C7: Koppla ifrån = disconnect

We went

for a bike ride yesterday. Flat tire on my bike. Drat.

Chris borrowed an unloved mountain bike from the bike rack- it hadn't moved since September.

Biked past an industrial site, past the pier, out to where we thought it would be quiet on the back pathways towards the Baltic.

The pet cemetery (largest in the world, tucked out of the way on the peninsula) was busy; docent for the cemetery wanted to talk. How can you chat nicely and be kind but keep your distance?

Backing away as he steps forward.

Packed a picnic lunch, stopped at the point to throw grass spears into the water.


Long, straight thick ones without the feathery top flew the furthest. The swans didn't care. 

Bread, cheese, pesto, oranges, cornichons (our new favorite after our visits to France).

Stephen threw one more spear in, threw his glove in too. Managed to retrieve it without his feet getting too wet. Cold- just above 2 C. Wet glove.

Figured we could bike around the rest of the peninsula and come out to Gardet- the old military parade grounds- now a wide open space for throwing a frisbee or chasing a dog

Path had a few people, but rounded the corner and there is a cafe- people somewhat spaced, but busy.

Dodged them and rode down the path where the peninsula parallels Djurgarden, the big island that houses Skansen (the outdoor museum) and other tourist areas. The path is so packed with walkers, runners, bikers that we switched to the partially frozen mud horse track.

Pretty spring day (but cold still even in the sun). Good day to be out.

But in this crowd?

We navigated past the crowded path to where it meets the road. An outdoor cafe. On any other day, how nice to see everyone out. On this day, I am surprised, flabbergast really.

Emotions rage- shock, fear, disbelief. the love of a spring day.

Shinpa- the japanese word that means "new leaf" -- the light color of green that shows up in green leaves. Rebirth and yet fear.

Chris and I talked long yesterday- I thought that being in Sweden with the natural state of social distance would provide some safety, but this. this was another story.

I posted a short note to twitter (usually I have a lot to say about water, dialogue, energy, but not so much politics on twitter). By the way, Happy World Water Day- March 22nd.

But I'm frustrated, scared.

People replied- crowds in Malmo, in London. Sweden's prime minister gave a talk last night... noise.

We talked with family and friends over the weekend... people limited to one can of tuna fish in State College, a 3 hour shopping expedition to get the basics and stay separate from others, shelves bare in Concord (but a 25 lb bag of flour ought to jump start baking).

Here, lines out the door at the cafe, in the sun.

The Fulbright Program wants everyone home last week- to wash their hands of us, to be done with us-- at least my sense. The Swedish Fulbright Commission staff are supportive, helpful. Even so, several Fulbright colleagues have gone home.

We are good- we have health insurance four times over, or maybe two, depending on how you look at it. We have a visa through July. But what will things look like in June or July? No one knows.

Our renters in our house in State College- from Spain, in touch with their family and friends- want to stay put.

The people renting us their apartment in Stockholm are coming back from Australia unexpectedly early and next week; she's one of my former students. They assure us they won't shorten our lease and can live with family and friends.

There is now 1 flight at day from Stockholm to Newark- no other direct flights to the US out of Sweden. Can we transit through other countries? Maybe

Chris is feeling better day by day, but in talking with our friend Jamie, the ER doc who is now doing telehealth to diagnose COVID in Seattle, he may in fact have it. It'd be nice to know. But Sweden is not testing unless you are in a hospital.

So for now, we remain... trying to see the unknowable future. Week 2 of homeschooling (kids could still go to school though)

How to fix a bike tire? A simple task in normal times.