Scenes from Chandler

As it happens: Chandler, Arizona is exactly 666 miles away from a certain address on Bancroft Steps in Berkeley, California. Go figure, this being one of those prime happenstances in which fact is stranger than fiction. Of course, this calculation is according to the GPS system my dad uses to drive to the grocery store (everything around here looks the same, you see). He likes to play with the GPS, understandably. It’s something to pass the time at any rate, and when I’m in the car the chief entertainment seems to be changing the GPS direction lady’s voice settings to make her speak Swedish.

“Om 0,4 miles, sväng vänster…” she says in computerized stockholmska. “Sedan, om 0,6 miles sväng höger på Arizona Boulevard.” Weird, really, how Swedish and the desert just don’t mix. But my dad seems like he’s going to give it a try, at any rate. As I heard from him the other day:

“We’d like to put a gas line into the house you see, get a gas stove and maybe try and build a sauna out back.”

“A sauna? Like, for heat?” was my bewildered reply.

“Yeah, a sauna.”

“Can’t you just stand outside?” It’s the godforsaken desert, after all. You can’t even hardly swim in the pool in the summer because the water gets too hot.

“For the winter,” my dad parries back. I’ll have you know that today is December 30 and it is 70 F outside. Winter? Um…jag fattar verkligen inte vad han menar med detta…

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