On my way to the spa, the Vann spa by the Gullmarn fjord in the beautiful countryside outside Lysekil in Sweden, I decide that I want to spend the Easter holiday eating fish, oysters, and drinking champagne. Well, that decision came to an end as soon as I was standing in front of the cafeteria on the Stena Line catamaran to Göteborg. They served corn on the cob and grits. That vision catapulted me straight to the southern states in the US – from Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, to Kentucky. I threw myself at the whole thing and suspended my belief in fish. All the better, as later today the food paths I crossed got to be as intersected as the spaghetti junction in Atlanta – my god, I should mention at this point that I love to drive to the most remote places in that country. In Sweden, things are more predictable, that is, unless you get to eat at a place that has a celebrity chef. And don’t we all love to be surprised by what they have to offer? Anticipating my whole spa treatment tomorrow – hot oils, ayurveda and classic massage, lavender body wraps, and skinny bathing in pools that have water equivalating the one in the ocean, plus sauna, steam and the like, and more etc, etc, etc. – I let Rasmus Strand, THE expert in mackerel – too bad about the wrong season, however – surprise me.

Let’s just put it this way. The food was so divine that it made me forget about myself. I didn’t even ask myself this evening what the meaning of life was. Now, the thing about divine food is that 1) it makes you cry, 2) it makes you impart your thoughts to others, in thought – which means that my head was populated suddenly not only by the few very special ones, whom, by the way I always carry with me all the time, but they also went to the other special ones who also know how to eat (Horia, my friend, a glass was raised to you); and 3) it makes you fantasize. So here’s my fantasy. I connect so strongly with the chef that he telepathically catches my thoughts of appreciation. He comes to my table. As he knows I’m a master at assessing taste, he bows to me and says: “my queen, I know exactly what you want, as a last bite.” He takes my hand and brings me to the kitchen. There he hands me the bowl with roasted to perfection seeds, especially sun flower. The same ones that sprinkled my starter, a supreme scallop carpaccio. He says: “you are welcome to bury your head in it.” I do, and I die. Pax vobiscum.


Sweden, what happened to Troms? I thought we were going to have some abstracts produced in the arctic - quite appropriately, in spite of heat, volcanos, and the like that your writing otherwise invites us to consider. Shalom.

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