fredag, augusti 01, 2008



Perhaps it was the cooled air and celing fans giving my fellow joe drinkers the fits, or perhaps they'd all consumed something...fidgety the previous evening and felt a bit of an internal draft. Or maybe they were simply very excited to see another.

But as I sat in the coffee shop on Thursday morning entering article abstracts into a database and listening to a Pixies-heavy mix on my headphones, the people around me were outrageously expressive with one another. They shifted in their seats like Tom Arnold. They used their hands the way Italians are portrayed on commercials.

It was like sitting among mimes, and since I had headphones on, they might as well have been mouthing their words.


I was upbraided by an old man for saying "All's well," for this is apparently something one is not to say in certain company.

"Maybe you say that with your white friends," he said, "but you watch out in certain neighborhoods."

(He's black. He's also a friend, so this wasn't a random berating. It's actually quite characteristic of him to abruptly give a lecture on matters you'll seldom discover the reason for.)

He demonstrated a gang-like greeting gesture that looks something like giving an indigestive chest a single rap with a fist, then fanning open the fingers.

"All's well," he said as he did this.


I had thought I'd finally gained the edge on my father in reading Scandinavian mysteries; but alas, fresh from the 6-hour drive he and Mum took to visit, he walked in, saw the Håkan Nesser book I'm reading (The Return) and said, "I've read that."

"And Borkmann's Point?" I asked.


He went on to name a couple authors I haven't reached yet (Karin Fossum and Åsa Larsson, the latter of whom interests me for the Kiruna setting).

Back to the Scandi drawing board for me....


We are.