Archive for the ‘Dramatizations’ Category

synvinkel, eurobatman

July 25, 2012

It’s 22.00 hours in the CERN main auditorium, yes, the one were they announced that Neutrinos are are not faster than light and that the Higgs is real. Batman Begins is playing on the big screen. You see, here at le European Center for Nuclear Research, it’s summer student movie night, and when we get to the bit of dialogue that goes a bit like this:

Server: Mr. Wayne, the pools are only decorative, and your friends don’t have bathing attire.

(Bruce Wayne looks over at the decorative pool in the restaurant. His two supermodelesque female friends are bathing, conceivably nude, in it.)

Bruce (nonchalantly): Ah, yeah… they are European.

At once, the room, full of young people from all corners of this continent, explodes in laughter and applause.

🙂 🙂

Round Deux

March 4, 2012

An excerpt from a recent phone conversation.


Grandpa: So, I guess they speak Swiss over there, don’t they?

Me: Actually, there are three national languages: French, Italian, and Swiss German.

GP: So, what do they speak in Geneva?

Me: French.

GP: Ah! S’il vous plaits,  Mademoiselle!

Me: Oui, oui! Français!

GP: Oh, oui! And you’ll be seeing all those young men in the suspenders and tight leather shorts!

Me: Geez. Really, Grandpa?

GP: Yoooo-deele-heeeee-hooooo!!

Indeed, GP. indeed.


O, how the tables have turned

October 25, 2010

NOTE: all lines are paraphrased (from more eloquent things that were said by actual people) for the purpose of comedic and poetic value.

On the road somewhere AIDS Lifecycle 2009

Me: I can’t believe we are riding  in this rain. This is insane. I am freezing.

Johanna: It’s not that bad. Man up.

Random Swedish guy we befriended: what are you talking about? This weather is awesome! This is the kind of weather it should be! YAY RAIN!!!

Me: (aside) Crazy swede.


FAST FORWARD to Berkeley, October, 2010

Friend: Ugh. I hate the rain. This sucks.

Me: What are you talking about? This weather is awesome! This is the kind of weather it should be! YAY RAIN!!! Man up.

Friend: You are insane.



nobelpriset – not for me

October 7, 2010

A Drama. Location: Physics 111 Laboratory. Time: earlier today.

Me: I don’t think this potentiometer is working. I am varying the resistance… and look… nothing happens!

Lab Instructor: Well, go get a new op-amp. That one could be burned out.

Me: (dumbfounded) Oh… ok (fetches a new op-amp)

Lab Instructor: Put it in.

(I pull out the old omp-amp, and attempt to throw it away… but the pointy metal leads coming out of it puncture my skin, causing the op-amp to now be inserted INTO MY FINGER as opposed to into the circuit.)

Me: Ouch!!!!! (shaking finger, trying to loose the little bugger of an integrated circuit from it’s grasp IN MY FINGER)

Lab Instructor: …….

(he clearly has no sympathy.)

(I insert the new Op-Amp. The circuit works.)

Lab instructor: Yup. That was it. (He walks away as quickly as he can).


But in real science news: The Nobel Prize for physics was awarded yesterday. The Royal academy gave it to two Russian dudes working at the University of Manchester who developed graphene—a material that is one atom thick and strong enough to hold the weight of a truck applied over the point of a pencil. Apparently they discovered it with the help of scotch tape (that’s how all good science is done). Rumor has it they’ve upgraded the type of tape they’re using to something stronger, more reliable, which raises the question: where the heck is the Nobel Prize for the guy who invented duct tape? Talk about changing the world.

Interesting too, is the Swedish Royal Academy’s decision to give the prize to graphene, and thereby turning the eyes of the scientific community even more in the direction of Nanotechnology … precisely on the eve of the impending construction of ESS (research facility creating neutrons for Nanotechnology research) in Lund, in Skåne, in Sweden.

Oj då!

Notes on 1.5-lingualisim, and Dramas

March 18, 2010

I am living in a grey area. Don’t worry, it’s not a moral one. At least not at the moment anyway. It’s the grey area where other people don’t know how much you understand them. When they think you don’t understand them but you do, things can get awkward fast. When they think you understand them but you don’t, you just try to keep ’em believing without looking like a fool.

