Monday, April 14, 2008

A Birthday, and a Brother, in Sweden





Up until this point my younger and shorter brother has merely been entertained by Sweden and the Swedes. For Todd, Sweden has been something to simply browse to every Monday morning for almost two years and then provide some missing information to the always inaccurate and often misguided blog entry from the land a long, long way away, if it even exists at all.

When I suggested he come to Sweden and be held accountable for his comments, he had a plane flight booked just a couple days later. This past weekend, to celebrate my 35th birthday with a Swedish flare, Todd took on Sweden. And, to quote an English saying that those with Viking heritage can be proud of, “He came. He saw. He conquered.”

In a trip that typifies the American vacation time problem, Todd arrived on Thursday night and left on Monday afternoon, from New York to Sweden and back again, to make sure his brother celebrated right. One thing's for sure, I've got a very cool brother.

The pictures provide the highlights of a weekend I’m still recovering from, which included a memorable Swedish-style birthday party complete with smörgastårta, prinsesstårta and an impressive rendition of “Hurra, hurra, hurra, hurra.” Thanks to all of you attendees - my birthday Sweden-style will never be forgotten.

6 comments:

Jberns said...

Glad you had a great birthday! Wish more from the past could have been with you to join in. Your shorter brother looks taller in this pic. I guess looks can be deceiving! Happy B'day Whity!

Hans Persson said...

And, to quote an English saying that those with Viking heritage can be proud of, “He came. He saw. He conquered.”

Unless I'm mistaken this saying is older than what we today recognize as English. It goes back to Caesar (and thus Latin) as "Veni, vidi, vici"; "I came, I saw, I conquered" ("Jag kom, jag såg, jag segrade" in Swedish.).

(And, incidentally, this note is brought to you by a Swede currently located in Durham, NH.)

Mom said...

Oh, I love these pictures of the two of you together in Sweden during a weekend when I thought about you both soooooooooooooo much. Thanks to Sean for hosting his "little" brother (and I"m not even going to touch the argument about who is taller!!!), to Todd for making the trip to be sure Sean was celebrated in style, and to all of Sean's great friends who made the weekend full of wonderful memories for both of my "boys".
Much love,
Mom

Todd said...

Where to begin...

Ok, a few observations of how Sean has changed since moving to Sweden:

1. He's become Superman - The brother I met at the airport was near death from a cold...so we did what everyone does when they have a cold...we Drink, took a freezing walk, ate a big meal, stayed out late and had another drink. Then, we repeated above at every meal.

2. He has fast thumbs - Any culture that was able to convince Sean to text message deserves huge credit. You next task is to get him to walk and text at the same time.

3. He drinks coffee - BY THE GALLON. I guess 13 fikas, on average, per day would explain the above Superman persona.

4. He doesn't work - He used to in the states, but now, more than ever, I'm convinced that he doesn't work...although he pretends to "take work calls" and "text work" now and then.

5. He's an extrovert - Although I'm sure he would still disagree and claim to be introverted, the 43 fikas, 18 meals and 436 friends that I met would dispute this.

But...some things haven't changed. He still surrounds himself with amazing people and places. Thanks to all of Sean's Swedish friends and family for welcoming me for the weekend. Such wonderful memories of a fantastic weekend.

Ang said...

Glad you guys had a great time. Happy Birthday Sean! :-) Ang

Diana said...

Sean,

Happy (belated) Birthday! I'm glad your brother was able to visit you!

Texting? Really? This does not compute in my head for some reason. In fact, I can picture you ranting about how it's rude (blah blah blah). I also find it interesting that you (allegedly) drink tons of coffee...you'd think you would have picked that up in Seattle since everyone here is addicted to the stuff...

Enjoy being one year older!

Best,
D

P.S. Todd: Sean didn't really work when he was in the states, either... As I recall, he spent most of his last year here in Sweden, skiing in Colorado (or some other random place) and in LA. He was never home. We RA's were very neglected. Sure, he used to bake us yummy food at the beginning, but that was just a distraction from the abuse that would later begin.