Australia Day + nude snow roll
Trip Start Jun 29, 2005
235Trip End Nov 30, 2009
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I hope you enjoy your festivities and have a beer for me! In the meantime, I'll tell you a little story...
Many years ago, three young Australian lads visited Sweden for the very first time. As they'd timed their stay perfectly with the hottest week of the year, Stockholm was grand and the countryside (despite seeing no moose whatsoever) was delightful in the summer warmth.
These Aussies went south with their Viking leader, to conquer more southern regions in the Jonkoping (pron. Yunshopping) area. Ducks were hunted on the great lakes, moose chased fruitlessly in the woods. Then one evening their leader prepared a great crayfish feast.
The crayfish weren't the problem - it was the traditional drinks that went with it - a combination of Vodka and the brine that burst forth from the crayfish as they marinaded that day. A merciless concoction, full of misery and woe, as the accompanying photo of Alex trying to digest the terrible brew shows.
Still, the Aussies were down but not out, and before long decided to take a rather dangerous but amusing journey across the sea by arm-powered rowboat. Alex, having recovered from his beverage ordeal, manned the oars and took us on an expedition unparalleled since the times of the great Vikings warriors back in the mists of Scandinavian history. Oh what fun was had!
Eventually we reached land in the distance. After such horrendous exertion the travellers had visions of a new paradise that could sprout from the reedy shores below. At that moment they declared it to be a new region of Australia - the Swedish Australian Tax Free Zone - haven of the downtrodden entrepreneur, oasis of the long haul traveller. Grand things would happen here soon.
Weeks or months later mercenaries had been conscripted to the cause, forcefully occupying these fabled lands from the local inhabitants that consisted of some mud eels, three grasshoppers and a grey field mouse. Fearsome they were and offically claim the territory with a bona fide Australian Flag they did. Hooray!
And now so many years later, we still unofficially hold the land and some still desperately hold the dream. To return to Sweden and drink VB beers straight from the pristine snows that this winter wonderland delivers each year.
It may not be a tax-free haven on par with the Caymans yet, but then again Captain Cook (the official discoverer of Australia in 1770) was overheard to say "I sailed 15,000 miles, ran aground six times and contracted beriberi twice for this pile of dusty s**t???"
Sometimes it takes a vision and hundreds of years to become great...
Happy birthday Australia!
Stupid things Aussies do...
After drinking three or six of my home brew VB, snow-chilled early on Australia Day in Sweden, I couldn't think of anything better to do than participate in a crazy Norse health tradition passed down through generations of sauna-loving Scandinavians - the snow roll.
It's quite simple really - sit in said sauna until you think you're going to boil, then run out and jump naked into the snow, rolling around until sensibilities kick back in.
That doesn't take long and sheesh it was cold. Yikes!