Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Sweden is really hard on one's liver. Because, of course, any decent social gathering involves consuming mass quantities of alcohol. I remember my first office party in Stockholm, being taken aback that not only was it acceptable to get shitfaced, it was required. And since everyone gets completely bombed, from the CEO down to the little old lady who works in accounting and never says a word to anyone, there's no need to be worried about any embarrassing acts that may have been committed over the course of an evening or a weekend-long retreat. Everyone is guilty, guilty, guilty, so it all equals out in the end.

For a foreigner, (uh, except if you're Finnish or Russian) the most difficult thing to remember is that you are a pathetic lightweight in comparison, so don't bother trying to keep up with the Swedes. Worse, everyone will be on time for work the next morning no matter how hungover they are, so don't even think about sleeping it off.

I'm still recovering from last night's drink with a former co-worker who was laid off in December. I helped her find a new job, and we celebrated at WC, our neighborhood bar. There are few things worse than riding the subway in the morning with a hangover, no matter how minor it is.

I made it in by 9:05.

The Swedish word for the day is färdig. It means finished.

- by Francis S.

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