Happy Friday, everyone! This is a line my former colleague/mentor at my internship would exclaim when she cheerfully entered the office on Friday mornings and I think it is a most wonderful tradition. Each Friday, I put up a postcard on my desk that reads, “Hip Hip Horray, it’s Friday!” I have almost become superstitious, worrying there will not be a weekend if I don’t put up the card.
Last Friday then – what a delightful Friday that was! I already recounted the day and at night, I gathered all my friends at the Persian restaurant Shahrzad where I had reserved a chambré separé for our party of twentysomething people. It was such an enjoyable task to put out the little name cards I had made and with each card think, “Oh, and this friend is coming, too”, “And that’s her who I worked with during that time”, “So nice to see this person again who I share this memory with”. There were Stockholm and Uppsala friends from all periods of my Swedish life: the first friend from five years ago who accompanied me through it all, the first co-workers I had, the Germans who I met in Germany and who moved at the same time as me, the friends who I met through choir, other foreigners who studied Swedish with my side by side after work, the ones who brought me through my thesis, the new relative I only recently befriended. They were all there, they had taken their time to come and truly, ““I count myself in nothing else so happy as in a soul remembering my good friends“.
The table was set up in a large U-form and I sat on the inside of the U, moving around in order to be able to speak to everyone.
These friends had not obliged the motto not to bring presents but instead brought me the most thoughtful, lovely gifts. From beautiful books to coveted bags, from classy watches to Swedish flower seeds to plant in a German garden (and the list continues!) they surprised me.
Coming up next: Sweden’s best book.