Yesterday, A. the TV producer and C. the fashion photographer came over to watch the marathon from our balcony overlooking Odenplan. Well, that was what A. said, but I really think she wanted to help us get ready for an Arabian Nights masquerade party that the husband and I went to later in the evening.
We watched the runners for awhile, happy that we weren't out there sweating gallons in the heat. But the sun was hot on the balcony, and while it's fascinating to watch all shapes and sizes running, running, running, we moved indoors after 45 minutes.
A. was reading the Bible (in a new Swedish version that looks like a fashion magazine! Horrible...) in the living room when suddenly she heard someone outside yell "Jävla idiot" - which roughly translates to "You stupid fuck!"
The husband was out on the balcony and had seen it all: Across the street, four cashiers from the supermarket had piled on top of a guy who had tried to rob the store. One of the cashiers had even gone to the gym next door and gotten two reinforcements, who piled on top of the cashiers. The police arrived in no time, racing their car right through the middle of the marathon. It took them a good 20 minutes to get the guy, who was swearing and kicking the whole time, into the paddy wagon.
A. took photos of the whole thing, which she immediately tried to sell to one of the tabloids.
They weren't interested.
Eventually, it was time for the husband and I to get into costume - both of us with those funny black pants and shoes with turned up toes, me with a little knit cap and he with a blue turban. A., forgetting her disappointment at not selling the photos, put kohl around our eyes.
The party was in Haga Park, up at The Copper Tents, a folly built for Gustav III in 1787. I guess that's what inspired the theme for the party. So we stood around, a bunch of Swedes dressed up like sheiks and Sheherezades, and once we'd started dinner and the birthday girl had pulled off her black veil and revealed that she was dressed as a belly dancer (and a seven-month-pregnant belly dancer at that), we got down to the business of eating and dancing and drinking the night away.
Twice the party was interrupted by Hu Jintao, the President of China, who drove by in a motorcade to one of the little palaces in the park where he was staying during his visit here.
We all waved.
No doubt Hu Jintao, looking at all these crazy Swedes, was thinking to himself: "Jävla idioter."
The husband and I walked home through the park at 2:30 in the dawn, the birds all awake and chattering.
"Isn't it fun to dress up?" the husband asked me.
Oh, yes. Especially for the men, who all loved it. After all, we never get to dress up otherwise.
- by Francis S.