Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Men are standing on snowy roofs everywhere in Stockholm, tapping and ridding them of snow and lethal icicles - yesterday a 14-year-old boy was killed on Drottninggatan by a hunk of ice (sorry, the link is in Swedish). It's strange that I grew up in Chicago and I never remember having to be scared of icicles, but here it seems everyone lives in fear of them.

Can you imagine being killed by an icicle, having to tell your friends and family, being interviewed by the news? "Oh, yes, it really hurt," you tell them. "It came out of nowhere. No, it's not funny, it killed me for Chrissakes."

(I was woken from my feverish sleep this morning by a workman ringing the bell and coming in to knock the icicles from the scaffolding outside the kitchen window. Apparently, we could've been killed every time we walked into the courtyard of the apartment to throw out our trash or do the laundry.)

The Swedish word for the day is, of course, istapp. It means icicle.

- by Francis S.

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