December 22, 2005

The north pole

When we first moved to Sweden I didn't know the language very well, but that didn't stop me from reading the weather report every day. I thought it was an interesting feature that they were reporting the weather on the north pole. I remember saying to people, making conversation, 'Its really warm at the North Pole today, I read it in the paper.' After many years I realized that the paper was printing the forecast for northern Poland ('Norra Polen'), and not the North Pole ('Nord Polen').

Today's weather forecast in Sydsvenska Dagbladet, and today's weather at the North Pole.

I have discovered that Danes have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Santa Claus-- don't you or anyone else try to say he lives anywhere except Greenland. The Finns believe, to the cores of their souls, that Mr. Kringle lives in northern Finland, and the Swedes believe he lives in the far north of Sweden. So, at the Christmas party the other day one of the Danes throws me the baited hook and asks where Santa Claus lives. It was a dare, and fortified by Gammel Dansk, I was daring: I repled that since he can't live at the geographic north pole due to shifting pack ice, he lives at the magnetic north pole, in the wilds of northern Canada.


At December 23, 2005 10:33 PM , Anonymous Janie K said...

Very ingenious! Not feeling very North Pole or Christmassy here... it's 68F today but I shall try to suffer through....

Merry Christmas to all!

At December 28, 2005 8:37 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Here's a great example of what it is like to try to learn Swedish grammar.
Me (speaking swedish): Why can you say northern germany, but when you say northern poland it means the north pole?
Wife: Because it doesn't sound right.


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