Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday, July 21st, 2006:
Beaches and shy people in Helsingborg

What I think:

You know, five years ago, if you'd have told me that there are beaches in Helsingborg, I would have strongly recommended that you invest in a cerebral enema. I mean, of course I could believe that there are beaches (I know that Sweden is by no means landlocked), but beaches on which people sit to tan themselves? Pull the other one. Sweden is a cold Scandinavian country.

Soon after I moved here, I learned otherwise. Summers can get quite hot here, and Helsingborg does indeed have beaches. On some days, you could even be forgiven for thinking that you're on a tropical island paradise. Full of Swedes. Hhmm...OK, perhaps not paradise, but nevermind. The point is that there are beaches and they rival many of the world's finest beaches (like that one near Newcastle in England, for example).

There's also a green area by the sound (kind of a grassy beach, if you will) called Gröningen, which roughly translates to "The Greeny" (no nasal references here). It's a place where people can sit around, have a picnic or barbecue, play football (International or Yank) , drink beer, play guitar and/or bongos, and generally have a merry old time. Boy, this is a pretty educational blog, isn't it?

Anyway, I went there with my Yank friend yesterday. I brought my guitar, and he brought beer. We just sat around for a couple of hours people-watching, chatting, drinking, and I strummed a bit. It was a nice chilled way to spend the early evening. Here's a photo of Gröningen (you can see Denmark on the horizon):
A bit later, Yank gets a call from a friend who says that he and a couple of others are having beers at Hamnkrogen ("harbour bar" - which we call "Circle Bar", because it's sort of a round pavillion-type thing). So we finished our beers and headed there.

We sat in the outside terrace bit and drank more beers with a few Swedes, one of whom looked like this:


To be fair, he did look much more relaxed after his visit to the toilet.

Here's one of me looking slightly concerned
about the amount of beer I'd consumed so far:


While we were sitting there, who should come up to us but Benny. You may remember Benny from my post on March 15th. He was present at the stabbing of the burger (but has been cleared of any involvement in this heinous act). We chatted for a few minutes about Simon's wedding, exchanged recipes, discussed the best fabric softeners on the market today, and generally had a good gossip.

Benny mentioned that a friend of his, whom I had met a few days previously, was inside, but didn't want to come out because he was afraid that I would mention him in my blog. Can you imagine? How shy is that?

Well, as tempting as it is, I can totally respect his wish for anonymity. I will not mention his name. But I couldn't resist running in and snapping a shot of him:


He's the one in the black t-shirt and the sensible haircut,
sitting next to the guy who looks like a criminal.

In summary, I think that Sweden's beaches should get more worldwide publicity. They're a virtually unheard-of national treasure. I also think that the citizens of Helsingborg must learn to be a lot less reserved and shy; they should never be afraid of appearing in harmless blogs about their fine city. It's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.


25 Comments:

Anonymous Moo said...

which "one near Newcastle in England" there's a whole coast and I HOPE you were being sarcastic? Have you been there or was that comment PURELY to make me comment? Did you know I live near said Newcastle coast in england?? hmmmm? if not - what a FABULOUS coincidence!! Come and visit me and I shall show you how lovely it is to sit among the "locals" and enjoy the beautiful scenery *sniggeR* I love where I'm from but still... I'm hoping you were being sarcastic! xxx

4:12 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

I'm half British. Of course I was being sarcastic.

And my mentioning Newcastle was indeed purely coincidental. I was at some bay or something there once, but it was in the winter. Just came to mind.

Small world, innit eh? (Note the clever use of Cockney & Canadian)

4:24 pm  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Sounds like fun...beaches in Sweden? Although we have our own "beaches" in the Denver area if you count resevoirs with a little sand thrown around the edges!?!? No nearby pubs or anything, strictly BYOB. Enjoy the rest of summer.

4:48 pm  
Blogger shirley said...

Aww, poor anonymous guy! Why are the cute ones always shy?

11:49 pm  
Blogger Tug said...

So you're not smiling, why? Was it Scary Guy, or were YOU afraid of ending up on your blog? just checkin'.

5:55 am  
Blogger Mark Base said...

I was concerned! That was my "concerned" face, silly.

6:06 am  
Blogger Maritza said...

Of course Sweden has beaches! HAve you never heard of the infamous "Swedish Bikini Teams"? I thought there would be lots of naked people on the beach.

2:04 pm  
Blogger Tug said...

**blushing** maybe I'll learn to read next week.......

8:30 pm  
Blogger Nixxie said...

I thought the same thing! Sweden...beaches!!!?? naaaaaaaaaaah, but they exist and people flock to them in the heat *ahem* of summer.

Maybe after I am here a little while longer I will think it is hot.

;)

10:28 am  
Blogger Helen said...

One of the small great pleasures in life - the beach and a beer. Back in the day, it just didn't get much better than that!

3:46 am  
Blogger angelfire said...

Geez Mark, it's waaay to early in the morning for you to scare me like that with that new thingy you put up there. You probably would have laughed your ass off if you had just seen me do a double take and my eyes almost fall out of my head.

5:17 pm  
Blogger Mark Base said...

angelfire: it's a good thing I'm wearing my adult-sized nappies (us/CAN: diapers), as I just pissed myself laughing thanks to you.

Rock on, girl.

1:40 am  
Blogger Esther said...

Love the earrings. Very cool. Hip. Awesome. Dare I say, groovy.
: D

6:57 pm  
Blogger kT said...

Do you realize that "Helsingborgians" would be a great new species for a Star Trek series? It could be a beach planet. With camera-shy folk. In bikinis. Or maybe not on the last part.

I may need sleep.

9:30 pm  
Blogger Lilize said...

niiiiiiiiice

how long have you been there? and why?

i guess helsingborg is near malmö right?

4:40 am  
Blogger Tug said...

I'm a big girl now with my own blog.....http://justtug.blogspot.com/ come visit sometime!

7:10 pm  
Anonymous Kitten said...

I had the same revelation after I moved to Sweden, and this was after I'd gotten rid of all my summer clothing including my bathing suit. Summertime in Sweden?? Surely you jest.

2:36 pm  
Anonymous veryfreshfood said...

Stumbled upon your blog via another blogger and the first thing I see is your headline about guys from Mölndal being the smallest. My swede is from Mölndal (not to mention I live there), so I almost sprayed the screen with water, hehe.

5:44 pm  
Blogger Jay said...

As a general rule, Canadians are never concerned about how much beer they've had.

8:48 pm  
Blogger Tug said...

helloooo? anyone home? Is this what you meant by you won't be around as often? I'm kinda slow here...

2:25 am  
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8:10 pm  
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7:36 pm  
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2:13 pm  
Blogger a.l.i.s.h.a said...

Hello, my name is Alisha, I came across your blog through The Local (swedish website). I'm interested in reading your blog, so I signed up for an account. But can I add you or something so I can just click right into read your entries? Sorry if this sounds really dumb... I'm not familar with this blog website and how it works. =/

5:34 am  
Anonymous MaGsTeR said...

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12:41 am  

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