartment. The horror of a terrible odor has followed us to Jörn: among his Christmas gifts he pulls out two fake mummies; I placed them in the pile of stuff to throw away. He confess me excited that finally he can shows proud for next Christmas.
But his relatives make gifts to Fittja Bazaar by chance?
I take a look at his books and the notes of his law courses. I start to read about criminal and tax law, and finally I ask him where to put the folders. He wants to burn them, so I put them close to the fireplace. But first I remove the sheets from the folders which can still be useful. What a waste after sweating over those courses.
After that I try to keep my head down not thinking about what I might pull out… OH MY GOD! Red candlesticks with fake light bulbs! We finally take a break be cause the aunts have arrived… Fika Fika Fika!