Friday, November 22, 2002

Last night we had dinner in Östermalm at a little trattoria. Perhaps it was a bit elegant - eight tables with white tablecloths, simple candles and menus with fancy script - to be called a mere trattoria, I suppose it was more of a real restaurant, where we celebrated the birthday dinner for P., the father of the friend from London and the closest thing I have to a father-in-law.

We sat, eating perfect vegetables - my mother claims that a restaurant should be judged by its vegetables - and talking all at once, the husband and I, P. and his wife E., and the friend from London who was here to do a photo shoot for H&M.

"Ingrid is 76 and she lives all by herself," P. told me, speaking about one of his neighbors on the island where the family summer house is, formerly the farmhouse of his grandparents. "She has no indoor plumbing - she still uses an outhouse, and she gets her water from a stream. She hasn't been to the city in five years."

I am astonished, as P. has hoped I would be, that there is still at least one Swede in the year 2002 who lives without running water.

Tomorrow, we leave at 10:30 a.m. on a plane that will take us to Chicago, where we will arrive at noon, nine hours after we left. We'll be back in a week.

Happy Thanksgiving.

- by Francis S.

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