Wednesday, September 4, 2013

obama in sweden

the president is here! we've known he was coming for a while, mainly because stockholmare have been warned not to travel anywhere within the city today or tomorrow--taking the day off of work was mentioned many times in the media. the traffic outside my window is crazy and not moving; there are at least three helicopters hovering just above my apartment as i type this. still, i came home after drop-off and watched him land at Årlanda airport (on TV) and then shake hands with some nice swedes on the runway.

the television guys were hilarious to listen to--i still can't understand a lot of swedish, but much of what they were saying was interspersed with, "obama's in da house!" and then explaining blah blah blah "south side of chicago" blah blah blah "in da house" blah "in sverige hus" blah blah blah "44th president, or POTUS" was great. then, the newscasters showed a table they had set up with a line of toy black cars--one of which had little american flags taped to it--and a toy plane that they held in their hands and swooped around as a model air force one. i loved it. yes, this was a serious news channel.

anyway, the downside to the visit is that almost all of the center of stockholm is closed. t-centralen, the main station for the subways, buses and trains, is closed for some lines and all buses; all of gamla stan is completely off limits to cars and bicycles in some parts. kungstradgården station is closed as it is right next to the grand hotel where obama is staying. yesterday the police were beginning to close off all pedestrian access, bike lanes and definitely car lanes anywhere near it. it's quite an undertaking...and people on the few open subway lines were pissed, crowded and tense this morning. i'm currently trying to figure out an alternative to the underground to getting the kids home from school.

considering all that is happening with syria and the question of military action obama has presented to congress, i'm a bit worried about traveling in the subways while he is here. there are just too many people in a very small space right now. then yesterday sweden announced that all syrian refugees would be offered permanent residency here, which can't help but seem like a bit of a premonition of what is to come from us. it also seems like a terrible idea, but that's another blog post. i still can't get a personnummer...but i'm not willing to become syrian to get one.

welcome to stockholm, obama!

did anyone remember to set up the hot wheels ramp?

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