It was tour day in Göteborg (Gothenburg). After Senators practice Daniel Alfredsson took some of the members of the media on a walking tour of some of the beautiful downtown portions of this port city. It was founded in 1621 and the history here is deep. Daniel’s love for this place is also obvious and he seems to love teaching us about where and how he grew up. A better cultural guide you could not find. We went to his high school which is right across the street from the rink. We poked our heads into the gym and there was Alfredsson’s old gym teacher Eva. A quick hug and hello and she was back to teaching the kids badminton.
Anyone who has traveled outside North America has already seen and noticed this, but one of the things you do see a lot of is cars we just don’t see at home. I don’t mean the exotic ones. I mean the everyday cars made by the big 3. They make some vehicles just for export and they are not sold in North America. Today I saw a Chev Kalos sub compact car and a Ford Galaxy micro van.
One of the other things you really notice if you come from Ottawa is how bi-lingualism is handled here. It isn’t. It just happens by itself. Swedish students start taking English in grade 4 and thus most everyone here can speak both Swedish and English. I have run across only 2 or 3 people who could not speak English. Signs on business’s are Swedish or English or both. There are no laws to force a business to use any language. I don’t want to get into a French/English debate but Swedish TV is filled with North American shows in English and our language and culture is all around them yet none of their culture seems to have been lost or diluted nor do they see it as a possibility. Maybe that’s what we need in Canada. Get rid of sign laws and institute mandatory French in all of our schools. If all Canadians are bi-lingual then cultural protectionism seems to take care of itself.
Just more observations from Sweden. Oh and yes it is still raining. It has been raining off and on since the moment we arrived.
Tomorrow is game day and I can’t wait. The atmosphere in that building is going to be wild and Gord and I get to broadcast the game from the stands with the fans so it should be wild.
See you at the rink.