OK…I’ve been back about three weeks and I forgot to mention a couple of things about my recent trip.
#1: Airport security remains a joke. I’m starting to get annoyed at the charade known as airport security. Taking off my shoes isn’t a big deal but the fact that it’s a total crock of shit makes the whole process annoying. How do I know it’s no good? Well, for one thing, it’s not universally required. I’ve now flown out of Arlanda airport three times since 2005 (once on a U.S. carrier, once on SAS and once on Malaysia Air) and I’ve never had to take my shoes off. Every one of the flights was a non-stop to the U.S. and had tons of Americans on board. Do we assume that terrorists are only going to fly out of the U.S.? Besides, the last (and only) attempt to blow up a plane with a shoe didn’t end well for the terrorist (and even if it did go boom, I don’t know if it’s clear that the plane would have come down) and I’m not sure the best plan is to try to recreate a failed one.
Also, they now hand out these pieces of paper that all U.S. citizens are supposed to fill out giving information about where you’re going, your address and other information. I don’t know why they need it so didn’t fill it out on the way over and wasn’t going to fill it out on the way back but they required it to get through customs. It, apparently, is nothing but crap as well because the flunky in charge of checking my paperwork was upset that I filled it out in pencil (if you want me to fill out a form in pen, you better give me a pen) and then promptly threw it away. Brilliant.
Remember: Airport ‘security’ has little to do with security and a whole lot to do with control.
#2: While on the ferry to Estonia, one of the musical acts was Chalan Williamson, an American currently living in Finland (if I remember right) and working around Europe as a travelling troubadour. He was really good and generated some good energy in the crowd. In fact, the only negative thing I could say is that we all thought his set should have been longer. In all fairness it was a couple of hours long but the good vibe he generated collapsed under the weight of the karaoke which followed his act. You can check out some of his videos here.
#3: I went to see the movie, Mamma Mia while I was in Sweden. I figured it would be wrong not to see an ABBA themed movie in Sweden. I’m not sure what I expected but I guess I saw this as my best chance to see the normally reserved Swedes letting their hair down. The whole thing was much more sedate than that and while I did detect some head bobbing and toe tapping to the music I didn’t get to see Swedes breaking out in song en mass.
In any case, the movie theater was in a mall which was similar to any mall you might see in the U.S. except this one food concession.
No, your eyes don’t deceive you. They were selling ‘Corn in a cup’.
Two things occur to me as I saw this advertisement:
- They either took fresh corn on the cob and stripped the kernals off, thereby taking away most of the joy of eating fresh corn or…
- They just opened up a can of corn, dumped it into the Styrofoam cup, put it in the microwave and served it which takes away not only the fun of eating fresh corn but most of the taste as well.
And what’s with slice of lemon? Who eats lemon with corn?