Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Swedenpalooza 2.

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.


Anonymous said...

Alfie has an absolutely unreal, unbelievably high level of class. He is a ridiculously high valued asset to all of humanity. His lucid knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be an ambassador to the world is virtually insurmountable. He's a heck of hockey player as well. He has become the unofficial benevolent dictator of the NHL. From his "come hither" smile to his bi-partisan "reach across the aisle and into your should pads" diplomacy to his self-sacrificing servant leadership, his presence and reputation are felt everywhere; from the dressing room showers, to the adoring fans on "main street" to the byward market, to the "town hall" of the NHL deep in the heart of Toronto, world and hockey leaders past and present unite and agree that Alfie has emerged as the next great leader of the hockey world.

I would not believe this great man were human if it were not for the fact that he still doesn't have a Stanley Cup (this year will change that!) and that puck he fired at Niedermeyer with time expiring. But sometimes, deities have to execute righteous justice and that may have been what happened to Niedermeyer at that moment.

Thanks for more great posts Dean!

They say celebrities are just like you and I once you get to know them... It must be an exception with Alfie - there is no way he can lead and rule the sporting world with his undeniable charisma, sense of style, beautiful aesthetics and legendary class and be just like you and me.

Here's to King Alfie and another great season! Go Sens Go!

Anonymous said...

I think you're over doing it on Alfie a tad, however he *is* the best player in the league today - I'll give you that.

kal cole said...

Good to see Alfie smiling!!!

When Alfie joined the Sens in the 90's he used to smile way more.

Over the years he's become very serious and intense. The last time I saw him smile was a couple of years back when some comedian from Air Farce did one of those schtick interviews with him.

It's nice to see that he's smiling a bit more lately!

Go Sens!

Anonymous said...

He's smiling because he's the class of the NHL! How privileged we are that our generation was chosen to be witnesses to this class!