Thursday, January 20, 2005

Oh, hello mister minister…

I want to tell you about my weird day yesterday, but I don’t know where to start. The story is too incredible to not start in an as incredible way, but since the day went from normal to insane, I guess this text sort of will too. I could start like this:

Yesterday was supposed to be a slow day in preparation for my meeting today. I went to meet my friend and architect colleague Jessica for coffee at 10 am. We ordered our coffee (my usual grande latte) but had but sat down when she apologized for having forgotten she had to be at our city museum at 11 o’clock for this presentation thing…

I could also start my blog entry like this:

In 2007 the famous Swedish biologist and botanist Carl von Linné (Linneaus) would have turned 300 years old, had men been able to live that long. In memory of, and using his famous name and the jubilee as a marketing gimmick, there are big wheels in motion about things that are going to happen in two years in the name of Linneaus and his birthday. Yesterday a new book about one of Linneaus’ disciples was presented at the city museum in Gothenburg. At the same time, they presented an exhibition project where a gazebo will travel the world containing an exhibition about Swedish science, research and the heritage of Carl von Linné. It just so happens that my friend Jessica has designed this gazebo, and I got to accompany her to this inauguration thing at the museum yesterday…

You see, this story has many different angles and weird twists and turns so I have to start from two different views at the same time not to loose you. I hope you’re with me so far.

As it turns out, this presentation was the first of many occasions in the next two years about the jubilee of Carl von Linné, and they took the chance to present the whole project of Sweden celebrating one of the biggest international superstars we have – a botanist who’s been dead for like 250 years. Don’t get me wrong though, I think it’s fascinating. He's big enough to be depicted on our 100 kronor bills for example: Linneaus is worth 100SEK
But since I was only prepared for a couple of hours at a café with a friend I was let us say somewhat surprised to see our Minister for Culture and Education get up on stage to give the welcoming speech. He talked for an hour. Then a former Minister of Defence got up, and it turns out he’s the chairman of the committee organizing the different projects involved in the Linneaus jubilee. In the audience sat some famous historians, authors and other familiar faces in the A-list of the culture world in Sweden. I felt like a stowaway on a cruiseship, when all I had planned was a run around the bay in a canoe…

It gets worse.

After this inauguration and the presentations, Jessica and I had decided to go out for lunch to compensate for our lost hours of catching up at a café. However this man who had something to do with the gazebo project came running and said she had to come to lunch with them. We thought, either it’s the five persons in the gazebo group, or the entire lecture hall and that lunch was included in the program of the day, so she asked if she could bring me, and this man said that off course! He was counting on it. So I went with them.

We stepped into the museums restaurant, considered to be one of the best restaurants in town, and we met a table for about 20 people reserved for us. As I took my seat and was presented to the people around me I found myself sitting opposite a man who has the biggest private collection of Linné related stuff in the world. Next to me was a woman who is translating books about Linné to English. Diagonally opposite me the Minister for Culture and Education grabs a chair, and opposite him, two chairs away from Jessica, the former minister of Defense now Linnéus committee chairman.

The food was served and I get to eat a delicious fish dish with cod, and we’re served wine if we want it, red or white at our choice. However I’m not much for wine a Wednesday lunch, even if it's free, so I settled for mineral water.

So, in short, I went for coffee with a friend and ended up on a free luxury lunch with members of our government. What can I say – it was quite a day.

Mandy is sending people my blogs’ way and I’m thankful, so welcome new readers! And she’s right about comments making me want to write more. So go ahead!
I’m not posting frequently enough since I have this AND a Swedish blog… but I find writing in English both good for me and fun, so encourage me, and I’ll keep writing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey. Your blogs, both the Swedish and the English one, are really interesting. Right on...!