Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fish or Pasta

Work continues at a fever pitch here. We've finished the voicing on the 14 ranks of flues in the Great organ. It really does make quite a sound. We are now totally entrenched in the Solo, Viole d'Orchestre (3 total) and all, including a Walcker labial clarinet.... Amazing sound....

I have to admit, I have always thought of myself as not quite just an American. I am very loyal to my country and vote regularly, but had just believed I could fit in anywhere in the the world quite easily. A citizen of the world if you will without ever having seen the world. Damn if I wasn't wrong.

These past 10 days have been more of a culture shock that I could have ever expected. Granted in my nearly 32 years I've yet to truly master the English language, but you don't really appreciate it until the only time you hear it is in your own head. Luckily, most Swedes speak English at least as well as I, and the three Italians I'm working with have English skills that range from fluent to just enough to convey a point. Still, there is a nobility and subtle grandeur in our language most of us neither produce, nor appreciate.

On appreciating things, I am a fan of fish. That comes quite honestly from my Mother. (she's a fiend for seafood, will knock other old ladies down for shrimp on the seafood buffet bar) Ok, I made that last part up just because I knew she would be reading. But I do love fish, or at least did.

Since my arrival, there have been 20 non-breakfast meals. There have been, to this point, three meals that have not involved fish, pasta or both! It's been very nice eating so well, with all healthy food and terrifically fresh ingredients, but I fear this is too much like some strange detox program for fans of red meat and sweet tea. (red meat is rare to find here, and sweet tea? forget it.... like some odd fat camp for southerners)

It is not nearly as bad as I make. Francesco both loves to cook as well as excelling at it. All the boys have so far been a joy to work with, even if I rarely know what they are saying. My only fear is they are trying to put me in an early grave from the sheer quantity of food they consume, but that is another matter.

Enough for now, next time I'll talk about the drinking problem in Sweden.... Not enough, and I only mean that partially the way you think..... Now the only reason you are here.... More pictures.....

Robert Coulter

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