Like many of your garden-variety great big homo types, I'm easily intimidated by certain bastions of maledom - the barber shop, the garage, certain hardware stores, old-fashioned gyms - and the men who work in these places. Such as the guy who came this afternoon to install the washer and dryer. I feel deficient, somehow, when he asks me if this electrical outlet is connected to that electrical outlet, and whether I want to have access to the water valve. I don't know, I stammer in Swedish, yes, I say and shrug, and hope that he doesn't start asking me about the pipes, using all these Swedish manly words that I have no idea what they mean.
He's gone now, on his way to Sundsvall for the long weekend he told me, it being Ascension tomorrow and most of the country taking a four-day weekend.
And we, lucky bastards, now have our own washer and dryer actually in the apartment. No more having to live life around laundry reservation times, a mere three hours every weekend but it's never enough on account of it takes an hour and 20 minutes per load of laundry and then the only dryer is a, um, drying closet where you hang things up on racks in this big wardrobe thing, something you don't have in the U.S., probably because it takes at least an hour and a half to dry anything.
The Swedish word for the day is rörmokare. It means plumber.
- by Francis S.