Sommarlöv Slut

Just to clear this up at the outset: Sommarlöv slut means “summer-leave end.” (Get your mind out of the gutter.)

I don’t like the word “slut” in English; it can be good and bad in Swedish. Right now, it’s a little bit sad: shortening days and earlier sunsets, the return of colleagues from their leisurely summer lives in their country homes and the return of harder deadlines, cooler weather and a little more rain after an amazingly sunny warm summer here in Stockholm.

But there is also something good about the end of summer:  The city is buzzing with people, and not just because the tourists keep coming.  Local folks are out and about again, the restaurants and shops re-opened, and we finally could get an electrician to come fix our stove.

Yes, really: we lived without our stove and oven for most of July because *every* electrician in town was on sommarlöv.

Matt tried to fix it (see why below), and then I did my best to try to find an electrician — both without any luck for several weeks in July. The one guy I called who picked up his phone was completely swamped and couldn’t come right away anyway.  The answering service for our regular electrician (regular in the sense that we had hired them once before) kept taking my messages, but had no idea that the folks were *GONE* until the end of July.

Along with everyone else who lives in Stockholm, except for us. Swedes take their sommarlöv seriously: my colleagues are still recovering from being away for four to six weeks, easing back into work, looking like aliens with their really deep tans.  I’m wishing I’d not been so American and taken some more time off to soak up the sun before summer’s end…

****
We once had a timer on our stove.  It’s a safety feature in our building: old folks were supposed to buy these apartments to retire and age in, so the place is tricked out with some crazy stuff.  Some apartments’ front doors have keycodes for assistants and healthcare providers to get access; our bathroom is large enough for a wheelchair and has a railing in the shower (we have a non-accessible bath tub installed, but the railing is nice ‘cuz that tub is slick).  And the oven and stove are (or in our case, were) on an hour-long timer, which was a blessing and a curse: if you wanted to cook something for more than an hour, you had to pay attention and turn the timer on again after it clicked off. But if you left the house and forgot to turn off the stove (or perchance left a burner on by mistake), it would click off, and voila, no worries!

Until the timer stops working.  And you can’t turn on the stove or oven, or you turn it on and it seems to be working, only to click off in five minutes, or 5 seconds.  Unpredictability can be incredibly frustrating, as can not being able to make coffee or cook dinner in your own kitchen.

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2 Responses to Sommarlöv Slut

  1. Lila says:

    OK, first: I want a summer like that. Second: how long did you go without being able to cook? argh, that must have been so frustrating.

    • zurichsee says:

      It was SOOOOO FRUSTRATING! For a while, the thing would click on with the timer button reset. Matt and I would take turns pushing the button while the other one cooked. Then it totally died, and we pulled out the electric coffee maker and ate out or had salads for a while… We never got too friendly with the microwave, though.

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