Swedish Weekend

“I’m sorry, I’m running late”, I told some friends via Messenger today. Though there has been talk of it for a few months, I hadn’t quite comprehended the impact of the changes to bus routes in Sydney’s “Eastern Suburbs”.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been able to catch three separate bus routes to Sydney’s “Railway Square”: 372, 393 and 395. On a personal level, this has been wonderful, as I’ve been able to catch a bus from the Surry Hills Shopping Village to Railway Square, only a few hundred metres from my work. On rainy days, in particular, this has been very convenient, as I’ve been able to get to work undercover pretty much all of the way.

But the changes have reduced these routes into a single 374 which, guess what, no longer goes to Railway Square. From the Transport for NSW brochure and from Google Maps I thought it did, but I was wrong.

I THOUGHT I could catch the bus from outside the now-empty Surry Hills Village, and it would take me to a bus station at Haymarket, which would allow me to catch another bus to Leichardt, where I was meeting friends, but I was wrong.

With a slight diversion, I walked past Belmore Park and saw this. WTF? A teabag on a phonebooth? There are so many garbage bins closeby. Why couldn’t they use them?  “This is just like back in Surry hills”, I thought to myself, as I’ve been writing about lately. There are heaps of garbage bins, and yet people choose to place litter on valuable things. FFS.

I was on my way to meet friends at the Palace Cinema for a film that’s part of the Scandinavian Film Festival. We were hoping to see it a few months ago, until the festival was postponed due to COVID. Indeed, the director of the film had been hoping to visit Australia for the screening. But of course, COVID happened.

The premise of the film is the return to a small country town by a woman, currently living in Stockholm. On arrival, she discovers a business decision she made will result in the closure of a factory the town relies upon. Her own father will be made redundant.

Staying in the town, she revisits old friends and relationships.

The film is described as a “jukebox musical”, and is based on the songs of Swedish singer, Tomas Ledin.

Tomas is a Swedish legend, who I first became aware of through ABBA. He was a backing singer (and had a brief solo role) in ABBA’s 1979 tour. A couple of years later he recorded a duet with Agnetha Faltskog. And he married Marie Anderson, who was the daughter of ABBA’s manager. Tomas makes a cameo in the film.

It’s a light, fun movie with heart. Along with the sensitive plotline about going back to your hometown (I can relate to this) there are some laugh out loud slapstick moments in the film. The cast is good. I was pleased to see the presence of a particular favourite (and earlier crush, Jonas Karlsson – hubba hubba!). The music is incorporated mostly fairly seamlessly.

The only thing that was slightly weird was the subtitles. Knowing a bit of Swedish, there were moments when the text didn’t exactly match the spoken word, especially the songs. There was also a moment when a Swedish word was translated as “crikey”. WTAF? I will have to watch the film again to pick up what exact word that was.

It’s been a busy weekend, keeping up the Swedishness, as I also caught up with some of my ABBA-related friends yesterday at a nearby pub.

It’s a busy week coming up, with lots of end of year activities, so I’m resting up this evening. Time now for bed.

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