This is one of those holiday weekends that the Swedes create for themselves by moving the actual holiday that most of the rest of the world knows (in this case, All Saints Day) to Saturday. It’s a practice that drives me crazy even after 10 years of living here.
Some people even got a half-day off on Friday because of it (Swedes always celebrate on the “Eve” rather than the actual day), and based on the local chatter in my Twitter feed yesterday, most of them spent the extra free time in line at Systembolaget (the Swedish state liquor store), which is closed today because of the relocated holiday.
Denmark, on the other hand, does not celebrate All Saints Day in any fashion, so Copenhagen’s PhD postal carrier was on the job as usual today and I was home dealing with my standard list of “Dr. Darling’s Working on Saturday” chores. To this I had added a planned Skype call with my Welsh mate Kev, who was going to talk me through the set-up of a VPN solution on my MacBook Air.
All was going to plan until the Swede got home unusually early, which delighted me but also meant that she was on hand for the somewhat technical and rather lengthy Skype discussion I was having with Kev sans headset. Then, mid-way through the tutorial, the AlphaGeek called my iPhone, which (after apologizing to Kev for the interruption) I answered on speaker-phone as I knew the quick chat about our evening plans would also interest Dr. Darling.
That’s when the following 4-way conversation ensued:
Shazz: We’d be delighted to come over for dinner! What can we bring?
AlphaGeek: Why don’t you handle dessert and I’ll pick up some wine.
Shazz: Not today you won’t.
Kev: It’s Sunday. (A common way to refer to holiday business hours.)
Dr. Darling: It’s not Sunday. (Referring to the actual day of the week.)
Shazz: Yes it is. It’s a Red Day. (The Swedish way to refer to a holiday.)
Alpha Geek & Dr. Darling (almost simultaneously): It’s a Red Day?
Shazz: Yes! How is it that the American and the Welshman know that today is a Swedish holiday and the two Swedes in the conversation have no idea?!
Kev: Because WE know that All Saints Day was Thursday.
Foreigners For The Win, mother-failures!!!