I started today feeling a little blue at not hearing from Shining Armor Girl despite her saying that we would go out with her friends this weekend. I guess she got busy and caught up in things, and maybe she’ll still text last minute or about tomorrow night, but after such a promising week, I guess I just felt a little deflated.
But, in keeping with my weekolution to be positive and exciting and exhilarating, I was determined not to wonder and worry about why she hadn’t been in touch or feel sorry for myself. I decided to take myself paddleboarding.
I was pretty proud of remembering the way to the rental place – it’s on a different island from our apartment and I had to get two busses, then walk through a park and you have to kind of double back on yourself under a bridge before you come across the jetty, but I did it – go me! Being a weekday morning, it was pretty quiet, in fact there was just one guy – not Wacky Swede, a different guy – just sitting there on his own, and he got up and greeted me in Swedish when he saw me. Thankfully he understood me when I replied in English that I wanted to rent a paddleboard, but then he said, “are you lonely?”
What the hell, weird little wearing-way-inappropriately-small-swimming-shorts dude? How is that any of your business? I bristled, and said, “excuse me?” He repeated, “are you lonely?”
I don’t know if it was the sting of feeling a little let down by SAG or my general state of mind right now, but it hit a nerve. Before I even knew what I was doing, I snapped that of course I wasn’t lonely and where does he get off asking personal questions when all I want to do is rent a freaking paddleboard. Then Wacky Swede, who I learned from earlier in the week is the owner, appeared and I whirled around and told him that he had just lost my business because his employee was being inappropriate.
Wacky Swede talked in Swedish with Itsy Bitsy Swimming Shorts Dude, then turned back to me and asked how many paddleboards I wanted to rent. I said, one. IBSSD smiled in triumph, and was like, “that’s what I said! She’s lonely!” Wacky Swede firmly corrected him: “she’s alone.”
IBSSD looked surprised. “Is that not what I said?” I realized that I’d gotten mad at this perfectly innocent little dude, for a mistranslation, and started to laugh.
Paddleboarding was amazing again, though in a different way. Instead of gossiping and giggling with SAG, I felt kind of introspective being out on the water alone, but in a very calm and almost meditative way. My mind was pretty clear as I took in the shimmering water and matchbox city, and waved at a few people in speedboats heading out to sea for the weekend.
And then I saw it. Irrefutable proof that Sweden is as Swedish as you imagine. A buck naked couple cheerfully, completely unabashedly, waded into the water for a swim right in front of me. In the middle of the city.
Happy Swedish Friday!