I am in this weird place in my level of understanding where when people talk to me, I understand what they are saying, but I don’t remember the specific words they used. It used to be in my head så här: Noise–>Swedish–>English–>Meaning. Now it seems to be something more along the lines of Noise–>Meaning. Don’t get me wrong, understanding is nothing short of a rapturous feeling. But for some reason I am still left unfortunately helpless when it comes to speaking, as usually omvänd procesen funke inte…the reverse process doesn’t work (see!). Meaning–>Noise, ok, I can do that. But it’s the Noise–>Language step that’s tripping me up, even in English sometimes (gasp!). Lectures in Swedish don’t really scare me as much as they used too, but discussion section, hoo boy. Yea you heard me, discussions på svenska. I’ve started in on Johanna’s class, sustainable development in Perspectives, and yes, that is a whole ‘nother post, so I’ll leave it at that for the time being.

The Spex has been keeping me busy, as it is now performance week, and I have been spending every night in sköna AF Borgen (vårat gamla hem!) running the light board (hence the lag of blog posts). The Spex has also been an absolutely amazing, fun, and trying experience. It is strange for me to accept the fact that there are people I know who I have never, never, spoken English with, and who have become my friends and my co-workers throughout this entire fantastically nonsensical experience. I plan to write all about the Spex in detail after this whole thing is over, but for the time being (just to put at ease my adoring public, namely my former roommate-you know who you are- who checks my blog officially more than my own mother) I present you with short dramatizations on my 1.5-lingualism and the life of a Spexare (spex-er).

1AM, after 20 hours of working on the Spex during helvetesöndag (the sunday from hell, were we work all day), I stand drinking tea and coffee with a fellow techie.

Fellow techie: (something in Swedish)

Me: (something in Swedish)

F.T.: (something in really fast, really sloppy, tired-person Swedish)

Me: mmmm…mmmm…jaaaaaaaa (I didn’t quite understand you but I’m too tired ask you to repeat yourself)

F.T.: smiles and nods (I realize you didn’t understand me right there, but I’m too tired to repeat myself)

Me: (Good, then we are in agreement. Let’s drink more tea.)

Before the First performace:

Fellow Techie 2: Är du laddad?!? (Are you charged up)

Me: (I know what he means, but I can think only of electrons, unfortuntely) JAAAAAAAA!

—High five!—-

12 Midnight, at Spex dinner, after the premiere (yay!)

Spexare1: Hola! (in the casual way that people often greet each other in another language for fun)

Spexare2: Hola!

Me: (Oh my, spanish, heck yes! Now, I’ll show ’em who’s the bilingual, internationally-savvy one!) Hola! Hablan uds. espanol? Podemos halbar espanol…under hela sittningen! Es más lättare för mig att halbar espanol que Svenska! Es un språk tan bonito!

Spx1 &Spx2: ??????? (clearly, they don’t speak Spanish…)

Spx2: Var kommer du från, nånstans? (where are you from?)

Me: Aaaa. Californien. California, en los EEUU. Dónde många manniskor prata spanska!

Spx1: (in english, very slowly) WHICH LANGUAGE DO YOU WANT US TO SPEAK WITH YOU ?

Me: hehe…svenska…eller spanska si quisieras, gracias! eller, tack, menar jag……Just not English….Dang.

–We took the rest of the night in Swedish–


“Laundry”: a Drama

January 28, 2010

A Dramatization based on real events.

Location: a small laundromat (tvättstuga), clean almost to sterility, in the basement of a student housing complex somewhere in the south of Sweden. Four turquoise washing machines stand in a line against the southern wall. Along the opposite wall stand two drying machines, one a similar turquoise color and the other dark blue. Random Guy 1 stands next to the third washing machine talking rapidly in Swedish with Random Guy 2. The Girl stands bent over the first dryer, pulling colorful scraps of clothing out of it and stuffing them into a sack.

Random Guys 1 & 2: (continuing with incomprehensible Swedish conversation).

The Girl continues with the laundry, not even attempting to listen to their conversation. It must also be added that said girl is not fluent in Swedish.

Random Guys 1 & 2: (silence)

The Girl stops for a moment, having just realized that Random Guys 1 & 2 have probably just asked her something.

Random Guy 2: Kanske på engleska? (Maybe in English?)

Girl: (under her breath, realizing her cover was blown) Dang.

Random Guy 1: Excuse me, is this your, uh… thing?

The girl turns around to be greeted by two Swedish guys staring at her underwear.


She has a choice to make… claim the underwear and lose some small bit of dignity or maintain dignity but lose the underwear. She decides that her dignity was already lost when she didn’t understand a simple question in Swedish. Plus, she doesn’t have that many pairs of underwear.

The Girl: Oh, yea! Oops! Thank you. It’s mine. Haha… well, it’s definitely not yours!

Random Guys 1 & 2: (Stifled, awkward chuckling)

The Girl snatches the underwear, finishes grabbing the rest of her laundry and walks out the door.

End Scene