Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden

fruit basket


After naming this post I was slightly tempted to change the entire topic to an ode to my father. Who is some what of a fruit, and certainly a basket case. Although it’s not what you’re thinking when I call him a fruit. And he’s only a basket case when he’s in the same room as my brother. Or my other brother. Or I. And none of us has done the thing he has asked us to do. Five weeks ago. And on the hour since.

However, I shall not. I am dedicating this post to the fruit basket that gets delivered twice weekly to my place of employment. Ok, those were strong words. To my place of current hourly wages. Better.

This basket is the bane of my existence.

The Fruit . . .

It provides ample opportunity to snack healthily throughout the work day. Also it’s free. As I always say: free food is the best food. Under every circumstance.

We have breaks periodically through the day. 9, 10:30, 12 noon, and 14:30 (as we say in Sweden – 2:30 pm  for those who don’t feel the need to subtract). Seeing as the work day is 7 to 15:30 (I’m not helping you this time) Evelina thinks that I’m living the high life, and no one else enjoys such lavish luxuries throughout their work day. I maintain that each and every break is necessary. If not as a pause from the mind numbing (and shoulder numbing) monotony of the tasks at hand, then at the very least as an opportunity to stave off the impending starvation.

12 noon is lunch time, and an hour of the day I look forward to with the utmost apprehension. At both 9 and 10:30 I am forced to try to keep my mind off the lunch just calling my name from the fridge. (Luckily none of my co-workers can hear this…they don’t speak English.) I keep my eye on the prize by consuming fruit. The free fruit. The best fruit.

I hate this fruit. It doesn’t matter how many apples, bananas, pears, clementines, oranges, raisins, grapes, cherry tomatoes, or figs you eat. You will not be satiated by these foods. Recently they have been sending dried banana chips, and dried pineapple pieces. I do not like dried banana chips. They taste like banana. Which I also don’t like. I like my bananas well under ripe. Just a little bit green on the outside, and shipped to a northern, cold, country, having first been plucked from their warm country of growth far before their ripening period has even begun.

But when you’ve spent from 7am until 9am thinking about how hungry you are (and listening to Malcom Gladwell go on and on about perfectly roasting chickens with Ron Popeil) you’re ready to eat anything. And when the only options left on a Friday are a bruised pear and a bag of banana flavored banana chips…you have to go for it. Or you might just die. Of starvation. If that wasn’t clear.

Every morning I tell myself I have to start bringing in sandwiches, like everyone else. But every evening I tell myself how much healthier it is to eat fruit, and do I really NEED a sandwich? Funny how I’m telling myself all these things after just having gorged myself on two helpings of dinner. Yes, evidently, I do need a sandwich. But I never bring one.

Also, coffee is imperative for me to get through my day. And the Swedes brew it STRONG. They brew Arvid Nordquist coffee at work. Which has the same flavor as that coffee that they talk about in the film ‘The Bucket List’ where some animal craps out digested coffee beans….I assume. What I’m getting at is this coffee tastes like shit. However, the caffeine hit is a must, or I might just pass out on the extremely comfortable looking fiberglass insulation. I day-dream about this. Just letting myself drift off to sleep as I cuddle up on the plush, cotton candy like substance. Do not be fooled. Insulation is DANGEROUS. Do not do this. (More on my qualms with insulation at a later date.)

This putrid coffee must be accompanied by the consumption of some sort of food product. Both to mute the biting acidic taste on your tongue, and to prevent it from burning another ulcer in your stomach lining. Occasionally a co-worker will bring in cinnamon buns, or danishes, or extravagantly decorated cakes. All too occasionally in my opinion. As most days my putrid coffee must be accompanied by fruit. Which somehow, in combination, leaves you hungrier than when you started. It’s this magical coffe-fruit combination that does successfully get me through my mornings. And while I hear stories from friends who get bagels and free Dunkins coffee (mainly these stories come from friends who work for Dunkin Donuts) I will just have to handle my situation here. At least it’s free. Or I’ll start a Dunkins franchise…in China, because no one wants to franchise in Sweden. I checked.


5 thoughts on “fruit basket

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