Sven from Sweden

This is my first winter in Istanbul and it keeps acting like a stubborn child. A few times the snow has disappeared, but it keeps coming back. Walking to the bus in the mornings I now take for granted that strong wind and these big, slowly descending snow flakes will be present.

But hey, the snow is no problem. It’s like home and that’s the big surprise. It’s like home, except that here everything ceases to work when the snow falls.

Waiting for the bus a few days ago the morning snow storm belonged to the more severe type. The bus was already twenty minutes late when a guy I have seen before, but never talked to approached me:

“”Are you Sven from Sweden?” he says.

“Well, yes.”

“Hi, I am Ali.”

Instead of answering back I just stare at him to see if he found it as fun as I did. If he did he was good at hiding it. I hadn’t really realized it until that moment, but I’m a cartoon character more than anything else. Not a character from one of those American super hero cartoons, but from a Belgium one busy describing the Nordic archetype. To tell you the truth: people aren’t really called Sven in Sweden these days, except the English soccer coach. And me. In Sweden these days it’s mostly a derogatory word for these strict, boring Swedes we all hope we aren’t examples of ourselves.

I remember meeting two German girls back in Sweden. Immediately after we were introduced they were grabbed by uncontrollable giggling. I was obviously startled by this and it didn’t really help when they told me that the reason behind their fit of joy was a common joke about going to Sweden and meet Sven from Sweden.

The bus never arrived that day, instead we spent the morning drinking tea. Anyway, what matters to you is that this four colour cartoon character is new in Turkey, in this city and new on this blog. I’ll see you later.

10 Comments so far

  1. Erkan (unregistered) on February 16th, 2006 @ 1:38 am

    Hello Sven, it is so nice to see you here. I cannot read your blog, and so I cannot learn about your experiences in Istanbul. Well, now here we are now.

  2. Mert Ulas (unregistered) on February 16th, 2006 @ 5:14 am

    Welcome on board Sven :)

  3. Sven Holmström (unregistered) on February 16th, 2006 @ 7:40 am

    Thanks guys!

  4. metecem (unregistered) on February 16th, 2006 @ 11:46 pm

    hey Sven,

    welcome to the minor show… ;)

    gotta drink tea together sometime… whereabouts are u in Istanbul ?

  5. Erkan (unregistered) on February 17th, 2006 @ 1:06 am

    Sven, you promised me first to have tea!

  6. Sven Holmström (unregistered) on February 17th, 2006 @ 11:45 pm

    Erkan: Yes! Ugly weather got in the way. But I guess the snow is fading now (we still have snow out where I live, although I think it’s all gone in more central areas.). Let’s meet soon!

    Metecem: Of course. Let’s just make sure that the tea is better than the one I just cooked myself. I have yet to master Turkish tea. I live outside of Sariyer. Quite uncentral.

  7. Idil (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 5:18 am

    What is this obsession with tea, leave poor Sven alone already guys.
    Hello Sven and welcome on our little ship, I hope you enjoy your stay and don’t forget to buckle your seat belt!

  8. dk (unregistered) on February 18th, 2006 @ 8:52 am

    It is impossible not to agree with Idil, i am thinking of wandering around with my new t-shirt “leave sven alone” written on it. Anyway, see you around.

  9. metecem (unregistered) on February 20th, 2006 @ 8:44 am

    shall we start the page “FREE SVEN!” ?

    how about a page lıke “save toby” and then we collect the money and then share it with sven ?


  10. Sven Holmström (unregistered) on February 20th, 2006 @ 9:43 am

    Even if I would like that money, I actually know only a few people outside of work here, so some interference i as actually welcome.

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