You Know You're Not In Bozeman When… (Swedish Edition)

Having taken a couple weeks off from blogging to fully enjoy our vacation in Scandinavia, our return to Bozeman has helped highlight a number of distinctions between our experiences in Sweden and our daily lives in Bozeman. In today's article I will explore (in no particular order) some clear signs you are in Sweden, not Bozeman.

- You encounter water craft taller than most of the municipal skyline. In both Stockholm and Gothenburg, on any given day you are likely to see massive cruise ships that are unbelievably tall, in many cases dwarfing the city's buildings.

- You pass Amon AmarthIn Flames and Katatonia T-shirts in less than 5 minutes walking around downtown. Yes, I know folks in Bozeman that might have at least one or two of those shirts, but I've only seen a concentration of serious metal T's at local metal shows (e.g. Agalloch at the Zebra Lounge).

- You wander along a tourist-packed street in the old town, check out the first record store you find and more than 25% of the selection falls under the "Heavy/Death/Black/Thrash/Doom" section. I'm not knocking Cactus Records, but Sound Pollution in Stockholm (on Gamla Stan) is about a quarter the size and has nearly every band I'd every want to play on my radio show.

- You can ride a roller coaster and see Amaranthe within a few hundred meters of each other, on the same day. To be fair, the first half of that is sufficient, i.e. you can't even ride a real roller coaster in Bozeman, but even if you relax the comparison, in Bozeman, you can't ride any amusement park ride and see a heavy metal band at the same venue, not even at the county fair.

- You go for 7 days without noticing a single pickup truck or SUV. Nothing but Eurovans of all sizes from any number of manufacturers (e.g. Mercedes, Ford, Opel, Citroen, Fiat).

- You look through the "services offered" flyers at the local record store and see Deicide and Iced Earth's guitarist offering up lessons. Yes, you're right, Ralph is Italian-American, but point being, he's offering guitar lessons in Stockholm, not in Bozeman.

- You stumble onto multiple flyers for local metal bands you've never heard of. Or artists like TriviumNikki Sixx and Soulfly, headlining big shows in the next month. Truth is, it's rare to see flyers for -any- metal bands in Bozeman. Maybe in Billings or Missoula...

- You see a British woman playing a percussion instrument you've never heard or seen before (Hang), and she's hanging out with about 10 guys from Chile with long black hair, shades and Wacken 2012 T-shirts.

Our visit to Sweden was great. Three generations of the Hearst/Reynolds clan, three cities, two countries and two weeks. Lots of scrambling to figure out public transportation, frantic searches for WC's and many great meals. All in all, an amazing experience!

Before I sign off, I want to thank Thomas at Roaddust for his hospitality and wonderful conversation. We had a great time at Liseberg and really appreciate everything you did to help us plan and carry out this trip. In Helsinki, I was talking to Kiley (my daughter) about what she enjoyed most during the trip and she said "...especially seeing Amaranthe and meeting their road manager, who's really, really awesome."

Next time, Finland...


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August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJake

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