Sunday, December 16, 2001

I am a little kid at heart. That is, when given the chance and in the right circumstances, I revert back to my childhood habits. For instance, last week on Wednesday, the team I am responsible for at work went out for an afternoon and evening of, uh, teambuilding. Which consisted of a session of chocolate tasting (lots of little bite-sized niblet-y things on a plate: chocolate- caramel tartlets, chocolate- passionfruit tartlets, mocha mousse, gingerbread ice cream, saffron creme brulée, you get the picture), then a session at the laser dome, wherein the boys teamed up against the girls (yeah, right, they kicked our sad little boy asses) in one of those weird black smoky maze things, each armed with a "laser gun" and garbed in a vest that marked off how often we were shot and where. Then we had a nice dinner afterwards at a nearby very mysigt, i.e. cozy, restaurant.

One of the things that fascinates me (and drives me crazy) about Sweden - or at least about my company - is the assumption employees make that the main role of an employer is to keep them happy at any cost. So, I spend an enormous amount of energy on this. Hence the night of fun. Still, it was fun.

But, back to the little kid bit. Which was that when I played this stupid but extraordinarily entertaining shoot-em up game at the laser dome (I'm a closet wannabe warrior, I guess), I was running all over the place like an ass, a real maniac, and while I shot more people than anyone else, I was also shot more than anyone else and ended up with the lowest score, which I had predicted to everyone before we began and which they all found very amusing. I had no strategy, I just ran and shot, ran and shot. I would be dead in about two seconds in a real war.

I was in fact acting just how I remember acting as a little kid whenever there was some big party in the neighborhood or with my relatives (a bit of trivia - I have nearly 80 first cousins) or at church: I just ran around and around and around, yelling and laughing and exhausting myself, hour after hour, pausing only for an occasional cookie or a glass of kool-aid, only to fall asleep within five seconds in the car on the way home.

Oh, it was fun.

The Swedish word for the day is barndom. It means childhood.

- by Francis S.

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